Information and Communication
The threatened decline of Germany as a research and development location has been and continues to be consistently counterbalanced in Central Franconia, particularly in the sectors of information and communication technology. Research and development centers and innovative application corporations of global reputation have been created spreading their products and services all over the world. The growth areas are communication engineering, software solutions with the focus on open sourcing, automation, medicine, application companies and eGovernment. Even entertainment electronics, otherwise erased from the German map, has once again gained a foothold here. Premium equipment from Loewe in Kronach or Metz in Fürth bears witness to the fact that TV and internet are growing ever closer.
Nuremberg is also one of the leading locations for mobile telecommunication in Europe. Network equippers, operators and research and development specialists are busy developing chips, soft- and hardware-intelligence for mobile business. That the "best brains" were to be found here was the Alcatel-Lucent's justification for acquisition of the Philips Communication Industry in the middle of the nineties. Others obviously share their opinion because T-Mobile, Philips Semiconductors, Comneon, Qualcomm and Teleca also maintain important development centres in Nuremberg.
Concerning "Best Brains": calculated per head, this is where most of Germany's engineers work. Some 32,000 people are employed in Siemens alone. Seven departmental centres globally control their business of medicine engineering, energy, transport and industry whilst IT and telecommunication take care of leaps in technology. One current highlight is the RFID chips, the most modern in the world.
Modern communication engineering and software-intelligence are not only possible on the rails. Nuremberg was a pioneer in online-banking. Even today, trendsetters such as Cortal Consors, ING DiBa and the Teambank can be found here. And DATEV is not only Germany's number 1 service supplier for tax consultants and auditors, but is one of the largest German software companies employing 1,250 developers. In the opinion of GfK, which ranks amongst the top five international market researchers, internet & Co. are the drive behind expansion.
Concerning open source: the Linux world is watching the labs of SuSE Linux which belong to Novell. Their developers are rated among some of the most progressive thinkers of the alternative operating system. Nuremberg is already spoken of as Europe's Linux Valley and not without reason.
All these corporations rely on the excellence of the research landscape which includes the universities of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Bamberg and Bayreuth, the universities of applied sciences in Amberg, Ansbach, Coburg, Hof and Nuremberg, the Heinrich-Hertz-Institute and the Max-Planck-Research Group Optics, Information and Photonics. Not to be forgotten is the most successful Fraunhofer-Support Group, the Institut für Integrierte Schaltungen IIS (Institute for Integrated Circuits), where the world's standard MP3 was born.
Nuremberg Initiative for Communication Economics – NIK
The Nuremberg Initiative for Communication Economics e.V. (NIK, www.nik-nbg.de) can count 90 leading companies, research institutions, universities and institutions among their members. It was founded in 1994 and is today the cooperation and innovation platform for information and communication technology in the metropolitan region of Nuremberg, the industrial centre of Northern Bavaria.
Internationally operating companies belong to the NIK as do other medium-sized specialists. The NIK represents its members to the public according to this policy. It initiates innovative projects; it provides informative events on themes of information and communication, acts as an advisor to regional industry and supports young innovative corporations in information and communication technology.