KResCo - Krisenmanagement und Resilienz - Corona

The Impact of the Covid-19 crisis on international collaboration in research, development and innovation.


The abrupt emergence of the COVID 19 pandemic is currently triggering a shock that is affecting economic and social systems on an unprecedented scale and posing major challenges. To combat the pandemic and its economic and societal impacts, policy measures were initiated within a very short period of time, with nationally varying emphases and strategic approaches. Extensive policy measures served both to contain the infectious event (e.g., by restricting mobility, reducing contact, social distancing, and shutting down economic activity), to support the economy, and to restart innovation activities (e.g., Fraunhofer "Innovation Program"). However, the impact of pandemic-induced crisis management policies on innovation behavior - including cooperative R&D collaboration - has not yet been systematically researched. There are concerns that the private sector in particular may cut back on R&D spending and innovation efforts as a result of the crisis and recession. However, research, development and innovation activities (R&D&I) are key factors in sustainable value creation systems. If R&D work is suspended or reduced, important innovation impetus will be lost accordingly. This is particularly true of R&D&I collaboration on an international scale, which has gained in importance in Germany since the early 2000s. Thus, the cross-border networking of science, research and business and the integration into transnational knowledge flows and value creation contexts contribute significantly to the performance and innovation capability of the German innovation system.


Project goals

In recent years, German medium-sized and large companies in particular have increasingly sought impetus for new ideas, technologies and innovations in Israel. However, the measures taken to combat infection through contact reductions, social distancing and restrictions on international mobility and travel could pose major challenges for international cooperation, particularly in R&D&I. With the German-Israeli collaboration in R&D&I, this case study takes a closer look at a central pillar of the international innovation-related collaboration of the German innovation system.

Therefore, the study examines the impact of the Corona crisis on German-Israeli collaboration in R&D&I based on an explorative, primarily qualitative research design. A focus is placed on cross-border collaborations with corporate participation, as it is to be expected that private sector actors in particular will be affected in their innovation behavior by the pandemic-induced recession.

In summary, the following guiding research questions emerge:

  • Research Question 1: What risk and vulnerability factors or resilience-supporting conditions can be identified that affect bilateral relations?
  • Research question 2: How do innovation-involved actors adapt their R&D and innovation behavior in the wake of the Corona crisis? What are the implications for the resilience and innovation strategies of these actors?



Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.



09/01/2021 - 08/31/2024