Innovative start-ups are heading to Berlin. Or to the ‘City of Cities’.

Our companies, including corporations such as Evonik, RWE, Innogy and thyssenkrupp, are among the businesses that generate the highest turnover in Germany and Europe. Many SMEs and start-ups from the Ruhr Metropolis are world leaders with their innovative, digital technologies.

Resource efficiency, logistics, the digital economy, the manufacturing industry, information and communication technologies and the health-care branch are all strong economic sectors. Businesses find an almost inexhaustible sales market and huge employee potential in the immediate vicinity. We train hundreds of thousands of skilled workers, but the economic growth in the new sectors also attracts people from all over the world. In the Metropolis Ruhr, 155,000 companies generate a total annual turnover of more than 330 billion euros.

Start-ups are increasingly opting to establish their businesses in the region for good reason: the company founders’ search for talent and employees doesn’t have to be limited to one city here – short and direct channels are guaranteed. Our universities play a major role in forming a start-up community. The faculty of business administration and economics at the University of Duisburg-Essen, for example, helps students, graduates, scientists and alumni to set up their own businesses.

Green expertise – if not here, then where?

The ‘City of Cities’ is NRW’s top location for the environmental economy and offers investors big opportunities to invest in innovative technologies.  These include new research and teaching facilities, renewable energy concepts and ecological restructuring programmes. The pioneering role in the area of energy-efficient industry is rooted in the history of the region: as far back as 100 years ago, efficient and sustainable solutions had to be found to maintain hygiene.

The expertise of companies based in the Ruhr Metropolis is now in demand more than ever before. An example: the renaturation of the Emscher is one of Europe’s biggest infrastructure projects. The cooperative known as the Emschergenossenschaft has built a total of 400 kilometres of underground sewage canals that free the river and its tributaries from sewage. Retention basins have become showcase architectural landscapes to which rare flora and fauna have long since returned.

  • ‘The new Silk Route is hugely underestimated’

    Goods are transported quickly and in an environmentally friendly manner along the 11,000-kilometre-long train line between China and Duisburg. ‘The new Silk Route is the largest infrastructure project ever created,’ says Author and journalist Frank Sieren.

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  • ‘The Metropolis Ruhr’s advantage lies in its credibility’

    We interviewed one of the world's leading business philosophers – Anders Indset. Read more about his insights on Metropolis Ruhr as a business location and why the region's advantage lies in its credibility.

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  • In the green

    Around 106,000 people were working in the green-tech industry in 2016 in the Metropolis Ruhr. 8,000 more than in 2010. This makes the City of Cities the environmental focal point of the largest federal state in Germany.

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  • Luxury brand Jan Kath: Global carpet empire in the Metropolis Ruhr

    Jan Kath is one of the world’s most distinguished carpet designers. The headquarters of his global company are tucked away slightly in the German city of Bochum.

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  • ‘We visualise future processes for Industry 4.0’

    ‘In the future, there will hardly be any industry that does not make use of virtual reality and augmented reality,’ says Markus Rall, managing director of Viality. Particularly for industry, virtual and augmented reality mean technical innovations with great future potential.

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  • Beyond Conventions: start-ups pitch to global players

    With their digital ideas 220 start-ups applied for projects tendered by large corporations. 35 selected entrepreneurs were invited to pitch their innovative ideas at Beyond Conventions in Essen. Among the winners is also a start-up from Dortmund.

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  • The City of Cities is the cradle of IT security

    Over 500 employees work on global digital security in Bochum. It’s no wonder: after all, this is the place where the first antivirus was born. Innovator Andreas Lüning, explains why the Metropolis Ruhr is Europe’s cybersecurity hub.

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  • Start-ups pitch for digital solutions in the Metropolis Ruhr

    Heinrich Hiesinger, CEO of thyssenkrupp, believes the Ruhr region is extremely underrated. A remarkable ecosystem for start-ups has developed here in recent years. This is a significant benefit of the location.

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  • Waltrop location combines the traditional and the modern

    Analogue start, digital growth: for 30 years, retailer Manufactum has been selling sustainable products for daily use. Lea Böttger, marketing employee at Manufactum, explains what makes the location so exciting.

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  • Corporations and SMEs – achieving success hand in hand

    The ‘City of Cities’ is traditionally strong in the energy sector – and nowadays we are especially progressive and innovative. SMEs are being founded around the large energy corporations; promising start-ups are springing up like mushrooms.

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  • ‘Tourism has become an economic powerhouse’

    EUR 5.5 billion in turnover, 115,000 employees, more than eight million overnight stays every year: the region’s tourism industry is booming, reports Axel Biermann, Managing Director of Ruhr Tourismus GmbH.

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  • Emscher modification: Europe´s largest infrastructure project

    The Emscher was once known as Germany’s dirtiest river. It should be waste water free by 2020. For this purpose, the most cutting-edge waste water system in the world is being built in the Metropolis Ruhr.

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  • "Sometimes I feel like I’m in Silicon Valley here"

    Around 100,000 people work in the environmental sector in the Metropolis Ruhr, generating a total turnover of 26 billion euros annually. Jan Schriewer is among them. He manages the first green complete solution provider in Germany.

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  • Silicon Valley and the City of Cities

    Silicon Valley and the Ruhr Metropolis – the comparison only appears unfitting at first glance: they are 9,000 kilometres apart, but are actually quite close to one another. Both regions are conurbations.

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  • The best addresses in the Metropolis Ruhr

    A dynamic real estate market is attracting investors and companies. The PHOENIX See is the perfect example of just such an innovative living space in the Metropolis Ruhr that combines living, work and leisure.

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  • duisport – one of the world’s biggest ports

    The sun glistens on the waves, tourists sit on deck, seagulls swoop elegantly across the scene – where are we? In the port city of Duisburg, of course!

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  • City of Cities is ‘most dynamic logistics region in Germany’

    As a crossroads between the major European north–south and east–west corridors, the Metropolis Ruhr plays a unique role in Germany as logistics region.

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  • Real industry-based economic power

    Economic developer: self-confidently taking on the competition from other cities. Real economic power through regional networking: there are many instances of exemplary economic development emanating from the ‘City of Cities’.

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  • Duisburg on the new silk road

    „One belt – one road“: A rail connection between the Metropolis Ruhr and the megacity Chongqing is drawing Chinese companies to the City of Cities.

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  • New approaches to reducing CO² emissions

    Exchanging knowledge and developing competence for CO² reduction - representatives from 255 cities met in the Metropolis Ruhr during the TWINS Conference Ruhr.

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  • RuhrSummit: a major event for the start-up scene

    The RuhrSummit is a large start-up conference in the Metropolis Ruhr, with over 1,500 participants, around 100 speakers, and 400 start-ups from over 35 countries. It connects local businesses with young, innovative start-ups.

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  • Digital healthcare startup targets international market

    They’ve got the drive, they’ve got the network and they’ve got an innovative healthcare product aimed at improving the lives of people living with cognitive illness and their loved ones. The start-up ichó wants to contribute to the system of care – worldwide.

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  • Modern mobility in the city of cities

    The Ruhr Metropolis is the optimum location to implement trendsetting traffic systems, according to Drive-CarSharing founder Andreas Allebrod.

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  • A clean slate – this stone has what it takes

    STEAG innovation not only provides healthier air in cities, but also is grabbing attention from around the world – with a paving stone that removes nitrogen oxides from the air.

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  • Dortmund Airport is the Gateway to the East

    Two million passengers a year. International air traffic in the ‘City of Cities’ is primarily based at two airports.

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