As a cross-sectoral industry, environmental technology plays a key role in developing business and society in a way that will be sustainable in the long term. Bavaria offers top conditions for stakeholders in the field of environmental technology.
Environmental technology provides the basis for an economy that protects resources as productivity rises. The knowledge that environmental technology is the key to a world worth living in tomorrow means great potential for growth in the sector. Bavaria is in an excellent position here, offering opportunities for companies from every field of environmental technology, including the waste economy, soil remediation, water treatment, air pollution control and regenerative energy technologies. Bavaria is home to more than 2,000 mainly small and medium-sized companies in the environmental technology sector – around 20 per cent of all German companies active in the field. They offer environmental technology products at home and abroad and a full range of services for the sector, such as project planning and development and plant engineering. Initiatives such as the Bavarian Environmental Pact strengthen Bavarian companies' sense of responsibility when it comes to environmental protection and thus the position of the entire sector.
More than 100 research facilities work in the field of environmental technologies in Bavaria. Their fields of research include regenerative energies, cogeneration and air, water and soil pollution control, as well as specialist fields such as the production of innovative materials and heat insulation. The commitment to research in Bavaria is huge, leading to the successful acquisition of funding for innovative projects with high economic potential for companies who produce environmental technology. For example, five Bavarian universities held top positions in the acquisition of EU funding for “sustainable energy systems” between 2005 and 2007.
Education in environmental technology is just as well-organised as research. Bavarian universities offer a broad spectrum of opportunities to gain qualifications, ranging from bachelor's programmes in fields such as renewable energies, environmental and process technology, and environmental protection to Master's programmes such as a degree in “Renewable Raw Materials”. In addition, apprenticeships related to environmental protection also provide a steady stream of qualified specialist staff, ensuring that Bavaria's environmental technology companies will find plenty of excellently trained staff on the labour market in future, too.
Companies and facilities in the environmental segment work together in a large number of regional, sometimes specialised networks that are chiefly organised around the Chambers of Industry and industrial associations – for example KUMAS – Kompetenzzentrum Umwelt e.V. and Netzwerk Umweltkompetenz Nordbayern (UKON). The Internet platform BAIKUM works to improve the innovative strength, competitiveness and export capability of Bavarian environmental technology.
As an umbrella organisation, the Bavarian Environment Cluster brings together Bavarian expertise in the fields of recycling and waste management; water and wastewater treatment; alternative energy production, especially from waste and biomass; air pollution prevention; and materials flow management.
The central objective of the Bavarian Environment Cluster is to actively promote the innovative activities and the internationalisation of the sector in order to strengthen Bavaria sustainably as a business location and establish the state as a world-leading centre of expertise in environmental technology. This also includes safeguarding existing and creating additional highly-qualified jobs in the environmental economy in Bavaria.