The electrical industry is one of the largest industrial sectors in Germany and has a wide-ranging, very dynamic and innovative portfolio. A large proportion of this is in investment goods such as automation and energy technology, as well as intermediate goods (especially electronic components) and consumer goods (household appliances, entertainment electronics). With 849,000 jobs, the sector is the second largest employer in the processing industry in the Federal Republic.
Bavaria is home to companies from a wide range of different fields of electrical engineering and electronics, such as companies including
- Infineon Technologies and SEMIKRON in power semiconductors
- Curamik, CeramTec and Kunze Folien in substrate technology
- and Siemens in drive technology.
Other fields include vehicle electronics from companies such as Robert Bosch, Continental, Liebherr Elektronik and Transtechnik, and the energy storage field in which BMZ is just one of many active companies.
Thanks to its great potential for innovation, power electronics is a key indicator of high-tech in Bavaria. The world market in power electronics is currently achieving growth of 7 per cent per year. Bavaria's semiconductor component display market is a market leader.
Four Bavarian universities and eleven universities of applied sciences are training the next generation of qualified academics in electronics and electrical engineering.
The range of programmes on offer is supplemented by a wide range of further training courses from providers such as ECPE, OTTI, Bayern Innovativ, VDE and VDI.
As well as high quality teaching, the universities also demonstrate excellent expertise in research for this R&D-intensive sector. Companies in the electrical industry/electronics spent a total of EUR 13.5 billion on research and development in Germany in 2012. This is a fifth of all R&D expenditure in Germany's processing industry.
Bavarian clusters including „Power Electronics“, „Mechatronics and Automation“, „Sensor Technology“ and „Microsystems Technology“ bring together actors in the sector from the various specialist areas of electronics and electrical engineering. These are predominantly aimed at small and medium-sized companies and universities of applied sciences, but global players from business and science also enhance the networks. The aims of the clusters include promoting research activities in Bavaria by networking business and science, supporting Bavarian companies in strategic market development, and bringing forward the next generation of qualified specialist staff.
With the aim of strengthening the competitiveness of companies in the electronics and microtechnology sector, the Bavarian Innovation and Cooperation Initiative for Electronics/Microtechnology (BAIKEM) supports cooperative projects between companies and science.
Bavarian employers in metal and electrical work are organised into the sister associations Bayme and vbm.
At a national level, the Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie e.V. (Central Association of the Electrical Engineering and Electrical Industry, ZVEI) represents the sector's interests. ZVEI has a state office in Bavaria.
Founded in 2003, the industry-led European research network the European Center for Power Electronics e.V. (ECPE) in Nürnberg offers international networking.