Düsseldorf – Business & Science

The state capital is the heart of the Rhine-Ruhr region. More than 80,000 companies are located in the economic region of Düsseldorf, of which 39,000 are situated directly in the city area. It is one of the leading international trade, service and communication centres in Germany and Europe.

The metropolis on the Rhine is the seat of numerous companies and research institutions in the fields of medicine and health, chemicals and pharmaceuticals as well as industrial technology and innovation. Moreover, Düsseldorf is a leading location for the information and communications sector in Germany. Fashion and beauty also play a major role for the city. Düsseldorf is one of the world's top fashion locations along with Milan and Paris.

Besides more than 70 consulates and foreign funding organisations for commerce and tourism are based in Düsseldorf. Also noteworthy is the size of the Japanese community. Around 450 Japanese firms are among the many international companies residing in Düsseldorf. The close ties with China and Russia are also reflected in various facets of the Düsseldorf economy.

Düsseldorf: Concentrated Industry Expertise for Your Event

In addition to appropriate venues, a top location and a hospitable infrastructure, meeting planners are placing an increasing amount of importance on industry expertise when searching for event destinations. According to the 2012 Meeting and Event Barometer, 82 percent of the meeting planners surveyed are convinced that interfacing with the local, industry-specific experts is becoming increasingly important.

As the state capital of North-Rhine Westphalia, and one of Germany’s major event metropolises, Düsseldorf is extremely well positioned in this regard, and in many areas.

Medicine and Healthcare

One of Düsseldorf’s primary areas of expertise is medicine and healthcare. With its solid medical faculty consisting of 30 institutes, Heinrich-Heine University is the primary linchpin here. Cardiology is one of the university’s primary fields of research, based at the Herzzentrum Düsseldorf, while the tumour centre has an oncological focus. Neuroscience, molecular and clinical hepatology and infection medicine are also strongly represented. Moreover, the faculty includes a centre for paediatrics and adolescent medicine, a prominent women’s hospital with a breast centre, as well as one of Germany’s oldest dental clinics.

Düsseldorf is also extraordinarily well established in the area of non-university research. The Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine focuses on the improvement of healthcare in relation to pollution, and the development of preventative strategies.

The Düsseldorf region is also home to several leading relevant suppliers and laboratory equipment providers. Bayer Innovation GmbH, PFK – Planning Office for Hospital Facilities, and Ternieden GmbH Media Technology & Services are just three examples.

As political centre for North-Rhine Westphalia, Düsseldorf is also home to numerous medical associations and advocacy groups. For example, the Professional Association of German Ophthalmologists (BVA), the German Society of Cardiologists (DGK), and the Professional Association of German Laboratory Physicians (BDL) all have their headquarters in the state capital. Also worth mentioning are the German Society for Urology (DGU), the Independent Association of German Dentists (FZDZ), the Association of German Kidney Centres (DN), and the North Rhine Medical Association (ÄkNo).

MEDICA, COMPANED and Rehacare make the City of Düsseldorf one of the leading locations for medical exhibitions in Germany. Moreover, several PCOs and event agencies that specialise specifically in this field are located here.

Chemistry and Pharmacology

Düsseldorf is also well positioned in the field of chemistry and pharmacology, with a focus on life sciences and biotechnology. Many global top players in the chemical and life sciences industry have settled here, including Bayer, Henkel, Johnson & Johnson, Monsanto and 3M Medica. Leading German biotech companies, such as Qiagen, Evotec, and NewLab BioQuality AG, meanwhile a part of the American Charles River corporation, are also located here. All told, more than 90 life sciences and biotech companies have their headquarters in Düsseldorf, as well as numerous specialised goods and services providers.

Two internationally renowned life sciences research institutes are important driving forces in this dynamic development: Heinrich-Heine University and the Düsseldorf University Clinic. The various Heinrich-Heine University spin-offs alone are generating more than 50 percent of the combined revenue from all publicly traded German biotech companies.

Furthermore, important chemistry and life science associations and organisations are located in the North-Rhine Westphalian state capital, including the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), the German Federation of Chemical Employers’ Associations (BAVC), and the BioRiver – LifeSciences of the Rhineland Association, which counts around 100 scientific and economic institutions as members.

One of the industry’s poster children for successful conferences and conventions is the pharma and biotech conference, BioEurope, which has taken place at CCD Congress Center Düsseldorf twice to date.

Industrial Technology/Innovation

Düsseldorf also has plenty to show in the area of industrial technology. The state capital offers many locational advantages for industrial enterprises, as can be seen by the number of industrial companies that have settled there. Among other sectors, we find automobile manufacturing, metal production and metalworking, machine and plant engineering, energy production and consumer goods production here. Düsseldorf-based industrial corporations produce world-renowned brand-name products, and generate a gross domestic product of 3.7 billion euros. With an export ratio of 46 percent, Düsseldorf industry also displays an above-average involvement in the global economy. Examples of industrial corporations headquartered in Düsseldorf include Mercedes-Benz, Henkel, Gottwald Port Technology, Komatsu Mining Germany, Vossloh Kiepe, Tata Steel, A.u.K. Müller, and Vallourec & Mannesmann Tubes.

Innovation and research form the basis for the market leadership of Düsseldorf-based industrial companies. In fact, Düsseldorf is one of the most research-intensive economic regions in all of Germany. Both Heinrich-Heine University and the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences enjoy excellent scientific reputations, and both institutions are first addresses when it comes to technology transfer.

In order to firmly establish and further develop industry in the state capital, and to make it fit for the future, the city — along with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, and several industrial companies and associations — announced a cooperation entitled “Master Plan Industry”. The Association of German Engineers (VDI) represents yet another important industrial technology organisation based in Düsseldorf.


Düsseldorf is also known as “Little Tokyo on the Rhine”, and for good reason: the state capital maintains a close relationship with Japan, and is home to the largest Japanese community in Germany, as well as one of the largest in Europe: close to 7,000 Japanese live in the city. This is reflected in public life, for example through the annual Japan Day, and the numerous Japanese gastronomy and hotel businesses, as well as in the economic landscape.

Düsseldorf is considered to be an important European hub of Japanese business activity. Based in the state capital, the Japanese Chamber of Industry and Commerce plays an important role in this regard — its primary function is to promote business relations between Japan and Germany, and to further improve the local conditions in Düsseldorf and surrounding areas for Japanese companies.

Japanese businesses are an important economic factor in Düsseldorf. Examples of Japanese companies based here include Mitsubishi Electric, Toshiba, the Bank of Tokyo, Crestec, Mitusi & Co, Yusen Logistics, and the Marubeni corporation.

The scientific activities at the Heinrich-Heine University’s Institute for Modern Japan underscore the Japanese expertise in the city.


Similarly, Düsseldorf is the strongest and most dynamic Chinese hub in North-Rhine Westphalia. More than 300 of the approximately 750 Chinese businesses in North-Rhine Westphalia are located in the state capital. The majority of these companies are active in the information and communication industries. Some examples are Yingli Green Energy Europe, Fullcome, Sanda Design, Huawei, ZTE, and the Bank of China. Furthermore, Düsseldorf is home to around 2,300 Chinese.


Nearly 50 Russian companies are located in the North-Rhine Westphalian state capital, including ICB Deutschland GmbH, Re-store, YouKit GmbH, I.T.C.G., and Sinteko GmbH. The close economic ties between Düsseldorf and Russia are also visible through the numerous companies from the Düsseldorf region that have branches in Russia. Examples include E.ON, Thyssen Krupp, Henkel und Metro Cash / Carry International.