Best of 2021

December 2021

Throughout 2020, this website featured more than 330 articles and videos about Germany as a business and high-tech location. Below is a list so that you can catch up on anything you might have missed. We hope that you will discover some interesting articles  and that you’ll take the opportunity to revisit reports you enjoyed reading.

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German Economic Ministry Allocates EUR 900 Million for H2Global

Germany’s Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action has approved nearly a billion euros in hydrogen support funds as part of the government’s H2Global project.

Meatless Goes Mainstream

The demand for vegetarian and vegan meat and dairy substitutes in Germany is growing exponentially – in the same way it did for organic products a decade ago. Connoisseurs of the food trade can dig into this exciting market.

Germany Selects Microelectronics Projects for Special Funding

The German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action has picked 32 business endeavors, with an investment volume of more than EUR 10 billion, to take part in the EU-wide IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest) for microelectronics and communications technology.

Germany Looks Set to Post Increased 2021 FDI Figures

Germany attracted 540 foreign direct business investments in the first ten months, only one fewer than in all of 2020 according to figures from Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI).

Why International Venture Capital has Finally Discovered Germany

According to recent figures from Internet platform Dealcom, Germany comfortably leads the EU in absolute numbers of unicorns USD one billion exits with 53.

Germany’s Economics Ministry Gets a Green Makeover

The ministry has been renamed the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action to reflect its expanded areas of responsibility, which combine the business and environmental concerns.

Economic and Industry Leaders have High Hopes for New German Government

The mood is positive as Olaf Scholz from the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) becomes the ninth chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, succeeding Angela Merkel after 16 years. 

Germany Gears Up for Digital

When it comes to many aspects of digital transformation, Germany is in the middle of the European pack. But both government and business want that to change – and fast. That’s good news for innovative tech companies looking for a foothold in the heart of Europe.

Germany Again Leads Nation Brands Index

Five in a row. That’s Germany’s winning streak after topping the 2021 Anholt Ipsos Nation Brands Index, a survey of how some 60,000 people around the world view 60 various countries.

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Germans Warm to Social Shopping

Among the German consumer habits that have changed during the coronavirus pandemic is the general attitude to purchasing items on social media.

New Figures Show Massive Rise in VC Investment in German Start-Ups

The amount of venture capital pumped into fledgling German companies in the first three-quarters of 2021 was 70 percent more than all of 2020 – that’s according to figures compiled by the online business magazine Pitchbook.

Germany’s Quantum Future

Faster, more powerful and smarter – that’s what Germany is aiming to become by supporting the development of quantum supercomputers. International quantum hardware and application companies are starting to take notice.

“Companies are thinking about how to reduce supply-chain dependency”

Restricted mobility due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent supply bottlenecks have underscored the advantages of 3D printing – and that’s not the technology’s only benefit. Germany Trade & Invest expert Jerome Hull talks about where the sector is headed and how international companies can profit.

Germany Leads the European EV Market

A new study published by Center of Automotive Management (CAM) and pollsters YouGov – the Electric Car Market & Innovation Report 2021 – confirms Germany’s predominance in the European electric vehicle sector.

Sunny Days Again for German Solar

The solar industry in Germany has emerged from a period of slow growth and is back on track, thanks to the country’s ambitious climate goals and a little help from international companies.

Incentives: Sorting Through the System

Germany offers an extensive system of financial incentives for investors of all shapes and sizes, but a little legwork is required to find the right support program. Germany Trade & Invest’s finance and incentives expert Daniel Stephens considers the best way to do it.

Printing the Future in 3D

3D printing was once just a convenient, if expensive, way to construct prototypes and a niche for gadget lovers. No longer. Thanks to Germany’s technological expertise and its broad industrial landscape, additive manufacturing is now a USD 12.6 billion market with plenty of opportunities for international businesses.

“The Medtech focus is increasingly on digital”

GTAI expert Gabriel Flemming talks about what has changed in the sector since March 2020. 

