Conference & Exhibition Guide
Conference & Exhibition Guide
Welcome to Leipzig!
Welcome to Leipzig!
A New, Dynamic Leipzig
Although not considered a major industrial hub, Leipzig is quickly becoming one
of the foremost cities for commerce in Germany today. According to the Capital
ranking in 2011, the city was rated the fourth-strongest economy in the country,
outpaced only by Hamburg, Munich and Frankfurt. Leipzig today is a regional
financial center and boasts a growing ICT sector as well as a high-end automobile
It was not always so. According to Uwe Albrecht, the Deputy Mayor of Leipzig, the
city lost its traditional industrial base during the early 1990
when East Germany
was reunited with West Germany following the collapse of the Berlin Wall. The
seismic shift in the political landscape meant Leipzig was no longer a key supplier
to Eastern Europe markets, which devastated the local economy. “Heavy industry
largely ground to a halt and industrial jobs declined by about 90 percent,” said
Albrecht. “Employment in mainly new industries had to be created for thousands
of people.”
The city shifted its economy to the service sector, especially financial services.
Albrecht says sectors being targeted for expansion today include media/
entertainment, healthcare/biotech, logistics/services, and power/environment
and automotive/suppliers.
The automotive industry, in particular, has enjoyed some recent successes. For
example, Porsche has decided to build its new sports utility model, the Macan,
in Leipzig. Meanwhile, the local BMW vehicle plant is being established as the
electric automobile hub for the entire BMW Group. “Leipzig will become the
foremost location in Germany and Europe for premium-segment electric vehicles,”
predicted Albrecht.
According to him, high tech is also emerging as an important growth sector in
the city, backed up by renowned research organizations such as Max Planck,
the Fraunhofer Society and the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Scientific Community.
Providing a breeding ground for local talent are Leipzig University’s BBZ Centre for
Biotechnology, Leipzig University of Applied Sciences, and HfTL Deutsche Telekom
University of Applied Sciences for Telecommunications.
Albrecht notes that the region also has a number of companies with that provide
micro- and nanoelectronics, photovoltaics, organic and printed electronics,
energy-efficient systems, telecommunications technology and networked
sensors. Silicon Saxony, a European consortium that links these industries, is
Europe’s largest such network and claims more than 300 members here, including
manufacturers, suppliers, service providers, universities, research institutes and
public institutions.
“The dovetailing of research, development and engineering taps important
potential for the innovative power of our region,” explained Albrecht. “Research
working hand in hand with industry goes back a long way in Leipzig.”
Noting that the ICT industry, in general, has become an important driver in the
local economy, Albrecht sees the choice of Leipzig for the upcoming International
Supercomputing Conference (ISC’13) in June as a show of confidence for the
city’s technology credentials. “This is an area whose international importance is
climbing and it’s ideally represented by the universities and research centers in
Leipzig,” he said.
Full-interview was published by insidehpc on May 1, 2013.
Foto: Michael Bader
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