Over the past few years the Rhine-Neckar biotech region has developed into one of Germany’s strongest biotechnology clusters. The cluster is located within a radius of 30 km around the cities of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Darmstadt and Ludwigshafen. It is the most prominent and concentrated biotech cluster in Germany in the fields of personalized medicine and cancer research.
- excellent academic research and education;
- a vital biotech scene with around 95 inquiring biotech enterprises;
- a global pharmaceutical industry;
- strong qualifications in the fields of personalized medicine and cancer research;
- an established network;
- a reliable and rapidly expanding infrastructur;
- high geographic density with short distances;
- an institutionalized cluster management;
- high quality of living.
With its central location in Germany and Europe and the best transport connections by land, water and air, the region has developed into an industrial agglomeration with approximately 1.2 million employed persons. The biotechnology, chemical and pharmaceutical industries constitute a vital part of the region’s economic potential.
Above and beyond its importance as an economic center, the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region is characterized by a lively research environment. Paramount are the life sciences: biosciences, chemistry and medicine. Since 2005, the Rhine-Neckar Region has ranked among the European Metropolitan Regions. Thus the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region was distinguished as a motor of growth and innovation in Germany and, together with ten other German metropolitan regions, it plays a key role in the country’s social and economic development. Under the umbrella of the treaty between the states of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse, all parties work together across borders.
Overall, about 3200 scientists work in the prestigious research facilities, universities, and academies of the metropolitan region.
The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the European Laboratory for Molecular Biological (EMBL), and the University of Heidelberg, with its Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH), count among the leading research institutes for genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics. The research is focused in particular on personalized medicine and cancer.
Important research facilities in the metropolitan region:
- German Cancer Research Institute (DKFZ)
- European Laboratory for Molecular Biology (EMBL)
- Ruprecht Karls University of Heidelberg
- Center for Molecular Biology, Heidelberg (ZMBH)
- University of Mannheim
- Mannheim University of Applied Sciences
Globally active major corporations, medium-sized enterprises, and innovative start-ups form a highly productive mix. The internationally competitive advantage of the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region is illustrated by its export quota of 57%.
Traditional points of focus are the chemical industry, electrotechnology, and machinery and plant engineering, with world-famous names such as BASF, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, and ABB. In addition, global players in the life-science sector – Roche, Merck, AbbVie, and Becton Dickinson – are at home in the region.
Together, they form the economic environment in which biotechnology has developed into the region’s fastest growing industry. In the Biotech Cluster Rhine-Neckar around 80 biotech SMEs and numerous suppliers and service providers profit from the favorable framework conditions and the close networking in the region.