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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.

According to the Bavarian Statistical Office, the ICT sector gave work to 119,000 employees in the Munich region in 2018 and numbered 11,300 companies in 2017. Nor do these figures include sole proprietorships and start-ups, both of which are typical of this industry. ICT has experienced constant growth in recent years, and especially since 2016.

The abridged publication  ICT in Munich in 2019  summarizes the findings of the latest studies of 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.

International players

International industry heavyweights have a sizable footprint in Munich. Microsoft Deutschland has been headquartered in Parkstadt Schwabing since 2016. In the same year, Google Germany moved into its new development center in the Arnulfpark. 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

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. The study rated research and development, innovation and the performance of resident companies. 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.  After Munich, the highest-ranking German cities in the study were Karlsruhe (fourth place) and Darmstadt (seventh place), both smaller cities with a special focus on their ICT clusters.

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: October, 2019