The media, information and communication industry
ICT in Munich
Nowhere in Germany will you find more IT, software, communication and media companies than in and around Munich.
According to the Bavarian State Office of Statistics, this industry boasted 70,700 employees – more than every tenth gainfully employed person – within Munich's city boundaries in 2016. Nor does this figure include sole proprietorships and start-ups, both of which have a formative influence on the ICT industry: In 2013, around 70 percent of the 35,000 or so companies in this sector were classed as micro-enterprises. In recent years, growth in this industry has consistently outstripped other sectors. Both revenue and employment have increased in Munich itself, and above all in the surrounding region.
Major international players are headquartered in Munich. Since 2016, roughly 1,900 people have worked at the headquarters of Microsoft Germany in Parkstadt Schwabing. In the same year, Google Germany moved into its new development center in the Arnulfpark. IBM too then opened its global center for the Watson supercomputer, focusing its Schwabing-based research on artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). Since 2015, China's Alibaba Group has likewise had its German branch office here. Other international players with a base in Munich include Apple GmbH, Capgemini Technology Services, Cisco Systems, NTT DoCoMo, Telefónica Germany and Huawei Technologies.
Munich's IT industry is especially strong in advertising, communication and I&C services. It plays an important role in telecommunications too, while the wider region also ranks as an attractive location for I&C production.
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 achieves an enviable score among the 134 regions examined. The European study put Berlin in 15th place and Hamburg 87th. After Munich, the highest-ranking German cities 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 48forward conference, 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: November, 2017