The competition isn’t sleeping, it’s spying. And especially small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly falling victim to criminal competitors or being targeted by foreign intelligence services. Nevertheless, most cases remain shrouded in mystery. Michael Kilchling and his team at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg are now attempting to shed some light on the phenomenon. Together with colleagues at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, they are conducting research into the scale of industrial espionage in Germany, how companies are combating it and how the authorities could better support them in their efforts.