Bavaria is Germany’s largest federal state and the 7th largest economy in the European Union. Among the globally-recognized firms that call Bavaria home are adidas, Allianz, Audi, BMW, Infineon and Siemens, all of which are engines of innovation alongside a plethora of major multinationals and “hidden champions” spanning industry and technology. Of the 50 most innovative companies in the world, 32 have established a presence here. Small and medium enterprises also thrive in our entrepreneurial environment, accounting for roughly 40 percent of the annual economic output and over 50 percent of annual investment.
Bavaria was once known as Germany’s agricultural and manufacturing powerhouse, but over the past half-century, the economy has seamlessly integrated one of Europe’s top enterprise technology hubs, a leading life sciences and healthcare ecosystem, and a knowledge-intensive services industry. With a strong culture of education and R&D, the region excels in such disciplines as aerospace, augmented and virtual reality, the Internet of Things, financial and insurance technology, and digital health. With a population of roughly 12.7 million people, the region remains a magnet for the world’s top talent, making it Europe’s #1 fastest-growing urban area for FDI attraction in EY’s 2016 European attractiveness survey.
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Some of the world’s biggest names are from Bavaria, among them adidas, Allianz, Audi, BMW, Infineon, MunichRe and Siemens. Joining them with major operations in the state are multinationals such as Amazon, Amgen, Baxter, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cisco, General Electric, Google, Intel, IBM Watson, Microsoft, Olympus, Pfizer and Salesforce, just to name a few. Alongside these industry heavy-weights are many leading small and medium-sized enterprises—many homegrown, but some recently expanded into the European market. This dynamic flow of business makes Bavaria—and indeed Germany—one of the most enticing B2B and consumer markets on the continent.
Education and skills training take center stage in Bavaria: they comprise the single largest item in state spending. The state’s higher education system consists of three different types of institutions, which produce a world-class labor force and cutting-edge research. Bavaria’s 15 universities, 25 universities of applied sciences and nine art academies are instrumental in training future talent. And Germany’s renowned dual apprenticeship system, which combines theoretical learning in vocational schools with practical experience in a corporate setting, has also been key in providing a steady pipeline of skilled professionals. This blend of applied theory through practice attracts top talent from around the world to Bavaria.
While Bavaria has a strong system of public and private universities, nearly 80% of the its R&D expenditures come from the private sector. Regional research clusters and incubators throughout the state help connect industry players, universities and federal and state initiatives with one another, while a network of 200 angel investors and 100 institutional investors help fund a consistent flow of new technologies and bring them to market.
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