Dresden's high level of expertise in the areas of chemicals + pharmaceuticals and technology + innovation prove that the capital of the state of Saxony not only has a wealth of cultural and art treasures but also of brilliant minds. The city is home to intensive research in biology and genetics as well as in nano and solar technologies. It is an important location for both research institutes and companies in the pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries.
With intensive research and development work in biotechnology and life sciences, the chemicals + pharmaceuticals sector is a major stimulus for growth and development in Dresden. However, the pharma industry was the seed from which these sectors grew. In 1874, Friedrich von Heyden laid the foundations of the modern pharmaceutical industry through the technical synthesis of salicylic acid, and the chemical laboratories established by the industrialist Karl August Lingner in 1911 gave birth to the Sächsisches Serumwerk Dresden and the Institute for Bacteriotherapy. The focus of this dynamic young life sciences und biotechnology cluster is on molecular bioengineering, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and stem cell research. The Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, the Max Bergmann Centre of Biomaterials, the DFG Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden and the Biotechnology Center of the TU Dresden in combination with networks such as biosaxony e. V. provide an extremely effective research framework in these sectors.
Dresden is a synonym for technology + innovation: microelectronics, information and communications technology, nanotechnology and new materials as well as photovoltaics are sectors in which the city on the River Elbe excels. With 1,200 companies and more than 40,000 employees, Dresden is Europe's No.1 location for microelectronics. Businesses based here reflect every step of the microelectronics value added chain: from chip design to wafer production and processing to a broad range of subcontracting, service and application industries. Companies operating in the cluster are organised in networks such as Silicon Saxony e. V., Europe's largest corporate network in the semiconductor and microsystems industry and profit from a well-developed research infrastructure. As well as the facilities of the TU Dresden, many other institutes of the Fraunhofer and Leibniz Societies are working on pioneering solutions for energy saving microelectronics, organic light emitting diodes and so-called roll-to-roll process in photovoltaic cells.
Nanotechnology, materials development and photovoltaics are further high-tech sectors where Dresden sits at the top table. Eight Fraunhofer Institutes in Dresden and three faculties of the TU Dresden combine their know-how and provide industry with an attractive competence centre for applied research and development. The prospects for Dresden are also bright in solar technology: the Dresden-Freiberg region has a unique combination of subcontractors, producers and research establishments, which are leaders in both crystalline silicon and thin film photovoltaics – and thus "power the world" as the German financial newspaper "Handelsblatt" once wrote.