With around 250,000 inhabitants, Braunschweig is the second largest city in Lower Saxony and the historical centre of the state's most important industrial region. The success story of Volkswagen AG began over 80 years ago in Braunschweig and the automotive industry is a central, but by no means the only economic sector that lends Braunschweig international significance. Volkswagen Financial Services AG, which was founded in 1994 and is responsible for coordinating the worldwide financial services of the Volkswagen Group, also developed rapidly. With more than 20 million contracts, the company is Europe's largest financial services provider in the automotive sector. Together with the Braunschweigische Landessparkasse, Öffentliche Versicherung Braunschweig and Volksbank Braunschweig-Wolfsburg, an important financial cluster with thousands of employees has emerged in Braunschweig.
Siemens Mobility is concerned with the electrification, automation and digitization of transportation and in Braunschweig is focusing on signalling technology for rail traffic. The up-and-coming GOM GmbH – founded in Braunschweig in 1990 and taken over by Carl Zeiss AG in 2019 with around 600 employees – is one of the leading suppliers of hardware and software for automated 3D coordinate measuring technology.
Nordzucker AG as one of the leading sugar manufacturers in Europe, the Westermann publishing group and the traditional piano factories Grotrian-Steinweg and Schimmel Pianos, which export all over the world, are further significant companies that characterise Braunschweig's economic structure. The Braunschweigische Maschinenbauanstalt BMA plans and builds production equipment and complete factories for the food industry worldwide. The fashion company New Yorker also expanded into around 40 countries from right here.
Development of commercial sites
The demand for commercial and industrial sites in Braunschweig has been at a high level for years. In order to make additional spaces available, the City is increasingly focusing on mixed development areas. These “integrated districts” are characterised by their proximity to the city centre and offer space for business - primarily office space for knowledge-intensive services - as well as for housing, local supplies, culture and leisure. A key project for urban development is the “Bahnstadt” (Rail City). With 82 hectares, it is one of the largest urban redevelopment areas in Lower Saxony. As with the Europaviertel at the Bürgerpark, it forms one of the central projects of the Integrated Urban Development Concept Braunschweig.
Classic sites for commerce and industry will continue to be developed on the outskirts of the city. The Research Airport offers attractive sites for companies in the aerospace, aeronautics and transportation-technology sectors. The Wenden-West industrial estate is currently under development. In addition, inter-municipal cooperations will contribute towards covering the demand for space. The cities of Braunschweig and Wolfenbüttel are currently examining a joint industrial estate close to the city boundary. Furthermore, the City of Braunschweig is conducting talks with the neighbouring cities of Wolfsburg, Helmstedt and Wolfenbüttel regarding a collaboration involving a number of municipalities.
Top-level research from mobility to pharmacy
Braunschweig is not only an internationally important research location, but also the centre of the most research-intensive region in Europe. Hardly any other location offers such a wide variety of research and such a dense network of research institutions, higher education institutions and technology companies. Innovation and cutting-edge interdisciplinary research characterise the region in which, according to Eurostat (2015), 9.5 percent of the gross domestic product is invested in research and development. The transportation of tomorrow is the focus of the research carried out here. In recent years, a transportation and mobility cluster has emerged around the research airport in the north of the city, which is one of the most innovative economic and scientific clusters in Europe.
Large numbers of research institutions and companies are working together here on forward-looking mobility solutions for road, rail and air using interdisciplinary approaches. But in addition to mobility, Braunschweig is also a leader in other fields, as shown by the Fraunhofer Project Center for Energy Storage and Systems, the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, the Centre of Pharmaceutical Engineering and the Centre of Systems Biology.
Unique mobility cluster at Braunschweig research airport
In the north of the city is where you will find the research airport - the heart of the research location Braunschweig and one of the most important centres for transportation research in Europe. Since 2007, the federal government, the state of Lower Saxony, research institutions, companies and the City of Braunschweig have invested almost 300 million euros in creating one of Europe's largest economic and scientific clusters. The cluster comprises numerous internationally renowned research centres and federal research institutes such as the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the German Federal Aviation Authority (Luftfahrt-Bundesamt) and the Federal Agency for Aircraft Accident Investigation as well as the Automotive Research Centre Niedersachsen and the Aeronautics Research Centre Niedersachsen.
Around 3,400 employees in more than 40 innovative companies and research institutes carry out cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in all areas of mobility, from automotive to air and rail transport. At no other location in Germany is there such a high concentration of research aircraft, test benches, wind tunnels and driving and flight simulators. Companies such as Aerodata AG and Simtec Systems GmbH have made their way from here to the top of the world market for flight inspection and simulation systems. Currently, more office space is being created in a series of phases in the Lilienthalquartier in order to create even more space for technical progress, innovation and creativity at Braunschweig Research Airport.
