This publication discusses results from a study on knowledge triangle (KT) policies and practices in Germany. Our study analyzes characteristics of the situation in Germany, where the interaction between the different policy levels is rather crucial for understanding KT policies and (non-university) public research institutions play an important role in the KT. We see different forms of interaction between the different angles of the KT: between research and innovation (with a clear focus on the "third mission" of higher education institutions), between research and education (strongly reinforced in the past few years by instruments aiming at a higher quality of education), and between innovation and education (e.g. via participation of representatives from the economy and society in the accreditation process of new B.A. and M.A. study programmes). The second part presents results from case studies of two German higher education institutions. We see that the interaction between different policy levels is crucial for understanding KT policies, and that (non-university) public research institutions (PRIs) play an important role in the KT. Third mission policies and science-industry linkages are thriving, but their adoption by higher education institutions and public research institutes varies greatly depending on the institutions' structure, culture and location (regional context).