Today, chemistry forms the basis of products in many different sectors, such as skincare, pharmacy, paints and varnishes, plastics, adhesives and synthetic fibres. The chemical industry in Bavaria is strongly influenced by small and medium-sized enterprises and offers a very wide range of high-quality products. However, global players such as Wacker Chemie and Linde AG are just as much at home here. The Bavarian chemicals triangle in eastern Upper Bavaria forms a centre for the sector. Bavaria offers them a large number of customers for their products and has established an outstanding logistics infrastructure.
A large pool of excellently trained potential staff awaits the chemicals sector in Bavaria. The state's universities provide the next generation of academics, with Chemistry faculties and chairs at six universities and a wide range of universities of applied sciences. In addition, the sector has space for around 2,500 apprentices, educating the chemical technicians and laboratory assistants of the future, as well as employees for the commercial, industrial and technical sector. Networks such as the Chemistry cluster bring companies and research institutions in the Bavarian chemicals sector together and make valuable contributions to reducing the time needed for chemical products to be ready for the market.
Bavaria has an institution with an outstanding international reputation in chemistry in the Technische Universität München (TUM). The TUM has been distinguished as an elite university as part of the government and states’ excellence initiative. But other universities, such as Bayreuth and Augsburg, are also making waves in chemical research, for example in solid state chemistry and material science. Research in universities is complemented by that conducted by universities of applied science, non-university institutions and the research departments at many chemicals companies in Bavaria.
Bavaria offers attractive funding programmes for innovative research projects at company level in the chemicals sector. Institutions such as the Bavarian Research Alliance or the Chemicals cluster in Bavaria also assist with accessing funds at national and international level. Depending on the programme, funding may be provided not only for research and development, but also for introducing the developed products to the market. This well-established support in Bavaria provides the ideal conditions for securing the future of the sector through innovation. However, the broad-based academic research in chemistry not only ensures the development of made in Bavaria innovations, but also provides the sector with the next generation of superbly trained staff.
The Chemicals cluster was set up in Bavaria in 2006. It networks companies and research institutes in the Bavarian chemicals sector with the aim of creating product, material and process innovations for new, generally international markets. More than 100 cluster members cover the chemicals sector’s diverse value chain in Bavaria.
Members of the Chemicals cluster in Bavaria range from producers of chemical and pharmaceutical products as well as rubber and plastic goods and manufacturers of metals and fibres.
The cluster’s management supports its members on an individual basis with innovation management and technology transfer issues. It initiates collaborations across sectors, networks value chains, coordinates external funding and provides services to support projects. Bavaria’s chemicals companies have an export quote of over 63 percent. Besides the large-scale industry, small and medium-sized enterprises in particular have often occupied global niche markets very successfully. The Chemicals cluster in Bavaria therefore not only works on initiating networking of companies and research institutions in Bavaria. It also maintains a large number of strategic alliances at a European and global level.
Around 80 per cent of all products in the chemicals industry are upstream products, which are processed further in other sectors such as pharmaceuticals, automotive construction, mechanical engineering and clothing production. The Chemicals cluster in Bavaria therefore works intensively on contacts with these user sectors, whose Bavarian companies enjoy international success just as much as the chemicals sector itself.