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Cluster Report Photonics in the Capital Region Berlin-Brandenburg

  • Text
  • Imaging
  • Photonics
  • Berlin
  • Optical
  • Laser
  • Technologies
  • Optics
  • Microsystems
  • Components
  • Brandenburg


2.1 Cluster Evaluation Figure 4: Revenue development in optical technologies and microsystems technology in Berlin-Brandenburg Source: TSB Innovationsagentur Berlin GmbH, MARKUS Figure 5: Employment trends in optical technologies and microsystems technology in Berlin-Brandenburg Source: TSB Innovationsagentur Berlin GmbH, MARKUS Development of revenue and employment From 2002 to 2010, revenues of the Berlin-Brandenburg companies rose from approximately 1.27 to approximately 2.09 billion Euro, corresponding to an average annual growth of over 8%. During the financial and economic crisis in 2009, sales declined by almost 11%. Already the following year, the financial situation of companies improved again, so that the industry reached pre-crisis levels again. For 2011, the companies expect revenue growth of around 12% to 2.33 billion Euro (see figure 4). The development of employment is similar. The number of employees rose from about 10,700 in 2002 to just 13,700 in 2010 with an average annual growth rate of 3.5%. The impact of the crisis is less noticeable in employment than in revenue. The decrease in 2009 by 2% is essentially due to the downsizing by Osram in Berlin. In 2010, the sector recorded a moderate growth in the number of employees. Uncertainties regarding the overall economic development have likely had a negative influence on personnel decisions by companies. Not least because of the continuing good order situation, cautions against new hires seem to have dissolved. For 2011, the companies expect a stronger employment growth of around 5.5% to about 14,400 employees (see figure 5). Among the largest employers in optics in Berlin-Brandenburg are Osram (1,600), Rathenower Optik (920), Berliner Glas (500), Hach Lange (480) and Nokia Siemens Network (450 in optical data transmission). Other industry heavyweights such as the medical technology company Biotronik or the semiconductor developer Atotech work intensively with optical technologies or microsystems technology but have been only partially considered here. In addition, more than 2,200 scientists are working at regional universities and research institutes in the fields of optical technologies and microsystems technology. More than half of those employed in the science sector are accounted for by the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute and the Leibniz-Institute for Innovative Microelectronics (IHP) with 270 employees each, the Fraunhofer- Institute for Reliability and Micro Integration (IZM) (230), the Ferdinand-Braun-Institute, Leibniz-Institute for Highest Frequency Technology (220), and the Max-Born-Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (170). Overall, there were more than 16,600 employees in the capital region in 2011 related to the innovative core of the photonics cluster. Figure 6: Assessment of skilled labor shortages Source: TSB Innovationsagentur Berlin GmbH 12

2.1 Cluster Evaluation Optical communication technology holds the top spot with 26%. With a research and development fraction of 11% and 12% respectively, companies in lighting technology and microsystems technology are trailing in this industry, but compared with other industries are still at above average rates. As for the expectations about future investments in research and development, the lighting technology and microsystems technology show the most positive trend. In microsystems technology, 46% of companies expect an increase in capital expenditure, in lighting technology this number is 42%. Especially in the lighting industry this outlook is hardly surprising, because the market is switching from traditional light sources such as incandescent or discharge lamps to semiconductor-based sources at a rapid pace. Figure 7: Assessment of the current business situation Source: TSB Innovationsagentur Berlin GmbH Company revenue per employee rose from 119,000 Euro in 2002 to 152,000 Euro in 2010; over 161,000 Euro is expected for 2011. The often claimed lack of sufficient qualified personnel does not appear to be a significant problem for the surveyed companies and research institutions, as figure 6 shows. Recruitment in the industry seems to benefit not least from the wealth of training and education opportunities (see chapter 6) and the attractive living conditions in the capital region. The assessment of the current business situation by the surveyed companies and research institutions supports this positive conclusion; it is positive throughout (see figure 7). 71% of participants rate their situation positively, negative ratings don’t exist. Industrial research and development Optical technologies and microsystems technology are among the research- and knowledge-intensive industries. In both areas, Germany occupies a leading position in global competition, which is largely based on a knowledge and technology lead over other economies. To maintain this competitive position, companies invest above average in research and development. Berlin-Brandenburg companies in optical technologies and microsystems technology have invested nearly 17% of their 2010 revenue in expenditures and personnel in the R&D sector (see figure 8). An indicator for investment in research and development is the development of patent applications filed by local companies (see figure 9). Looking at the development over the past 20 years, one notices that the level was very low in the early 1990s. Only in the following years, the number of patent applications increased, which may be due to the fact that young East German companies initially had to fight for economic survival and could invest in patents only once their economic situation consolidated. Of course, methodological distortions play a role, too, because companies no longer belonging to the photonics cluster because of bankruptcy, acquisition, relocation, etc. do not appear in the analysis. The top periods for patent applications, 1999/2000 and 2007, correlate with the general economic development. Beginning with the financial and economic crisis, a decline in patent applications is indicated, though another reason therefor is the fact that patents will appear in the statistics only one to two years after they were registered. Among the owners of the largest number of patents in optical technology and microsystems technology in Berlin-Brandenburg are Franz Sill, Schmidt + Haensch, MSA Auer, Acri.Tec (acquired by Carl Zeiss Meditec in 2007), Fernsteuergeräte Kurt Oelsch, Knick Elektronische Messgeräte, ADC, as well as Atotech and Biotronik. Foreign trade Another characteristic of high-tech industries are high export quotas. Although Germany is usually the most important sales market for the products of the Berlin-Brandenburg firms in the photonics cluster, two thirds of sales was generated abroad in 2010 (see figure 10). Here again, the area of optical communication technology has the highest rate with 86%. Significantly lower export quotas are found for the areas of optical technologies in biomedicine / pharmaceuticals (58%) and microsystems technology (46%). The well-developed industries electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and life sciences in Berlin-Brandenburg certainly contribute to a strong domestic demand. But again, the areas with low current rates expect positive trends. In microsystems technology and optical technologies in biomedicine/phar- Overall 17% laser technology 16% lighting technology 11% optical measuring and sensor technology 17% optical technology in biomedicine/pharmaceuticals 19% optical communication technology 26% microsystems technology 12% Figure 8: Percentage of 2010 R&D investments in terms of overall revenue Source: TSB Innovationsagentur Berlin GmbH 13

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