Schleswig-Holstein: Strong industries

The economic infrastructure in Schleswig-Holstein is diverse, characterised by small and medium-sized enterprises and constantly in motion. Some promising sectors with particularly good development opportunities stand out.

Digital economy

Information and communication technologies (ICT) initiate and facilitate many product and process innovations in other sectors, such as in the energy industry, plant and mechanical engineering, logistics or the health industry. Information and communication technologies are the key to driving overall economic development and are considered to be one of Schleswig-Holstein's key industry competencies. 

The digital economy sector in Schleswig-Holstein comprises the areas of information technology (IT), telecommunications (TC), ICT hardware, ICT trade, e-commerce, media-related areas and media, with a clear focus on the areas of information technology with software development, media-related areas and e-commerce. 

In view of its special cross-sectional function for all economic sectors, the digital economy in Schleswig-Holstein also has a high economic policy relevance. Increasing digitalisation can be observed in all professional and private areas of life. Together with the rapid innovation cycles of information and communication technologies, this means constantly new demands on companies with regard to their own electronic business processes, but also their products and services.


Kristian Hamel
Investment Consultant
Phone: +49 431 66 66 6 - 878

Renewable energies

Schleswig-Holstein is an export state for clean energy. Thanks to the fresh breeze, around 2,998 wind turbines with a total output of 6,699 megawatts are turning here - in wind farms on land and off the coasts. And the trend is increasing. In order to be able to absorb and transmit the generated electricity in the future, the grid expansion is being pushed further. The state government and grid operators expect more electricity to be generated from wind here at the beginning of the next decade than from nuclear power in 2006. Today, the wind energy sector already covers 40 percent of Schleswig-Holstein's net electricity consumption.

A total of over 200 companies and associations are active in the wind energy sector in Schleswig-Holstein. Around 12,000 employees work in the wind energy sector in the areas of plant construction, logistics, planning, service and much more. 

Schleswig-Holstein offers an excellent research and training infrastructure for the wind energy industry, e.g. with special study programmes, education centres, research facilities and offshore training centres. 

In parallel, the state also promotes the expansion of other renewable energies - for example geothermal energy and biomass use in rural areas. Compared to the rest of Germany, the universities offer the largest share of industry-relevant courses. 


Kristian Hamel
Investment Consultant
Phone: +49 431 66 66 6 - 878
UniverCell produces innovative energy storage systems in Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein is a pioneer in the field of renewable energies. To be able to use energy sustainably,... ...

Life sciences

Schleswig-Holstein is good for your health. Business-friendly structures that effectively promote knowledge and technology transfer, the good networking of universities, research institutions and industry, and - last but not least - numerous institutions that support scientists on their way to the market - all this makes the true North particularly attractive for life sciences companies.

Approximately 140,000 people work here in about 260 companies in the fields of medicine and medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. In the process, companies from related sectors have also come together geographically: Biotechnology has settled primarily in the east and south of the state, and medical technology is particularly well represented in and around Lübeck and in the greater Norderstedt area. And highly qualified young people are trained locally: at three universities and the University Clinics Schleswig-Holstein, at four universities of applied sciences and numerous non-university research institutions.


Steffen Assfalg
Investment Consultant
Phone: +49 431 66 66 6 - 872

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A focus on patient well-being - Savvy pharmaceutical research - Progress for long-term patients Established as a small start-up in 1970, Medac Gesellschaft für klinische Spezialpräparate mbH (the ...
Together for innovative medicine Schleswig-Holstein is good for your health. Business-friendly structures that effectively promote the transfer of knowledge and technology, an intensive network of ...


Its special geographical location alone makes Schleswig-Holstein one of the most important hubs in international transport. Located in the heart of Europe, it is not only the central link to Scandinavia and to the growing markets in the Baltic Sea region and the Baltic States, but it is also the only federal state with access to two seas and direct access to world markets through its proximity to Hamburg.

With almost 3,200 companies and around 53,000 employees in the areas of transport, handling and warehousing, the logistics sector is one of the most important economic sectors in the country. 


Schleswig-Holstein ist Land der Logistiker:

  • 116 Tsd. sozialversicherungspflichtig Beschäftigte in den Wirtschaftsunternehmen
  • Umsatz von 18 Mrd. Euro pro Jahr
  • rund 4.000 Unternehmen allein im Kernbereich "Verkehr und Lagerei"
Nicole Wallmann
Investment Consultant
Phone: +49 431 66 66 6 - 876

Maritime economy

The maritime economy includes all research, development and production activities related to the sea. In terms of turnover and employment, shipbuilding and its suppliers form the core of the industry. In addition, marine research, deep-sea technology and marine biotechnology are becoming increasingly important.

With an annual turnover of around 8.5 billion Euros, this sector of the economy has a 12 percent share of Schleswig-Holstein's gross domestic product. 15 educational and research institutions are active in the maritime sector in the state and more than 1,700 companies employ around 47,000 people.

In order to strengthen the competitiveness of the industry, Schleswig-Holstein, together with Lower Saxony, Hamburg, Bremen and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, is promoting the "Maritime Cluster North Germany" and has launched numerous activities with the state initiative "Sea our Future".


Nicole Wallmann
Investment Consultant
Phone: +49 431 66 66 6 - 876
The year 2021 was a special one for Gebrüder Friedrich Schiffswert (the ‘Friedrich Brothers’ Shipyard’). It has been 100 years since the shipyard was established by the brothers Wilhelm and ...

Mechanical Engineering

One of the important drivers of innovation and growth in the true North: The companies in the mechanical engineering sector invest particularly heavily in research and development and have an above-average export share of around 65 percent. World market leaders such as Sauer-Danfoss and Vossloh, Caterpillar and Jungheinrich benefit, among others, from the central geographical location and proximity to internationally important ports and the Hamburg Airport.

Almost 200 companies with around 21,000 - mostly highly qualified - skilled workers cover the entire value chain of the industry - from plant or engine construction to automation technology and machine tool construction to robotics. In addition to the strong domestic demand, mechanical engineering "Made in Schleswig-Holstein" is also in demand worldwide. The emerging markets, especially China, are traditionally particularly strong international sales markets.


Beate Zitzlaff
Investment Consultant
Phone: +49 431 66 66 6 - 874

Tourism/Hospitality industry

Tourism as an economic and location factor for Schleswig-Holstein!

With 1,190 kilometres of coastline and countless beaches on two seas, around 300 lakes, 32,000 kilometres of rivers, Schleswig-Holstein is a true holiday paradise. Clear air, wide horizons and almost unlimited possibilities for individual leisure activities. Sports enthusiasts can get active themselves with sailing, surfing or rowing, riding or golfing, cycling or hiking. 

But it's not just nature that has a lot to offer: In the true North, gourmets can expect an enjoyable culinary culture of high-quality regional products and celebrated kitchen stars: a total of 11 star chefs create culinary highlights at the highest level - four of them on the island of Sylt alone. Outstanding and even awarded two stars: Dirk Luther from the Alter Meierhof in Glücksburg and Johannes King, from Söl'Ring Hof Sylt. And when it comes to culture, the true North also has a lot to offer: from the Kiel Week to the Wacken Open Air and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. There's something for everyone here. And you can tell. After all, over 6 million tourists spend their holidays here annually. 


Petra Stangenberg
Investment Hotel Consultant
Phone: +49 431 66 66 6 - 877
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