ABSTRACT

Germany is among the leading nations when it comes to research and development on certain emerging technologies—but most often, their application in a German context is purely civilian. Against the background of increased geopolitical competition, Russia's war against Ukraine, and a new nuclear age, the fear is that Germany could sleep through a possibly already ongoing technological arms race. This chapter assesses Germany's capacity to adapt to technological change by leveraging its ability to innovate in the technological and defense-technological sectors. It looks at the current military-technological challenges that Germany and Europe face, assesses Germany's 'defense turn' in conjunction with the Zeitenwende, and provides an in-depth examination of Germany's national model of innovation, which has been developed over the past decades. The chapter concludes that Germany is on track to continue its strategy of slow adaptation, despite its new and very ambitious defense policy goals. Whether the country can create the necessary momentum for radical innovation remains uncertain, especially now that Germany could face a prolonged economic downturn.