Top Investment 2021 in Saxony

December 2021

A Strong Commitment to the High-Tech Venue Saxony

At the end of May 2021, the Vodafone Group announced that it will establish a global competence center for research, development, and innovation in Dresden. The competence center will focus on such future-oriented technologies as 5G and 6G as well as on concrete applications in the sectors autonomous driving, networked farming, chemistry, and construction. In addition, such pioneering technologies as OpenRAN will also be researched here.

Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO Vodafone Germany, points out: “Our decision is another strong commitment to the industrial location right in the heart of Europe. We at Vodafone brought 5G to Germany for the first time ever in 2020. And as of 2021, we intend to develop 6G in Dresden, Germany, for the entire globe. This is our signal for the country: The future of digitalization is conceived and shaped in Germany.” With the new competence center, the company wants to create more than 200 highly qualified jobs over the next few years.

Successful with the Right Partners in Saxony

Saxony’s Minister President Michael Kretschmer welcomed Vodafone’s decision. “Dresden with its technology-centered research and economic infrastructure is the right address for this new business setup in Germany, if not all of Europe. In order to develop the communication of the future, Vodafone will find the right partners in Saxony’s research community and industrial landscape to ensure quick results and sustainable success here. Digitalization and mobile communication with 5G and 6G will increasingly characterize our times. Thanks to the ideal prerequisites we have right here in Saxony, and which will be enhanced even further with Vodafone’s business setup, we can influence and shape this development,” the Minister President says with conviction.

Thomas Horn, Managing Director of the Saxony Economic Development Corporation (WFS), adds: “Vodafone’s investment highlights Dresden’s and Saxony’s attractiveness as a region of  innovation and is a strong signal for the high-tech venue Saxony in the global competition. The mobile communication standards 5G and 6G are central key technologies for the digital transformation of the entire economy. We expect that this project will result in numerous new applications in the individual branches as well as innovative business models which will, in turn, provide a strong impetus for the entire region along with the creation of many sustainable new jobs.”

Edge computing enables real-time communication – even between robots © Vodafone

Dresden as the Cradle of the Current Generation of Mobile Communication

As an integral part of the value creation chain of Europe’s largest microelectronics cluster “Silicon Saxony,” the new mobile communication standard 5G permits digital networking and the fast exchange of data. For example, the network supports new fields of application and pioneering technologies, and it makes a vital contribution towards Industry 4.0, smart health, networked farming, urban development, and many other sectors.

The cradle of the latest generation of mobile communication stands in Dresden. Cutting-edge international and interdisciplinary research is conducted, above all, in the one-of-a-kind 5G Lab Germany at Dresden University of Technology (TU Dresden). The center pools the expertise from 24 scientific disciplines with the objective of creating the next generation of mobile communication. Professors and researchers cooperate across scientific disciplines and jointly explore the communication of the future. Supported by industrial partners, the requisite research is conducted in
the fields of hardware, wireless, network & mobile edge cloud, and tactile internet applications. In Saxony, 5G is already implemented in real life at numerous industrial enterprises such as VW, Bosch, and Globalfoundries as well as in “LANDNETZ,” the largest 5G research network for farming and agriculture.

High Innovative Power at the R&D Venue Saxony

Over the past few years, Saxony has established itself as a research and development venue with high innovative power. This has also been affirmed repeatedly by the EU’s “Regional Innovation Scoreboard:” As a European “Strong Innovator,” the region scores points when it comes to the volume of investments into research and development, the number of patents filed, the density of networks existing between research and business as well as the number of employees in research and development. An increasing number of companies have come to appreciate these superb general conditions and have invested in Saxony.

Vodafone has been closely linked to Dresden for a long time now. At Dresden University of Technology (TU Dresden), the company has been financing the Chair of Mobile Communications Systems already since 1994 which has created the foundation for many important innovations in this sector. Headquartered in Newbury near London, the Vodafone Group is one of the globally leading telecommunication and technology corporations. Its German subsidiary is located in Düsseldorf. Vodafone employs about 16,000 people in Germany.