The German environmental technology industry has an internationally leading position, particularly in the fields of air pollution control, noise mitigation and recycling. Germany's share in the global export of so-called potential environmental protection goods was as high as 19% in 2003. The demand for innovative environmental technology and planning expertise from Germany is continuously increasing throughout Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. Even today, 1.5 million people work in companies that develop environmental technologies. Germany is one of Europe's leading countries when it comes to R&D expenditure in environmental technologies. With 23% of all patent applications in the field of environmental protection, Germany outperforms both the USA (22%) and Japan (19%).
In addition to traditional services in the areas of waste management and water resources management, the field of environmental technologies includes all technological products and processes that promote a sustainable and forward-looking economic orientation. The efficient and sustainable use of natural resources and the minimization of harmful effects on the environment are declared goals in German research and development. The relevant fields of technology in this context are
As part of a comprehensive campaign to promote Germany as a key business location that ran from April 2008 until September 2009, the BMBF has supported German research institutions, competence networks and companies with strong research departments in their efforts to market their know-how in these fields of technology at an international level.
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