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Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
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Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region

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The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region is home to many successful industry companies, renowned research facilities, universities and cultural institutions aswell as vivid cities and communities. These …

The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region is home to many successful industry companies, renowned research facilities, universities and cultural institutions aswell as vivid cities and communities. These regional players work closely together to form an alliance of strong partners that contributes to make Rhine-Neckar one of Germany's most attractive regions for living and working. A prolific cultural scene, professional and popular sport events and impressive natural surroundings enrich the Rhine-Neckar region just as the wide range of attractive jobs in business, research and teaching does. The wealth of nearby possibilities allows its 2.4 million residents to work smart and live well. Along with their strong sense of involvement, open-mindedness, creativity and a confident, active civic spirit the Rhine-Neckar people ensure the region’s future prosperity.

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  • Outline of presentation
    The presentation is divided into two main sections: The first part presents the MRN as a region characterized by strong industry, scientific excellence and a wide range of recreational activities. The second part shows the basics of how regional development is conceived and implemented in the MRN.

    Preliminary remarks on terminology
    "Metropolitan region" is made up of the words "region" and "metropolis," which is actually a composite of two opposite terms since "metropolis" (from the Old Greek μητρόπολις, mētropolis, meaning "mother [of a colony]") refers to the center of a region.
    The term "metropolitan region" has nevertheless become increasingly important in recent years in the context of globalization and spatial development.
    Based on the term "metropolis" – which describes a major economically and culturally dominant city – metropolitan regions today define themselves beyond the administrative city limits as regionally interconnected areas, which are also important integral parts of the national and international urban systems.

    Definition of "European Metropolitan Region"
    European metropolitan regions are socioeconomic and/or historically linked regions with populations of over one million which, measured by criteria like added value, economic power and income, develop in a particularly dynamic way and extend across national borders.
    The term "metropolitan region" includes not only the regional centers (one or several) but also large rural areas. Urban and rural areas are in close contact through their interconnectedness (e.g., business, tourism, etc.) and the stream of commuters. (Source: VRRN)

    Function of a European Metropolitan Region
    The European metropolitan regions act as "drivers" of the economic, scientific, societal, social and cultural development and are home to a large concentration of political, economic and scientific institutions. Through centers of communication, universities, trade fairs, etc., metropolitan areas allow easier access to people, markets and knowledge. They ensure the competitiveness of Germany and Europe and speed up the European integration process. (Source: VRRN)
    European metropolitan regions hold ‒ in relation to the European Union and its 28 member states ‒ key roles precisely for this development on the multilateral level.

    The title "European Metropolitan Region" exists only in Germany ‒ even if the name suggests otherwise. The definition of metropolitan regions is one of the instruments of Germany's spatial planning policy. The eleven "European Metropolitan Regions" in Germany were defined and set out by the federal state in 1995 and 2005. The Rhine-Neckar region was recognized as a European Metropolitan Region on April 28, 2005. In the European region, the European Union has around 120 such regional conurbations.

    Background of the regional development policy
    The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning defined metropolitan regions in the 1990s as agglomeration areas that stand out due to their vital significance in the international network of the large cities. In particular, they are characterized by economic strength, a powerful infrastructure, political and economic decision-making levels, a dense network of production oriented service providers and a considerable demographic potential.

    Due to the historically rooted polycentric system (e.g., in contrast to France with a strong focus on Paris), several regional agglomeration areas and metropolitan regions could be formed in Germany. One of the most important goals of the regional development policy is therefore to strengthen these historically developed regions in terms of the challenges that globalization brings. Based on this, this presentation explains how the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region meets the challenges to modern regional development at the conceptual level.

    In order to maintain prosperity, the economic factor is particularly important because the locational competition with regard to company branches has intensified as a result of globalization. Today, many companies are increasingly deciding in favor of recognized metropolitan regions for their locations. This can be attributed to the high employment potential of these regions and the fact that they have established themselves as scientific and research centers. Particularly in the areas of transportation, trade and IT, the metropolitan regions have gradually positioned themselves globally and are therefore more visible (as independent players).

    At the same time, however, this creates greater pressure for companies, municipalities and public institutions to meet the different challenges together and across administrative borders.
  • The MRN is located in the middle of Western Europe, in the southwest of Germany.

    The Rhine-Neckar conurbation is situated at the intersection of the three federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse. The MRN has a surface area of 5,600 km² (approximately twice the size of the Saarland).

    The MRN is home to around 2.35 million people or 3% of the German population (80 million). In relation to the number of inhabitants, the MRN is the smallest of the 11 metropolitan regions in Germany. In terms of population density, however, with 419 inhabitants per km², it ranks second behind the Rhine-Ruhr region and ahead of the Rhine-Main area, Stuttgart or Hamburg.

    The geographic border length of the region is 675 km. A bicycle tour along its border measures around 574 km and takes approximately four days.

    The MRN comprises 7 districts (federal counties) and 8 urban municipalities.

    Baden-Württemberg: Rhine-Neckar District, Neckar-Odenwald District as well as the independent cities of Mannheim and Heidelberg
    Hesse: Bergstraße District
    Rhineland-Palatinate: Rhine-Palatinate District, District of Germersheim, Bad Dürkheim District, Südliche Weinstraße District as well as the independent cities Ludwigshafen, Worms, Neustadt, Speyer, Frankenthal and Landau.

    The three regional centers are Mannheim (290,000 inhabitants), Ludwigshafen (158,000 inhabitants) and Heidelberg (147,000 inhabitants). In total, there are 21 cities in the MRN with over 20,000 inhabitants.

