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Berlin to go, english edition, 02/2019

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NEWS TO GO goes online A new leitmotif for Berlin Handing out the bear Startups are a key factor in Berlin’s ongoing economic boom but, until recently, it was hard to say exactly who was doing what, where and when. In order to remedy that situation, the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises initiated a brand-new website called “” designed to provide better orientation through the city’s multifaceted startup ecosystem. At the moment, the site lists roughly 2,350 Berlin-based startups that have been around for less than ten years. The data on the site will continue to gain in scope in the course of the year. Founders and entrepreneurs are invited to submit details about their own companies to the website as well. Access to the site is free of charge and open to the public. 6 Berlin is so many things at once: a dream destination for many, but also a metropolis full of contrasts and contradictions. What makes Berlin what it is? The Berlin Senate Chancellery took up this question and others as part of a recent “research trip” in search of the “DNA of Berlin.” A total of over 2,500 people from Berlin, Germany and other countries were asked for their opinions on the German capital. The quintessence of their response was that Berlin will always be different, Berlin is courageous and future-oriented, Berlin shows solidarity and Berlin is an open, free and honest city. Thus Berlin’s search for a new official leitmotif will center on freedom and a sense of community. As soon as it is chosen, the new leitmotif will serve as a compass for the city’s official public communication. Together with Berlin Partner, visitBerlin and Kulturprojekte Berlin, the Senate Chancellery will soon put out a tender for the conception of the new leitmotif, image and slogan. The “Green Buddy Award” – an environmental prize organized by the Berlin district of Tempelhof- Schöneberg – will be handed out for the ninth year in a row in November 2019. In the category of “Smart Cities Solutions,” Berlin Partner and Investitionsbank Berlin are now looking for innovative solutions designed to foster the city of the future, for example, in the areas of administration, residential living, mobility, public security and energy. Ideas that limit the use of resources, improve the quality of Berliners’ lives and increase the competitiveness of the local economy have the best chances. The winner in each category will be awarded an individual “Buddy Bear,” prize money totaling €2,000 and an official certificate. The ceremony will take place on November 6, 2019 in the Malzfabrik in Schöneberg. Companies interested in submitting ideas to the competition should visit

2 BERLIN 1 3 Award-winning research in Berlin Number 1 in economic growth Building permit numbers increase Four scientists from Berlin have been chosen as among the recipients of this year’s prestigious ERC Advanced Grants, which are endowed with a total of €9.3 million. The Berlin-based prizewinners are physicist Roland Netz from the Freie Universität Berlin, physicist Thomas Elsässer from the Max Born Institute for Non-Linear Optics and Short-Pulse Spectroscopy, mathematician Dr. Gavril Farkas from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and archaeologist Svend Hansen from the German Archaeological Institute. The ERCs are considered the most important European honor for researchers. Upon hearing the news, Berlin’s governing mayor Michael Müller said: “I am delighted that the latest round of awards includes acknowledgment for the groundbreaking research ideas of four outstanding minds from Berlin.” The Berlin economy grew by 3.1% in 2018, thus outshining all other federal states and marking its fifth consecutive year with a growth rate above the national average. In 2018, growth was at 1.4% in Germany overall. As Berlin Senator Ramona Pop noted, “The city’s success was generated by the mix and breadth of its industries. Particularly strong growth came from the services sector and modern industrial production at the interface between industry and digitalization.” Stable domestic demand and ongoing increases in employment have made Berlin’s economic outlook for 2019 quite favorable. Senator Pop: “At an expected growth rate of 2% in 2019, Berlin is again set to grow at a faster pace than the national average. Year after year, we continue to make good ground and broaden the basis for prosperity in our city.” Berlin’s sustainable economic upturn has also brought an unprecedented drop in the number of unemployed in the city. Berlin’s construction industry continues to operate at a very high level, with 24,218 building permits issued in 2018. This number marked a slight 2.1% drop in comparison to 2017 (24,743). In the realm of new buildings in the multi-family home sector, the number fell by 1.4%. Nationwide, the number of approved new homes last year dropped by 0.2% to reach roughly 347,300 permits. In Brandenburg, the number of new permits fell by 21.9% in 2018. Berlin’s Senator for Urban Development and Housing, Katrin Lompscher, noted: “We were able to keep the number of building permits at a high level in spite of the increasingly complicated situation. And we will continue to do our utmost in the coming year to work with the districts and make advances in the construction of new residential buildings.” 7

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