Today, chemistry forms the basis of products in many different sectors, such as skincare, pharmacy, paints and varnishes, and synthetic fibres. Employing around 49,000 people, the chemicals sector in Bavaria covers almost every area. The Bavarian chemical triangle in Upper Bavaria forms a centre for the sector. Global players such as Wacker Chemie and Süd-Chemie are just as much at home in Bavaria as the around 210 small and medium-sized companies. 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 2,000 apprentices, educating the chemical technicians and laboratory assistants of the future, as well as agents with expertise in the 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.
In the Technische Universität München (TUM), Bavaria has an institution with an outstanding international reputation in chemistry. The TUM holds top positions in league tables including the ISI and CEST rankings. 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 of many chemistry companies in Bavaria.
Bavaria offers attractive funding programmes for innovative research projects at company level in the chemicals sector. The Chemicals cluster in Bavaria, for example, invests predominantly in application-orientated research and development projects. Depending on the programme, funding may be provided not only for research and development, but also for introducing the products developed 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 innovations 'made in Bavaria', but also provides the sector with the next generation of excellently trained staff.
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. In addition, the Chemicals cluster in Bavaria supports research and development in the chemicals sector and the opening up of markets for new products.
Bavaria's chemicals companies have an export quota of over 60 per cent. 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 level, as well as with significant purchaser and supplier sectors and political institutions in China. Via the “Transatlantic Technology Transfer Initiative” (TTTI), it also initiates regular dialogue with American market leaders in the sector and uses the JUSTUS chemicals cluster initiative to help new companies and start-ups to enter global markets.