The state’s economy is supported by a stable foundation of quality, experience and innovation. The economic structure of Baden-Württemberg is very multifaceted. An important column is mechanical engineering: Every third machine manufactured in Germany has its origin in Baden-Württemberg. Automotive industry, medical technology, energy and environment, ICT, sustainable building also play an import role.
Baden-Württemberg is the center of German mechanical and plant engineering. Mechanical engineering is the largest industry in this state and has a complete research and development supporting facility. Out of the 30 largest mechanical engineering companies in Germany, one third comes from the southwest. In addition to the giants in this industry, a large number of globally successful small and medium-sized enterprises are located in Baden-Württemberg.
High-tech is a primary focus of mechanical engineering companies in Baden-Württemberg. They invest 6% of their turnover on average in innovative research and development, thus consolidating their position as a leader in cutting-edge technology. Famous companies in this industry are TRUMPF, Heidelberg Printing Machinery, Festo, Voith, Liebherr, etc.
The economic structure of Baden-Württemberg is diverse. One of the important pillar industries is the automotive industry. Baden-Württemberg is the birthplace of the car and, as a manufacturing location, has an excellent reputation in the global automotive industry. Around a quarter of the German turnover in the automotive industry is generated in Baden-Württemberg.
Both Daimler AG and Porsche AG have set up their headquarters in Baden-Württemberg. Furthermore, the Audi AG maintains an important research and manufacturing site in this state. More than 1000 small and medium-sized subcontractors of the automotive industry are located in Baden-Württemberg. In general, the automotive industry is one of the most highly innovative sectors.
Baden-Württemberg is one of the most suitable regions for health care industry development in Germany. Health care industry enjoys a high attention in Baden-Württemberg and residents in the state have good medical services. The state is the largest location for medical engineering and the pharmaceutical industry as well as the second largest biotechnology location in Germany. The health care industry is the third largest export industry in the state, so this industry is also a major driving force for economic development. Famous medical companies in Baden-Württemberg are Aesculap AG, Paul Hartmann AG, Karl Storz SE & Co. KG.
The three sectors of the health care industry are medical technology & engineering, pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology. Medical technology is the strongest sector in Baden-Württemberg’s health care industry. Baden-Württemberg is home to manufacturers of classical and generic drugs as well as producers of herbal medicines and homoeopathic remedies. The pharmaceutical companies in Baden-Württemberg are mainly small and medium-sized enterprises, with an export rate of nearly 70% (2015).
The central contact point for the health care industry is the state-owned company BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH, which is specifically focused on the following themes: bio-economy, biotechnology, pharmaceutical industry and medical technology (health care industry).
Baden-Württemberg’s environmental technology enjoys an outstanding reputation all over the world with regard to environmental engineering, raw materials management, waste disposal and recycling. There are over 800 companies in the state whose goods and services, including construction, and have specialized exclusively in environmental protection. The environment technology industry consists mainly of small and medium-sized enterprises active in the areas of air, water, land contamination and waste. However, larger companies such as Siemens, ABB and GEA Wiegand are also represented. Especially dominant within the different technological fields is the "air pollution control" sector, in which companies of Baden-Württemberg specialize in emission reduction systems.
Baden-Württemberg is one of the leading technology drivers in the photovoltaics sector. Numerous pioneers of solar energy as well as globally leading solar energy companies come from the German Southwest. Possessing comprehensive know-how regarding the integration of renewable energy sources into power supply systems, these Baden-Württemberg companies are worldwide renowned for their cutting-edge technology as well as for their very high production and quality standards. Moreover, in the area of photovoltaics, they cover the entire supply chain – from manufacturers, parts suppliers and wholesalers to project developers and the companies that actually install the equipment.
In Baden-Württemberg, wind energy also represents a key technology. This cost-effective technology for power generation has the largest growth potential next to photovoltaics. By the year 2020, at least 10% of the electricity generation in Baden-Württemberg is supposed to be met by wind turbines, and around 25% by 2050.
In addition to solar thermal energy and wind power, biomass and hydropower also play an important role in terms of renewable energy technology in Baden-Württemberg.
"The ICT industry remains one of the drivers of growth and innovation in the Baden-Württemberg economy", said Minister of Economic Affairs Dr.Ing. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut. Newly available statistical findings show that there are more ICT companies and ICT employees, positive sales development and substantial investments in research and development (R&D) in the ICT industry.
There are several global players of the IT industry in Baden-Württemberg, such as: SAP - the international market leader in the field of enterprise software, IBM - maintains one of the biggest research and development centers outside of the USA, etc. Besides, a great number of small and medium-sized enterprises of the industry are also at home here. They are internationally very successful as well and are counted among the so-called "hidden champions". Software companies in Baden-Württemberg mainly focus on enterprise software.
Baden-Württemberg is one of the most important industrial locations in Germany regarding sustainable building. There are around 25000 architects and planners, who enjoy a very good reputation in the international construction industry due to superb planning and construction capabilities. No matter in energy-efficient building design, building materials recycling, lightweight construction, or in the areas of urban mobility or building information digitization, experts from Baden-Württemberg own exceptional planning and building expertise and play an important role on the international stage.
In order to comply with the trend of urbanization, Baden-Württemberg offers different kinds of sustainable and innovative solutions as well as initiatives, such as energy-efficient buildings and urban quarters, sustainable mobility, green systems, living and working in the city of futures, etc. Numerous architects, engineers and manufacturers of building products are cooperating in the „ena – European network architecture” cluster and engineers from different specialist disciplines are working together in the „bw-engineers” network.
Active House B10 is a perfect example of contemporary, sustainable architecture. It was completed in 2014 by the Werner Sobek Group, and it is located in Stuttgart, Germany. As with many other homes designed by Werner Sobek, this residence qualifies for the Triple Zero standard, which means that it is able to produce more energy than it actually needs, it can be recycled without leaving behind any waste and produces absolutely no emissions.