Hamburg News: renewable energy in Hamburg and it´s business region. Several wind mills in the business area shown.
ZAL TechCenter © ReGe Hamburg/ Martin Kunze

EU Commission says Hamburg is "innovation leader"

Hanseatic city increases innovation performance. Research and innovation parks to boost innovation

Hamburg is an “innovation leader” and counts among Europe’s leading regions. The city’s innovation performance has improved 2 per cent over 2014 while it has decreased in many other regions, according to a study by the EU Commission released on July 14th. Some 214 regions in the bloc as well as Norway have been examined and 35 other regions were hailed as “innovation leaders”.

Commenting on the results, Frank Horch, Senator for Economics, said: “Innovations are key to future-orientated economic policy. The location will only remain sustainable in the long term, if we can focus on and develop creativity as well as the exchange of commerce and science in our city.”

20 per cent above European average.

Twelve indicators in the “Regional Innovation Scoreboard” are used to calculate a region’s power of innovation. These indicators included activating factors or enablers such as the level of education among the population, the amount of public expenditure on research and development, companies’ efforts and the level of networking among SMEs and private investments in research and development. Outputs such as the share of SMEs that introduce products and processes are also analysed.

The regions fall into four categories beginning with “Innovation Leader” which score at least 20 per cent above the European average. This category is followed by those of “Regional Strong Innovators”, “Regional Moderate Innovators” and “Modest Innovators”.

Reissuing innovation starter funds

The senate is banking on research and innovation parks to improve the transfer of technology and knowledge. An innovation park in Bergedorf for renewable energy, the ZAL Techcenter in Finkenwerder for aviation and another in Desy for nanotechnology have enhanced the start-up scene, according to the Economic Authority. The Fraunhofer Center for Maritime Logistics and Services (CML) will also get a new research building in Harburg from 2019.

The city of Hamburg has also secured funds from the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF). Hamburg will reissue innovation starter funds and invest EUR 12 million including EU funds. The Innovations- und Förderbank (IFB) is also planning a new loan for start-ups and will assist existing SMEs with subsidies for projects and advise them throughout the innovation process.

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