The market for Laboratory and Scientific Instruments is very competitive and is characterized by innovation. About 9% of the overall sales of the 330 German manufacturer’s active in that industry are invested into research and development. The main end-users are the industry, the public sector, pharmaceutical and chemical companies as well as biotechnology and nutraceutical firms. The market for the S&LI sector heavily depends on the development in these industry segments. Despite the overall economic crisis industry insiders predict a stable market development with a slight increase in the near future. This positive development is primarily attributed to exports to Asia, primarily to countries such as China, Korea and India.
Laboratory automation and information systems (LIMS), as well as the broad spectrum of chromatographic technologies; other trends within the S&LI industry are automation, process analysis, and miniaturization.
Laser and opto-electronic instrumentation (primarily for medical applications – applications for the automotive and semiconductor industries are presently declining). Within the laser and optoelectronics field, laser products for the solar industry will play an important role in the future.
Due to the strong export orientation of German manufacturers (about 50% of the annual production output is exported), the industry also depends greatly on imported technologies. Imports derive mainly from European countries (approx. 44%) and from Asia (approx. 27%). However, with 28% imports from the U.S., the United States remains an important foreign supplier of S&LI to Germany.