Metropolitan Area Rhine-Neckar

Conveniently located at the intersection of the three federal states of Baden-Württemberg , Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate, the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region is characterized by a unique blend of innovative enterprises, brilliant scientific research and highest quality of life. The major cities in this region are Mannheim, Heidelberg, Darmstadt and Ludwigshafen.

The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region belongs to one of the most important business locations in Germany. The economic strength is evident in the 135.000 enterprises located in the region with more than 770.000 employees and a gross value added of about 62 billion Euros (2005). Benefiting from an outstanding infrastructure, which enables a fast access to global markets, the enterprises export worldwide 54 per cent of their products, such as agricultural machinery, power plant technology, printers and commercial motor vehicles. In addition, the largest chemical industry cluster in Europe is situated in this region, and beside Munich and Berlin it belongs to the three leading biotechnology centers in Germany.

An above average percentage of enterprises listed on the stock exchange are based here. BASF and SAP alone comprise approximately 13 % of the entire German DAX market capital with a market capitalization of 52 billion Euros. The region is the decision-making center of more important companies acting internationally, among them several European and world market leaders. Heidelberg Printing Machines is the market leader in the printing industry, the Rudolf Wild GmbH is the largest privately owned business in the world. Bilfinger Berger and Daimler define values for the entire world with the world’s largest truck factories in Wörth and the largest bus factories in Mannheim.


Heidelberg Cement, Roche Diagnostics, ABB, Fuchs Petrolup and other large-scale enterprises prove that the region boasts a very broad economical basis with a long history. The region’s strength has its roots steeped in a rich traditional industrial history which has produced such inventions as the automobile. The innovative culture of so many years has marked the region as the dynamic industrial area it still is today. Not surprisingly, manufacturing plants with famous labels such as Brockhaus, Vileda and Lamy are located here.

What makes the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region so successful is its readiness to learn as well as the close integration and interaction of science and economics . When developing new techniques, the research institutes work hand in hand with the enterprises. The innovations which take place in think tanks, or centers of expertise, facilitate and accelerate a good idea to its ultimate practical realization. Thus the region has gained a leading position within the range of “Life Sciences” as well as in mechanical engineering and the information technology industries. Berta Benz was one of the first who had to prove an inventive spirit alone is not enough. With courage, she turned her husband Carl’s invention into a genuine innovation: she started from Mannheim in an automobile on the first cross-country drive.

The economic success of the region is closely connected to an excellent scientific and research  landscape. As a consequence the University of Heidelberg for example has a worldwide reputation in medicine and life sciences, and the University of Mannheim ranks among Europe’s top economics institutes. The quality of the altogether 21 universities with more than 82,000 students and numerous non-university research facilities proves that the region is a leading training center for innovative minds.

Apart from the dynamic economy and efficient research and teaching, the region combines history and culture with quality of life. Inhabitants and tourists equally enjoy the wonderful landscape as well as cultural, culinary and athletic high lights. Those who live in the region profit from its outstanding quality of service: Among other things excellent hospitals, the high physician density, excellent living opportunities and various offers to reconcile work and family life.

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