German Fintech Ecosystem Growing

Roughly ten percent of all new start-ups in Germany are fintech companies – that’s one of the key insights from the first-ever FinTech Report by Germany Finance, the joint platform of the country’s financial locations, and online magazine Startbase.

Study: German-American Business Remains Stable Despite Corona

Economic relations between the United States and Germany defied various disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, suffered only a slight 1.4 percent decline in turnover. That’s according to the annual study of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany (AmCham Germany).

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Germany’s Medical Biotechnology Industry

There are a lot of reasons to set up shop in Germany, if you’ve got a medical biotechnology business. It’s the center of the sector in Europe and at the heart of the industry worldwide, as our video discusses.

The Hydrogen Republic of Germany

Germany is investing billions to become to the world leader in hydrogen energy production. And your business can be part of what’s been called the “Hydrogen Republic of Germany. Watch our video!

Start-Ups Predicted to Increasingly Drive Growth in German Economy

Traditionally, established medium-sized, family owned companies are seen as the heart of German business, but a new study says that could be changing.

Hydrogen Firm Aims to Build First Gigaplant in Germany

Dresden’s Sunfire has big plans for H2 in the eastern German city. The third-largest hydrogen technology company in the country has just raised EUR 109 million to fund a 500 megawatt production facility to be finished by 2023. Capacity will later be increased to one gigawatt a year.

Solar Company Enpal Becomes Germany’s First “Green Unicorn”

A whopping EUR 250 million financing round has taken Berlin-based solar energy provider Enpal over the EUR one billion mark in value. That massive haul came on top of another EUR 100 million round this spring.

Indian Multi-Billionaire Invests Big in German Solar Technology

Mukesh Ambani, known as the richest person in Asia, is putting up EUR 25 million of a EUR 39-million-total financing round for German company NexWafe. The spinout of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE produces silicon wafers for photovoltaic systems.

Canada’s Rock Tech Lithium Plans Huge Facility in Germany

Vancouver Rock Tech Lithium has announced its intention to construct a EUR 470 million production plant for battery-grade lithium hydroxide for electric vehicles in the town of Guben in eastern German regional state of Brandenburg.

Carbon Neutral Shipping Takes Big Step Forward

Container ship sets sail from Germany for first-ever voyage powered by CO2-neutral liquid natural gas.

Germany’s Life Sciences Revolution

Germany’s healthcare market is the largest in Europe, and the reputation of its universities and research institutes is second to none. Now the country is increasingly starting to exploit its potential as an innovation hub for life sciences.

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EV Battery Recycling Set to Become Big Business in Germany

The numbers of electric vehicles on the road in Germany and around the world are increasing exponentially. This means that millions of EV batteries will need to be recycled in the future, as those vehicles gradually come off highways and streets.

“Commercially we have to be here to place our systems”

Markets Germany asked Intuitive Surgical Germany Vice-President and General Manager Dirk Barten why Germany is just what the doctor ordered for his company.

Taking Part in the German Battery Boom

We spoke with GTAI automotive expert Stefan Di Bitonto and SVOLT Vice-President for Energy Technology (Europe) Maxim Hantsch-Kramskoj about why it makes sense to set up shop in Germany.

No Slowdown for German Logistics

The coronavirus pandemic has not dented Germany’s leading role in European and global logistics. In many respects, it has even handed the sector additional growth potential.

A Virtue of Necessity

With schools scrambling to teach children during Covid-19 lockdowns, teachers and parents discovered the value of educational technology. International companies are already finding a foothold in this rapidly growing market.

Germany Gets First Robotics Unicorn

Munich’s Agile Robots has announced a new EUR 186 million funding round, taking the total value of the young company past USD one billion. The round was led by Japanese investor Softbank.

BioNTech’s 16-Billion-Euro Boon for German Pharma

“It’s not often that a single product catapults a whole industry upward,” writes business newspaper Handelsblatt, but then again the product offered by German coronavirus vaccine developer BioNTech is no ordinary one. The BioNTech/Pfizer jab is one of the world’s two leading inoculations based on mRNA technology. And that’s paid off handsomely.

