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Posted: May 31, 2012

New funding landscape and financial crises hamper innovation with microtechnology

(Nanowerk News) A re-structured funding landscape and the succeeding financial crises may hamper the innovative strength of the microtechnology industry in Germany. In a survey among industry experts and scientists, 43 percent say that financing innovation has become more difficult in the past four years. 42 percent think that a shortage of financial means endangers the innovative strength of the industry.
Small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular, find it more difficult to get government funding. Pertinent funding programmes, such as the national programme "Microsystems Technology", have been abandoned. As a consequence, it has become more difficult to identify appropriate programmes. Above that, the experts feel that both, federal and state governments are providing fewer funds for industrial technology development.
financing of microsystems
Source: IVAM Microtechnology Network, April 2012
According to the experts, it is the current financial market situation rather than the funding policy that causes an innovation shortfall. In the aftermath of the financial crises, some financing instruments have simply vanished. Because of stricter financial market regulation, it has also become harder to get loans – especially for financing high-risk technology development. The situation is particularly difficult for start-ups who are looking for seed money.
A few industry experts think that what is happening now on the financial market is in fact a healthy market adjustment. Companies who develop really innovative applications with high market potential and find the right financing model still have the chance to receive adequate financial means. The governments, for instance, are still supplying sufficient funding for application-oriented research and development.
IVAM Executive Panel
The IVAM Executive Panel is the trend indicator for the microtechnology industry. Experts from business and science give their opinion on current technology trends, business development or economic development. Therefore, IVAM Microtechnology Network conducts a brief survey among selected executives in (mostly small and medium-sized) enterprises and leading scientists every three months. In April 2012, 19 experts from Germany and Switzerland took part in the survey on innovation financing.
Source: IVAM
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