    Metropolitan region vs. federal state?
    The demarcation of metropolitan regions was determined in the last 20 years according to regional policy and planning considerations. In the case of the MRN this was carried out by the three participating federal states (BW, HE, RP) to decide which areas within the county borders best express the regional interrelationships and which areas within the borders can best develop the region. Metropolitan regions, however, do not have their own territorial rights, they are an additional geographic division within a state.

    The beginnings and dynamics of regional development in the tri-state region
    As early as 1951, the "Rhine-Neckar Communal Working Group" was founded with the participation of the cities of Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, Heidelberg and Viernheim as well as the counties of Ludwigshafen and Heidelberg. The aim of the the "Rhine-Neckar Communal Working Group" was "the mutual planning in all matters of common concern to the members, especially transportation, including port operations, gas, water and electricity supply, regional planning, industry and housing development, institutions, fire protection and culture. In 1969, the foundation for closer cooperation was laid with the signing of the first state treaty between Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate. As a result, the Rhine-Neckar Spatial Development Association was formed in 1970.
    In order to promote cooperation across borders, the Rhein-Neckar-Dreieck e.V. (today Zukunft Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar e.V.) was formed in 1989 (founded December 4, 1989) on the initiative of the business community and the Rhine-Neckar Spatial Development Association.

    In 2000, the IHK Economic Forum began its work as a cross-national association of the chambers of commerce and industry. The decisive step for further expansion of the collective Rhine-Neckar region was taken in 2003 by Eggert Voscherau, deputy chairman of BASF AG, with the founding of the "Initiative Zukunft Rhein-Neckar-Dreieck."

    On April 28, 2005, the Rhine-Neckar region was officially named the "European Metropolitan Region." With the signing of a new state agreement by the three governors Günther H. Oettinger (Baden-Württemberg), Roland Koch (Hesse) and Kurt Beck (Rhineland-Palatinate) on July 26, 2005, the planning and scope of action of the region was significantly expanded.

    The Rhine-Neckar Regional Association was founded on January 1, 2006 on the basis of the second state treaty and is the legal successor to the cross-national Rhine-Neckar Spatial Development Association as well as the Rhine-Neckar Odenwald Regional Association and the Rhine-Palatinate Planning Department.


  • The gross domestic product (BIP) as a measure of economic performance is over 80 billion euros (2012) in the region, slightly higher than that of EU member state Slovakia. The GDP per inhabitant is EUR 34,701 (nationwide: 33,300).

    In terms of export, Rhine-Neckar traditionally ranks among the top regions and with around 59% is significantly above the national average in the relevant manufacturing industry.

    Thanks to its economic power, the Rhine-Neckar region is one of the areas with low unemployment.

    According to the IHKn, there are 146,000 companies registered in the region.

    The central location and excellent infrastructure of the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region makes it conveniently accessible nationally and internationally. Individual and delivery traffic benefit from a comfortable connection to the national highway network: With highways A5/A67 and A61/A65 from north to south and the A6 from east to west, as well as the respective federal highways, the region can be reached quickly and easily.

    With the fast connection to the international hub of Frankfurt Airport within 31 minutes (with the ICE train from Mannheim), the MRN and Rhine-Main region have an ideal connection, thereby ensuring access to the global markets and other metropolitan areas. In addition, the regional airports in Mannheim and Speyer serve as an important connection point of business air travel.

    Travelling by rail also gives you quick access to the national major cities as well as European metropolises. With around 240 long-distance departures daily at the central station in Mannheim alone ‒ the second largest ICE terminal in Germany ‒ the region has ideal connections to the European long-distance rail network. According to a study of the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning, neighboring agglomeration regions cannot be reached so quickly from anywhere else as from the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. The Rhine-Neckar public transport system (VRN), with the S-Bahn as its backbone, provides a very good infrastructure and ensures the connection to neighboring regions.

    Finally, the second-largest railway yard in Germany (after Hamburg), together with one of the largest inland ports in Europe (after Duisburg) ‒ the Mannheim/Ludwigshafen harbor complex ‒ a central hub for the European handling of goods. The Mannheim railway yard dispatches up to 5,300 freight cars daily.

    The Metropolitan region is a strong economic driver as well as an important center of the European transportation network. The MRN provides the best access to people, knowledge and markets.
  • Publicly traded companies from the region based on leading share indices:
    3 companies from the region in the Dax 30: BASF, HeidelbergCement, SAP
    3 companies from the region in the MDax: Bilfinger, Fuchs Petrolub, Südzucker
    4 companies from the region in the SDax: Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, Hornbach, MLP, MVV

    Die Rhein-Neckar-Region gehört zu den drei wertvollsten Industriestandorten Deutschlands. Das zeigt eine Auswertung aktueller Börsenwerte. Hierfür verglich die Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar GmbH die Marktkapitalisierung der Dax-, MDax-, SDax- und TecDax-Unternehmen in den elf deutschen Metropolregionen. Demnach belegt die Rhein-Neckar-Region mit zehn Unternehmen im Wert von insgesamt rund 153 Milliarden Euro den dritten Platz. Rang eins und zwei belegen München und Rhein-Ruhr.
  • Infos zu den Studien:

    Prognos-Zukunftatlas gibt alle zwei bis drei Jahre Auskunft über die Zukunftschancen der über 400 Land- und Stadtkreise in Deutschland. Erläuterung zur Karte: Rottöne bedeuten Chancen, Blautöne zeigen Risiken. Aktuelle Version unter: http://www.prognos.com/publikationen/zukunftsatlas-regionen/
  • Special features:

    Information technology: SAP AG Walldorf (system analysis and program development) is the largest software manufacturer in Europe, the fourth largest worldwide and market leader for enterprise software.

