Excellent investment properties located between Görlitz, Leipzig, and Plauen will be promoted along with the topics culture, science, and quality of life.
Since German Reunification, Saxony has evolved into a high tech federal state. Many attractive jobs were created by globally leading enterprises, for example, in the automobile and semiconductor industries. Together with small and medium-sized enterprises, these companies generate the highest proportion of Germany’s overall gross domestic product among all new federal states every year.
Driving Forces for an Innovative Economy
The backbone of this development is a distinct and globally competitive research and scientific community. An extensive network of four universities, ten art colleges and universities of applied sciences, the university of cooperative education as well as 50 non-university research institutions makes Saxony the most vibrant scientific venue among all new federal states. The Saxon universities are not only educational facilities, but also driving forces for an innovative and sustainable economy. Saxony’s research policy focuses particularly on the growth and key technologies of the 21st century such as machine construction, microelectronics as well as nanotechnology and biotechnology. This strategy resulted in the Technische Universität Dresden [Dresden University of Technology] entering the circle of German universities of excellence and brought it international renown and acclaim.
A Great Place to Live
Saxony is also a unique land of culture which has evolved over many centuries as a result of the ceaseless enterprise of the electoral court of the Wettin dynasty and the traditions of bourgeois society in the industrial cities. Saxony’s citizens feel connected to their home state in a very particular way. Culture has a considerable impact since it helps create a specific identity. The Free State of Saxony is committed to this cultural heritage; little by little, art and culture have been revived here since German Reunification. The combination of high tech and tradition makes Saxony one of the most attractive locations in Europe. With its urban centers Dresden, Leipzig, and Chemnitz as well as its enchanting natural landscapes, Saxony provides a wonderful blend of modernity, art, and culture which makes living here a pleasure. Thanks to its central location right in the heart of Europe, the Free State of Saxony has superb opportunities and great potential for heading towards a successful economic future.
Saxony will present itself at the EXPO REAL in Hall A2, Booth No. 331.
EXPO REAL 2012
In 2012, the Free State of Saxony will present itself once again with a large joint booth at the real estate fair EXPO REAL in Munich (October 8-10, 2012).
Excellent investment properties located between Görlitz, Leipzig, and Plauen will be promoted along with the topics culture, science, and quality of life.
The first mass produced metal auto body for passenger cars to leave a factory in the early 20th century came from the Erzgebirge Mountains. Seals and gaskets for the Ariane space program are manufactured in the Erzgebirge Mountains.
And the first CFC-free refrigerator also had its origins in the Erzgebirge Mountains.
The region’s almost 17,000 companies provide a broad range of services and products for the global market in such key industrial branches as metal processing and machine construction, automotive, electrical engineering as well as semiconductor and environmental technology. And suppliers for customers around the globe, for example, from the
sectors space, aviation, automobile, and safety technology are all located in the region as well.
These industrial enterprises are very successful and have actually benefited above average from the economic upswing in 2011. Most of Saxony’s industrial enterprises with more than 20 employees are headquartered in Erzgebirgskreis County. All told, 410 companies with more than 30,000 employees have their production sites here. They generated a total turnover of 4.2 billion euros. In the beginning of 2012, the industrial enterprises located in the Erzgebirge Mountains managed to increase their turnover once again. The sales figures from January to March went up by another 4.4 percent when compared to the same period last year.
Along with the highest industrial density in all of Saxony, there is also a great demand for well-educated and trained workers, specialists, and executives in the Erzgebirge Mountains. Recruiting such employees will be the objective pursued over the next few years since the demographic change doesn’t stop at the Saxon border region as well. Since 2008, a platform has been available for regional firms looking for qualified employees. The Fachkräfteportal Erzgebirge, a career portal for skilled employees, not only announces job vacancies, but also lists available internships and topics for theses as well as apprenticeship positions for pupils.
