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 – four million people live in the Valley; five million live in the Ruhr region – with industry, universities, a good infrastructure and a strong sense of belonging to the place people call home. Scientists, researchers, universities, venture capitalists and ultimately start-ups are setting up around the IT industry in both the Ruhr region and Silicon Valley.

San Francisco of all places

So it’s rather fitting that the Essen-based company Intrapore received an award in San Francisco of all places, on the outskirts of Silicon Valley. The jury of the Cleantech Open Global Ideas Challenge gave the start-up an award for its innovative ideas in the areas of energy, sustainability and the environment. Intrapore beat off competition from all over the world and impressed the judges with a newly developed process for decontaminating polluted soil and groundwater using nano- and microparticle-based methods.

Managing director Dr Julian Bosch consciously chose the Ruhr Metropolis when setting up Intrapore in 2015. ‘There is a dense network of firms operating in the field of environmental technology, just like us. We have already cooperated with some of them and shared expertise with others,’ says the geoscientist. ‘Of particular interest to us is the Greentech.Ruhr network, which brings together companies and public institutions. Here we are able to work together on projects.’