Growth in regional health industry expected to continue

Economic analysts are forecasting significant growth in the healthcare industry, and medical technology in particular, in the Berlin-Brandenburg region of Germany. Home to a cluster of excellence known as HealthCapital B-BB, the region already ranks among industry leaders and is described as a key location for all of Europe. Given that the German healthcare industry's average growth rate is 3.8 percent per year and healthcare continues to contribute a growing share to GNP, it is fair to say the area is a key player at home and abroad.

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There are more than 500 biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical technology companies in Berlin-Brandenburg. What is more, 35 major research institutions and 130 hospitals are located there – including the Charité – Europe's largest teaching hospital. The regional industry employs around 360 thousand people and brings in annual turnovers of EUR 23 billion, with forecasts saying those figures are expected to rise.

The cluster manager of HeatlhCapital B-BB, Kai Uwe Bindseil says, "By 2030, we expect there to be more than 70 thousand additional jobs in healthcare here. This will be driven by demographic changes and is also attributable to the fact that Berlin, as a healthcare industry location, has been very successful." Bindseil noted that the growth rates for medical technology in the region were greater than the national average – at around ten percent.

Berlin-Brandenburg is an attractive location for international partners because many of the companies have long experience in exporting and working with foreign partners. Its contacts with European Union lifescience networks and with other bioregions are strong. Dr. Reinhard Uppenkamp of Berlin Chemie AG explains one of the location's key advantages, "Being a gateway between East and West, Berlin is the ideal base for us to further tap into our market potential."

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