    Machine and plant engineering: Heidelberger Druckmaschinen is world market leader for sheetfed offset machines.

    Biotech & Life Sciences: Phoenix is the largest pharmaceutical distributor in Europe, Roche is global market leader for in-vitro and cancer diagnostics (Mannheim is an important location for the diagnostics sector), Gelita is one the market leaders for pharmaceutical gelatine applications.

    The most important industry representatives

    Information technology – according to the Rhine-Neckar IT forum, there are 4,500 companies in the IT industry in the region with a combined total of 25,000 workplaces.
    Cema AG Mannheim: IT systems house, is one of the leading mid-sized IT service providers.
    Realtech: SAP consulting and software solutions for companies.
    SAP: Business applications, enterprise software.
    SAS Heidelberg : Software for statistical analyses. According to the company, it is the worldwide leading provider of business intelligence solutions and services that enable enterprises to acquire valuable knowledge from business data in order to make strategic decisions.
    SHE AG Ludwigshafen: Service provider specializing in planning, implementing, operating and optimizing IT platforms and portal environments for companies.
    SNP AG Heidelberg: Produces enterprise software and standard software for automation of IT systems.

    Machine and plant engineering
    Alstom Mannheim: Construction of plants and products for power generation and rail infrastructure.
    Bilfinger Mannheim: Engineering and service company for industrial facilities, power plants, real estate and infrastructures.
    Caterpillar – former MWM Mannheim: Mechanical engineering company, power generation facilities, especially block heating works. The company, which today belongs to Caterpillar, was formerly known as "Motorenwerke Mannheim," a spin-off of Benz & Cie. Rheinishe Gasmotorenfabrik in Mannheim.
    Heidelberger Druckmaschinen: Manufacturer of sheetfed offset machines/print media industry.
    KSB Frankenthal: One of the world leading manufacturers of pumps and fittings. KSB stands for Klein, Schanzlin & Becker, the names of the founders.

    Biotech and Life Sciences
    AbbVie Ludwigshafen: Pharmaceutical research and development ‒ AbbVie is the split-off part of American pharmaceutical company Abbott in 2012 that bundles research activities. The new acronym comes from the previous name and a stylization of the Latin word "vi" meaning life or vital.
    Gelita AG Eberbach: Global market leader for collagen proteins. Producer of gelatine for the manufacture of capsules and vitamin embedding, as well as for blood substitutes, vaccines and hemostatic sponges.
    Octapharma Heidelberg: Pharmaceutical research and development
    Phoenix GmbH Mannheim: Germany's largest pharmaceutical distributor
    Roche Mannheim: Pharmaceutical research and development
    Sanofi Pasteur MSD Leimen: The only company in Europe specializing exclusively in the manufacturing and sale of vaccines. The branch in the MRN is the largest in the European grouping.
    Siemens Heidelberg MED OCS: Medical technology for cancer diagnostics and treatment
    Sirona Dental Systems GmbH Bensheim: The company is the leading manufacturer of dental medical technology. The product range includes small dental devices to digital x-ray equipment and complete treatment centers. The company is the spin-off of a former unit of Siemens AG.
  • Key industries and important representatives:

    Automotive:
    Daimler Plant Wörth is the largest truck plant in the world; the Mannheim plant is the heart of engine manufacturing (truck/bus).
    John Deere is world market leader for tractors – the Mannheim plant is the largest Deere location outside of the US.
    Important automotive suppliers with production plants in the MRN are Eberspächer (Landau/Herxheim – automotive electronics, exhaust gas and heating technology), Tenneco (formerly Gillet, Edenkoben ‒ exhaust gas technology), Faurecia (Wörth ‒ interior systems), Schaidt Innovations formerly Harman/Becker (Schaidt).
    - Bombardier (Canada) is one of the largest transportation technology manufacturers in the world: Today, Mannheim is responsible for drive systems for locomotives, regional trains and trams as well as for the MITRAC Energy Saver energy storage system.

    Chemistry:
    BASF Ludwigshafen: World's largest chemistry company.
    Fuchs Petrolub Mannheim: World's largest independent manufacturer of lubricants.
    Freudenberg Weinheim: Conglomerate, world market leader for "Vileda" household products, Freudenberg also produces seals, vibration control components, filters, nonwoven fabric, separating agents and special lubricants as well as mechatronic products, software solutions and IT services for mid-sized businesses.
    ICL – former BK Giulini


    Energy and environment
    ABB Mannheim (Asea Brown Boveri): Energy and automation technology.
    EnBW AG: Energy supply company.
    MVV Energie Mannheim: The company is one of the largest energy supply providers in Germany.
    Pfalzwerke AG Ludwigshafen: Energy supply company mainly in the Rhineland-Palatinate/Saarland area.
    Saint-Gobain Isover Ludwigshafen: Manufacturer of insulating material and worldwide leading maker of insulation systems, German market leader for fibreglass and stone wool (formerly Grünzweig + Hartmann).
  • The pursuit of knowledge has a long tradition in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region: Heidelberg University, established in 1386 with a few hundred students, was the third university founded on German-speaking soil after Prague and Vienna. Today, the Ruperto Carola is the oldest university in Germany. (In 2011, the university celebrated its 625th anniversary with 29,000 students along with the 12,000 employees of the medical faculty. Since 2007, Heidelberg University may officially refer to itself as an elite university, making it one of only nine in all of Germany. The medical faculty of Heidelberg is also the largest in Germany).

