Renewed Economic Growth in Hamburg

HWF: 6,227 new and secured jobs for Hamburg

Games industry and renewable energy sector stimulate Hamburg’s economy

Renewed Economic Growth in Hamburg

Hamburg’s economic upswing is also reflected by the results reported by the HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation for 2010. In particular, it is the economic momentum in the second half of the year that contributed to the creation of 1,527 new jobs. 114 companies from Germany and other countries either located or expanded operations in Hamburg. These business development activities resulted in a total of EUR 347.5 million being invested and an additional 4,700 existing jobs being secured. HWF Managing Director Uwe Jens Neumann: "New business establishments and expansions in the games industry and renewable energy sector, as well as the consolidation and investment activities of large Hamburg-based companies, were instrumental in achieving this result."

"The City of Hamburg has consistently initiated and supported new economic developments, advancing the digitalisation of the economy in the mid-1990s, successfully developing the aviation sector for the past decade, and since 2006 promoting the evolution of the port industries into a comprehensive logistics hub. The HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation has always played a crucial role, proven once more by the recent HWF successes in the digital gaming and renewable energy sectors," Ian K. Karan, Minister of Economic and Labour Affairs, states. "The more broadly Hamburg’s economy is positioned, the less it is affected by fluctuation and volatility in individual industries."

Overall Result

In 2010 the HWF Business Development Corporation supported 114 companies (2009: 104) either newly locating in Hamburg or expanding their local operations. In the process, a total of 1,527 (2009: 1,239) new jobs were created and an additional 4,700 (2009: 4,402) existing jobs were secured. Investments amounted to EUR 347.5 million (2009: 338.7 million). Another 265 companies received assistance from the HWF Service for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

Games Industry

Hamburg’s outstanding digital infrastructure and the presence of related industries such as multimedia, music, film and advertising make it Germany’s gaming industry hotspot. More than 2,500 employees at roughly 150 companies make their living in the digital games value chain. A crucial factor in Hamburg gaining its national and international reputation as ‘game city’ has been the activity of gamecity:Hamburg, a project under the auspices of the initiative Hamburg@work associated with HWF for the past seven years. It is the games industry that saw the implementation of one of HWF’s major projects in 2010: the expansion of Bigpoint. is the biggest gaming portal in Germany, and among the world’s Top 3. Its broad offering of high-quality online games has made the leading online gaming platform. With qualified HWF support, the company will move into new premises in May 2011, a listed historic merchant’s house at Drehbahn 47–48. Its staff will grow by 220 to a total of 600 employees. The company’s new home, a six-storey classic merchant’s building designed by Postbaurat C. Teuke, is distinguished by a well-proportioned, symmetrical and finely-structured brick facade. Construction of the original building began in 1927. Strabag Real Estate GmbH is responsible for remodeling the property to meet Bigpoint’s requirements.

This relocation is relevant in the local urban development context as well, given the new location’s proximity to the new Business Improvement District, ‘Opernboulevard’. Bigpoint and its young and international staff will contribute significantly to the revitalisation of Dammtorstraße and to the effort to make the area around the Hamburg State Opera more attractive. "The move is a major step for Bigpoint, and for me personally, and we are greatly indebted to HWF for their help. In the long term, 800 employees from 35 different countries will work here at our new international headquarters, continuing our global success story. It also means that Bigpoint will have created more than 500 new jobs in Hamburg in less than three years’ time," as Bigpoint GmbH’s CEO Heiko Hubertz points out.

35 nationalities are represented among Bigpoint’s personnel; many other staff members have an immigrant background. The company’s employees in Hamburg are responsible for computer games in 25 languages. Minister of Economic and Labour Affairs, Ian Karan: "The integration of immigrants in the job market is a matter that is close to my heart. Bigpoint has been very successful in this respect, showing that diverse cultural backgrounds are also an economic asset."

Other games companies supported in 2010 include Caipirinha Games (computer game production), Candygun Games (computer game production), krassGames (computer games for mobile devices) and Ping Pilots (computer game production).

Renewable Energy

In recent years, Hamburg has been the region to benefit the most from the growth of the wind power market. Producers like Repower Systems, now part of the Indian Suzlon group, Nordex, Siemens, and Danish company Vestas, have located their head offices or sales departments in the Hamburg metropolitan region.

