MST.factory, competence centre for microtechnology and nanotechnology Picture: Benito Barajas
One of the triggers for Dortmund's metamorphosis into a modern technology location was the dortmund-project. A local initiative for the new Dortmund, it was started in 2000 with the goal of furthering structural change from within.
The dortmund-project (DE) is pooling the strengths of city, economy and science in an unusual network, creating the framework for locating new businesses and enterprises from technology-oriented sunrise industries. The initiative "start2grow" (DE), for instance, which supports founders in realizing their plans for new business ideas, has found a competent partner in the dortmund-project.
But Dortmund can also play trump cards in other sectors. The insurance industry is represented with three important companies, and so is the finance sector with 45 banks and 5,500 employees. One of the city's major locational advantages are its excellent transport links: the Dortmund airport, the third-biggest Intercity nodal point in Germany, a highway ring around the city and the biggest European canal port (DE) make Dortmund easily accessible from every direction.
Trend-setting industries can find new, spacious homes in old branches of industry restored for the purpose. The former army barracks area at Dortmund’s main traffic artery, the B1, were converted into a new service- and commercial estate, the Stadtkrone Ost (DE), also including high-quality real estate. The area offers modern office space to enterprises dealing in electronic- and mobile-business.
The development of the former furnace site PHOENIX West is a is a further example of an area converted to suit the needs of the micro system technology- (MST) and the IT sector. Framed by industrial plants of the past, new small and mediumsized MST and IT businesses will fi nd a home here over time. The MST.factory (DE) dortmund broke the first ground in 2005, being the first and (up until now) the only competence centre that exclusively provides MST-specific infrastructure and services for prototype development.
The Ruhr Valley metropolis is also one of the leading locations in the field of science and research in Germany. Cooperation with the local economy and an efficient knowledge transfer are the reason why more than 30 prestigious institutes for scientific research have their seat in Dortmund - partly in affiliation to the universities, partly run by private or public funding providers. The TU Dortmund University, founded in 1968, educates 22,000 students studying towards an academic degree. It also has the biggest computer science chair in Germany. The Unicersity of Applied Science and Art with an additional 9,000 students, a centre for skilled IT staff, a private university for international management and a polytechnic for public administration round out what Dortmund has to offer in this area.
The TechnologieZentrumDortmund (Dortmund Technology Centre), founded in 1985 as one of the first of its kind, is an important connecting link between scientific research and economic implementation. Now surrounded by the TechnologiePark, the two are now home to around 225 enterprises with more than 8,500 employees. The TZDO’s fundamental task is to initiate new and future-oriented technological and economic processes and to develop them for the regional economy.
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