Following lobbying by the German industry association Spectaris and other groups, the German government has agreed to increase by €50 million funds destined to corporate industrial research to a total of €300.6 million. The money is part of a stimulus package to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Spectaris’s chief executive Jörg Mayer described the additional funds as “good news” for small and medium-sized companies, which have been particularly affected by the coronavirus crisis. But, he pointed out that the additional €50 million would have been necessary even without the pandemic.

He urged the government to provide certainty on funding levels over the next two years as research projects are usually biennial, and failing to guarantee ongoing funds could prevent some initiatives to be launched.

Spectaris is the German industry association for optics, photonics, analysis and medical technology based in Berlin. It represents 400, mostly medium-sized, companies. The sectors generated total sales of over €73 billion in 2019 and employed around 328,000 people.