Northern Germany’s health sector is thriving amid rising employee numbers, according to a study by the WifOR institute on the economic clout of the Life Science Nord cluster. Figures are available in a recently published study entitled Economic Footprint of the Cluster Life Science Nord/Der ökonomische Fußabdruck des Clusters Life Science Nord für die Region Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein“.
The health industry covers companies that produce and sell (including wholesale) human pharmaceuticals, medical technology, personal care and dental hygiene products, sports and fitness equipment, health-relevant information and communication technology, and data processing devices, and is analysed as the cluster’s core. The results of the study were presented in the recently-opened Health Innovation Port.
Positive employee trends and gross value added
Dr. Hinrich Habeck, Managing Director of Life Science Nord Management GmbH, said: “The results of the study are very pleasing. A plus of around EUR 300 million in gross value added and 3,300 more employees in the past two years shows that the sector is developing positively in Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg. Since 2014, more than 1,000 additional jobs have been created mainly in research and development.“ Commissioned by the Life Science Nord, WiFOR first carried out the study for 2014. The study has now been updated for 2016.
Health sector’s tight regional links
The results highlighted the effect of the employees in the cluster. “The 50,000 employees in the life science secure another 13,800 jobs in companies supporting the cluster. And their purchasing power helps secure 12,600 jobs in the regional economy,” said Benno Legler, Manager of Research – Health Sector at WiFOR.
Innovative “Health Innovation Port” as venue
The power of innovation is key to the development of the sector. Founded by Philips and the health insurer Techniker Krankenkasse, (TK), Hamburg’s first co-working hub dedicated to health accommodates eleven innovative start-ups. The companies are developing products, services and applications focusing on health, medical technology with experts.
From food technology companies to virtual reality platforms
Start-ups at HIP include Gaia Nutrition which is working on digital nutritional solutions in preventive medicine. The solutions are part of automatically generated individual diets. Another start-up called the Onelife Health is developing an app named Femisphere for pregnant women. The app offers advice during pregnancy and also functions as a maternity log. Yet another start-up called VIREED is using the potential of virtual reality and developing simulated learning for use in medical training and further education.