NEWS TO GO Strong Growth Anticipated Urban 5G Model Region Robust Startup Dynamic The latest economic report issued by Berlin’s Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises shows that the capital is continuing its positive growth trajectory. As Economics Senator Ramona Pop noted, “The forces for growth in Berlin have maintained the upper hand. And this upward trend is being driven by a combination of the fast-growing service industries and the robust manufacturing industry. We expect to see a growth rate of roughly 2.7% for 2018. And, at the moment, in spite of international perils, we are forecasting 2.3% growth for 2019, which brings us in above the national average.” According to the economic report, considerable momentum is coming from the service industries. In the information and communication sector alone, the number of employees subject to social security contributions increased by roughly 11%, which is more than two times higher than the rate nationwide. 6 Berlin’s Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises and Deutsche Telekom came together for intensive discussions designed to identify measures that would allow them to jointly bring forward the expansion of the 5G mobile network as soon as possible. The measures will include the provision of public infrastructure, including support structures for base stations with low-power transmission, so-called “small cells.” Findings from a joint project that tested out locations for LTE small cells – such as light poles, advertising clocks and BVG info pillars – will also be taken into consideration. Berlin is home to many innovative companies that would benefit from the opportunities associated with the early introduction of a 5G mobile network. For this reason, in the course of the expansion process, we will be prioritizing support for Berlin’s “locations of future innovations” including the Adlershof, CHIC and FUBIC tech parks and the Siemens Innovation Campus. Additional event locations and transport routes will follow. 521 digital companies were founded in Berlin in 2017, which is 80 companies more than in the previous year. As reported by the IBB, this marks a whopping 18% increase in the number of new companies founded in the capital over the previous year. In 2017, Berlin saw as many digital companies founded as in Hamburg (224), Munich (153) and Frankfurt/Main (137) combined. These days, the founding of one out of every ten digital companies in Germany takes place in Berlin. With regard to the intensity of founding activities – that is, the number of companies founded per 10,000 employees – Berlin comes in at second place with 59 companies founded, following Cologne (81) in first place, but ahead of Frankfurt (47), Hamburg (41) and Munich (23). There are currently 9,696 companies active in the digital economy in Berlin; in total, they provide 88,206 jobs.
Expansions in the Field of AI Climbing Construction Costs Co-Working Space for Startups The British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce is setting up an AI center at its location in the Brandenburg town of Dahlewitz near Berlin. Company sources say the project is part of a planned five-year, €113 million investment. They also expect the AI center to benefit from the surrounding Berlin-Brandenburg tech environment. Rolls- Royce has had a location in Dahlewitz for 25 years. Google is also expanding its operations in Berlin; as of January, 300 employees are working primarily in the field of AI at the company’s new offices in the historic Gropius Ensemble, which forms part of the “Forum at Museum Island.” At the official opening of the new site, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced further investments in Germany as well as an expansion of the company’s digital education services. Builders in Berlin and Brandenburg are now having to dig ever deeper into their pockets. In 2018, the cost of erecting new residential buildings in Berlin was on average 6.3% higher than in the previous year. In Brandenburg, construction costs increased by 5.8%. At the beginning of the year, the Berlin-Brandenburg Office of Statistics pointed out that prices in Berlin rose more than ever since the Wall came down. In Brandenburg, construction costs in 2018 increased by 5.8% compared to the previous year. This was the largest increase in eleven years. But it’s not just the cost of new construction that’s climbing; anyone using the services of a craftsman to paint a ceiling or put up some wallpaper had to pay a full 8% more than in the previous year in Berlin. In Brandenburg, the costs of such “cosmetic” repairs rose by 7.8%. The costs of road construction in Berlin increased by 11.5%; in Brandenburg, they rose by 9.5%. The TU Berlin has opened its new EINS co-working space in a building on Ernst-Reuter-Platz 1. EINS is a unique innovation platform that stands for entrepreneurship, innovation, network and sustainability. The location is designed to service company founders, researchers and students and to serve as a location where entrepreneurship and tech-transfer projects that have potential for a threefold, sustainable impact – economic, social and ecological – can be carried out and transferred into practice. The 1,000 square-meter space has 80 work stations, a prototype workshop (Maker Space), office and seminar rooms as well as an event space for almost 200 people. EINS brings together researchers and scientific findings together with actors drawn from business, politics and civil society. Together, they will work across disciplines to provide entrepreneurial solutions to future challenges and generate added value for society. 7