Future potentials and strategies of traditional industries in Germany
In progress from 01-04-2009 to 01-08-2010
Project manager: Dr. Eva Kirner
High-technology and low-technology branches of industry are frequently distinguished. This differentiation is based exclusively on their different degrees of research and development (R&D) intensity. Assuming that high R&D intensity is accompanied by high innovative capability, R&D-intensive sectors are attributed a greater innovation capability and competitiveness compared to less R&D-intensive, traditional industries. This assumption seems problematical for several reasons. On the one hand, from a macro-economic viewpoint, traditional, less research-intensive industries are still responsible for a very relevant share of the total value added, as well as jobs in developed industrialized nations. On the other hand, expenditures on research and development in this context are assigned an outstanding significance for economic success, without taking into account other innovation pathways or competitive strategies, such as for instance service innovations or certain technical, respectively organizational process innovations.
Therefore this TAB-project aims to investigate future potentials and innovation strategies of traditional industries in Germany. A key question is whether traditional industries will be able to maintain their present importance in the long run. It should therefore be clarified which competitive and innovation strategies non-R&D-intensive firms pursue and which future potentials can be connected herewith. It will further be examined how the competitive strategies of non-R&D-intensive enterprises might affect employment.