    Today, over 85,000 people from all over the world study at 22 of the universities in the region. The percentage of foreign students of 10% underscores the strong international focus of the academic field.

    Numerous accolades, leading and top positions in national university rankings and the 16 Nobel prize winners whose names are associated with the region, speak for the quality and tradition of the research landscape. The universities of Heidelberg and Mannheim are among the top German universities especially in the areas of human medicine, economics and social sciences [see Centre for Higher Education (CHE)].

    Scientists find the conditions and support that they need for their work. University and non-university institutes enjoy an international reputation and form productive symbiotic relationships with major global enterprises. The same applies to the more than 30 non-university research institutions.
    In Heidelberg, international leading organizations in their field include the German Cancer Research Center and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. The Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim is an internationally recognized center of modern psychiatry.
    In addition, there are four member institutes of the Leibniz Association GESIS ‒ Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences, the Institute for the German Language, the Center for European Economic Research (all in Mannheim) and the German Research Institute for Public Administration Speyer. The Max Planck Society is also represented in Heidelberg with four of its renowned institutes ‒ Astronomy, Nuclear Physics, Medical Research and Comparative Public Law and International Law.
    Other important institutions: Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS), National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), European Media Laboratory (EML), Ernst Bloch Centre Ludwigshafen, the Wahlen Research Group Mannheim, Rural Region Service Centre Neustadt ["Dienstleistungszentrum Ländlicher Raum Rheinpfalz" (DLR)].

    Scientists from all over the world conduct research at the internationally renowned research institutions in the region. The MRN is one of the leading regions when it comes to the systematic cooperation between business and science. In 2008, the region was Innovation Region Number 1 in Germany with two winners in the Leading-Edge Cluster competition. The focus areas are organic electronics (Organic Electronics Forum) and biotechnology (BioRN). Several hundred companies collaborate with research institutions in these clusters to introduce new innovative products to the market. These and other examples are presented in the following slides...


  • Examples of areas of cooperation between business and science

    The main strengths of the region include the extensive exchange between scientific research and the production industry, representing a working exchange of knowledge between theory and practical implementation.
    The principle becomes clear in the several major and future-oriented scientific fields that have a national focus in the MRN: Biotechnology, organic electronics, medical technology. In these areas, the leading scientific institutions, companies and investors have joined clusters in order to ensure a lasting productive symbiosis between science and industry and to create ready-for-market products of the future from good ideas.

    Cluster BioRN
    The concentration of science and business in the life sciences has led to a highly productive biotechnology cluster.
    The approximately 200 partners in the BioRN cluster include biotech, pharma and healthcare companies, academic research and educational institutions as well as suppliers, industry-specific service providers, municipalities, associations and investors. The Rhine Neckar (BioRN) biotechnology cluster was selected in the first round of the Leading-Edge Cluster competition from a jury of experts in business, science and politics as one of the five strongest high technology locations in Germany and the only leading-edge cluster in the innovative biotechnology industry together along with funding of EUR 40 million.

    InnovationLab Cluster
    The Heidelberg-based Leading-Edge Cluster Forum Organic Electronics, recipient of an award from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is a cooperation network of 30 companies, universities and research institutes that drive forward the development of the future-oriented technology of organic electronics in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. The cluster won the BMBF Leading-Edge competition in fall 2008 and received funding of around EUR 40 million for its research projects. Organic electronics is a future-oriented "green technology" for eco-friendly energy generation, the economical use of energy and the resource-efficient production of electrical components based on conductive and semi-conductive synthetic materials.

    Centre for Biomedicine and Medical Technology (CBTM)
    The Faculty of Clinical Medicine Mannheim of the University of Heidelberg was converted to the full Medical Faculty Mannheim of the University of Heidelberg in October 2006 with the establishment of MaReCuM (the Mannheim Reformed Curriculum for Medicine). Pre-clinical professorships and endowed chairs together with appointed work groups associated with the clinic have formed the core of the Centre for Biomedicine and Medical Technology Mannheim (CBTM) since 2008. The Mannheim faculty is the first medical faculty in Germany to not structure the classical pre-clinical disciplines of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry at the CBTM as separate institutes, but rather organize them according to the focus areas of the faculty into the interdisciplinary research divisions of vascular biology, molecular oncology, neurobiology and medical technology. The goal of CBTM is to conduct pure research in the biomedical sciences at the highest level. Embedded in the primary research focus areas of the faculty, these activities are carried out in close cooperation with the translational and clinical research of the entire faculty.

  • 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites: Abbey of Lorsch, Speyer Cathedral, Limes
    15 International top festivals
    200 museums and 110 theaters and cabarets
    Over 150 castles, palaces and sacred buildings

    In 2005, the Upper German-Raetian Limes were added to UNESCO World Heritage list. The largest heritage site in Germany is a 550 km frontier of the former external border of the Roman Empire between the Rhine and Danube. It extends from Rheinbrohl near Neuwied (Rhineland-Palatinate) to Kastell Eining near Neustadt on the Danube (Bavaria). The Abbey of Lorsch was inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1991. The former Benedictine abbey on the Bergstraße in South Hesse was founded in 764 and existed 468 years until it was incorporated in the Electorate of Mainz in 1232. In the early Middle Ages it was a spiritual and cultural center of the Frankish Empire. The Lorsch Abbey is the only fully preserved architectural monument of the of Carolingian period and is among the most significant relics of pre-Romanesque architecture in Germany. The Speyer Cathedral, the oldest monument of the regional UNESCO World Heritage and inscribed in 1981, is the largest still intact Romanesque church in the world. Since November 2014 the cities Mannheim (“City of Music”) and Heidelberg (“City of Literature”) are part of the worldwide Unesco-Network “Creative Cities”.

