ZEW Spin-Off Survey Germany and Austria

Data Types and Keywords

  • Data type: individual business data
  • Keywords: high-tech sectors, academic spin-offs, panel study


In 2002, more than 20,000 start-ups in research and knowledge-intensive industries founded between 1996 and 2000 were asked about their founding history and their link to academic research through telephone interviews (CATI). The project was conducted on behalf of BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research). In 2008, a subsample of the same firms (n=1,900) and a further sample of firms founded between 2001 and 2006 (n=10,000) were interviewed on behalf of BMWi (Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology). Each firm was questioned about the importance of new scientific evidence and specific research results for their foundation process, and the relation between their founder and public research institutions (e.g. R&D co-operations, R&D orders). This information allows characterising start-ups according to their connections to academic research.

In 2003, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology commissioned ZEW in cooperation with Johanneum Research Vienna to conduct a similar survey on start-ups in Austria founded between 1995 and 2002. The stratified sample (n=4000) included firm foundations in research and knowledge-intensive industries. The survey was conducted through telephone interviews (CATI), too. A second survey was conducted in 2006 among some of the firms interviewed in 2003 (n=900) on behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology. Furthermore, a new sample (n=900) of start-ups from 2003 to 2005 were interviewed.