Get to know Karlsruhe's extraordinary IT sector, higher education and R&D institutions, current events, its role as a motor of digitalization and much more with karlsruhe.digital.
Exceeding a count of 1,000 members, CyberForum e.V is the largest regionally active Hightech.Business.Network in Europe and honored as the best IT cluster in Europe.
The ICT study of the EU Commission places Karlsruhe fourth – directly behind Munich, London, and Paris. With over 4,200 IT companies this top result is no surprise but much appreciated.
Karlsruhe hosts 25 research and development institutions. The best-known is Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) – one of the largest research institutions worldwide.
About 43,000 students are currently enrolled in Karlsruhe´s ten colleges and universities – about 60% at KIT and about 20% chose the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (HsKA).
The fan-shaped city, center of the German legislative system, bicycle city, city of sunshine, a paradise for families and outdoor-lovers – Karlsruhe shows many facets and claims to be the “knowledge factory with savoir vivre”. All these aspects offer many reasons to settle down here for different target groups. So do professionals from the ICT and high-tech branches, to whom Karlsruhe also provides many attractive aspects and causes to stay in the German south-west.
One reason is the high living standard and a persuasive quality of life: The city is green, lively, young and combines the best of modernism and tradition. Besides, Karlsruhe convinces with a flourishing and versatile economic development that attracts ICT professionals of all ages.
The regional ICT branch represents more than 5,000 companies of all sizes within Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion. These companies engage in all possible sub-branches such as gaming, business software or IT security. Furthermore, the ICT scene has close ties to the (digital) creative branch and to the many research institutions and universities established in the area. Given this bandwidth of economic activities it is not surprising that employees do not have difficulties in finding a job that suits their perceptions of how a job should be. And even if they want to change their professional orientation, the ICT scene offers many other options.
Being located close to the other economical, especially production centers of Baden-Württemberg (e.g. Stuttgart, Rhine-Neckar and the Black Forest), the regional economy is specialized in B2B solutions and application-oriented products. This focus allows for quite some room for manoeuvre in the present age of digitalization. With the development of new and pioneering solutions, Karlsruhe shapes the digital transition – a welcome challenge for every passionate IT professional, and a good point for Karlsruhe.
With ten colleges and universities, the first and largest department of informatics in Germany and extraordinary degree programs such as music informatics and media design, Karlsruhe is internationally renowned and popular as an educational and research location. Fittingly, the city's higher education institutions regularly claim top positions in respected rankings. 9,000 of Karlsruhe's current 43,000 students chose computer science and computer science related courses of study.
Students receive various supporting and welcoming services by the city, the students union, and the higher education institutions itself, such as the UNIverse App and the welcome package which offer among other things diverse vouchers and benefits, a semester ticket of the KVV (Karlsruhe Transport Authority) and a ticket to participate in a drawing of bicycles.
With its 25 research and development institutions Karlsruhe is the place to be for research enthusiasts. The topics and fields of research of these institutions are just as multifaceted and wide-ranging as Karlsruhes academic community and therefore only a few are named here in an exemplary way. The FZI Research Center for Information Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is currently taking the lead in setting up the test center for connected and automated driving in Baden-Württemberg. The ZKM | Center for Art and Media extends the duty of a museum to save art in a unique way as it houses research institutes and laboratories and creates conditions that allow new projects to evolve. Another R&D institution, the KIT, focuses on the topics technique, environment and informatics, and the FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibnitz Institute for Information Infrastructure concentrates for example on information indexing and retrieval, design of interaction and visualization and e-Research.
Founders and startups in Karlsruhe can rely on a vibrant support structure provided by a comprehensive network consisting of city institutions, clusters and players from different economical branches: the „Gründerallianz Karlsruhe“.
Gründerallianz Karlsruhe was founded in 2013 and ever since offers founders and those interested in founding their own business a unique contact point. All relevant players of the regional startup branch cooperate in this network: actors offering coaching and advice, financial support or knowledge about support programs, incubators offering work-spaces, infrastructure and shared services, networks offering business contacts and access to relevant partners. All these actors are tightly connected and hand on founders to the “right” partner in case they can’t provide the service needed themselves.