In addition, many energy companies have made Hamburg the centre of their activities in the renewable energy sector. This also includes energy suppliers from other German federal states, such as EnBW, Erneuerbare Energien Baden-Württemberg, RWE or Vattenfall. For them, the Hanseatic city is the ideal location, for example, for managing Baltic and North Sea offshore activities. Manufacturers and producers, planners and designers, financiers, certifying agencies, insurers and other service providers – the Hamburg location holds bright economic prospects for enterprises across the entire value chain. To date, more than 600 companies in this field have set up in Hamburg, among them many names of international renown. There are manifold reasons for this development. One of them certainly is the local concentration of related industries and the associated synergy effects. Aircraft construction and shipbuilding engineers are well adapted to the requirements of the wind power industry. Airbus, Lufthansa Technik, Blohm & Voss, or Sietas – all of these corporations contribute valuable know-how when it comes to developing technical solutions for the wind energy industry. The vast majority of renewable energy patents are filed by companies based in the nation’s north.

Many of these enterprises received HWF support to establish operations in Hamburg. In 2010, the HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation again played an important role in attracting strategically significant players in this industry, such as Broadwind Energy Europe and US corporation General Electric.

Broadwind Energy Europe, a subsidiary of US-based wind power specialists Broadwind Energy Inc. from Naperville (Illinois), set up a sales office in Hamburg in 2010 as the first stage of a plan which envisions basing European headquarters and a technology centre here. Michael Stegelmann, head of the company’s European operations: "Hamburg’s weight as the 2011 European Green Capital, the excellent links provided by the Renewable Energy Industry Network and the proximity to offshore sites present us with ideal conditions to build our European business."

General Electric (GE) will locate its new technology centre for offshore wind farms in Hamburg, thus creating approximately 60 high-grade jobs by 2013. GE intends to establish and shape Hamburg’s profile as a major renewable energy site. Among the determining factors were the awarding of the ‘2011 European Green Capital’ title by the European Commission as well as the constitution of the Renewable Energy Industry Cluster. Georg Knoth, CEO of GE Central Europe: "By locating our new technology centre for offshore wind power in Hamburg we are validating and reinforcing our committment to Germany as a site of environmental and high technology. With increasing use of alternative energy sources, the offshore segment will play an ever more significant role. Hamburg is intensifying its activities in renewable energy as the 2011 European Green Capital, and with its comprehensive offshore wind power strategy and extraordinary research and innovation network, it is the perfect environment for us."

Other renewable energy sector companies newly located in Hamburg in 2010 include Dateng Europe GmbH (solar cell supplier) and Z&D (solar module trader) from China, as well as Scan Energy (developer and operator of solar and wind parks) and EHG Energi 7 (wood pellet trader) from Denmark. A suitable site in the metropolitan region was found for Korean offshore wind park developer Ewindgate. Other players in the renewables industry are expected to follow suit in 2011, as HWF managing Director Uwe Jens Neumann remarks: "We are currently involved in promising talks with a number of international companies, and anticipate that the formation of the new ‘Hamburg Renewable Energy Industry Network’ will provide a further impetus."

Attracting Companies from Germany and Abroad

85 new companies located in Hamburg in 2010 (2009: 68), among them 14 (2009: 15) from other federal states in Germany. Key foreign markets are China – 24 companies (2009: 12) – and the Commonwealth of Independent States – 15 companies (2009: 11), of which 11 (2009: 9) are Russian. 7 Danish firms also made the move to Hamburg. Two companies from each of the following countries have set up in the Hanseatic city: France, the UK, India, Japan, Turkey and the USA. Broken down by industry, the list is topped by MITT (media, information technology, telecommunication) with 14 enterprises, followed by renewable energy and logistics (6 each) and the aviation industry (2). One additional company in the renewable energy sector located in the greater metropolitan region. New business establishments accounted for 719 newly created jobs (2009: 280).

Supporting Companies in Hamburg

The close support provided to Hamburg-based enterprises allowed 29 companies to implement expansion plans in the past year (2009: 36) despite challenging economic conditions. This secured 4,700 existing (2009: 4,402) and created 808 new jobs (2009: 959).