    The MRN is home to over 150 impressive palaces and castles. The electoral palaces of Heidelberg and Mannheim as well as the summer residence Schwetzingen represent the height of the Electoral Palatinate, which became a center of European culture under Charles Theodore in the 18th century. In a survey of the German Tourism Association in 2008, Heidelberg Castle ranked 10th as one of the most popular German historic sights. Hambach Castle near Neustadt ‒ the location of the Hambach Festival in 1832 ‒ is considered to be the "cradle" of German democracy. Of great cultural and historical appeal are also the many castles in the Palatinate forest, on the Wine Road and in Neckartal.

    Besides the wide variety of museums, music and theaters (80 theaters, cabarets, open-air theaters and more than 200 museums), the cultural offerings of the MRN also include different kinds of nationally-renowned festivals: The range includes jazz, classical, theater, dance, film, photography and visual arts. An extremely multifaceted spectrum of cultural events take place throughout the year from the Nibelungen Festival in Worms, the Schwetzingen Festival, the Heppenheim Festival and the "Heidelberger Frühling" music festivals to the international Schiller days, the jazz days, the Mannheim-Ludwigshafen-Heidelberg photography festival, the Mannheim-Heidelberg international film festival and the German film festival in Ludwigshafen, just to name a few prominent examples. More than 300,000 visitors annually attend the region's 15 biggest festivals alone. Since 2008, the Rhine-Neckar Festival Region has been marketed nationwide.

    Last not least, with the SAP Arena since 2005, the MRN has one of the most modern multifunctional venues of Europe. Up to 15,000 people see international stars in their sport events, trade fairs, entertainment and concerts.

  • Three nature parks: Biosphere Reserve Palatinate Forest, Nature Park Neckartal-Odenwald, Geo-Naturpark Bergstrasse-Odenwald
    Four wine-growing districts: Palatinate, Baden, Rhine-Hesse, Hessische Bergstraße
    Numerous recreational and top-class sport events
    High-class cuisine: 17 Michelin stars, over 40 restaurants with Gault Millau rating

    Nature and culture have always been inextricably linked in the MRN. The Rhine and Neckar rivers have indelibly shaped the nature and landscape of the metropolitan region and given it their names. The 45 km wide Rhine Rift, together with the low mountain range landscapes of the Palatinate and Odenwald forests with Kraichgau and Bauland bordering to the west and east form the characteristic broad landscapes of the region. These landscapes at the intersection of Baden, Hesse and the Palatinate offer all the possibilities of active local recreation with their different nature areas. They are a virtual paradise for hiking, walking, trekking, mountain biking or geocaching. In the MRN area, there are 9,300 hectares of designated recreational areas. The entire forest area in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region is around 213,000 hectares, which corresponds to a surface of close to 38% (Germany as a whole: 30%).

    The largest part of this is covered by the Palatinate Forest Nature Park, in total the biggest stretch of forestland in Germany and a UNESCO biosphere reserve since 1998. The Geo-nature Park Bergstraße-Odenwald was inscribed in the newly formed Global Network of Geoparks of Unesco in June 2004 as a European and national geopark. According to the guidelines specified by Unesco and the European Geoparks, the worldwide recognized geoparks are committed to the preservation of the geologic, natural and cultural heritage (conservation), environmental education and communication of knowledge about the earth and nature (education) as well as to the sustainable economic and geotouristic development of their regions (tourism).

    The MRN not only lies at the intersection of three federal states but also of four (of 13) German wine-growing areas: the Palatinate, Baden, Hessische Bergstraße and Rhine-Hesse. The entire vine area in the region is over 25,000 hectares. The Palatinate (23,500 hectares) is also the largest Riesling-producing area in the world covering an area of 5,454 hectares. For this reason, the variety of the wine is unique in Germany from a commercial as well as cultural point of view. This is also illustrated by the favorable climatic conditions: The area from the Rhine Rift to Odenwald enjoys particularly mild weather throughout the entire year and from May to September a very sunny and sometimes Mediterranean climate, which allows almonds, figs and even citrus fruits to ripen. Therefore it is also no wonder why the region celebrates an almost uncountable number of wine and folk festivals all year long.The world's biggest wine festival ‒ the "Dürkheimer Wurstmarkt" ‒ and the "Deutsche Weinlesefest" or German grape harvest festival in Neustadt (the official place of coronation of the German wine queen) are among some of the most famous tourist magnets.

    In sync with the unique, diverse wine landscape is the varied cuisine in the metropolitan region: Hardly any other region in Germany combines high-quality regional cooking with unparalleled international cuisine. Juan Amador and Norbert Dobler in Mannheim, Karl-Emil Kuntz in Herxheim, Stefan Neugebauer in Deidesheim and Martin Scharff in Heidelberg, to name just a few, are exemplarily representatives of long-standing, award-winning cuisine at the highest level. The culinary map of the MRN is completely studded with excellent restaurants as confirmed not only by the ratings of the leading critics from Michelin and Gault Millau but also by numerous other publications.

