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
Saertex: Leading manufacturer of textile composites
Customised Lightweight Construction Source: © SAERTEX GmbH & Co. KG
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.
Nanotechnology / microsystemetechnology / photonics




New opportunities in North Rhine-Westphalia. Your No. 1 investment location in Germany – Facts and figures

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North Rhine-Westphalia at a Glance

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New opportunities in North Rhine-Westphalia. Your No. 1 investment location in Germany – Facts and figures