Career in the digital industry

As one of the leading IT locations in Europe, Karlsruhe offers everything that the specialists of today (and tomorrow) could wish for. Whether start-up, medium-sized company, large corporation, university, non-university research institution or administration – the multifaceted digital sector in the Karlsruhe region offers students and specialists career and further training opportunities in a wide variety of areas. And the self-employed are also always part of the picture in the fan-shaped city with its numerous coworking spaces and creative rooms.

On the other hand, companies in Karlsruhe have the opportunity to reach young talent at an early stage and get them interested. The proximity to universities such as the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) or the HKA – Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, with their internationally outstanding achievements in the natural sciences and engineering, are a decisive locational advantage for IT companies. The same applies to direct contact with renowned research institutions such as the FZI Research Center for Information Technology or the Fraunhofer Institutes for the development of joint projects.

In any case, cooperation is a top priority in Karlsruhe. Over 4,800 innovative companies work hand in hand with science, administration and culture in the region. The resulting cross-institutional knowledge and technology transfer enables the implementation of new ideas and projects that are difficult or impossible to realize elsewhere. In addition, there are strong networks such as the CyberForum and the initiative, which bring all players together and consistently develop the location.

In this open community of like-minded people, companies, specialists, students and trainees alike can develop their full potential – and shape the digital transformation together.

Beacon of IT security

Digitalization brings numerous advantages, but also poses challenges. The number of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, data centers and companies is increasing year on year. The theft of intellectual property and the targeted sabotage of individual companies cause billions in damage, which is why protection against cyber attacks has become an important location factor for small and medium-sized companies, start-ups and research institutions. Karlsruhe has reacted accordingly – and joined forces in the area of cybersecurity.

Four initiatives and centers, each with different areas of expertise, have joined forces in the IT security region of Karlsruhe: the Competence Center for Applied Security Technologies (KASTEL), the Competence Center for IT Security (KIS), the DIZ | Digital Innovation Center and the Karlsruhe IT Security Initiative (KA-IT-Si). Subdivided into the areas of research, research transfer, awareness-raising and networking, the association deals with the emergence of and protection against digital threats.

Meanwhile, IT security start-ups are working closely with established companies and research institutions in the House of IT Security to find viable solutions to the increasingly complex challenges posed by cyber attacks.

Digital sovereignty

As a shaper of the future and one of the leading digital locations, Karlsruhe addressed the issue of Europe’s digital sovereignty at an early stage. Since 2017, the Office for Information Technology and Digitization of the City of Karlsruhe has been dealing with the question of what options municipalities have to maintain digital sovereignty.

In 2018, leading scientists from the field of IT security published the highly regarded “Karlsruhe Theses on Europe’s Digital Sovereignty” – and showed what is necessary to remain capable of acting independently in the age of digitalization and to avoid dependencies.

Finally, in 2020, the seal of approval was initiated in Karlsruhe, which stands for the fair treatment of users and the promotion of digital sovereignty for people and companies. Only products and services that respect users’ sovereignty over their personal data and ensure transparency are awarded the seal.

(Digital) infrastructure

High-performance computer Karlsruhe, HoreKa for short: it can generate a computing power of approx. 17 PetaFLOPS. In other words, around 17 quadrillion computing operations per second, which corresponds to the performance of more than 150,000 laptops.

In addition to access to well-trained specialists and strong networks, companies and start-ups in the digital sector that are in global competition need one thing above all: a first-class (digital) infrastructure. This applies equally to universities, research institutions, administration and society as a whole.

The real lifeline of digitalization and at the same time one of the most important locational advantages is broadband expansion. In Karlsruhe, 98% of households already have an Internet connection with 100 Mbit/s or more. At the same time, the region is pressing ahead with the nationwide expansion of fiber optics. In July 2021, another 11,000 households in Karlsruhe received an FTTH connection. In the Alter Schlachthof, Killisfeld and Raumfabrik industrial estates, 33 kilometers of fiber optic cable will soon be laid, guaranteeing high bandwidths for 750 companies.

Future topics such as cloud computing, AI applications and autonomous driving not only require fast internet, but also high computing power. In the Karlsruhe region, companies have access to several of the most modern, powerful and, above all, most secure data centers in Germany. At the same time, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is home to HoreKa, one of the 15 fastest high-performance computers in Europe. Researchers from all over Germany can use it to tackle problems and data volumes from different subject areas where the computing power available to date has reached its limits.

But the Karlsruhe region also scores points outside the IT landscape with its first-class infrastructure. For example, with one of the most modern and best-connected local transport systems in Europe: almost all relevant facilities in the fan-shaped city can be reached within a few minutes. Corresponding mobility services, such as public transport, bike or car sharing, can be conveniently used with the Karlsruhe multifunctional app. Among other things, the digital citizens’ office guarantees modern contact with the administration.

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