    It is inconceivable to think of the region without top sports: The Formula 1 Grand Prix and international motor sport events (DTM, motorcycle) at Hockenheim Ring, ice hockey with the German record holder Adler Mannheim, the handball premier league with Rhein-Neckar-Löwen and TSG Friesenheim, football premier league (Bundesliga) with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, first-class golf at Gold Club St. Leon-Rot, international horse show tournaments (Maimarkt Mannheim) and much more guarantee great entertainment for sports enthusiasts. A particular attraction of the sports landscape in the MRN is also the mix of top-class and recreational sports. In 2008 and 2012, Team Peking MRN and Team London MRN won numerous medals at the Olympics. At the same time, the region has blossomed to a German Mecca for running, which combines the goals of professionals and amateurs. Some of high-class events in this category are the MLP Mannheim Rhine-Neckar Marathon, the Rhine-Neckar Triathlon Cup and the Tri-State Running Cup (Baden-Hesse-Palatinate).The professional organization and marketing of sports location MRN is done by the Sportregion Rhein-Neckar e.V. since 2004.

  • Why does everyone need and benefit from regional development?
    After talking about the strengths of the region, let us now address the question of why institutions like the Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar GmbH, Rhine-Neckar Regional Association and Zukunft Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar e.V. exist.
    The answer is very simple: The societal challenges are so complex and often intertwined, therefore individual players like municipalities, institutions or companies cannot handle them alone. They have to work together.
    This cooperation is especially pronounced in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region and also perceived as positive from the outside.
  • What we mean by regional development:
    The slide shows what we mean by regional development: In the Rhine-Neckar region, we pool our strengths in order to use the global challenges as opportunities.

    Together we position the region competitively by working together effectively and developing it economically, socially and ecologically.
    We, that means the Rhine-Neckar Regional Association, Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar GmbH and the Zukunft Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar Association. In these institutions, representatives and especially decision makers from municipalities, institutions and companies come together and drive forth plans and projects that contribute to making the region more attractive, better to live in and economically stronger.

    The institutions of the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region:
    Forge alliances
    Give incentives
    Support regional initiatives and
    make the region known

  • …these institutions do all this in different fields of work, of which I would like to mention xxxx or yyyy (or which I will explain in more detail) [for the presenter to add depending on the audience]
  • The slide shows how the Rhine-Neckar regional development work is structured:
    The operational arm of the regional development work is, not solely but in terms of mandate, the Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar GmbH. This is mostly financed by renowned companies (see right). The partners include, in addition to the chambers of crafts and trades and the chambers of industry and commerce (see left), the Zukunft Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar e.V., which includes close to 800 companies and institutions. The association, as a public law entity, is responsible for cross-border regional and spatial planning. It is democratically legitimized and the work of the association is largely borne by the municipalities and counties through an allocation.

    Overall, it is a lean and efficient organizational structure, in which the responsibilities of leaders are deliberately exercised in personal union in order to achieve the greatest consensus and impact possible. The common objective: By the year 2025, the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region wants to be known and recognized as one of the most attractive and competitive regions in Europe.


    Rhine-Neckar Regional Association (VRRN)
    The VRRN was founded on January 1, 2006 on the basis of the second state treaty. As a public law entity, it is the agency for regional and spatial across national boundaries. It is democratically legitimized and the center of politican decision making in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. The work of the VRRN is mainly borne by the municipalities and counties in the form of a levy. The most important decision-making body is the 95-member association meeting, in which five parliamentary parties are currently represented [the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Free Voters (Freie Wähler), The Greens (Die Grünen) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP)].

    Beyond regional and spatial planning (establishment of a uniform regional plan), the following areas of joint regional development work are part of the VRRN's areas of responsibility:

    - Regional marketing
    - European affairs
    - Energy
    - Land use management
    - Spatial observation
    - Regional strategy of demographic change
    - Transportation
    - Tourism marketing

    Dr. Eva Lohse is chairperson of the VRRN as well as deputy chairperson of the Zukunft Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar Association.


    Zukunft Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar e.V. (ZMRN e.V.)
    The ZMRN e.V. was founded in 1989 as the Rhein-Neckar-Dreieck e.V. to help the region establish its own identity and to harness its potential. The distinguished, 16-member executive board of the ZMRN is a platform for strategic dialogue in the MRN. In addition to representatives from business and science, politics is also represented. This way, the ability to reach a consensus and broad acceptance of its resolutions is ensured. The work of the ZMRN is secured through member contributions and donations of its approximately 800 members as well as through funding. The projects of the association are significant for the promotion of:

    - Sports
    - Regional identity
    - Culture
    - Active citizenship

    The current chairman of the executive board is Albrecht Hornbach. His deputy is Dr. Eva Lohse (Lord Mayor Ludwigshafen).


    Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region GmbH (MRN GmbH)
    nhThe task of the MRN GmbH is to further develop the region economically, socially and ecologically and to position it as one of the most attractive and competitive regions of Europe. It is therefore the operational arm of the regional development. The partners of the MRN GmbH are the Rhine-Neckar Regional Association (VRRN) (50%), the ZMRN e.V. (30%), the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Rhine-Neckar (6%), the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Darmstadt (2%), as well as the Chamber of Crafts and Trades Mannheim (3%) and the Chamber of Crafts and Trades Rhine-Main (3%). The project work focuses on six areas:

    - Business development
    - Job market
    - Simplified administration
    - Energy and environment
    - Culture
    - Location marketing/public relations

    The business activities are managed by Wolf-Rainer Lowack and Ralph Schlusche.
  • Executive Board of ZMRN e.V.
    The structure of the executive board of the ZMRN e.V. is nicely shown on this slide because you can see that the important decision makers in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region from the areas of business, science and politics promote the future development of the region together.
    Represented on the executive board of the ZMRN e.V. ‒ on an honorary basis ‒ are decision makers from business, science, politics and administration. The strategic dialogue between partners takes place here.
    The decisions of the executive board target key activities for the joint regional development and their operational implementation is carried out in the MRN GmbH and ZMRN e.V.
    The executive board ensures the long-term support of the activities in the joint regional development.
    The general meeting elects the executive board every two years. A board of trustees provides assistance in an advisory capacity.


