Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 232: Research Institutes in Germany: Basic and Applied Science institutionalized?

Maja Fjaestad ()
Additional contact information
Maja Fjaestad: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: The organization of post-war science has taken distinctly different paths in different countries, based on historical rationales, national funding patterns and institutional structure. The German Max Planck-Society is a research-only network of basic research institutes whose organization and establishment relies heavily on the high valuation of basic research, as well as principles of separation of basic and applied science and ideals of independent research. The paper investigates the historical roots and organizational character of this scientific milieu. Also, the separation between the Max Planck-Society and the more industrially orientated Franuhofer institutes is discussed and problemized. One conclusions is that in spite distinctly different roles in the German research landscape, separating basic from applied research, the two organization both stresses their usefulness and contribution to the “common good” in official presentations.

Keywords: Research institutes; basic research; applied research; Max Planck Society; Fraunhofer Society; Germany; Research policy

JEL-codes: O00

25 pages, August 25, 2010

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