International Monitoring

The International Bureau (IB) supports the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in collecting and analysing information in order to support a targeted internationalisation of the German research and innovation landscape and the further development of international professional education cooperation.

Cover of the special issue

A broad information base is the foundation of a targeted internationalisation. The aim of the International Bureau is to support the BMBF in its international positioning and strategic planning by revealing the monitoring trend in research and innovation. The BMBF relies on existing national, European and international data collection processes and intensifies connections where this makes sense. Monitoring ranges from the internationalisation of the German research landscape to the international developments and cooperation options of important partner countries.


The BMBF uses its portal „Kooperation international“ to prepare the information that it has collected. This is both a directory and a communication platform for international education and research cooperation and as such an important tool for implementing the internationalisation strategy. Kooperation international has an average of 35,000 visitors a month accessing 112,000 individual sites.

The Newsletter ITB infoservice is another tool. This reports on current strategic developments in research, education, technology and innovation policy in leading industrialised countries and emerging economies. 2,000 readers subscribe to the monthly newsletter.

Since January 2010, special editions of the ITB infoservice have been published twice a year, which focus on a specific region or a current topic. The topics of the last special editions were: „Science and Innovation in Africa: International Funding and Cooperation“ (issue 12), „Strategies for International Cooperation in Research and Innovation“ (issue 11) and „Innovation in China“ (issue 10).

The International Bureau also evaluates statistical and bibliometric data for selected countries (sample diagram):

Distribution of publications to the specialised areas: China and the World as a Whole (2014)

In 2013, the BMBF commissioned the International Bureau to compile a first Annual Report regarding the internationalisation of research and education. The report, which was published in 2014, provides an overview of the international activities of German actors, including research and funding organisations and agencies. In November 2016, the second Annual Report was published entitled “Annual Internationalisation Report 2015. Germany’s international collaboration in education and research – Priorities for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and selected science organisations".