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


  • 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

Microsystems technology

  • 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 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

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 FRT ION-TOF NanoFocus

Microsystems enterprises in NRW

Bartels Mikrotechnik Boehringer Ingelheim microParts ELMOS LIMO Micronit

Nanotechnology / microsystemetechnology / photonics
Sachsenröder: A market leader in vulcanised fibres
Fine Fibers - Massive Strength Source: PixelProduction
Imagine a Mercedes SLR weighing almost two tonnes being lifted by crane. There is nothing between the hook and car but this piece of approximately A4-sized vulcanised fibre. Yes, the innovative product passes the shear test to hold the car up with flying colours! The basic material of the speciality paper consists of cotton fibres. By a special procedure the Wuppertal based company, Sachsenröder, processes it into vulcanised fibre, a tough, horn-like material, which is wear-resistant and excellent for further processing. The fields of application are equally varied. And so vulcanised fibre is suitable as a carrier for abrasives and ensures that wood veneers do not peel off. The natural fibre in its punched form can, moreover, be used as a gasket or serves as an insert in medical equipments. The early 20th century saw the founder, Gustav-Heinrich Sachsenröder, pave the way for the company’s emergence as a global market leader in vulcanised fibre. In all likelihood, he could not have dreamt then that the material developed by him would someday hold a car weighing nearly two tonnes.
Nanotechnology / microsystemetechnology / photonics
Bergisches Staedtedreieck




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