Since 1997, Germany has witnessed an unprecedented boom in high-tech start-ups and IPOs. Long considered a "desert" for high tech and entrepreneurship alike, Germany has witnessed a spectacular mushrooming of technology-based firm foundings in the past three years, transforming the country from a laggard to the clear leader in European high-tech entrepreneurship. Though seeming to come from nowhere and confounding the conventional wisdom about Germany's strengths and weaknesses, the take-off in German high-tech did not come overnight, but instead capped a good three decades of trial-and-error in high-tech sponsorship policies. This article puts the current high-tech boom into perspective by retracing the historical evolution of Germany's technology policies.
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