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Description of the country:
Germany is the second most populous country in Central Europe after Russia and many immigrants from the European countries live and study in Germany. Germany lies in the center of Europe and shares borders with 9 countries: Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxemburg, Belgium and the Netherlands (clockwise from the top/north).
Geography of the country: Located in central Europe, Germany is made up of the North German Plain, the Central German Uplands (Mittelgebirge), and the Southern German Highlands. The Bavarian plateau in the southwest averages 1,600 ft (488 m) above sea level, but it reaches 9,721 ft (2,962 m) in the Zugspitze Mountains, the highest point in the country. Germany's major rivers are the Danube, the Elbe, the Oder, the Weser, and the Rhine. Germany is about the size of Montana.
Status of economy, research and development:
The German economy - the fifth largest economy in the world in PPP terms and Europe's largest - is a leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and household equipment and benefits from a highly skilled labor force. These advances, as well as a government subsidized, reduced working hour scheme, help explain the relatively modest increase in unemployment during the 2008-09 recession - the deepest since World War II - and its decrease to 5.3% in 2013. The new German government introduced a minimum wage of $11 per hour to take effect in 2015. Germany is the world’s fourth-largest economy, highly innovative and has a strong focus on exports. The future lies in Industry 4.0. As Europe's largest economy and most populous nation, Germany remains a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations. European power struggles immersed Germany in two devastating World Wars in the first half of the 20th century and left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers of the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in 1945.
Status about the different subjects in which extensive research is going on:
The German economy has its great innovativeness and strong focus on exports to thank for its competitiveness and global networking. In high-selling sectors, such as car-making, mechanical and plant engineering, the chemicals industry and medical technology, exports account for far more than half of total sales. In 2014, only China and the USA exported more goods. Germany invests around 80 billion euros annually in research and development (R&D). Many companies are well on the way to “Industry 4.0”, a project destined in particular to advance digitalisation in production engineering and logistics. Germany is one of the 12 countries which introduced the euro in 2002. The financial market crisis (2008) and the subsequent debt crisis affected the whole of the Eurozone, Germany included. Few countries have contributed so much to science and technology as Germany. From physics and chemistry to cars and consumer products, Germany is a world leader in innovation, boasting leading universities and research institutes alongside major engineering, IT and manufacturing industries. A range of EU-funded projects, coordinated by German companies, universities and research institutes, highlight the diversity of German science and technology innovation even within the field of 'Information and communication technologies' (ICT). At Max Planck institutes, almost 90% of postdocs, half of all postgraduate students and more than 40% of scientific directors recruited in the past decade came from abroad. And the society has created cutting-edge institutes in emerging fields. In Mühlheim, scientists are exploring ways to improve chemical energy conversion and energy storage. And ocean scientists are looking forward to the completion of a €450-million icebreaker that is to replace the ageing flagship of Germany’s research fleet.