Plans for tech hub in Hamburg announced
Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics and Innovation, Andreas Dressel, Senator for Finance, and Dr. Rolf Strittmatter, Managing Director of Hamburg Invest, presented plans Tuesday (January 5, 2020) for a "tech hub" targeting startups, young technology companies and research in Bahrenfeld. Hamburg is funding the project with EUR 35 million from the Economic Stabilisation Programme (HWSP) launched in the wake of the corona crisis. The Ministry of Economics has earmarked EUR 10 million for other innovation programmes e.g., in artificial intelligence. The hub will accommodate a mix of laboratories and offices in Science City Hamburg Bahrenfeld and in the immediate vicinity of the DESY Innovation Factory II.
Linking up science and business
"The excellent location and top infrastructure will make the tech hub a magnet for talented researchers, start-ups and young technology-orientated companies in life science, medical technology and biotechnology," said Westhagemann. "I want the world to look at us when, in a few years' time when all the researchers, entrepreneurs and start-ups will be working in Vorhornweg as part of Science City. Projects with international appeal will be carried out there." The tech hub is due to be completed in 2025.
The senate is aiming to set up a network of innovation parks in Hamburg to boost co-operation and knowledge transfer between business and science and to attract skilled workers and companies. The Altona Innovation Park on Vorhornweg and the tech hub will play key roles in the planned Science City Hamburg-Bahrenfeld. The city also plans to build an innovative district that combines science and living as part of Science City.
Mix of labs and office space
Commenting on the plans for the new tech hub, Niels Pirck, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, said: "Innovations and start-ups are key to economic prosperity tomorrow. This is one of the main findings of our Hamburg 2040 location strategy. We welcome the senate's continued, long-standing strategy of promoting research and innovation. It is providing another important impetus for innovative strength in Hamburg with the planned tech hub."
Large spaces for laboratories and offices and for networking have been provided for in the new building. Rental spaces with various equipment of different sizes and service packages can be combined and used flexibly. Shared labs, open-space workplaces and a FabLab with 3D printers and other computer-controlled machines are also planned. A container solution with space for around 40 labs and offices will be built in 2022 to cover the interim and given the great demand for space at present, Westhagemann pointed out.
Targeted investments in innovation
Commenting on the funds, Dressel said: "Targeted investments in innovations, links between business and science are among the main levers for exiting the corona crisis. The additional EUR 45 million from HWSP demonstrate our strong commitment to Hamburg as a centre of innovation. This will have a short-term impact on the economy and create space for strong settlements in perfect locations and for good projects." The HWSP will channel EUR 900 million into various, short-term urban measures or ones that have been brought forward this year and in 2022 to help commerce in Hamburg emerge from the crisis on the heels of reliable and increased state investments.