Google Invests Billion in Digital Infrastructure and Clean Energy in Germany

A cool one billion euros – that’s how much tech colossus Google is putting into cloud computing infrastructure and sustainable electricity in the heart of Europe from now until 2030.

Valentin Stalf, founder of Berlin-based online retail bank N26, is typical of the young start-up talent that is flocking to Germany‘s fintech hubs. © picture alliance / Hans Klaus Techt


Germany’s Fintech Boom

The popularity of online financial and insurance services has created a bumper crop of opportunities for start-ups in both new areas and established sectors. International companies looking for a foothold in Germany can take advantage of this trend.

Why Battery Makers are Coming to Germany

In October 2021, Chinese battery producer SVOLT is starting construction on a gigafactory in southern Germany. Why Germany? GTAI automotive expert Stefan Di Bitonto explains why production is shifting from Asia to the heart of Europe. Check out our video! 

Amazon Opens New R&D Center in Dresden

Political VIPs turned out for a tape-cutting ceremony at Amazon’s new research and development facility in the Saxon city of Dresden. The American online retail colossus will be working together with the city’s technical university and is funding ten scholarships for IT students.

Corona Barely Slowed Establishment of New German Businesses

The effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the plans of entrepreneurs setting up new companies in Germany has been far less than many feared. That’s the conclusion of a new study carried out by business data provider creditreform and the Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW).

German Chemical Industry Rebounds from Corona in a Big Way

EUR 111 billion in turnover and a 12 percent rise compared with a year ago – those are the record-setting figures published by the Association of the Chemicals Industry (VCI) for the first half of 2021.

Germany Marks One Million EV Milestone

57,000 electric vehicles were registered in Germany in July, taking the total number of EVs on Germany’s roads over the symbolically significant number of a million.

Standard-Setting Electric Utility Vehicle Battery Factory Opens in Germany

German battery maker Akasol has officially inaugurated its “Gigafactory 1” in the western German city of Darmstadt.

Profits from Industrial Smokestacks

The global environmental focus is on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But a forward-looking initiative from the Fraunhofer Institute and steel manufacturer thyssenkrupp is investigating how to use CO2 as a raw material.

Germany Posts Rise in New Larger Commercial Businesses

The Federal Statistical Office says that the number of newly founded larger firms in Germany rose by more than 13 percent in the first half of 2021. The figure is also 2.5 percent higher than in the first half of 2019 before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in Germany.

Germany Gets First 3D-Printed House

The town of Beckum is the location of the first-ever domestic residence in the country that was made by additive manufacturing.

Winning Strategy for the Games Industry

Germans are mad about games of all varieties – this has become evident during the corona lockdowns. And Brexit has increased Germany’s appeal as a location for international game developers, producers and marketeers.

German Start-Ups Notch Record VC Levels in First Half of 2021

More venture capital is flowing into fledgling German firms than ever before – that’s the conclusion of an analysis of the initial six months of 2021 by business consultants Ernst & Young (EY).

Anke Wolf © Julia Sellmann/laif, Exklusiv


Direct but Effective: German Work Culture

To foreign businesspeople expanding to the country, German workplaces may initially seem overly formal and rules-bound. But there are many advantages that benefit employers and employees alike, as human resources consultant and leadership coach Anke Wolf tells us.

Germany’s New Space Mission

Think outer space and you might not immediately think of Germany, but Europe’s largest economy is aiming to become the European center of both New Space technology and launching of microsatellites. Companies like Munich’s highly touted Isar Aerospace are flourishing thanks in part to vigorous government support for the sector. Watch our video!

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Record Industrial Figures Drive “Self-Sustaining” German Economic Recovery

Germany’s traditional strength in industry is serving the country well as it emerges from the economic downswing caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

2021 German Innovation Prizes Honor Companies Big and Small

From large corporations on down to start-ups, there’s a lot of commercial creativity at work in Germany. For the twelfth year in a row, business magazine Wirtschaftswoche, utility company EnBW and consultants Accenture have handed out the German Innovation Prizes to firms that “ensure the competitiveness of Germany as a business location amidst the global competition.”