  • It is important to know the following:

    The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region is home to many successful companies, renowned research institutions, universities and cultural institutions as well as cities and communities that are worth living in. These regional players cooperate closely and form an alliance of strong partners.

    Culture, nature and civic spirit shape the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region as well as the attractive workplaces in business, research and teaching. This wealth of nearby possibilities creates a balance between life and career for the people.

    The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region stands out for the involvement and open-mindedness of the people who live there, whose ingenuity ensures the future of the region.

    The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region is already one of the strongest and most attractive locations of Germany. Business, science, politics and administration work closely together so that it remains this way in the future as well.
  • Transcript

    • 1. An alliance of strong partners The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region
    • 2. For further information visit www.m-r-n.com 2 Agenda The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region ©Rhein-Neckar The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region… … economically leading … creative and pioneering … relaxing and stimulating … hands-on and committed Spatial planning and regional development • What do we do? • How do we work together? • What are our responsabilities? ©Rhein-Neckar
    • 3. For further information visit www.m-r-n.com 3 Home to 2.4 million people The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region Hesse Rhineland- Palatinate Baden-Wuerttemberg
    • 4. For further information visit www.m-r-n.com 4 Powerful and highly dynamic industry location Economy • Gross domestic product: 80.5 billion euros (2012; Slovakia: 72,1 billion euros) • Unemployment rate: 5.0% (December 2014, nationwide: 6.4%) • 146,000 companies • Export quota in manufacturing industry: 59% (nationwide: 40%) • Excellent accessibility by: • Road (eight highways) • Rail (high-speed train and freight hubs Mannheim) • Air (City Airport Mannheim and quick connections to international airports Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden) • Waterway (port center Mannheim-Ludwigshafen)
    • 5. For further information visit www.m-r-n.com 5 Powerful and highly dynamic industry location Economy Stock market value of companies* based in the eleven Metropolitan Regions in Germany : 1. Rhine-Ruhr: 347,5 bn euros 2. Munich: 347,4 bn euros 3. Rhine-Neckar: 152,9 bn euros 4. Hannover: 152,4 bn euros 5. Rhine-Main: 135,2 bn euros 6. Stuttgart: 95,3 bn euros 7. Hamburg: 36,2 bn euros 8. Nuremberg: 17,6 bn euros 9. Berlin: 10,5 bn euros 10.Middle Germany: 2,4 bn euros 11.Bremen: 0,4 bn euros * Listed in Dax, Mdax, Sdax and TecDax, finanzen.net, 12.01.2015 Dax: MDax: SDax:
    • 6. For further information visit www.m-r-n.com 6 Powerful and highly dynamic industry location Economy Various studies prove the competitiveness of the region, i.e.: • Prognos-Zukunftsatlas 2013 (map): Growth engines are located in South- Germany: Rhine-Main, Rhine-Neckar, Stuttgart and Munich Source: Prognos Zukunftsatlas 2013 Regions and their future opportunities Best chances Very high risks Well-balanced chances and risks
    • 7. For further information visit www.m-r-n.com 7 Powerful and highly dynamic industry location Economy Information technology ©SAP Machine and plant engineering ©Heideldruck Biotech and Life Sciences ©Roche Industry Focus Areas • Cema • Realtech • SAP • SAS • SHE • SNP and others • Alstom • Bilfinger • Caterpillar • Heidelberger Druckmaschinen • KSB and others • AbbVie • Gelita • Octapharma • Roche • Sanofi Pasteur MSD • Siemens • Sirona and others
    • 8. Automotive ©Daimler Chemistry ©BASF Energy and environment ©MVV For further information visit www.m-r-n.com 8 Powerful and highly dynamic industry location Economy Industry Focus Areas • Bombardier • Daimler • Eberspächer • Freudenberg • John Deere • REUM • Tenneco and others • BASF • Fuchs Petrolub • Kluthe • Odenwald-Chemie • Raschig • Renolit / RKW • RheinChemie and others • ABB • EnBW AG • MVV Energie • Pfalzwerke • Saint-Gobain Isover and others
    • 9. For further information visit www.m-r-n.com 9 Well of creativity and technology Science • 22 universities, a total of 85,000 students (thereof 10% from other countries) • Over 30 non-university and international research institutions • 2.3% employed in research & development (nationwide: 1.2%) ©MBS Economics • Mannheim Business School • University of Mannheim • Centre for European Economic Research ©Uni-Mannheim Humanities • The University for Jewish Studies • Institute for German Language • The Max Planck Society • University of Mannheim • Heidelberg University ©Uni-Heidelberg Social Sciences • Forschungsgruppe Wahlen • Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences • The Mannheim Centre for European Social Research • Heidelberg University • University of Mannheim ©BASFSE • German Cancer Research Center • European Molecular Biology Laboratory • Hochschule Mannheim ‒ University of Applied Sciences • Two Max Planck Societies • Heidelberg University Natural Sciences
    • 10. For further information visit www.m-r-n.com 10 Well of creativity and technology Science Biotechnology ©Rhein-Neckar Organic Electronics ©Merck Medical Technolgy ©HSMannheim Examples for business and science cooperations Cluster BioRN • AbbVie • DKFZ • EMBL • Hochschule Mannheim ‒ University of Applied Sciences • Merck • Roche • Heidelberg University • Heidelberg University Hospital and others Cluster InnovationLab • BASF • Freudenberg • Heidelberger Druckmaschinen • Merck • Roche • SAP • University of Mannheim • Heidelberg University and others Centre for Biomedicine and Medical Technology • Fraunhofer IPA • Freudenberg • Roche • Siemens • Sirona • Hochschule Mannheim ‒ University of Applied Sciences • Heidelberg University and others