A varied landscape, charming nature, and extensive forests – these features also characterize the Erzgebirge Mountains. The 120 kilometer Erzgebirge/Vogtland Nature Park, Saxony’s largest interconnected tourist region, provides a wealth of experiences throughout the year for active tourists, those seeking recreation and relaxation, and families. Germany’s second largest open-air theater – the Waldbühne Schwarzenberg with 15,200 seats – and the health resort Oberwiesenthal, Germany’s highest city located 914 meters above sea level, are just two superlatives which the Erzgebirge Mountains can offer in this sector.
No other economic sector has characterized the Erzgebirge Mountains in the past like mining. It created entire industrial branches and brought economic success which benefited the people well beyond the region. In 1998, the singularity of the Mining Cultural Landscape Erzgebirge/Krušnohoři was the decisive factor for the region’s official admission to the German waiting list for UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The stakeholders in the Erzgebirge Mountains want to have both the Federal Republic of Germany and the Czech Republic submit the application documents together to the UNESCO in Paris in early 2014.
Photo: Mirko Hertel
From Upper Lusatia into the entire world – what had already been true in the past is also on today’s agenda in the modern vehicle region Upper Lusatia: Trams and light rail vehicles as well as double-deck cars from the Bombardier plants in Bautzen and Görlitz are moving such metropolises as London, Adelaide, or New Delhi.
The automotive supply industry with about 110 representatives from the branch produces for the global market. And agricultural machinery construction has already written an international success story which is characterized primarily by “Fortschritt,” i.e. progress.
The roots of Upper Lusatian agricultural machinery construction are found in Obergurig and Singwitz where already more than 150 years ago the first agricultural machines and farm implements had been produced. “The first drastic change began in 1945/46 with the forceful confiscation of the old established companies,” explains Klaus Weidig, Managing Director of the Raussendorf GmbH corporation, which had been one of the three large manufacturers of agricultural machinery technology in Upper Lusatia and is so once again today. Klinger, Wagner, Raussendorf, and all other companies were transformed into the state-owned combine “Fortschritt,” i.e. progress, starting in the 1950s. 50,000 people worked in East Saxon agricultural machinery construction until 1990. They produced, for example, hay balers, threshing machines, combine harvesters, forage harvesters, and swathers. “The second societal transformation came with the political change after the Fall of the Berlin Wall – the companies were newly founded and had to begin essentially from scratch. Considering the long tradition, many were able to take heart and start something new,” explains Klaus Weidig.
Since 2005, he’s been in charge of the Raussendorf GmbH corporation at its new location in Obergurig and managed to get the company so fit that it can compete on the global market: “The major business fields had already been staked out by others. So I asked myself, what niche could we occupy, what should we tackle. A solution was found and continues to be found only via innovation and through cooperation.”
Electrification Is the Future
The centerpieces of the Raussendorf production are baling equipment and knotters which create reliable, tight knots for stable hay, straw, and silage bales. They had already been invented in 1908 and have been improved ever since and adjusted to customer specifications from around the world. In China, Brazil, and in the future also in the USA, they’re used in hay and straw balers. But the company is also open to new ideas and projects: “The future of agricultural machinery construction will gaining ground because they’re easier to control and have a smooth power transfer. Changing either the air and fluid flow or the speed needs to be done within a tenth of a second – and this is best done electrically.” That’s why he founded the Saxon Land Technology Initiative in 2010 in which, in addition to electronic and automation companies, also institutes and in particular machine construction companies participate. “Here, we can pool our resources; thus, making us once again a partner for the big ones.” With the help of this association, Klaus Weidig was already able to put some of his ideas into practice. This includes above all the fruit robot Caesar. “It’s named after the Roman field commandersince our robot has also command over the fields and is used in orchards for pest control and mulching,” explains the Managing Director with a smile. This is done via GPS control and electronically. It’ll be delivered already for the first time in 2012; and as of 2013, it can also be changed into a harvesting platform. The PowerPack 45, an electric generator which is attached to the front power takeoff shaft of a tractor, had also been created under the auspices of the initiative. It supplies energy and can easily transport it to those parts in an agricultural machine which require power such as, for example, the threshing drum, the feeding rollers, or the disc wheel of the centrifugal fertilizer spreader. “We’re on the right track especially with these new developments. In 2011, we invested one million euros to create the necessary technical production prerequisites for small-scale production batches of specialized technology,” says Klaus Weidig.
