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Macro location: Magdeburg office property as a business location

Magdeburg - Superbly Networked in all Directions

Magdeburg, the state capital of Saxony-Anhalt and home to about 241,500 residents, is one of Germany’s latest swarm cities. Being one of the state’s three high-order centres, Magdeburg is very conveniently located and acts as a major logistics hub.

Straddling the motorway interchange of the A2 (east-west) and the A14 (north-south), the city benefits from swift road connections. But Magdeburg also boasts the biggest intersection of waterways in Europe, further enhancing its role as a logistics site. The city’s inland port counts among the largest in Germany and is an important transshipment hub along European transport routes. An alliance of interests between three rural districts and the state capital set up a road-rail-water logistics network to deepen the integration of the transport networks within the region.

The catchment area of Magdeburg includes no less than five airports, the nearest of them being Halle-Leipzig Airport. Also within reach are the airports in Hanover-Langenhagen, Berlin, Dresden and Hamburg. The Magdeburg-Cochstedt airfield about 25 km south-west of Magdeburg is home to the National Experimental Test Centre for Unmanned Aircraft Systems of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). This live laboratory is used to develop and test new technology concepts in which the interaction of drones and conventional aircraft is field-tested. The idea is to bolster Germany’s international role at the forefront of unmanned aviation.

The well-developed rail network for regional and long-distance service puts Magdeburg within convenient reach of regional, national and international destinations. Public transportation links the city and its metro region via 10 tram lines and 15 bus lines with a combined network length of 250 km. Regional and rapid transit trains supplement the wide-spread public transportation network. In addition, long-distance bus service in every direction is available from the central railway station.

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Steadily Growing Business Location: Traditionally Strong while Creatively Innovative

Magdeburg counts among the oldest industrial centres of Germany, and benefits to this day from its location at the intersection of major trade routes in the European heartland. Accordingly, the logistics sector is one of the most important industries in the regions, with companies like Norma, Nagel, Scania, EDEKA and GEHE Pharma operating large distribution centres, and freight carriers like Ritter Logistik GmbH and Vossmann Logistik GmbH based here.

The region also looks back on a long history in mechanical and plant engineering, a tradition that lives on in over 60 companies active in the sector today. More recently, Magdeburg has evolved as a centre for high-tech production, setting trends with state-of-the-art technologies and innovative products in the national and international arena.

One of the region’s innovation drivers is information and communication technology. Small and medium-sized enterprises have specialised in software programming, the provision of telecommunication services, IT services and in the manufacturing of hardware. It comes as no surprise therefore that industry giants like IBM, Regiocom and T-Systems feel right at home in this environment. The California-based microchip manufacturer Intel plans to start construction of a so-called giga-factory in Magdeburg in 2023 – at 17 billion euros, it would be the biggest industry-specific investment in a new permanent establishment in Germany in decades. The move will create about 10,000 new jobs in the high-tech industry and its suppliers, with a significant number of workers likely to be recruited within the Magdeburg metro area but incoming migration to be expected as well. The city is already planning extra housing projects. The construction phase alone will probably create an additional 7,000 jobs.

At the same time, Magdeburg is a popular think tank for the culture and creative industries, making them a serious economic factor in the city. 500 companies and freelancers with a over 5,000 employees generate about 300 million euros in revenues per year. Fashion, unique design and business ideas as well as sophisticated software developments boost Magdeburg’s appeal beyond the state boundaries. Creative media networks and a number of degree programs at the University of Magdeburg and the University of Applied Sciences in Magdeburg-Stendal encourage exchange and let students familiarise themselves with hands-on applications.

That the healthcare industry plays an important role in Magdeburg is evident in many ways: The university hospital and the municipal hospital in Magdeburg count among the biggest employers in the city, and they are poised for further growth. Medical technology and pharmaceuticals production also define the city as a business location. These industries have specialised in the development of cross-disciplinary approaches in prevention, diagnostics and therapeutics for age-related ailments, as well as in the support for the healthcare sector.

Science and research are neatly dovetailed with major institutes and educational options, including Siemens Healthcare and the University of Magdeburg who are jointly engaged in medical technology research.

About 1,400 future medical professionals are enrolled at the medical faculty of Otto-von-Guericke University, while the University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal offers various practice-oriented degree programs. More and more often, resources in academic and corporate research are pooled, and manufacturers and industry associations often join hands to implement research projects.

The region has shifted its focus to sustainability with a view to the future and available resources. Municipal business policy is particularly keen to promote a circular economy and recycling as well as green technology. Renewable energies and energy efficiency find a welcoming environment here, as do wind turbine engineering, thermal waste-to-energy and recycling technologies. Energy service provider GETEC is among the biggest employers in the region, and sponsors the largest multi-purpose arena in Saxony-Anhalt. The company has been honoured more than once for its commitment and innovative strength, including with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The continued development processes in key industries thrive on their close ties with the local research and science landscape and the steady expansion of the research infrastructure. Indeed, Magdeburg is an important research and education centre. A total of about 19,000 students are enrolled in the Otto-von Guericke University and the University of applied sciences Magdeburg-Stendal.

Further evidence for a strong research sector in Magdeburg is the presence of more than 20 research facilities, including Fraunhofer IFF and the Max-Planck-Institute. The exchange between academia, research institutes and corporates functions smoothly and is sponsored by the state of Saxony-Anhalt. A case in point is Wissenschaftshafen, a science complex created at the site of a former grain port where commercial companies and academic institutes collaborate on finding solutions.