The most significant HWF project in this context is the relocation of Allianz within the city, with some 1,300 employees moving into the former Esso head office in City Nord. The owner, Hamburg-based TAS KG, is spending approximately EUR 40 million to refurbish the building’s 60,000 sqm of gross floor area.

Deutsche Bahn AG is relocating to City-Süd, where the firm will concentrate its ten current Hamburg offices in a single new building. The site covers an area of 13,145 sqm, of which 6,620 sqm are municipal land and 6,525 sqm are owned by DAK. Combining both plots for the project, the new structure will be called ‘Hammerbrookhöfe’ and is due for completion in 2012. The Hammerbrookhöfe project will produce a gross floor space of roughly 35,000 sqm. The rentable area will provide room for some 1,000 employees of Deutsche Bahn and its subsidiaries in Hamburg. In addition, there are plans for a university residence hall which will provide 6,500 sqm of gross floor space and house 150 to 200 students.

Rolls-Royce Marine has begun construction on its new, expanded office and service complex on Reiherstieg. Investing approximately EUR 5 million, the company intends to grow its Hamburg staff from 20 to 60 or 70 employees in the medium term. The offices and production facilities of Rolls-Royce Intering Products, part of Rolls-Royce Marine since 2001, will also be located in the new building. The subsidiary has 16 employees and produces ship stabilisation and anti-heeling systems.

The availability of optimal production, office and storage space is a fundamental prerequisite for resident companies to grow and for new businesses to locate in Hamburg. In 2010, the HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation launched the enhanced version of the HDB – Hamburg Database for privately-owned commercial real estate – at Its expanded functionality allows suppliers and potential customers to quickly and comprehensively retrieve information on plots, offices, halls, production space, workshops and other types of privately-owned properties throughout Hamburg. "The updated Hamburg Database for privately-owned commercial real estate complements HWF’s range of services for Hamburg-based companies," as Uwe Jens Neumann, Managing Director of the HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation, states. As as in the past, real estate owners and users can also contact the HWF Real Estate Service directly for a personal consultation.

Other Activities

In its work, the HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation mainly focuses on supporting local enterprises, most of which are medium-sized businesses. An important element are the cluster initiatives, through which support is provided not only to individual companies, but also to entire industries. There are currently three cluster initiatives with HWF association: Hamburg@work, Logistics Initiative Hamburg and the Aviation Cluster of the Hamburg metropolitan region. The new ‘Renewable Energy’ cluster shares the HWF offices.

Organising trade fair appearances (MIPIM, Real Estate North, expansion, Expo Real, Aircraft Interiors Expo, among others), and hosting industry competitions (e.g. Crystal Cabin Award, Neptun Award) and conventions (e.g. IT Strategy Days), the HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation is strongly involved in promoting Hamburg’s economic development at the domestic and international level.

HWF also actively maintains networks with companies from China, Japan, Russia and other countries. New in 2010: In an effort to intensify contacts with the Spanish-speaking world, HWF co-founded the Community Forum Hamburg Lateinamerika. The first companies from Chile, Mexiko and Uruguay have since established operations in Hamburg.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of its founding, the HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation received the Japanese ‘Foreign Minister’s Commendation’. It is awarded to individuals and institutions for outstanding achievements in the international field, and in recognition of their contribution to promoting amicable relations between Japan and other countries.

A new project with HWF involvement, the knowledge network ‘Wissensnetz Nord – Metropolregion Hamburg’, kicked off in late 2010. HWF and the business development agencies of the districts of Dithmarschen and Steinburg (egeb), Pinneberg and Segeberg (WEP), Stormarn (WAS), and WTSH for Schleswig-Holstein are joining forces to enhance the competitiveness of the resident companies. The aim of building the knowledge network is to increase employee participation in mid-career and advanced training programmes and correspondingly, to improve the innovative capability and competitiveness of companies in the metropolitan region. Set up for a period of two years, the project is backed by the European Union and the Hamburg metropolitan region. The European Social Fund (ESF) was set up more than 50 years ago to improve employment opportunities in the European Union. The HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation has created a dedicated administrative office for the ‘Wissensnetz Nord – Metropolregion Hamburg’ project.