Inspiring the Young Generation
The HELO association (Friends of Historical Development of Agricultural Engineering Oberlausitz e. V.) was founded to raise interest in and increase the awareness level of agricultural technology. A special Day of Agricultural Machinery Construction is held every two years; a second such event was celebrated on the company premises of the Raussendorf GmbH in 2012. “More than 2,000 visitors came. You could see everything from one hundred year old agricultural technology all the way to the most modern autonomous agricultural machines, tractors, and combine harvesters,” explains Klaus Weidig, who is a founding member of the Friends. The third Day of Agricultural Machinery Construction will particularly focus on young people and raise their interest in a professional career in agricultural machinery construction. “We love to go to schools, take along models, and explain the highly complex machines which are used today. Today’s combine harvesters are high tech and the cabs very roomy and comfortable. All you need is that Canaletto painting, and it feels just like your living room.”
A Welcoming Society
Article by the Saxon Commissioner for Foreign Nationals, Martin Gillo
Saxony in 2025 – what will life be like here at that time? Ten years ago, when I was the Saxon State Minister for Economic Affairs, I was looking for promising, pioneering strategies for our federal state together with interested partners from various sectors of business, science, and society.
As the Saxon Commissioner for Foreign Nationals, I’m still very intrigued and fascinated by this topic. This time with the perspective of how Saxony can become a place where talented and committed people from all over the globe live and work together as if it were the most natural thing to do. That’s how they’ll help contribute towards our future. The world is changing everywhere. We here in Saxony consider this to be one of our strategic opportunities, and we seize this opportunity deliberately. But seizing these opportunities in the best possible way requires talented and committed people from all over the globe; right here in our Free State. This has not only been realized by big corporations, but also by numerous small and medium-sized enterprises located here. More and more often, they hire foreign specialists and help them settle in right after their arrival in Saxony. For these companies, it’s quite clear: Cultural diversity in the corporate staff is a competitive edge. It fosters and promotes creativity and flexibility and boosts innovation. Attractive jobs, though, only account for one half of the successful measures to recruit foreign specialists. The other half represents our commitment towards including all fellow citizens from abroad as integral parts of our society. No matter what role he or she plays in life here. Every human being deserves the respect and appreciation of our society.
Paving the Way
Cosmopolitanism, however, is not innate. We acquire it by learning, understanding, respecting, and appreciating the diversity and variety of our world. As a state which had isolated itself for many decades, the commitment towards a welcoming society was and continues to be a fundamentally new way. We’re making, though, greater progress in this direction than the world perceives. Living in Germany also requires knowledge of the German language. We encourage foreign residents to acquire this knowledge since it opens many doors in society and professional careers. But on the other hand, we’re also happy about the potential provided by the multilingualism of our foreign nationals. Since 1990, Saxony has been pursuing with a lot of tenacity an industrial policy which focuses on the development of industrial clusters consisting of global corporations as well as many small and medium-sized enterprises. So far, this strategy has been very successful. “Silicon Saxony” with its more than 40,000 employees is acknowledged as the most modern semiconductor venue in Europe. Saxony is home to three of the largest German automobile manufacturers and hundreds of suppliers. The same is true for machine construction. Our research environment is one of a kind. Already 20 percent of all jobs in Saxony are provided by companies with foreign owners. This also affirms our cosmopolitanism.
What does the future hold for Saxony? We take pride in everything we’ve achieved so far, and we proceed with a clear head. We pave the way for a welcoming society. And it goes without saying that we’re always aware of our proven and acknowledged Saxon virtues: Solidarity, reliability, being open to everything new, and our proverbial inventive spirit. Not just 800 years ago or today, but also in 2025 and well beyond that time as well.
Prof. Dr. Martin Gillo was elected to the position of Commissioner for Foreign Nationals by the Saxon State Parliament at the beginning of the legislative period in 2009. Mr. Gillo was born in Leipzig, studied in Hamburg and the USA, and worked for about 30 years in international commercial enterprises before he became the Saxon State Minister for Economic Affairs and Labor in May 2002.
Photo: Steffen Giersch