German Business Increases Liquidity Despite Corona

As the coronavirus disrupted economic life in Germany and around the world in 2020, many people feared that waves of businesses would go bankrupt. But figures compiled by the German Savings Banks Association (DSGV) for business newspaper Handelsblatt suggest that the worst of those anxieties were unfounded.

Germany’s Digital Health Market

The healthcare industry in Germany is undergoing massive digitalization. It’s a process that will require lots of input from innovative companies – and will create lots of business opportunities. Watch our video!

Big Investment Deals Continue for German Start-Ups

There was no let-up in eight-figure financing rounds for fledgling companies in Germany in Q2 2021, as the country’s start-up scene remained on course for a record year.

Germany’s Helmholtz Association is a Research Rising Star

One of Germany’s top scientific institutes – the Helmholtz Association – has come in second around the world in the 2021 Rising Stars Index of increased research productivity.

World’s EV Battery Makers Flock to Germany

Germany is Europe’s automotive heartland, and now it’s also becoming the European focus of international electric vehicle battery production. Our video looks at how major players in the mobility revolution are profiting from a German presence. Could your business, big or small, follow suit?

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German Consumers Continue Switch to Contactless Payment

A new survey commissioned by digital business association bitkom has confirmed what anyone who has recently visited a German supermarket knows. Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, shoppers are increasingly turning to electronic payment options.

Norway and Germany Open World’s Longest Electricity Connection

After three years of construction, Norway and Germany have inaugurated NordLink, a 623-kilometer “direct current highway” between the two countries. The undersea cable connection is the longest in the world.

Putting the E in E-Mobility

Batteries are the heart of the electric vehicle revolution. Previously, Asian imports of lithium-ion batteries dominated the European market, but production is now shifting to Europe – and Germany in particular. That means big changes and chances.

Firing up Germany’s Post-Coal Economies

Germany will be phasing out coal-produced power by 2038, and the government’s Structural Development Act is underwriting a massive effort to shift the focus of the regions most affected over to clean energy. We look at four innovative projects.

How to Handle Heat

Industrial activity is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions in Germany, but facilities across the country are changing the way they operate to reduce that pollution. Foreign suppliers of environmental heating and storage technologies are profiting.

Germany Trade & Invest’s FDI Reporting 2020

Every year Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) compiles a report on all the foreign direct investment in Germany the previous year. Where do the companies that expand to Germany come from? What sectors do they work in? And what effect has coronavirus had on firms setting up shop here?

Digital Sector in Germany Feeling Optimistic

Bitkom, the main German digital industry association, has registered a significant improvement in the mood of businesses in the branch. The Bitkom monthly index shot up 5.6 points in April, reaching 38.1 points – the highest it’s been since November 2018.

Germany’s Smart Cities = Business Opportunities

Urban​ planners love talking about them – but what are Smart Cities​, actually? Why are they so popular in Germany​? And can this trend be a business opportunity​ for you? Our video has the answers.

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Berlin Overtakes London as Startup Heatmap’s Top European Location

The German capital is number one in Startup Heatmap’s annual survey of Europe’s best cities for fledgling companies.

Meet EVA – the latest member of Germany’s growing drone sector

EVA is a cutting-edge drone infrastructure company that recently set up shop just outside of Berlin. Here’s what they say about where they fit into the German unmanned aerial vehicle market and what Germany and its capital are like as business locations. Watch our video!

German Photonics Come into Focus

Germany’s optics and photonics sector is growing vigorously and attracting major foreign investment. Its applications span from optical components for communications and medical technology to quantum computing and even space exploration.

German Games Market Was a Big Winner in 2020

Sales revenue in the gaming industry rocketed up 32 percent last year. German industry organization game registered more than EUR 8.5 billion in sales in 2020 compared with just under EUR 6.5 billion in 2019.

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Germany Again Tops in Europe in FDI Confidence Index

The 2021 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index published by management consultants AT Kearney sees Germany retain its third-placed ranking after the United States and Canada.

