The European Commission has decided Munich is Europe’s top technology hub. The judgement is delivered in the recently published Atlas of ICT Activity in Europe. The city region beat the two other tier-1-ranked regions – Inner London East and Paris – by a relatively small margin, however the highest number of ranked locations of any European nation were found to be concentrated in Germany – Europe’s largest and some might say strongest economy.JRC-IPTS / DG CONNECT Joint Project nr. 31786-2010-06
The Atlas rates European ICT Poles of Excellence (EIPE) using an empirical framework that considers over 40 factors. The authors found that the ingredients for digital success in Information and Communications technology (ICT) excellence are linked to research and development activities, to the ability to take knowledge to market (innovation), and to building an intense business activity around this innovation. These were then analysed on the basis of their intensity (e.g. business turnover, turnover growth, number of employees), their internationalisation (e.g. how many international partners businesses/research centres/universities have) and networking (what is the role of each region in networks: which of them are hubs and connect directly to many partners, which of them have links that only allow few exchanges).
By this measure, most of Europe’s ICT activity takes place in 34 regions across 12 countries. Key ingredients to success include access to top Universities and research centres and funding opportunities such as venture capital, where Munich was found to be especially strong. Speaking about the report’s findings, European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said: “This is proof that digital success comes through a willingness to invest, (and) an open mindset for innovation and planning. Europe needs to build these values today to be a global leader in technology.”
Indeed, it seems that ICT thriving regions:
- are mostly long standing industrial areas
- have high-standard educational institutions and other key innovation players
- have long-term policies on research and innovation
- have enjoyed historical opportunities (such as being the political national capitals)
- tend to cluster together (half of the 34 Poles of excellence are neighbouring regions)
This effect is also observed in places like the Silicon Valley (USA), Bangalore (India) or Changzhou (China).
According to the report’s authors, Munich is particularly strong in research and development, although it loses out to London on other factors including networking and access to finance. However, organizations such as Invest in Bavaria are seeking to strengthen the region’s hand even further in the sector. Bavaria’s Economics Minister, Ilse Aigner, sees the good ranking of Munich as an incentive for future development: “Information and communication technologies are the future, and the digitization of the economy will continue to progress. I hope that the success of Munich radiates to the entire Free State of Bavaria.”According to Invest in Bavaria: “Around 380,000 people work in 20,000 companies in the ICT sector in Bavaria today. The spectrum of ICT companies in the State is large. International corporations are just as much at home here as small and medium-sized companies and exciting start-ups in the sector, which includes service, development and distribution in the software and hardware fields, microelectronics and telecommunications, embedded software and software-based processes. As well as a broad base of potential customers, Bavaria also offers a large pool of IT specialists, dedicated networks and key trade fairs for the sector.”
This obviously includes the ICT-specialised international public relations and analyst relations talents of the OnPR team!