Germany is currently one of the leaders when it comes to innovation. It came top as the world’s most innovative economy in the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Competitiveness Report, with a score of 87.5 out of 100 in the Innovation capability pillar - one of the various drivers of a country’s productivity.
It outperformed the USA which came second for innovation (86.5), with Switzerland in third place (82.1).
The sheer number of ideas it comes up with is one of the reasons Germany is at the top position as an innovator. To achieve this, Germany spends about 2.9% of its GDP on R&D. While the economic crisis forced some governments over the globe to cut expenditure on R&D, Germany actually increased funding for small and medium-sized enterprises and e-mobility projects.
What’s more, Germany has more than 1,000 public and publicly funded institutions for science, research and development, almost 600 research and innovation clusters and networks, and 614,000 staff in R&D including 358,000 researchers. The country’s main goal, as outlined by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in its High-Tech Strategy, is for science and industry to work together to “move Germany further down the path to becoming the global innovation leader”.
Here are some of the top innovators worth keeping an eye on.
Founded in 2012, simplesurance aims to be the world’s leading e-commerce provider for product insurances. The company offers an easy and convenient way to purchase product insurances, constantly investing in their unique platform with transparent and efficient insurance services to connect people and business, anywhere & anytime. Simplesurance’s digital broker solution enables consumers to manage their insurance policies digitally via a multi-device app. The 100% automated paperless user experience, test-driven deployment, and fully digital deployment make the solution innovative.
Arago is a pioneer in the field of AI and one of few companies worldwide to offer a commercially proven general AI platform. The company’s mission is to guide the clients’ transformation into future-proof AI-enabled enterprises. Arago developed a problem-solving AI technology – HIRO™ – which leverages its algorithms to manage processes such as IT infrastructure, software, applications, services, business processes, workflows, transactions and more. The Knowledge and Information HIRO™ uses to solve complex tasks is storable and re-usable in different environments. They won the Innovation Leader in Semantic Intelligence Industry by Frost & Sullivan in 2017.
3. Wunder Mobility
Wunder is a B2B mobility tech platform providing carpooling, smart shuttles, and free-floating sharing to consumers, corporates & cities. It helps to create, deploy and scale technology that connects communities with end to end mobility services. Wunder allows start-ups, corporations, and cities to launch and scale mobility services efficiently, providing turn-key solutions that enable companies and cities worldwide to bring clean, convenient and accessible mobility. Transport companies and customers in Europe, Asia, Oceania and America have committed to using Wunder technology, taking over 12 million rides in 2018.
Teraki specialises in accurate and efficient edge processing. Teraki’s software is a key driver for scaling of insurance, predictive maintenance and autonomous driving applications by enabling access to more qualitative data. Their edge data processing technology processes edge data 10X more efficiently and 10X quicker. One of the use cases of this technology is automotive insurance. Better and complete crash detection significantly improves the main KPIs for insurance companies, as with more available data algorithms can achieve higher accuracies and draw conclusions that are more relevant. Recently, CB Insights listed Teraki as one of the world’s 70 AI companies revolutionising the automotive sector.
Shore envisions help small business owners speed up their everyday administrative chores and to promote their business successfully. The one-stop software solution for online booking, customer management and, digital marketing helps businesses and customers save valuable time. The features of the application include an online calendar, online booking, customer database, planner, google ads management, etc. Thousands of businesses, including hairdressers, beauty salons, doctors, coaches, auto repair shops and restaurants are already using Shore to simplify their day-to-day work.
6. Fidor Solutions
Fidor Bank is Europe’s original, digital challenger bank. Founded in 2009 in Germany, it has become the world’s first ‘fintech bank’. Pioneering the collaboration between traditional financial services and technology businesses, the bank offers a customer-centric banking service. It is one of the only few neobanks that has a banking license, allowing it to redefine traditional banking from the ground-up. Fidor also built its own innovative platform from scratch – fidorOS – to be light-years ahead of traditional solutions. It quickly became an industry breakthrough – able to run an entire digital bank while ensuring growth and simplifying collaboration with third parties. Fidor Bank recently won the Celent Model Bank Award ’19 for their business model innovation and marketplace banking.
Govecs is the leading manufacturer of electric scooters and light electric vehicles in Europe that aims to combine environmentally conscious driving pleasure with modern design and suitability for daily use. Their success is based on established technical know-how, innovative product ideas and their love for extraordinary design. Govecs develops products and services that meet the constantly changing demands of urban mobility. Currently, more than 10,000 Govecs electric scooters are used as a means of transport in major cities of Europe. The company won the “European e-scooter of the Year” award from 2011-2013.
Founded in 2007, xbAV is an independent technology provider that delivers shared service solutions for occupational pension management and consultancy. The company offers solutions for agents, employers, employees and stakeholders. Their xbAV platform allows to make the process efficient, simple and independent by offering access to solutions forms a wide range of providers. With over 120 employees, xbAV aims to provide all stakeholders with easy access to company pension schemes.
Germany does a great job when it comes to innovation in areas as diverse as sustainable energy systems, molecular biotech, lasers, and experimental software engineering. It is also better at adapting new inventions and technologies to industry and spreading them throughout the business sector. All these factors together make Germany a powerhouse and one of the world leaders in terms of innovation.
The country is also a leading force in software development and information systems. If you want to find out more, we invite you to read the first part of our post, regarding German tech companies to follow.