Digital Aachen: still room to grow

Digital hubs are sprouting up all over the world. Besides Silicon Valley, cities like Austin, Tel Aviv and Shanghai have long been attracting hoards of tech pioneers. But what’s the scene in Germany? And where does Aachen rank in the action? A current study by the consultancy company Deloitte provides answers.

Which German locations lead the field in the digital economy? Where is digital innovation happening? And, how well are German cities prepared for the digital future?
These questions have now been examined by the consultancy company Deloitte. Spoiler: according to their study “Germany’s Tech-Hubs. Performance and Potential of Major Cities in Germany”, the country’s leading tech locations are Munich and Berlin. They are particularly strong magnets for digital talent, and excel through their high degree of specialisation in information and communications technology.

Aachen – a “hidden champion” with lots of potential

So what does the ranking depend on? “In the digital economy, innovations need widespread networks. New developments emerge where knowledge and experience are shared,” says CEO Martin Plendl. His point: it’s more important than ever for cities to create successful ecosystems for both digital and classic industries. “For Germany to be fit for the future, we need municipalities that comprehend our digital lives and our digital economic strength in an integrative sense. Simply having modern, digital infrastructures is nowhere near enough. They have to be able to attract the best tech talents.”
And where does Aachen rank in all this? In addition to the two leading metropolises, a whole string of smaller cities have established themselves as tech hubs. At the front of these “hidden champions” is Darmstadt, which takes 3rd place in the national ranking. Darmstadt leads in research and education, and also in technology jobs. Other hidden champions also stand out through their leading positions in research and education, or also through their tech-oriented economic structures. In addition to Darmstadt, these leading lights include Erlangen, Karlsruhe and Aachen. Notably, even though Aachen currently does not rank among the very best as a tech hub, the location does score high in terms of its potential.