Nanotechnology and microsystems technology in North Rhine-Westphalia
  2. Industries in NRW
  3. Nanotechnology and Microsystems Technology

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.

Did you know ...

... that innovative automotive paint coatings developed in NRW are scratch-resistant thanks to the use of nanoparticles?

Quick Facts

25 percent

in nanotechnology
Almost 25 percent of the approx. 2,200 actors within nanotechnology in Germany have their headquarters in NRW, far ahead of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.

28 percent

in NRW
28 percent of all German actors are to be found in NRW, placing the state in a leading position nationwide with regard to microsystems technology.


Around 170 microsystems technology companies, including 130 small and medium-sized enterprises, nearly 100 university institutes and approx. 20 other research institutes are based here.

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 40 companies and more than 1,700 employees, MST is one of the largest clusters in Europe.

Nanotechnology enterprises in NRW


Microsystems enterprises in NRW


Saertex: Leading manufacturer of textile composites

Category Nanotechnology / microsystemetechnology / photonics

Region Muensterland

Cut to Saerbeck, Westphalia: the year is 1982 and SAERTEX is setting out to combine its production know-how on textile surfaces with a path breaking concept to develop and manufacture industrial textiles from a mix of glass fibre, carbon and aramide. What follows is a success story! Mechanical resistances differ depending on the fibre type, surface load, angle combination and direction. The Non Crimp Fabrics (NCF) obtained in this way for the composites industry to make extremely resilient components in aircrafts, bridges, ships and cars are considerably lighter than conventional materials. Innovative composites made by SAERTEX play a key role, for instance, in the wings of the world's biggest carrier aircraft, the Airbus A380. The growth in demand can also be put down to the booming wind energy sector. Today, the SAERTEX Group is a global player with 8 subsidiaries in 7 countries, spread over 4 continents, but the Muensterland headquarters of this pioneering company remains the centre of operations. All departments the world over are controlled from here.


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

Völklinger Str. 4
40219 Düsseldorf
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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.


NRW.INVEST AWARD 2018, Duesseldorf

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