Dresden is the German high-tech centre

Almost unnoticed Dresden has developed into Germany’s most important high-tech centre. In this city 8.7% of all employees work in the high-tech sector. This includes people working in the manufacture of IT devices, consumer electronics and medical engineering as well as researchers and software developers. The second and third most important high-tech regions are Greater Munich (8.5%) and the region of Nuremberg/Erlangen (7.6%).

In particular the construction of plants by two important chip manufacturers, i.e. Infineon and AMD, boosted the number of people working in high-tech jobs which currently amounts to more than 62.000 in Dresden. Taking into account absolute figures, however, Munich is still the unrivalled high-tech capital of Germany where 182.000 people work in high-tech jobs.

In positions four and five of this list of high-tech regions are Karlsruhe and the city of Berlin. At the bottom of the table are the economically underdeveloped regions of Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania (2.8%) and well as the Weser-Ems region and Saxony Anhalt (3.2% each).

These are the findings of a ranking compiled by the German Association for Information Management, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM). The ranking is based on the latest data provided by the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat).

“The structure of regional labour markets is marked by a North-South devide with regard to high-tech jobs“, comments Prof. August-Wilhelm Scheer, BITKOM chairman, on the findings. With the exception of the city states of Berlin and Hamburg the North of Germany is said to be a high-tech desert.

In total there are 1.93 million people in Germany who work in high-tech companies or research institutions. This figure corresponds to 5.2% of all German employees. By international comparison, Germany is by far the most important employer in the field of high-technology.

“This creation of jobs in German high-tech regions is due to successful regional economic policies“, explains Mr. Scheer the success of the top regions. Thus, Dresden developed into Europe’s biggest production centre for semiconductors, Munich into a centre for software and biotechnology and Nuremberg/Erlangen in a centre for sophisticated medical engineering.

But Mr. Scheer warns that currently there are more than 130 different regional clusters the competences of which quite often overlap. “The creation of many small centres of excellence is contradictory to the overall object of combining forces and create units which are internationally competitive.” Therefore BITKOM calls for cluster policies to be harmonized nationwide. GERMAN