In addition to degree education, the other main task of universities of applied sciences is research, development, and innovation activities. It is a statutory duty of a university of applied sciences to engage in applied research, development, and innovation activities as well as artistic activities that promote working life, regional development, and renewal of the region’s economic structure. 

The RDI activities of universities of applied sciences are broad and diverse, ranging from applied research to the commercialization of new innovations. Projects and initiatives vary from collaboration with individual organizations for development and innovation activities to the implementation of large-scale research projects. The RDI activities of universities of applied sciences generate new knowledge, applications, services, and products. 

In 2021, universities of applied sciences conducted RDI activities worth nearly 240 million euros. 

While regional development is strongly emphasized in the statutory task, universities of applied sciences are also extensively connected to national and international networks and centers of expertise. Funding for RDI projects is increasingly sought by universities of applied sciences from international funding sources. 

RDI activities are also strongly linked to education and teaching. Teaching at universities of applied sciences often takes the form of projects obtained from the working life, and thesis projects are implemented as development projects for workplaces. Through RDI work, the connection between education content and the latest knowledge and skills is ensured.



approx. 263 M€

The total RDI funding for UAS in 2021


11 013

The number of publications in 2021


5 166

The number of RDI personnel in 2021


approx. 12 742

The number of collaborative partners