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Jena – A Centre of Business

A 2015 article in the magazine “Wirtschaftswoche” labelled Jena outstanding, and declared that the city is ideally equipped for the future. It went on to call Jena “the most promising city in East Germany”, while the “Zukunftsindex 2030” study ranked Jena fourth overall of 69 cities across Germany. This high ranking is based on Jena’s strong research scene as well as its diverse and modern range of businesses.

The figures back this up: Around 4,500 scientists work at both universities, non-university research centres and in the city's high-tech companies. Almost a third of all those employed in Jena hold a university degree - almost twice the national average (16%). And by averaging 250 patents per 100,000 residents, Jena is also well above the German average in this respect too (59).

The business location Jena is closely linked to companies like Zeiss, Schott, Jenoptik, and Intershop. Optics and photonics have ranked as the leading industries in Jena for over 150 years. Ground-breaking new markets have emerged since the original pioneering efforts in microscope engineering. In addition to international groups, the city is also home to numerous small and medium-sized businesses which develop and produce knowledge-intensive products. Today, around a thousand scientists and developers work in more than a hundred companies on designing effective and innovative technologies such as laser-scanning microscopes, optical and optoelectronic components and measuring systems.

High-tech on the Beutenberg Campus

Numerous biotech companies have made the Beutenberg Campus their home alongside the various research institutions based there. This is yet another field with an established tradition in the city. Numerous start-ups and spin-offs from both Jena universities have been able to flourish on the campus alongside established companies over the past few years.

The software development and e-commerce fields have also recorded highly dynamic development in recent times, with around 5,000 people now employed in this sector in Jena. Whether software solutions for online shops, digital marketing, designing production processes for industry 4.0, software for medical technology or bioinformatics - the IT industry in Jena has an extremely broad base.

Together with the University and the non-university research centres in Jena and the surrounding region, the conditions for an effective innovation cluster couldn't be better.


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