Global competitiveness and international attractiveness are key features of a strong location for study, research and innovation. In order to make use of the opportunities of a strategic internationalisation, it is essential to communicate the strengths of the location and the attractiveness of a commitment in Germany, or of networking with German institutions, across the world in a systematic and target-group-specific process.
For this purpose, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) launched the initiative “Research in Germany – Land of Ideas” in 2006. Since then, numerous successful initiatives have been implemented. New cooperation models within and with the German research community were introduced, and first steps to professionalise and intensify advertising for Germany as a location for innovation were taken. As part of a marketing campaign focusing on specific topics and countries, the BMBF created an international platform for the German research community, whose aim is to publicise and increase the visibility of Germany as a location.
The campaigns are a tool for increasing the visibility of Germany’s excellent research and development community abroad. It aims to attract top-level scientists, potential investors and foreign companies to Germany with the objective of encouraging them to perform their activities in or together with Germany as a research and innovation location. For this purpose, every campaign presents excellent networks and existing successful cooperations for one chosen topic - such as the Federal Government’s high-tech strategy - or alternatively for one country. These examples of success are to encourage further cooperations and activities involving German scientists or in Germany.
Since 2006, the BMBF with the support of the DLR Project Management Agency has organised seven specialised campaigns with a geographical or thematic focus:
- environmental technology,
- production technology,
- medical technology,
Every single campaign made a valuable contribution to a very positive result overall. Major targets of the networks involved were achieved, including:
- establishing or intensifying international contacts;
- publicising services in the target country;
- setting up cooperations with international partners;
- improving the image of the network itself, but also of Germany as a target country;
- finding opportunities for utilisation and application for research.
In addition, each campaign achieved a strong media presence thanks to different activities such as attendance at trade fairs, official visits or PR work, all of which improved the visibility of Germany as a location for innovation and sustainably influenced the image of Germany as a “Country of ideas” abroad.