The time has come: the EU framework for state aid to promote research, development and innovation, which was already the subject of extremely controversial debate in its draft version, was adopted by the EU Commission on May 21, 2014 and will enter into force on July 1, 2014.
So far, only the English version of the Union Framework is available, which – in relation to the draft version of the Union Framework – already contains some surprising innovations. In our first article, we report on some of the most important new regulations in the R&D aid area and will provide you with a comprehensive overview in the next issues – as soon as the German version with its concrete wording is available.
But that is not enough of the new regulations on state aid: The new GBER, which was adopted by the EU Commission at the same time as the EU Framework, also contains a number of changes in state aid law that must be observed by the research community, including research institutions and universities. In addition, the EU Commission has defined requirements for transparency in the granting of subsidies.
Furthermore, you will find a summary from the BMBF Federal Report on Research and Innovation 2014 as well as from the DZHW report on the development of dropout rates at German universities. Both contain topics that are extremely exciting for higher education practitioners. From the case law on public procurement, we present a decision of the Higher Regional Court of Koblenz, which deals with bidder information and its scope.
We wish you interesting reading!
Public Sector Team of KPMG Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH
Mathias Oberndörfer Dr. Anke Empting
On May 21, 2014, the German Cabinet approved the Federal Report on Research and Innovation of the Federal Ministry of Research and Development (BMBF). In particular, the so-called High-Tech Strategy 2020 is to be expanded.
The international appeal of the German science system has improved significantly: According to this study, around 35,000 scientists of foreign origin were employed at German universities in 2012. This represents an increase of around 60 percent compared with 2006.
In addition, the number of university graduates in Germany rose from 198,000 to a record 310,000 between 2005 and 2012. Currently, nearly 600,000 people are employed in research and development. Between 2005 and 2012 alone, 114,000 new jobs were created in this sector.
Five of Europe’s ten most research-intensive companies now come from Germany, and in terms of transnational patent applications, the Federal Republic of Germany leads the field in Europe and ranks third worldwide. In 2012, spending on research and development increased to a record level of more than 79 billion euros, with the result that the R&D share of gross domestic product (GDP) in Germany reached a peak of three percent for the first time.
Only just under five percent of the master’s students in the 2010 intake at universities dropped out of their STEM studies; at universities of applied sciences, the dropout rate in these subjects was only about three percent. There is also an upswing in engineering courses: A good 93 percent of master’s students at universities of applied sciences graduate, while 88 percent of master’s students at universities do so.
Although the report shows that the dropout rate among bachelor’s students who began their studies in 2008/2009 was lower in some subjects than in previous years, the number of students who dropped out of the program was higher than in the previous years. Overall, however, the dropout rate remains stable at about 28 percent of students.
The study rate of foreign students, i.e. students who obtained their higher education entrance qualification at a foreign school and began their studies at a German higher education institution, is 41 percent overall. Among East Asian students, the dropout rate is by far the best at 19 percent.
With regard to master’s degree programs, a significantly lower dropout rate of 9 percent of foreign first-year students in 2010 can be recorded.
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