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Business and science – working in partnership to create amazing ideas.

Jena – an innovative city

Technical progress, innovative research teamed with commercial strength – Jena specialises in high-tech industries and is renowned nationally and internationally.

This reputation has been earned in a number of areas: digital transformation, historically strong industries such as optics and photonics, health and medical technology and information and environmental technology to name but a few – Jena is a place for manufacturing, research and production. It is, of course, a given that the key issues impacting today and tomorrow also receive considerable attention.

Here, it’s the intersection of business and science that sets the agenda and allows ideas and innovations to bubble up. Each year, around 250 patents (per 100,000 inhabitants) are registered in Jena. For comparison, the average in Germany is around 60 per 100,000. Home to around 1,000 researchers in the field of optics and photonics and over 9,000 employees in the high-tech industry, Jena is a leading light when it comes to light-based technologies.

Businesses @ JenaVersum

In Jena, it’s not purely about a solo effort. Businesses here are well-connected. The close collaboration at the site usually goes far beyond representing internal industry interests. This is because pooling resources means added value for everyone. One good example is the Jena Digital association, which brings together the forces of science and the digital economy.

This was the birthplace of a shared network for innovation and collaboration that has established Jena as a pan-sectoral digital location on the international stage.

Finding potential and support

Jena features a multifaceted entrepreneurial scene that can be attributed to an above-average share of the high-tech sector. Proximity to higher-education and research institutions and dynamic growth create a strong framework for knowledge-heavy commercial industries and supply a well-trained workforce and extensive networking opportunities.

What’s more, Friedrich Schiller University and the University of Applied Sciences Jena enhance the transfer of knowledge and technology between science, business and society thanks to their joint Team Nucleus Jena.
The main contact and founding member of JenaVersum is the Jena Business Development, which supports young and traditional companies and skilled employees nationally and internationally and also creates business-friendly conditions for our city.

This is because one good idea on its own is not enough – a successful start-up requires a whole ecosystem of sounding boards. Successful start-up management is only possible given effective interaction between entrepreneurs, educational and research institutions, businesses, investors, clients and regional funding. JenaVersum provides founders with everything they need to give their business a successful start in life: advice, space, funding and, most of all, contacts. This is where Jena’s connections come into their own: with its ’Kombinat 01’ co-working space, the founder service at the Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule in Jena and the Foundation for Technology Innovation and Research (STIFT) in Thuringia.

Life in Jena

In all directions.

In Jena, one of the most successful growth centres in central Germany, we’re used to keeping an eye on the bigger picture. This is in part due to the superb interdisciplinary collaboration between technology firms, traditional workshops, service providers and the city’s research institutions. However, we shouldn’t underestimate the impact of the site’s topographical location and the surrounding mountains that, in many places, offer an unobstructed view of the city.

A walk to the top of the Fuchsturm, Jenzig or Landgraf offers the ideal opportunity to amass ideas, drill down into the details and, at the same time, to keep sight of the bigger picture. The balance between nature and urban infrastructure therefore represents a significant additional benefit for Jena. After all, so many tasks are much easier to grasp clearly when sitting on a bench in the great outdoors. Jena might be a compact city, but plenty gets done here.