The economic success of any enterprise already commences at the choice of a location. For the CircleSmartCard AG, which was founded in Erfurt on 21 May 1999, it proved to be the right and good decision to establish itself in Erfurt. This is a fact that cannot only be attributed to the investment promotion in the Central German business location.
Unlike quite a few rather sedate authorities in the west of Germany, the administration at the Erfurt location reaches quick and competent decisions. Whether a snack bar, car dealership or prospective global market leader in the area of chip-card production – a proactive and cooperative administration can be relied upon for a speedy business registration. The comprehensive and speedy advice of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry also pleasantly raises itself above the time-consuming procedures of comparable institutions at other locations.
The state capital of Thuringia is one of the supporting legs of the Erfurt-Weimar-Jena-Ilmenau technology region. Each of these cities cultivates excellent skilled personnel at their own universities. Skilled personnel are available and are inspired to do their work. Last but not least: Erfurt, situated in the centre of Europe, offers attractive and favourable commercial premises.
More important than these factors is, however, the existence of an economic infrastructure, which allows for the achievement of synergy effects. From the CircleSmartCard viewpoint: the Cubit electronics GmbH company was already domiciled in Erfurt – a market and technology leader amongst the producers of antennae systems for non-contact chip cards. Cooperation with this organization in the collective development and production of non-contact chip cards proved extremely successful. The developed product is generally reputed to be the product of the future. Other industry-related organizations have also established themselves and are building cooperative networks.
It is the claim of CircleSmartCard to be the chip card producer with the worldwide highest quality standard; to produce chip card bodies according to modern production processes from tailor-made materials for various applications; to have reasonable delivery costs; and in further-development together with customers and partner organizations, still be in the leading position. The organization produces 240 million chip cards – an increasing trend – and is today the global market leader in its field. Thereof 65 per cent is produced for the export market. The naturally international orientation of global players makes a functional infrastructure of street, rail and air essential. Erfurt has at its disposal a fast IC-connection to the “Frankfurt am Main” airport and furthermore an internal airport with access to other international airports in Germany.
The region managed the ambitious goal: to supply the worldwide chip card market with highquality injection-cast card bodies from technical thermoplastic synthetic material and to promote the development of new tailor-made card materials as well as the improvement of industrial production processes for new applications and markets. With its factors the location contributes thereto that high-tech enterprises grow in international competition right up to world leadership.
The surroundings of the technology region enable organizations operating in the micro-technology field to develop new concepts, materials and procedures beyond the production so that new applications are accessible and so automatically contribute towards the growth of the market.
The author was born in 1949 and studied chemistry at the Technical University Clausthal, where he also received his doctorate and was for many years involved in the field of nuclear energy and as part of management in the plastics processing industry. In 1999 he founded the CircleSmartCard AG in Erfurt. He has been the president of the Association for Plastics Processing Industry since 2002.