Germany at its Best

Germany at its best: Nordrhein-Westfalen

Germany at its best: Nordrhein-Westfalen



The location marketing campaign "Germany at its best: Nordrhein-Westfalen" calls on local citizens, business people, scientists and inventors and other personalities from NRW to present their outstanding achievements in a national, European and international context.

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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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Economic Development Agency of the
German State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)
Völklinger Str. 4, 40219 Düsseldorf, Germany

+49 211 13000-0
+49 211 13000-154

Did you know... 

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

Quick facts

  • More than  200 enterprises, including more than 50 major companies, in NRW operate explicitly in the field of nanotechnology. Many of these are world market leaders.
  • Regional hotspots have emerged in Aachen, Dortmund, Cologne/Bonn, Münster and the Ruhr metropolitan region
  • 28 percent Germany's microsystems enterprises and research establishments are based in NRW.
  • Around 190 institutes at more than 30 locations in NRW are conducting research into nanotechnology.

Broad-based research infrastructure NRW

More than 220 research establishments in NRW – including nine 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 24 companies and more than 1,700 employees, MST is one of the largest clusters in Europe.

Nanotechnology enterprises in NRW

Aixtron AMO BYK Chemie FRT ION-TOF
NanoFocus RAITH

Microsystems enterprises in NRW

Bartels Mikrotechnik Boehringer Ingelheim microParts ELMOS iX-Factory LIMO

Nanotechnology / microsystemetechnology / photonics
Superlight-Car: One of the world's lightest car bodies
The Light Car Source: IKA
Is there a motorist who does not want a car that is eco-friendly, saves money and fuel, but still affords driving pleasure? To satisfy this desire "SuperLIGHT-CAR" (SLC) has come up with the lightest car body in the world. The Institut für Kraftfahrzeuge (ika) of the RWTH Aachen University is working in a big way on the development of a new lightweight design within the framework of a joint European research project. The pioneering multi-material concept is based on the optimal combination of specially chosen materials such as aluminium, steel, magnesium and fibre-reinforced plastics. ika has created a simulation model suited to run all the relevant tests for this. They have, in fact, surpassed the target of a 30 percent reduction in weight. The car is now 35 percent, i.e. 180 kg lighter than the reference vehicle, a VW Golf V. The SuperLIGHT-CAR concept is not only a trend setting one with regard to conventional drives but is also geared to supporting electric cars.
Nanotechnology / microsystemetechnology / photonics
Aachen region