Tip: Activate javascript to be able to use all functions of our website

KfW SME Innovation Report 2018

News from 2019-07-09 / KfW Research

Innovator rate has fallen again

The share of innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is returning to its long-term downward trend after a brief interim high. Since the middle of the 2000s, especially small SMEs with less than 5 employees have ceased their innovation activities. The central findings are:

  • The innovator rate drops by 4 percentage points to 23%
  • Innovation spending in SMEs continues to fall to EUR 30.7 billion
  • Process innovations are developing positively against the trend - digitization is likely to be a focus here
  • Research-based SMEs are launching market novelties seven times more frequently than companies without own research and development (R&D)

KfW SME Innovation Report 2018  (PDF, 1 MB, non-accessible)

Press release


KfW Research

KfW Group

Palmengartenstrasse 5-9

60325 Frankfurt




Economic Research

Economic Research

Economic development in Germany and around the world, studies on topics relevant to society such as environmental and climate protection, demography, globalisation, innovation and sustainability, impact of KfW promotional programmes.

Read more