The new Innovation Index published by the German direct bank ING-DiBa commends Berlin for being Germany's most innovative business location. In most of the eight categories analysed, the nation's capital came out on top, ahead of the other 15 federal states.
The survey identifies several reasons for the great innovative strength of Berlin. Obviously, it plays an important role that its population has a particularly large share of young people. To establish this ratio, the survey compared the number of corporate employees between the ages of 15 and 50 with those over 50. The high percentage of young staff is explained, among other reasons, by the large start-up scene for which the city is now known far beyond Germany's borders. Dominant technology sectors include medicine, measurement technology, and data processing. While Berlin accounted for only 1.8 percent of more than 47,000 inventions for which patent applications were filed in 2015, the index suggests that the city is right on track.
Education Promotes Ideas
Another factor is the above-average level of academic or vocational training. In addition to renowned universities, the city is home to many other higher education institutions for the professional development of young talent. So it comes as no surprise that Berlin has the highest employment rate of any German city in the high-tech sector. The survey generally credits well trained employees with a higher level of competence, and thereby classifies them as potential innovators. In 2015, more than 9,000 articles of apprenticeship were signed. Berlin has the highest potential of any city nationwide in terms of opportunities and talents, but the decisive question going forward will be whether it will actually be exploited.
Global Players Moving to the German Capital
The appeal of Berlin also manifests itself in the increasing number of sales offices opened here by globally active companies. Cities are commonly associated with resident companies, and hope to benefit from their prestige, but an inverse trend appears to be evolving in the German capital. Here, the companies like to point out the ways in which the attributes of the city overlap with their brand claims. They relocate here precisely to be considered as innovative, dynamic, creative and cosmopolitan as their new home town.
Berlin benefits in turn from the many skilled workers who flock to the city. Businesses are well aware of the fact that their good name alone may no longer be enough to attract young talent, and that the appeal of their place of business figures just as prominently. Berlin is in flux, providing an always exciting and inspiring environment. The number of gainfully employed persons in the city's finance, insurance and real estate sectors rose by 3.4 percent overall between 2014 and 2015. Local start-up businesses alone have created around 13,200 jobs, which would put them in second place in the employer ranking if they were considered a single source of employment.
The large number of new jobs being created once again highlights the dynamic economic development of Berlin. And the chosen approach of going after sustainable growth is not likely to change anytime soon. Rather, there is safe to believe that Berlin will keep topping the list for many years to come.