Information and communication technology Apr 16, 2014

Where is Europe's digital future taking place?

In Munich of course! We often felt like the secret ICT capital of Europe. Now the European Commission has officially confirmed this. The city on the Isar river is in the number one position, ahead of London and Paris, in the recently published "EU Atlas of ICT hotspots". Berlin, which many consider to be the city with the most thriving Internet scene, only ranked in 15th place.

The moderate result of the German capital Berlin shows that a flourishing location needs more than just one factor of success. What is important is to convince in various disciplines such as research and development, innovations or profitability. But what exactly is it that makes a lively ICT hub? According to the European Commission's new study, the recipe for success is based on five ingredients.

Leading ICT regions

  • are mostly long standing industrial areas,
  • have high-standard educational institutions and other key innovation players,
  • have long-term policies on research and innovation,
  • have enjoyed historical opportunities (such as being a country's political capital),
  • tend to cluster together (half of the 34 poles of excellence are neighbouring regions).

This is particularly pleasing for us, because Bavaria can tick off each of those items.

  • Over a quarter of the state's total value creation is generated by industry. This means that we have all the relevant user industries necessary for digital solutions here. As "digital entrepreneurs" you will find the right starting points for your product here.
  • The two big universities in Munich – the LMU Munich and Technische Universität München (TUM) – have been among Germany's elite universities even from the beginning of the Excellence Initiative. Our clusters, too, provide intensive knowledge and technology transfer as well as close collaboration between science and practice. So it does not come as a surprise that Munich also ranks number one in the study's "ICT R&D" sub-indicator category.
  • Economic policy in Bavaria has always been very innovation-oriented. This allowed for a flourishing research and development environment to be established in the last decades. The "Bavarian High-Tech Offensive" was launched back in the 1990s. And the latest coup: the "Digital Bavaria" digitalisation strategy initiated by the Bavarian state government. The concept identifies seven fields of action – from IT security to networked mobility and even digital healthcare – with twelve flagship projects. €250 million of funding will be allocated to these projects over the next five years.
  • Munich is the state capital of Bavaria. The city offers an environment that is good to work, study and live in. Specialist staff is attracted to the vibrant city and its universities on the Isar river. According to the sector association BITKOM, there are more companies in the IT and communications sector in Munich than in any other German city. More than 8,000 ICT companies employ over 54,000 staff. It is not only people who are attracted, so is capital. According to the new EU atlas, Munich is among those cities within Europe with the most available venture capital.
  • The urban district of Munich came in first place and the rural district of Munich came in 23th. The rural district of Munich is, for example, home to the headquarters of Infineon. Intel coordinates its Europe-wide research initiatives from here. As you can see, you are in excellent company in Bavaria.

The "EU Atlas of ICT hotspots" shows that the ICT hub Bavaria with Munich as its flagship offers all the important conditions for a successful digitalisation of the economy.

A key factor for this in particular is the exchange between innovative application developers of ICT and the (traditional) economy in an environment that is above all characterised by successful scientific institutions, an innovation policy and venture capital.

The study examined all EU regions with view on their ICT activities. The evaluation is based on a total of 42 individual indicators. You can find more information on the study here.

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