    • 11. For further information visit www.m-r-n.com 11 Region of recreation and enjoyment Quality of life ©Rhein-Neckar More than 150 castles, palaces and sacred buildings, such as: • The electoral residential palaces in Heidelberg, Mannheim and Schwetzingen • Hambach Castle (picture) ©NibelungenfestspieleWorms • Over 100 theaters and cabarets (including the oldest municipal theater in the world: NTM Mannheim) • 15 top festivals of international renown, such as: - Heidelberger Frühling - Nibelungen festival (picture) - Enjoy Jazz ©Rhein-Neckar More than 200 museums of all types, i.e. • Kurpfalz-Museum Heidelberg • REM Mannheim • Technik Museums in Speyer, Sinsheim and Mannheim • Wilhelm Hack Museum Ludwigshafen (picture) ©Rhein-Neckar • Speyer Cathedral (picture) • The Abbey of Lorsch • The Upper German-Raetian Limes • Mannheim „City of Music“ • Heidelberg „City of Literature“ Castles and palaces Theaters and festivalsUNESCO World Heritage sites / „Creative Cities“ Museums
    • 12. For further information visit www.m-r-n.com 12 Region of recreation and enjoyment Quality of life ©Rhein-Neckar Top-class sport events • Handball: Rhein-Neckar-Löwen (picture) and TSG Friesenheim • Soccer: 1899 Hoffenheim • Ice-Hockey: Adler Mannheim • Motorsports: German Touring Car Championship (DTM) and Formula 1 at Hockenheim Ring ©Rhein-Neckar ©Rheinland-PfalzTourismusGmbH A paradise for outdoor activities • UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Palatinate Forest Nature Park (picture) • Nature Park Neckartal-Odenwald • UNESCO Geopark Bergstraße- Odenwald • 38% forest area (Germany: 30%) From the cozy wine tavern to the Michelin-starred dining experience • Four wine-growing districts (Baden, Hessische Bergstraße, Palatinate, Rhine-Hessen) • 17 Michelin stars • Over 40 restaurants currently awared at least one "chef's hat" by Gault Millau Top-class sports Nature experience A paradise for gourmets Strong sense of involvement, open- mindedness and a confident, active civic spirit • Almost every second resident is involved in volunteer work (only every third person nationwide) • Surpassing number of foundations • Germany‘s largest volunteer day • Lots of non-profit associations (e.g. 2,700 sports clubs) Citizens are committed ©Rhein-Neckar
    • 13. For further information visit www.m-r-n.com 13 The challenges we face The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region Rise of public debt Tough competition for investments and public funds Aging society Shortage of skilled labor Growing importance of an attractive environment for companies and people German Energiewende
    • 14. The institutions of the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region encourage the dialogue between important regional players and pool their strengths. The common goal: Ensure the region’s future as a location that is attractive, worth living in and economically strong. For further information visit www.m-r-n.com 14 An alliance of strong partners Joint regional development The task: Position the region in the competition between locations and develop the region through effective cooperation > … support regional initiatives … trigger joint activities … make the region known … form alliances • Zukunft Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar Association, • the Rhine-Neckar Regional Association and • Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar GmbH …
    • 15. For further information visit www.m-r-n.com 15 Scope of work Regional planning and joint regional development Demographic change Volunteer work Energy and Climate Europe Recruiting skilled employees Health Culture PR and Marketing Spatial planning Regional identity Sports Tourism Business Development E-Government
    • 16. For further information visit www.m-r-n.com 16 Strong partners in regional development Financing of the regional development work Partners Chambers of skilled crafts: Mannheim Rhine-Neckar-Odenwald, Rhine-Main Chambers of Commerce and Industry: Rhine-Neckar, the Palatinate, Darmstadt Sponsors
    • 17. For further information visit www.m-r-n.com 17 Business, Science and Politics in Dialogue Strategic dialogue in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region Matthias Wilkes District Administrator Bergstraße District Albrecht Hornbach Chief Executive Officer Hornbach Holding Willi Kuhn Präsident Chamber of Industry and Commerce Palatinate Dr. Peter Kurz Lord Mayor City of Mannheim Dr. Eva Lohse Lord Mayor City of Ludwigshafen Dr. Georg Müller Chief Executive Officer MVV Energie AG Bert Siegelmann Managing Director Rhein-Neckar Television Margret Suckale Member of the Executive Board BASF SE Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel Rector Heidelberg University Dr. Gerhard Vogel Präsident Chamber of Industry and Commerce Rhine-Neckar Theo Wieder Lord Mayor City of Frankenthal Dr. Eckart Würzner Lord Mayor City of Heidelberg Matthias Baaß Mayor City of Viernheim Theresia Riedmaier District Administrator Südliche Weinstraße District Honorary chairman: Dr. h. c. Eggert Voscherau The association Dr. Jochen Keysberg Member of the Executive Board Bilfinger SE Luka Mucic Member of the Executive Board SAP SE
    • 18. For further information visit www.m-r-n.com 18 Work and life in balance! The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region ©Rheinland-PfalzTourismusGmbH People enjoy life. ©Rhein-Neckar Business and Science develop future-oriented products. ©Rhein-Neckar Citizens are tolerant and collectively committed. ©SAP Companies have high innovation and growth potential. ... relaxing and stimulating ... creative and curious... economically leading ... hands-on and committed

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