Germany's policies for encouraging research and innovation in the former East German Länder have paid off, according to the country's Minister for Education and Research, Edelgard Bulmahn. A report by five leading economics institutes claims that two thirds of enterprises in the five eastern Länder that are receiving financial support would not be carrying out research without this funding. This is seen by Ms Bulmahn as an attestation of the funding programme's high level of effectiveness. 'Our innovation strategy for East Germany is paying off,' she said. The InnoRegio programme, which is set to receive 98 million euro in 2004, has already been responsible for the creation of around 50 enterprises. The report also comes to the conclusion that government decisions immediately after reunification concerning financial support did not recognise the economic importance of research. 'With our innovation strategy for East Germany, the red-green [social democratic and green party] government has turned this around. For us, economic recovery in the regions is a priority,' said Ms Bulmahn in response.