Top Investments 2017 in Baden-Württemberg

January, 2018

1000 New Jobs from South Korea

The South Korean company YG-1 wants to set up a development center for the production of modern tools in Oberkochen. This could be a milestone for the region.

The news is a real sensation: a huge investment, for which the South Korean group wants to buy all available commercial space about 3.2 hectares of the Industrial Area South in Oberkochen. Over the next five years, YG-1 aims to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and create up to 1,000 skilled jobs. At the same time, the company’s European activities are to be concentrated there.

The Oberkochen site, which is thanks to Zeiss currently photoniclocation number one in Germany and already an important location for tool production with Leitz and Oppold, is now becoming a key European center for the tool industry with the YG-1 project. It will also be the largest business settlement of a foreign company in Baden-Württemberg in the past five years.

Research on Artificial Intelligence: Amazon and Max Planck Society Cooperate

Amazon and the Max Planck Society have entered into a strategic cooperation to advance research into artificial intelligence (AI). Amazon will set up a research center near the campus of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen. As part of the Cyber Valley Initiative, the new site will bring together the research activities of international key players in science and industry in the field of artificial intelligence.

In the coming years, Amazon plans to invest €1.25 million to finance new research groups of the Cyber Valley Initiative in Tübingen. Launched in December 2016, the initiative is researching in AI areas such as robotics, machine learning and machine vision. The initiators of the initiative include the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, the State of Baden-Württemberg, the Universities of Stuttgart and Tübingen, as well as BMW, Bosch, IAV, Daimler, Porsche and ZF Friedrichshafen.

To expand applied artificial intelligence research, Amazon plans to create jobs for 100 highly-skilled employees at the Tübingen Research Center over the next five years. The Tübingen site will be the fourth research center from Amazon in Germany after Berlin, Dresden and Aachen and will focus on AI research to improve the customer experience, especially in visual systems. Customers using various Amazon products and services such as Amazon Web Services and Alexa will benefit from the research results.

Two directors of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Prof. Dr. med. Bernhard Schölkopf (Department of Empirical Inference) and Prof. Dr. med. Michael J. Black (Department of Perceptive Systems), support the new research site as Amazon Scholars. They will continue to manage their departments at the Max Planck Institute as well.

As part of the cooperation, Amazon annually supports the Max Planck Society with Amazon Research Awards (ARA) worth €420,000 (500,000 US dollars). The Amazon Research Awards program promotes academic research and related contributions to open source projects from leading academic researchers worldwide.

„We welcome Amazon’s commitment in the Cyber Valley and to research on artificial intelligence,“ says Max Planck President Martin Stratmann. „We are thus gaining another strong partner who will once again increase the international significance of research in the field of machine learning and perception in the Stuttgart-Tübingen area. With Amazon’s entry into the Cyber Valley, our idea is gaining momentum to create a fruitful environment for business activities by expanding AI research in the Stuttgart-Tübingen area, „says Stratmann. „Only if we combine cutting-edge research and entrepreneurial spirit, will the breeding ground for innovations develop, which later can turn out to be technological breakthroughs.“

Pfizer building in Freiburg © Pfizer

Pfizer Puts 50 Million Euros into a Freiburg Plant

20 million euros were invested in the new CMT facility. Large amounts of medicines can be produced faster there. 30 million euros will flow into the new PCMM facility, where fully automatic, highly-effective cancer drugs can be manufactured among other things. The groundbreaking ceremony for this project was in May 2017.

Pfizer has thus succeeded in establishing a new manufacturing process for the first time worldwide, the company announced at the ceremony. With CMT (Continuous Manufacturing Technology), feeding, dosing and mixing are even more closely interlocked.

Active ingredients and auxiliaries are now being delivered in newly developed bags („sacks“) instead of pallets, weighing up to 1200 kilograms. Thus, the number of truck transports can be halved. Using a fully automatic conveyor system, the materials then land in production, where a mixing technique developed by Pfizer is used, which allows extremely high homogeneity high consistency. New measuring methods ensure that quality can be checked constantly and in real time during ongoing production. The new process and improved electronic interconnectedness reduces order processing to just a few days. Additionally, about 750,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide are saved each year.

The Lord Mayor of Freiburg, Dieter Salomon, evaluated the Pfizer investment as proof of the above-average economic dynamism of the city. The healthcare industry is one of the main driving forces: „25 percent of the business tax revenue comes from this industry. With 24,000 employees, it is the largest employer in the city.“ Salomon also described Pfizer as a role model in terms of sustainability. This fits well with the strategy of making the Industrial Area North the „Green Industry Park -„ a flagship industrial site.

Fuyao Glass Group Industries Settles in Leingarten

The symbolic ground-breaking ceremony for the new European headquarters of the Fuyao Group in Leingarten in March 2017 was the starting signal for the construction of a facility for the highly-automated completion of vehicle windows. Since the current location of the car glass manufacturer in Heilbronn offered no room for expansion, Fuyao will realize its plans for a new European headquarters with a spacious warehouse and production hall and a modern administration building in the industrial area Mühlenpfad in Leingarten.

With the building of the plant, which is scheduled to go into full operation by May 2018, Fuyao will be able to serve its customers in Germany faster, more efficiently and more specifically. Not only is the market share expected to grow, but alsoabout 200 new jobs in production and administration are to be created within the new European headquarters.

Liebherr Invests 30 Million in Kirchdorf

An experimental hall with administrative building and demonstration area is to be built in Kirchdorf in the district of Biberach on an area of around 13 hectares (approximately 18 football fields).

The centerpiece is the test hall, where all prototypes are set up, commissioned and optimized. For field testing, an area for customer demonstrations, training and a 900-meter test track with a steep hill is set up.

The new building will be located south of the county road to Fellheim in the immediate vicinity of the existing factory premises. Construction is scheduled to begin at the end of 2017, and the building will be ready by 2021.

Japanese Subsidiary Company Produces in Unterriexingen

The company EACC GmbH, a subsidiary of the Japanese group Toray Industries in Tokyo, has selected the industrial estate in the Markgröningen district Unterriexingen as a location for its expansion in the Stuttgart region. On 9,000 square meters, seven different facilities for the production of lightweight fiberglass car tailgates will be built. Among other things, the manufacturing process includes cutting and pressing, milling and cleaning of the parts so that the elements of the interior and exterior parts can be glued together and then varnished. After the production of the pre-series, from mid-2018 on, the production of tailgates for BMW models will begin. By 2020, at least 60 employees should be employed here. EACC’s decision to settle in Unterriexingen is also due to an available hall, which has a height of over 18 meters. This height is necessary above all for the large pressing machines and in order to be able to move tools with the aid of a ceiling crane.

Walldorf: John Deere builds distribution center

The global agricultural machinery group John Deere has chosen Walldorf as the location for its new European sales and marketing center. In Walldorf, around 300 employees of the John Deere International units based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, John Deere Sales Germany in Bruchsal and the Sales & Marketing Center in Mannheim will all be working together under one roof. Synergies should thus be better utilized and more intensive and efficient cooperation between the various sectors should be enabled. The new competence center is another logical step towards increased customer orientation.

The new administration building will be built in the Metropolpark adjacent to the Luxor Filmpalast and Musikhaus Session and, according to John Deere spokesman Ralf Lenge, is expected to be ready to move into by the end of 2019. The property between the cinema and the former ABB building was „one of the very last ones“ owned by the city.