Big Battery for Western Germany

German business newspaper Handelsblatt has reported that energy company Steag is planning to construct a gigantic battery for energy storage in a decommissioned coalmine in the west of the country.

“IT-based business models among the most attractive in Germany”

Germany’s days as a digital straggler are over. The country is getting up to speed, and both international companies and foreign IT specialists are discovering Germany’s advantages as place to do business and work. Germany Trade & Invest Director for the Digital and Service Economy Marc Rohr tells us why.

Germans Embrace Online Shopping

German consumers have long been skeptical of e-commerce. But pandemic restrictions coupled with the sheer convenience of it have won Europe’s most conservative shoppers over to Internet retail platforms, as one sector in particular illustrates.

Frankfurt Confirmed as EU’s Leading Financial Center

The latest Global Financial Centres Index sees Frankfurt shoot up seven spots to number nine and is now the top-ranking city in the European Union.

2020 was a Good Year for German Tech Start-Ups

Amidst all the disruptions caused last year by the coronavirus pandemic, Germany’s 100 largest tech start-ups took in an additional USD 3.7 billion in financing – or 37 percent of their total VC investments. That’s according to business consultants Ernst & Young.

Financial Center Germany – What You Need to Know

Germany has traditional been one of the most important financial​ markets in the world. That’s become even more true after Brexit​. Get a quick overview in our animated video.

Apple Chooses Munich for €1bn European Silicon Design Center

The long-standing love affair between the US computer colossus and the Bavarian capital has reached a new plane, with Apple announcing that it will hire hundreds of new employers and build a new connectivity and wireless technology facility in Munich.

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Ford Puts Billion into German EV Production

The European subsidiary of Ford Motor Company is investing the equivalent of a cool one billion dollars to convert its Cologne factory to produce electric vehicles.

German Millions for LNG Tank Vessel Infrastructure

In an effort to kick start liquid natural gas in Germany, the Bundestag has allocated EUR 135 million to underwrite LNG tank vessel infrastructure. At present there are no LNG terminals in Germany, something the government hopes to change.

German Heating Milestones

Germany is making impressive progress in its drive to increase the efficiency of home and commercial heating, a number of recent studies indicate.

Persistence in a Pandemic

As cases of Covid-19 surged again across the world last fall, German authorities took quick action to limit infection numbers. The measures were typical of Germany’s response to the unprecedented situation: attempting to balance economic concerns with necessary and timely health interventions.

Scientists Without Borders

How Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine breakthrough was achieved together with a previously obscure Mainz-based firm, BioNTech, which is now worth over a billion euros.

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German Start-Ups Set Record Despite Corona

Professional services network Ernst and Young (EY) says the number of financing rounds for fledgling companies in Germany reached an all-time high of 743 in 2020 despite the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. That was an increase of six percent.

Brexit Attracts More Financial Institutions to Germany than Expected

In the wake of Brexit, more foreign financial institutions than expected applied for business licenses in Germany in 2020. The transfer of assets and the newly created jobs will have positive effects for Germany’s appeal as a financial location. Watch our video!

Pumping Up the Heat

Germany’s Association of Heat Pumps (bwp) says that a record 120,000 of the energy-efficient devices were installed in the country in 2020. That represents not only a new record but an annual growth rate of a whopping 40 percent.

2020 Saw Significant Solar Rise in Germany

Last year saw some 25 percent more solar panels mounted on German rooftops than in 2019 – that’s according to the German Solar Industry Association (BSW). The BSW also reported that sales of solar heating units increased by more than 25 percent in 2020.

Lots of New German Medications in 2020

Coronavirus may have dominated the headlines last year, but Germany’s pharmaceutical companies were busy fighting disease on a number of fronts.

Germany Breaks 50 Percent Net Renewable Electricity Mark

More than half (50.5 percent) of all the net power generated in Germany last year came from wind, solar and other clean sources. That’s according to final 2020 figures from the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy System (ISE).