North Rhine-Westphalia – a hub of biotechnology
Around 360 life science companies including 86 biotechnology firms are located in North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition to the Rhineland (Bonn, Cologne and Düsseldorf) and the Ruhr region (from Duisburg to Dortmund), the main geographic regions of economic activity include Aachen-Jülich, Münster and Ostwestfalen (Bielefeld). The biotech landscape of North Rhine-Westphalia is therefore characterized by multiple centers with regional strengths. These strong economic centers are also centers of the densest network of institutions of higher learning in Europe which are all located in North Rhine-Westphalia: Both practical institutions as well as institutions for basic research and education in the life sciences are represented by 50 internationally renowned universities, polytechnical universities and research facilities.
The innovative strength of NRW generated by this outstanding network of science and industry is impressively illustrated by the number of biotechnology patent applications and granted patents. North Rhine-Westphalia comes in 9th place worldwide which makes it by far the leading region within Germany and the European Union.