The healthcare industry in NRW
  2. Industries in NRW
  3. Healthcare

The healthcare industry in NRW

The healthcare industry in North Rhine-Westphalia is a prime mover for growth and innovation. North Rhine-Westphalian enterprises figure prominently on the international stage, above all in the medical engineering sector. The pharmaceuticals industry with its numerous global players is a defining feature of the healthcare industry in NRW. Close cooperation between science and industry is a key success factor. Six university hospitals plus numerous non-university research establishments not only maintain scientific excellence but also provide state-of-the-art training for tomorrow's healthcare professionals.

Did you know ...

… that the world's smallest artificial heart was developed in Aachen?
… that the HAL exoskeleton suit developed by Cyberdyne enhances the mobility of people with physical disabilities?

Quick Facts

1.3 bn

More than 1.3 million people are employed in the healthcare sector in NRW.

1 bn €

Around 200 medical technology companies (the majority of which are SMEs) generate sales of nearly €1 billion.


In NRW there are around 4,400 pharmacies, nearly 2,400 outpatient care providers and over 2,450 nursing homes.


new jobs
Between March 2009 and December 2015 around 184,000 new jobs were created in the NRW healthcare sector.

World's largest medical trade show takes place in NRW: MEDICA

MEDICA trade fair takes place in NRW

Every year around 130,000 professionals gather at MEDICA – the World Forum for Medicine – which focuses on medical technology, electro-medicine, laboratory equipment, diagnostics and medical products. Approx. 60 percent of the attendees in 2016 came from outside Germany. More than 5,000 exhibitors focused on the latest trends and showcased products, processes and services for the complete spectrum of inpatient and outpatient care.

Healthcare enterprises in NRW

The healthcare industry in NRW encompasses large international corporations as well as highly specialized SMEs. Their activities focus on pharmaceuticals, life science and medical engineering:

UCB Pharma
Bayer HealthCare

IQfy: Innovative energy control in an office

Category Healthcare

Region Suedwestfalen

When an employee of the Building Inspection Bureau of Iserlohn leaves their office, the lights switch off. Heating is then soon reduced by 4°C. All this takes place fully automatically and unassisted by any employee, as if by magic. Not so! What performs this miracle is actually the IQfy chair - a groundbreaking invention that uses integrated wireless technology to save energy. All workplaces in the department are now equipped with the system. This innovative seating is world's only wireless presence detector for the conservation of energy. A battery- and maintenance-free pressure sensor that can be integrated into the cushion of almost any modern office chair, it registers whether an employee is sitting on it or not and adjusts lighting, heating, electrical appliances and air conditioning to suit. Invented in 2005 by Klaus Kleine of Balve in Sauerland, IQfy chairs deliver savings on heating and power costs of up to 40 percent. This innovator now markets his multi award-winning concept all over Europe. The prospect of saving energy via the office chair clearly inspires many beyond the German borders.

Pro 7 Wissenschaftssendung Galileo Presse Filme

Auszeichnung Innovationspreis


Economic Development Agency of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)

Völklinger Str. 4
40219 Düsseldorf
Navigate here with Google Maps

Find a contact person

Germany’s No. 1 Economic Region

The excellent infrastructure, the central location and the high qualifications of the people make North Rhine-Westphalia an economic power of international standing. In terms of numerous economic statistics, NRW is world class.


Wirtschaftstag Japan, Duesseldorf

All Events