Knowledge- and technology transfer
Braunschweig, with its many research institutions and innovative companies, is a place where new findings and progressive solutions are developed day after day. In order to generate viable business models and thus genuine innovations from this constantly growing store of knowledge, the city and its business development department, together with their partners from business and science, are committed to efficient knowledge and technology transfer. Regular networking events such as the Braunschweig Innovation Forum by Braunschweig Zukunft GmbH, the Braunschweig Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Technology Transfer Office of the TU Braunschweig promote exchange between research and practice.
The economic development agencies of the cities of Braunschweig and Salzgitter, together with the TU Braunschweig, are also strengthening the innovative capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises with the "Regional Innovation Scouting" project. Experts from the technology transfer office of the TU Braunschweig visit the companies, determine their need for innovation and arrange cooperation with the university or other scientific institutions in Braunschweig and the region. This means that even companies which do not have their own research and development department should be able to make the best possible use of technological change.
Securing skilled workers through vocational education
In addition to outstanding university teaching, Braunschweig also offers excellent educational and vocational opportunities. Good education provision is one of the most important keys to tackling the increasing shortage of skilled workers. As a member of the Fachkräftebündnis SüdOstNiedersachsen, the city of Braunschweig cooperates with 28 labour market stakeholders in the region and promotes measures that contribute to meeting the existing demand for skilled workers as well as securing the long-term supply of skilled workers in Lower Saxony.
In addition to the Technische Universität Braunschweig, the Hochschule für Bildende Künste (University of Fine Arts) and the nearby Ostfalia Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften (Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences), numerous other high-quality educational institutions can be found here. In addition to 70 municipal schools, there is an international school as well as a large number of vocational training and further education institutions for various branches of industry, which are independently run.
A place for new business
Braunschweig is a place of innovation and the start-up scene is as diverse as the range of support offered for young companies. Strong partnerships around the Braunschweig start-up network ensure that entrepreneurs find the right advice and support as well as like-minded people and potential fellow campaigners at every phase of setting up a business. The start-up network is made up of regional companies, universities, associations and banks that support young business founders from the idea to the growth phase. Supplemented by the commitment of private actors and local companies, a dense network has been created of public and private start-up centres, co-working spaces, incubators, accelerators and an open high-tech workshop. Cooperative actions with small and medium-sized companies as well as with the Technische Universität Braunschweig and the Ostfalia Hochschule make Braunschweig the ideal location for start-ups who want to profit from the enormous innovation potential of this university town and a region with a strong tradition of research.
Braunschweig – #MitGründen
There are 1.000 good reasons to create a start-up! And many of these reasons are at home in Braunschweig. Under the motto Braunschweig – #MitGründen, we invite you to allow yourself to be convinced of the reasons for founding a start-up in the Lion City and to use your ideas to shape the entrepreneurial future of Braunschweig.
Besser Smart - The innovation portal
With the highest concentration of IT employees in Northern Germany and a powerful cultural and creative scene, the prerequisites for new ideas and exciting networking are absolutely perfect in Braunschweig. The enormous potential for innovation at the heart of one of the most research-intensive regions in Europe is a major factor for the development of the business location and also for the high quality of life in the Lion City.
In order to provide the many innovative activities in Braunschweig with the attention which they deserve, Braunschweig Stadtmarketing GmbH, in cooperation with Braunschweig Zukunft GmbH, has launched the innovation portal “Besser Smart”. It presents projects, research undertakings, people and companies from the Lion City which are addressing intelligent solutions for the challenges of the future. An innovation map shows the locations in which the focus is directed at “smart” topics. Here, interested parties can also find the associated infrastructure, such as publicly usable Wi-Fi antennas and creative spaces.
Braunschweig is the best choice
The “best choice” portal offers you interesting insights into the city and cultural life of the Lion City, information concerning the economic and innovation location as well as helpful facts and tips on the topics of family, leisure and life in Braunschweig.
Braunschweig's central location in the heart of Europe and its excellent transport connections make the city an outstanding transport hub.
Motorways and federal highways
Braunschweig has direct access to three motorways, including the A2 as an important east-west connection. In addition, five federal highways cross the city.
Deutsche Bahn serves Braunschweig with IC/ICE and EC connections. In addition, regional express railway lines connect the city with the surrounding countryside.
Braunschweig-Wolfsburg Airport is the region's hub for charter and private flights and, together with Braunschweig Research Airport, is an important centre for interdisciplinary transportation research.
Port of Braunschweig
The port of Braunschweig on the Mittellandkanal enables connections to the whole of Europe. Goods handling in Northern Germany's largest inland container port amounts to around one million tons per year.
As the business development agency of the City of Braunschweig, Braunschweig Zukunft GmbH is a partner and the central point of contact for the economy. It is a service provider for companies which are expanding, restructuring or relocating in Braunschweig, promotes the transfer of knowledge and technology
and offers consulting and mentoring for start-ups.
Contact us – we would be glad to assist!