Especially startups working in the ICT and high-tech sector can profit from Karlsruhe’s vibrant startup scene. Several incubators are specifically focused on young businesses from these branches and support founders at every stage of business development. Baden-Württemberg’s IT-Accelerator, CyberLab, is also located in Karlsruhe. The close connection between research institutions, the economy and universities as well as the regional focus on ICT solutions on the one and the traditional engineering sector on the other hand facilitate the development of successful businesses in the ICT and B2B field.
Due to its unique startup and spin-off culture, Karlsruhe is the ideal place for entrepreneurs. The exceptional interconnectedness of all relevant actors enables an easy and quick market entry of innovative ideas and products.
Karlsruhe offers numerous events for every taste, for every age-group, and every level of knowledge. Every two years, the Science Festival EFFEKTE provides breathtaking research and experiments to marvel at, to touch and to try for the whole family. In 2016 the CODE_n new.New Festival took place for the first time as a stand-alone festival and chose Karlsruhe's ZKM | Center for Art and Media as its venue. The festival inspired and enthused its guests with its exhibited innovation, its international start-up contest, its informative workshops and keynotes on digitization, and its unique entertainment. IT-TRANS 2016 showed its audience of experts the latest IT trends and innovation regarding solutions for public transport. The International Conference and Exhibition on IT Solutions for Public Transport closed with record figures – not only were there more visitors but the audience was also more international than ever before. Besides regular major events with an IT focus, multitudinous well-established after work events, such as #nmfka, user group meetings, and round tables combine collective networking, learning, and dining and drinking in a casual atmosphere.
Business networks like CyberForum and institutions like the Chamber of Commerce or DIZ | Digital Innovation Center connect companies, entrepreneurs and founders with public institutions, qualified personnel and other actors, offer advice concerning cooperations and financial support. Thereby they enable SMEs and others to get in touch, enable the exchange of ideas, the implementation of new cooperations and successful collaboration.
Eleven cities and communities furthermore gathered to build the TechnologyRegion Karlsruhe, which focuses on the support and development of the Karlsruhe region as an even more promising location for ICT-businesses. Numerous events and collaborative projects targeting specific but also interdisciplinary topics allow for an uncomplicated and sustainable exchange and knowledge transfer.
Digitalization brings radical change. Now is the time to set the right course for the future! Karlsruhe is aware of the opportunities and challenges of the digital transition.
The initiative karlsruhe.digital arose with the collaboration of 11 working teams, over 25 institutions, and over 50 ICT companies. Together they pursue the vision for Karlsruhe to become a motor of digitalization and hence be a pioneer with regard to digital topics.
The initiative developed 10 theses that depict in which areas Karlsruhe is already optimally prepared – and what ought to be done to keep it that way in the future.
Karlsruhe aims at setting standards and becoming one of the world’s flagships of digitalization. Therefore, we actively address the digital transition in all its facets as it will affect more than just IT related companies and industries.
Our ICT scene is vibrant: the established ecosystem and powerful network of ICT companies of all sizes, academic institutions, public actors, non-profit and interest groups, ICT professionals, entrepreneurs and students has to be supported and enhanced collectively.
Karlsruhe is aware of the importance of excellent bandwidth and broadband networks for the development of a digital future. We aim at providing the best infrastructural standards for our citizens as well as our economy.
Uniting the heart of the German legislative with outstanding ICT security institutions in one city underlines Karlsruhe’s status as a technically and juristically leading location. We aim at actively maintaining and expanding digital sovereignty.
Karlsruhe already offers a dynamic cultural life as well as a dynamic, versatile and powerful economic sector. To preserve and expand this position in the future, we want and need high performers – so we are providing the most attractive conditions possible to current and future employees and “Karlsruher”.
Our high quality ICT education has a long tradition. We aim at lifelong learning and at raising awareness from an early age on.
Karlsruhe has a unique start-up scene in which all necessary actors work together to provide a seamless support system for founders and young businesses. By supporting entrepreneurship, we pave the way for innovation.
Karlsruhe offers a large network of research institutions, companies and start-ups engaging in R&D. The city is offering itself as a living lab and wants to integrate innovation into everyday life.
Karlsruhe sets its objectives at developing a digital identity and being attractive for its citizens. Digital citizen services facilitate our everyday lives – and the city wants to be a model for the benefits of digitalization by combining the best of administration, smart government and its citizens’ interests.
Digitalization already changes our working life. Social values should be transferred to these circumstances proactively. Karlsruhe targets at shaping new working environments to make the digital transition being liveable for all of us.