Hessen is enthused about ICT. The young and the young at heart are fascinated by the future world of information and communication technologies. More than 10,300 ICT enterprises and subsidiaries with approximately 105,000 employees within the sector generating a turnover of 23.4 billion Euros are currently involved in Hessen’s strongest technology sector, the ICT.
The region FrankfurtRhineMain possesses the largest internet node DE-CIX, not only supplying 90 percent of the German and 35 percent of the European data traffic; it also offers companies an excellent telecommunications and traffic infrastructure. This is one of the reasons why the majority of the most successful German software and IT services companies are located in Hessen. In no other federal state in Germany medium-sized companies are investing as much into ICT per workplace and in no other state ICT companies are contributing as much to the overall economy as in Hessen. And this does not include the innovation related effects of ICT on other economic sectors.
Especially in the industries that are crucial for Hessen – such as automotive, logistics, medical technology – approximately 80 percent of innovations are driven by ICT. Therefore, it suits perfectly that information technology has been one of the most popular degree studies here for years.
Plenty of work remains to be done in Hessen. The high density of ICT companies and research activities provides a large number of ICT workspaces. Adding the ICT employees of the user sectors to the 103,000 employees in the ICT industry brings the total to approximately 300,000 jobs, or 16 percent of all employees in Hessen.
An estimated 13,000 students annually complete their information technology degree in the FrankfurtRhineMain region. This is due to the high quality of the information technology degree programmes which regularly achieve top placements in rankings and company surveys – or is it due to the fact that the highest IT salaries in Germany are paid in Frankfurt.
Hessen boasts important roots for the IT and telecommunication development. In 1861, Johann Philipp Reis of Gelnhausen invented the first telephone and demonstrated the high voice quality of his device with the sentence „The horse does not eat cucumber salad.“
In 1897, Karl Ferdinand Braun of Fulda invented the cathode ray tube, thus the TV and computer monitor. These days, the company Merck in Darmstadt is the main manufacturer of liquid crystals in the world, supplying the raw material for current flat screens.
In 1941, Konrad Zuse invented the first computer in the world, named “Z3”, and subsequently founded his successful production company Zuse KG in Hünfeld, later in Bad Hersfeld, where he spent the majority of his life. For Hessen, the future also lies in the information and communication technologies. The fields in which Hessen is strong and which will propel Hessen further in the future include:
FrankfurtRhineMain, specifically the governing district of Darmstadt, accounts for 78 percent of all ICT companies, 83 percent of all ICT employees and 89 percent of the ICT turnover in Hessen. Major suppliers such as Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Rittal, Bosch, Accenture, Vodafone, Avaya, CSC Deutschland, Software AG, IBM, Lufthansa Systems, national or European corporate headquarters of suppliers such as Atari, CA, Dell, Fujitsu, Huawei, Infosys, Motorola, Nintendo, Panasonic, Samsung and major users such as banks and insurance companies, the automotive and chemistry sectors, Fraport and other traffic service providers are located in southern Hessen.
Frankfurt is not only making a name for itself as financial metropolis but also as the largest data hub of the world. The data node DE-CIX is attracting all relevant telecommunication suppliers as well as the second largest collocation space in Europe. International advertising agencies as well as the games sector made their home in Frankfurt. Darmstadt is the „Centre of the German software industry“ (Prognos) and the centre of a leading international software cluster. This cluster unites the three major German corporate software suppliers as well as a multitude of other leading companies and research institutions. New software solutions created by the cluster are designed to enable companies to transform themselves into competitive, completely digitally networked companies. The number of software companies in the region has more than doubled since 2000. Between 2006 and 2007 alone, the sector increased its turnover by 20 percent, the number of employees by 11 percent.