With a total of some 3.5 million residents and a gross domestic product (GDP) of EUR 151 billion, is a Champions League fixture among Europe’s economic regions. Its goods and services, 49 per cent of which are intended for export, are generated by a workforce of two million people at 150,000 companies.
The Nuremberg Economic Region’s strong points are in the IT and medical industries, and in developing technological solutions for applications in energy, transport, and medicine. It is already a prime location for high tech, industry and innovative services and one of the most dynamic high-tech centres in Europe. And it is continuing to evolve into a capital of innovation for future-oriented technologies and for research and development.
This business dynamo, in combination with more than 20 university-level educational institutions and more than 50 research institutions, makes the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region an ideal destination. You can be sure your convention, conference, or other event here will be taking place in the best of company!
Nuremberg and its entire Metropolitan Region are one of the ten most dynamic economic regions in Europe, thanks to their high-innovation economic structure sustained by small and medium-sized businesses. Nuremberg is holding its own as a site for high tech, industry and innovative services, punching above its weight in economic output.
The Nuremberg European Metropolitan Region is home to some 150,000 companies from all sectors, 25,000 of them within the city limits alone. They include a good mix of global players (like adidas, Datev, Siemens), hidden champions (like uvex, Barth & Sohn) and young start-ups, especially in tech (now-established examples: FlixBus & immowelt.de). And the Zollhof – Tech Incubator is one of Germany’s fastest-growing incubators for new businesses.
Nuremberg’s sector skills
Three skills areas are the most significant for Nuremberg as a city:
- Information & Communications: 10.3% of Nuremberg’s working population is active in this field, placing the city third in the country after Munich and Bonn.
- Medicine & Health: The Nuremberg Region is the home of “Medical Valley”, a medical technology cluster that is among the international leaders. Jointly with Zollhof, it was named a “Digital Health Hub” in 2017, one of the German economy ministry’s twelve national Digital Hubs.
- Energy & Environment: Nuremberg is home to multiple institutions like the Energie Campus Nürnberg and the H2.B – Wasserstoffzentrum Bayern hydrogen centre.
But Nuremberg and its Metropolitan Region also have significant capabilities in other sectors like Automation & Production Technology, Automotive, New Materials, and Transport & Logistics.
Digitalisation: A driving force
The region’s success in recent years is founded on Nuremberg’s strong digitalisation capabilities as a business location, and its close, vigorous cooperation among business, government and research. The region’s special ecosystem of innovation now sets it apart with cross-cluster solutions in four science-based, forward-looking fields for action: networked mobility, the digital healthcare industry, networked production, and sustainable energy systems.
You can find out more about Nuremberg as a business location on the websites of the City of Nuremberg (please switch language for English version) and the European Metropolitan Region Nuremberg (in German, English available soon).
The Nuremberg Metropolitan Region offers a vast range of options for university-level study – from fine arts and music, to artificial intelligence, to medicine, engineering and business administration. Nuremberg alone has some 24,000 registered students at the moment. If you go beyond the city limits to the Metropolitan Region, the figures grow still further. The area has a total of 20 university-level educational institutions, 50 research facilities, and some 100,000 students
The university-level schools include:
- The Academy of Fine Arts
- The Nuremberg Lutheran University of Applied Sciences
- Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
- FernUniversität in Hagen - distance-learning university, Nuremberg Campus
- Nuremberg Hochschule für Musik music conservatory
- Technische Hochschule Nürnberg Georg Simon Ohm technical university
Nuremberg Technical University, founded in 2021, has expanded the innovation ecosystem still further. It is expected to set new standards for German university-level institutions, and to become a model university of a whole new breed.
Research & development
Alongside these major-name university institutions, Nuremberg also conducts outstanding research outside the academic environment at many internationally famed research institutions and user centres. These involve a close link between business and science, and encourage interdisciplinary cooperation oriented to applications and solutions. Good examples here include the Fraunhofer-Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS and the Energy Campus Nuremberg.
Open innovation, Nuremberg style
Science gets done in Nuremberg in more than just the ivory towers of dedicated institutions. Scientists and researchers are also looking for ways to come closer to society. You can see science and research at work first-hand in many forms and in many places around town. Many local museums offer lectures and Science Slams. Or you can try out innovations personally and become part of the development process at one of the innovation laboratories and start-up incubators like JOSEPHS – the open innovation laboratory.
The Nuremberg Business Promotion Office has prepared a detailed description of Nuremberg as a place of learning, with all its facilities and institutions.
