Results from the consultation on recent trends
Volumes of expenditure
In Germany, agricultural sciences were in crisis until the end of the 1990s. In the last years
the interest in agricultural research has increased again due to the global challenges, all of
them being connected with agricultural issues. Volumes of expenditure nowadays indicate
that the German government highly appreciates agricultural research. In spite of the
financial crisis and the needs to economise there is a steady increase in agricultural
research funds (BMEL 2014, interview). In 2006, the BMEL has set up an innovation
programme, with a budget of around € 40m per year. Its objective is to generate innovation
in agriculture as well as related upstream and downstream sectors. In addition, there are
several BMBF initiatives in pre-competitive fields, like GABI (now PLANT2030) on genome
analysis of cultural plants and FUGATO on animal genetics.
In terms of basic funding of agricultural research institutions the increase in importance is
not detectable. Federal research institutes receive solid basic funding, third-party funding
increases. The Thünen-Institute e.g. Received in the last years € 70m per year basic
funding, and acquired last year € 14m third-party funding. More than 50% of staff is third-
Basic funding of universities is decreasing, especially in terms of funding of personnel.
Third-party funding is substantial for every higher education institute and will continue
increasing, especially in terms of topic oriented calls
There is a lot of private money, which is invested in agricultural and related research. In
2013, Bayer CropScience spent around € 800 million, AGCO Fendt around € 70
million. In comparison to these numbers € 37 million which are provided by BMEL for the
innovation programme seem relatively low. On the other hand, several interviewees stress
that private enterprises and public research organizations work increasingly together.
Bayer CropScience e.g. Is working together with external research institutes, spending
around one third of their R&D funds for these external cooperation. DFG numbers show as
well that for the non-university research organisations (e.g. Leibniz institutions) direct
governmental and/or industrial R&D funding is of high importance (Deutsche
Several interviewees feel that expenditure volumes are adequate, criticize however the
absence of a strategic and holistic funding approach with clear priority setting.