Power from Asia
This year, Bavaria continued to exerting its powers of attraction on Asian companies, such as Sunstar Engineering from Japan, which purchased its European headquarters for the chemical business sector in Bavaria. The settlement of the glue and sealant manufacturer shows that Bavaria consists of more than just the conurbations of Munich or the metropolitan region of Nuremberg. Even outside of the big cities, companies are finding excellent potential specialist employees and optimum starting conditions for market entry in Europe. Sunstar Engineering has made one of the biggest investments by a foreign company in the manufacturing industry for Bavaria. To this end, an industrial area was created in Rain am Lech – the individual fit for the company requirements was one of the significant drivers in the choice of location.
Also from the Far East, but in a completely different research area is Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL). The company from China shows how important battery research is, and how great the potential for innovation is in this branch of industry. The company, which deals with design, manufacture, sale and recycling of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, wanted to increase its presence in BavariaIn 2016, the company made it into the top three manufacturers worldwide. Working in Bavaria is nothing new for CATL; there has been a partnership with BMW since 2011. The car manufacturer recognisess its Chinese counterpart as the “perfect storage partners.” The closer relationship between the two, due to the new proximity and the high quality of research inBavaria made the decision much easier when looking for a location.
Silicon Valley in Bavaria
Not only entrepreneurship from Asia, but also the pioneering spirit from the USA is increasingly entering Bavaria. Accelerator Plug and Play from Silicon Valley is bringing two branches to Munich at once: In cooperation with Mediamarkt-Saturn, an eco-system has emerged with the Retailtech Hub, which brings together future-oriented brands, retailers and consumer goods with start-ups and technology innovators. In a three-month programme, 25 to 30 start-ups are promoted twice a year. With its Spacelab, Mediamarkt-Saturn has already gained experience in the Munich start-up field. With the new hub, the group is opening itself up to working with further companies and is therefore creating first class conditions for innovations in the retail sector.
A further project of the founder-promoter from the USA: the collaboration with InsurTech Hub Munich, which was nominated to the Digital Hub Initiative by the German government. After the successful launch in Silicon Valley, the InsurTech Accelerator expanded to Munich amongst other places, where it found its perfect home within the existing hub set up by the German government.
Co- and networking is also the keyword, which best describes the settlement of the Israeli company Mindspace. By the start of 2018, three office communities will have opened in Munich.
Not only new building but also expansion
New settlements drive the economy of Bavaria forward, but the already-present companies also contribute to increasing attractiveness for those searching. And those who find their way into Bavaria, don’t seem to want to leave again – this the trend among the companies, who are increasing their presence in this location.
The US conglomerate General Electric (GE) has already been active in Bavaria for several years. In 2017, GEinvested €100 million in Lichtenfels in the area of additive manufacture – one of the drivers for the location of Bavaria as an innovation motor for Industrie 4.0. Industrie 4.0 and the Internet of Things played a noticeably important role in the settlements this year, not least at Microsoft, which opened an IoT & AI Insider Lab in Munich, in addition to other new facilities, last year. Expansion is also on the cards for telecommunications group Huawei. The Chinese founded their first production site in Germany in Bavaria this year, to complement their existing research centre.
To promote the topics of industry and digitalisation, companies need the right conditions: infrastructure, specialist employees, research – the Free State of Bavaria offers all of this, not only in its conurbations, but also in the rural areas.