Versatility is the quality that sets this city in Lower Saxony apart with outstanding scientific traditions in a total of four disciplines: technology + innovation, transport + logistics, energy + the environment and medicine + healthcare. Braunschweig is a focus for pioneering research in all these fields.
Technology + innovation had a long and famous tradition in Braunschweig even in the days of the physicist, mathematician and astronomer Carl Friedrich Gauß (1777–1855); information and communications technology, optical technologies, microsystems technology and surface technology are the main focuses in one of Europe's leading regions for research. Some 300 companies in the region, including Intel and LINEAS, are active here in the IT sector while a number of specialised and well-connected universities, institutes and initiatives promote the transfer of scientific discoveries to industrial applications.
Braunschweig has a shining reputation in the areas of optics, metrology and surface technology with renowned institutions such as the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films and the Network of Competence Industrial Plasma Surface Technology, a technology key to many innovative products such as flatscreens, Blu-Ray discs and heat protection glass.
Transport + logistics are also making good progress in Braunschweig:
Mobility and traffic technology and aerospace play an important role in the region's economy. In 1903, Heinrich Büssing founded the H. Büssing factory for trucks and motors in Braunschweig; today it is home to the Siemens Mobility Division and other leading manufacturers of aerospace, railway and vehicle electronics technologies. Organisations such as the Aerospace Centre, Braunschweig Research Airport and the Automotive Research Centre Niedersachsen are all engaged in the area of mobility research and development.
In the energy + the environment sector, the focus is primarily on agriculture and renewable raw materials. Braunschweig has produced two internationally renowned pioneers in the area of energy + environment - the biochemist Hans Herloff Inhoffen (1906–1992) and Ludwig Leichtweiß (1878–1958), a pioneer in hydraulic engineering. The region continues to set the agenda in the sector, especially in the area of scientific research. A number of institutes are dedicated to researching and developing renewable raw materials and a plethora of economic initiatives are seeking ways to establish them in the market.
Medicine + healthcare, principally biotechnology and system biology, are no exceptions in profiting from Braunschweig's close-knit scientific networks. In 2004, a total of 27 universities, federal research institutes, Helmholtz Institutes, Fraunhofer Institutes, research establishments run by the Leibniz Society, museums, libraries, the Klinikum Braunschweig hospital and other centres of research joined forces in the association ForschungRegion Braunschweig e. V. In the competence field of system biology, this alliance is supporting biomedical research, helping to make highly regarded breakthroughs in the battle against infectious diseases, produce studies into sustainability and promote effective health and consumer protection.