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Information and communication technology (ICT)

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Munich maintains leading position in Germany's ICT sector

Nowhere in Germany will you find more IT, software and communication companies than in and around Munich. Compared to other regions with a strong focus on innovation, the Bavarian capital has more employees and generates far higher revenue in this field.

The ICT sector breaks down into three segments – services, wholesale and production – and is one of the strongest and most dynamic industries in Munich. The service segment accounts for most companies, the largest number of employees and the highest revenue. Production is nevertheless the biggest-selling segment in relative terms.

The industry now employs just under 140,000 employees in the Munich region. 92,770 of these work in the city area alone. This means that ITC accounts for 10.3% of employment in Munich. The industry has experienced particularly significant growth over the last five years. Employment figures have risen by 31% since 2016. Revenue likewise increased at an above-average rate, resulting in a 55% revenue increase in the five-year comparison


International companies

Munich has developed into a magnet for large and innovative IT companies. The headquarters of Microsoft Deutschland  have been located in the Parkstadt Schwabing district since 2016. Google Germany moved its development center to Arnulfpark in 2016 and is currently massively expanding its presence on the Postpalast site. Apple is also expanding in a central location and is turning the Munich site into the European Apple center for chip design. Connectivity and wireless technologies are the focus of the new center. By 2024, Apple plans to invest over a billion euros in this endeavor. 

IBM too has since set up the global headquarters of its Watson supercomputer here, with research focused on artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT). In 2018, CRM provider Salesforce opened its new Executive Briefing Center (EBC) in Munich, Fujitsu continued working toward digital transformation at its Digital Transformation Center (DTC) and the Indian Tech Mahindra group launched a new branch office. The Bavarian capital is also home to offices of the Alibaba Group, Apple GmbH, Capgemini Technology Services, Cisco Systems, NTT DoCoMo, Telefónica Germany and Huawei Technologies


ICT start-ups in Munich

1,300 new ICT firms open for business every year in the Munich region – 9 percent of all the start-ups in Germany! Only Berlin can currently boast a slightly higher number. For that, however, start-ups in Munich employ more people on average than their counterparts in other parts of the country.


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Munich – Europe's leading ICT hub

STUDY ICT in Munich
The abridged publication  ICT in Munich in 2019  summarizes facts and figures about the ICT sector in and around Munich. Commissioned by the Department of Labor and Economic Development and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for Munich and Upper Bavaria and prepared by the ifo Institute, the exhaustive study (in German) is linked below.

In the EU's 2014 ICT study European ICT Poles of Excellence, Munich ranked top among all European ICT venues, putting the city out in front of London (Inner London East) and Paris. Excellent universities, research establishments and innovative companies drive a large number of patent registrations in Munich. With regard to networking activities and collaboration between research and the corporate community, the Bavarian capital again achieved an enviable score among the 134 regions examined. 

Quantum technology

Quantum technology is also receiving a strong push forward in Munich. At the beginning of 2021, the research initiative “Munich Quantum Valley” was launched by the Bavarian Government in cooperation with the Max Planck Society, the Frauenhofer Association, the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and the LMU and TUM universities. This initiative aims to intensify research, development and training in quantum science and envisages the establishment of a new Center for Quantum Computing and Quantum Technologies (ZQQ) as well as a technology park. The Bavarian State Government will provide 300 million euros over the next ten years for this. 120 million of this will already be made available in 2021 and 2022.

In addition, the Walther-Meißner-Institute of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities has successfully applied to the Federal Government for further research funds. A further two billion euros will be awarded for the development of quantum technologies.

There are two concrete projects already. The GeQCoS project plans to build a quantum computer in 10 to 15 years. This aims to keep researchers in Munich and strengthen the quantum network in general. The Quantum Integration Centre (QIC) at the Leibniz-Supercomputing Centre are likewise working on a quantum computer.

Digitization and connectivity

Launched in 2015 by the Free State of Bavaria, the Zentrum Digitalisierung.Bayern or ZD.B (Center for Digitization.Bavaria) aims to drive the digital transformation and advance connectivity between relevant industries. Headquartered in Garching near Munich the ZD.B's activities include joined-up mobility, digital production, IT security, digital medicine/healthcare and digitization of the energy sector.

State-backed activities are flanked by private enterprise initiatives designed to promote the digital transformation in Munich. These include Isarnetz e.V., the MUK IT network of entrepreneurs, the 1E9 and 48forward conferences, the start-up event Bits & Pretzels, annual DLD conferences and Digitale Stadt München e.V..

The BICCnet cluster coordinates the activities of ICT companies throughout Bavaria and supports them with joint marketing and dialogue platforms. One focus of its work is ongoing development of embedded and connected systems.

Status: September, 2021