Sector News

Germany should back R&D, streamline regulations – VCI

August 23, 2017
Chemical Value Chain

The German government should increase financial incentives for research and development (R&D) to increase the share of spending on new technologies as a proportion of GDP, and streamline regulatory obstacles for chemicals companies, industry body VCI said on Wednesday.

The association welcomed news that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged to increase R&D spending to 3.5% of GDP by 2025 from current levels of around 3%, but claimed that additional incentives and a reevaluation of the country’s regulatory framework are necessary to achieve that.

“Germany is a good location for turning ideas into innovations. But this country is not ranking at the very top in the international innovation competition,” said Thomas Wessel, VCI’s chairman of the committee for research, science and education.

70% of the country’s chemicals and pharmaceutical companies are continuously engaged in R&D compared to 30% for industry as a whole, Wessel said, representing €10.8bn of investment in 2016.

However, due to the disproportionate level of investment the chemicals sector pours into research, that figure would need to increase to €13bn, a 20% increase at a time when the bulk of spending by many Germany-based chemicals majors is focused outside the country.

Aside from increased fiscal incentives for keeping research in the country, VCI argued that innovation should feature more prominently in impact assessments of new regulation, to avoid stifling the development of new products and technologies.

Over 60% of chemical and pharmaceutical companies find regulatory obstacles in Germany highert than those in other countries, the VCI added.

“We will not reach the 3.5% target without extra incentives and without framework conditions that are conducive to innovation and investment,” Wessel said.

The body also pushed for a shift in tone toward new innovations, arguing that a more welcoming social outlook would speed the take-up of new technologies.

“Instead of scepticism, we need a societal climate where the chances and risks of new technologies are assessed in a well-balanced manner. Otherwise, technical progress is hardly possible,” Wessel added.

Source: ICIS News

comments closed

Related News

September 25, 2022

France and Sweden both launch ‘first of a kind’ hydrogen facilities

Chemical Value Chain

France has launched an offshore green hydrogen production platform at the country’s Port of Saint-Nazaire this week, along with its first offshore wind farm. The hydrogen plant, which its operators say is the world’s first facility of its type, coincides with the launch of another “first of its kind” facility in Sweden dedicated to storing hydrogen in an underground lined rock cavern (LRC).

September 25, 2022

NextChem announces €194-million grant for waste-to-hydrogen project in Rome

Chemical Value Chain

The project sets up the Hydrogen Valley in Rome, the first industrial-scale technological hub for the development of the national supply chain for the production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen for the decarbonization of industrial processes and for sustainable mobility.

September 25, 2022

The problem with hydrogen

Chemical Value Chain

At first glance, hydrogen seems to be the perfect solution to our energy needs. It doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when used. It can store energy for long periods of time. It doesn’t leave behind hazardous waste materials, like nuclear does. And it doesn’t require large swathes of land to be flooded, like hydroelectricity. Seems too good to be true. So…what’s the catch?