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The ZEW provides external scientists with a range of research data sets. The ZEW research data offered at ZEW is individual data collected through ZEW business surveys and ZEW expert surveys.

Data from certain ZEW surveys will be accessible for external scientists in a factual anonymised form of Scientific Use Files. In addition to the usage of these Scientific Use Files, external scientists have the opportunity to work with formal anonymised ZEW data within FDZ premises at ZEW on request. Formal anonymised data sets contain neither names nor addresses, but all other original data of the interviewed people, and are stored on a stand-alone computer without network connection, not allow downloading any data. With regard to the Mannheim Innovation Panel (MIP), absolute anonymised Education Use Files have been created for use in teaching.

The use of ZEW data by external researchers is limited to research projects. In particular commercial or any other business purposes involving expert opinions – free of charge or against payment – for private or public clients is not permitted.  The use of data in the context of teaching is also forbidden, with exception of the MIP Education Use Files. The external researches are required to work for a publicly funded research institution (§16 (6) BStatG). ZEW data is provided for doctoral candidates and PhD students in particular.


In November 2012, ZEW-FDZ was accredited by the German Data Forum (RatSWD).