Innovation & Inventiveness
Today, Nuremberg and its Metropolitan Region count among the economic areas with the most patents and the liveliest innovation in Germany, and its local universities also regularly win awards.
Today’s success is rooted in Nuremberg’s history as a Free Imperial City in the Middle Ages. Nuremberg’s citizens were self-governing, and had to make sure on their own responsibility that trade and crafts flourished. That tradition continued into the industrial age, and Nuremberg thus rapidly developed into one of the engines of German industrial history, in which Nuremberg names like AEG, Faber-Castell, Quelle and Zündapp regularly appear. Though some of these companies no longer exist in their historic forms, Nuremberg’s business players have repeatedly been able to reinvent themselves or evolve further, and have achieved the transition to a modern location for high tech, industry, and innovative services.
Selected examples of inventiveness from Nuremberg and Franconia
From the late Middle Ages to the 21st century, there are numerous examples of the inventiveness of Nuremberg's citizens. If you take a look at history, you will come across names like Dürer, Behaim and Ohm. It was the home of Germany’s first railroad, and where the first German patent was applied for. And did you know the MP3 format was developed jointly by the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits?
Late Middle Ages (1300 - 1500): Inventive crafts and “Nuremberg Wit”
Nürnberger Rotbier created, Germany’s first bottom-fermented beer
First regulations for making Nuremberg Rostbratwurst (Nuremberg sausages)
Development of the drawing iron (Schockenzug) for making medium and fine wire
Development of conifer cropping: the world’s first forest plantation
The first paper mill north of the Alps lays the cornerstone for industrial mass production of paper
First documentation of the “Lebküchner”, professional bakers of Nuremberg Lebkuchen (gingerbread)
Martin Behaim makes a terrestrial globe, the oldest surviving globe in the world
Etzlaub makes the first map of Nuremberg’s environs, the oldest specialty map printed in Germany.
Etzlaub also produces the “Romwegekarte”, the oldest road map in Christian Europe.
Early Modern Era (1500 - approx. 1830): Crafts and sciences surge1504
Henlein is thought to have invented the first spring-driven pocket watch. (Henlein is no longer credited with inventing the first pocket watch of any kind.)
Development of a technique for “Lyonese ware” (fine, silver-plated copper wires for use in textiles)
First fire pump air vessel developed
First self-propelled wheelchair developed
First clarinet developed
The merchant Bestelmeier produces the first sales catalogue and becomes a pioneer in mail-order sales.
Germany’s first free-standing suspension bridge built: the Nuremberg Kettensteg
Ohm’s Law described
Industrialisation (1830 - 1900): Inventions in mechanical engineering, writing instruments, and toy production1834
Staedtler puts the first oil pastels on the market
The first German railroad, the “Adler” (Eagle), runs from Nuremberg to Fürth
The Schwan Pencil Factory (later Schwan-STABILO) develops the indelible pencil
Ultramarine, developed in 1834, is awarded the first patent from the German Reich
The first musical top developed
Schuckert installs Europe’s first electric street lighting, with arc lamps, in Nuremberg
First “Bing Bear” teddy bear introduced
Invention of phenazone, the first synthetic pain relieving and fever reducing medication
Beginning with the 20th century: Imagination & renewal1914
Introduction of the Schuco Automato, a toy automaton
Creation of “Bärendreck” – a liquorice sweet
Zündapp motorcycles for the general market start production
"Em-eukal" from Dr Carl Soldan is the first German cough lozenge
Introduction of the world’s first cosmetic pencil, the “Schwan Eyebrow Pencil”
Birth of the “Tempo” handkerchief, the first tissue paper hanky
Development of the Schuco Wendeauto wind-up car
Grundig develops the Heinzelmann radio for the general market
The social market economy is introduced in Germany, based on the theories of Dr Ludwig Erhard (born in Fürth)
Puma, and adidas soon after, develops the first shoe with interchangeable cleats
Design of a toy slot car by Carrera
A Nuremberg clockmaker develops the radio-controlled clock
Development of the first neon-yellow highlighter pen, the "STABILO BOSS"
The Bobby Car from Fürth reaches the market
Little PLAYMOBIL figures come into the world
Development of the MP3 audio file storage format at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS
The world’s first fully automated, driverless underground train goes into partly autonomous operation in Nuremberg
A research team from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg develops the LOHC, a liquid compound that can store hydrogen