An outstanding location at the intersection of old trade routes and wide-ranging market and commercial traffic were responsible for the glittering development of Erfurt. Today, the state capital of Thuringia enjoys a central position that makes it particularly interesting for both event planners and entrepreneurs founding new companies – especially in the areas of transport + logistics and technology + innovation.
Erfurt has always been an important intersection for east/west and north/south traffic. Today, the city has an important position in Germany's motorway infrastructure and fast railway links for high speed ICE trains and rail freight. The city's airport completes the transport infrastructure offering the ideal conditions for companies such as TNT Express, BLG Handelslogistik and the logistics centres of companies such as Netto or Panasonic. The internet retailer Zalando is currently setting up its new logistics centre in the city. In addition, there is a strong emphasis on research and education for the sector, with the Faculty of Business, Logistics and Transport at the Erfurt University of Applied Sciences and its two associated institutes, proTUL and the Transport and Spatial Planning Institute, making particularly important contributions to communicating professional knowledge and the development of innovative and intelligent logistics solutions.
Technology + innovation are prominently represented in Erfurt in two areas: firstly in media technology and children's media and secondly in microtechnology and photovoltaics. The children's TV channel run by the state broadcasters ARD and ZDF has its headquarters in the city, which is also a centre for the production principally of children's films shown at festivals. Media productions for children are also the subject of research and education in Erfurt and, naturally, institutions active in the area of media technology have also settled here – including production companies, specialists in post-production, virtual production, animation, multimedia and games. But innovators such as Iosono GmbH, which has enjoyed global success with its new type of sound system, also have their headquarters here - as do many microelectronics companies following in the footsteps of the former East German state combine Kombinat Mikroelektronik. Today, the cluster initiative Mikro-Nanotechnologie-Thüringen e. V. is taking steps to secure and further develop the technological foundations of the industry and represent the broad interests of microsystems technology and nanotechnology.
In the photovoltaic industry, Erfurt companies provide products and services for every step of the value added chain from wafer production to innovative applications of solar technology in architecture.