Nanotechnology and microsystems technology in North Rhine-Westphalia
Nanotechnology and microsystems technology unite various scientific disciplines and are expected to play a pivotal role in the 21st century. The strong research infrastructure and the close links between science and industry in NRW have speeded up the pace of innovation. North Rhine-Westphalian nano/microtechnology enterprises profit from the dynamism of this market and ensure that the state occupies a leading position in these crossover technologies within Germany and throughout Europe.
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Broad-based research infrastructure NRW
Around 215 research establishments in NRW – including ten Fraunhofer Institutes and three Max Planck Institutes – are engaged in nanotechnology research. In addition, NRW is home to two further centers of excellence: the NanoBioAnalytics Center in Münster (NBZ) and the NanoEnergyTechnologyCenter (NETZ) at Duisburg-Essen University. Europe's first interdisciplinary center for applied nanotechnology, CeNTech, is located in Münster. A major focus of microsystems research is the MST Cluster in Dortmund. With more than 40 companies and over 2,200 employees, MST is one of the largest clusters in Europe.
Nanotechnology enterprises in NRW
Microsystems enterprises in NRW
A native of Cologne is known by his love of Kölsch (beer), carnival and of course the cathedral. The sight of the two cathedral spires enthrals not just the natives but 6 million visitors from all corners of the world annually, making the Cologne Cathedral the most visited landmark of Germany.
When completed, in 1880, the "High Cathedral of Cologne" was the biggest building in the world. At 157.38 m, the Gothic cathedral is currently Europe’s second-tallest church building. The architecture kept to the mediaeval plans for the most part, despite 600 years of construction. The West face of the cathedral, including the two towers, has a surface area of 7,100 m² making it the largest church facade in the world.
A European masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the cathedral was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. The reliquary of the remains of The Three Kings inside the Catholic church draws scores of visitors, as does the stained glass in the southern transept window, created by the famous German artist, Gerhard Richter, in 2007.