Research in Baden-Württemberg

Wissenschaftsministerin Petra Olschowski zu Besuch am Uniklinikum Tübingen
Quantenforschung mit künstlichen Diamanten

Baden-Württemberg is the No. 1 research location in Europe, be it in artificial intelligence, the life sciences or engineering. With spending on research and development accounting for 5.8 percent of the gross domestic product in 2019, the German Southwest is the driver of innovation in Europe. Non-university and university research institutions work closely together and are linked through extensive networks. This ensures the rapid transfer of results from basic research via applied research into the development of new products and ideas.

The Ministry of Science, Research and Arts oversees all state universities, the majority of non-university research institutions as well as the scientific libraries and archives. At present, there are 50 public universities in Baden-Württemberg. In addition to public universities, the state is home to more than 100 research facilities, including 12 research institutions of the Max-Planck-Society, 20 facilities of the Fraunhofer-Society, 7 institutions of the Leibniz-Society, 2 major research centers of the Helmholtz Association and 3 sites of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt). In a large variety of these facilities, the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts is involved in funding – either institution-wide or through individual research projects.

For those interested in start-up companies, Baden-Württemberg’s research institutions serve as a base for strong networks and advice while also being surrounded by plentiful capital and expertise. Baden-Württemberg's universities encourage students to be courageous enough to pursue their own ideas and dreams while providing the education and support for them to be successful.

Key Fields of Research

Baden-Württemberg focuses on research areas with a high potential for growth. With this goal in mind, the state has created campuses and ecosystems that enable high-level research together with close cooperation with local industry. Baden-Württemberg is particularly strong in the STEM subjects and in medicine, and these research areas are supported in our Innovation Campus Initiative.

Innovation Campus Initiative


In Baden-Württemberg's state budget, around 6.3 billion euros are earmarked for science, research and the arts (2023). The universities' third-party funding income in 2020 was around 1032 million euros. Added to this is third-party funding income from university medicine of just under 433 million euros. 

Spendings on research and development accounted for 5.8 percent of gross domestic product in Baden-Württemberg in 2019 - well above the national average (3.2 percent) and the EU average (2.2 percent). The USA (3.1 percent), China (2.2 percent) and Japan (3.2 percent) also spent proportionately less on research and development.