Karlsruhe is Top in IT
EU Study Analyzes Performance of IT Regions
A recent study of the EU Commission analyzes the performance of European regions in information and communication technol-ogies. According to this study, Karlsruhe ranks in fourth place of more than 1000 regions in Europe behind megacities like Paris, London, and Munich. According to the EU Commission, a very important factor of the top regions’ success is access to excellent universities and research centers, such as the KIT in Karlsruhe.
“The young graduates of the KIT develop the most innovative ideas in the region and drive the development of information and communication technologies in the area of Karlsruhe,” Wilfried Juling, Head of the Informatics, Economics, and Society Division of KIT, comments the good result. To many projects and cooperative ventures with regional partners, the KIT contributes expertise and innovations from research. The Informatics Department of the KIT is the department having the longest tradition in Germany. It consists of about 2400 students and 40 professors. The first electronic mail in Germany was received in Karlsruhe in 1984. The KIT is regularly ranked in top positions by the CHE and Wirtschaftswoche rankings. Moreover, the KIT hosts the bwUniCluster, the central computing cluster of the state of Baden-Württemberg, and the Smart Data Innovation Lab, where research into information technologies for big data is conducted in cooperation with international industry partners. “The study reveals that networking of science, industry, and politics works well in the region of Karlsruhe,” Juling summarizes.
“Karlsruhe is a strong location of information and communication technologies,” mayor Dr. Frank Mentrup says. “This small, but very powerful hub of information and communication technologies compared to Paris, London, and Munich is characterized by a highly innovative environment”. According to Mentrup, this environment consists of diverse IT enterprises, strong partners in research and science, such as the Fraunhofer Institutes, the Research Center for Information Technology, and universities with KIT being the driving force, and the CyberForum, the largest regionally active and leading IT network in Europe with more than 1000 members. The CyberForum won competitions launched by the state of Baden-Württemberg and the European Cluster Excellence Initiative. The relevance of information and communication technologies in Karlsruhe and the region and the associated competences are reflected by an above-average number of newly established enterprises, about 30,000 employees, and more than 4200 companies working in this sector. Mentrup: “These conditions and the good life in Karlsruhe and the region are the right mix to attract smart minds and, hence, innovative capacity and to keep them here.”
The EU study mainly focused on three elements: Economic activity, research and development, and innovations in the area of information and communication technologies. Particular attention was paid to the intensity, international character, and networking of the activities. The findings of the study are based on an integrated indicator derived from 42 individual indicators to assess activities in the area of information and communication technologies. For the determination of the indicators, various data sources and databases were used, such as university ranking lists, citation indexes, information on cooperation in European research projects, number of leading investors in information and communication technologies worldwide, venture capital investments, employees and turnovers of the companies.