Dr. phil. Steffen Kammradt: At the junction of international transportation axes

In 2011 one of the most modern air hubs in Europe will be launched – the Airport Berlin Brandenburg International (BBI). It will connect Germany’s capital region with the economic metropolises of the world and reduce the flight time by up to two hours. The first terminal will be able to hold up to 27 million passengers. Step by step, the BBI can be extended to hold up to 40 million passengers. The two runways can be used at the same time and enable the landing of an Airbus A380 or a Dreamliner.

Around the airport BBI, a highly attractive economic surrounding is being built for companies: the airport region of Berlin-Brandenburg. Two characteristics distinguish this economic region in particular: its proximity to the capital, Berlin, and its excellent location directly at the junction of the big European transport axes between Rotterdam and Warsaw, Scandi­­na­­via and Southeast Europe. Big industrial locations, research centres and renowned international companies like Rolls-Royce, MTU, Mercedes Benz, DHL, BASF, Fielmann, Oracle, Vattenfall, VW Logistics or the big solar plants of First Solar, Conergy, Nanosolar, Solon and Odersun, to mention just a few, line up along these axes like pearls on a string.

Close to the emerging markets. The airport region is at the intersection of the strong markets in Western Europe and the emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe. Due to the excellent transport links, all important markets of Europe can be reached within one day’s journey of an HGV – not only by air but also by rail and road. Be it in the direction of Warsaw, Wroclaw, the Czech Republic, Southern Europe, Benelux or Scandinavia – the star-shaped network of motorways provides the best connections in all directions.

Highest number of research facilities in one place. Berlin-Brandenburg has the highest number of research facilities in one place in all of Germany – and thanks to the BBI axes, it also has a fast connection with science and research potential of the capital region. Within a radius of just one driving hour, there are seven universities, 21 universities of applied sciences as well as more than 100 re­­search facilities of inter­national renown. All German research institutes are represented here. About 50,000 scientists work in the capital region. With more than 180,000 students and about 19,000 graduates every year, the universities provide junior specialists in almost all areas.


Future industry aviation. The airport region is characterized by future industries with growth potential. Aeronautics has a 120-year-old tradition in the region. Today Berlin-Brandenburg is about to become the third big centre of expertise in aeronautics in Germany. About 4,000 employees work in the 80 companies in the aeronautics industry. Companies of international renown like the global players Rolls-Royce, MTU and Lufthansa Bombardier are located in the region. They benefit from the practice-oriented specialist courses at the Technical University of Berlin, the Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus or the Uni­­versity of Applied Science Wildau. At the Berlin office of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the main re­search focus is on outer space and traffic.
In addition, the industry has good links: The industry network Berlin-­­Branden­­burg Aerospace Allianz e.V. (BBAA) connects more than 100 important players in the region.

Future industry logistics. Logistics is a major issue of all airport regions. In Berlin-Brandenburg, the in­­dustry finds particularly favourable surroundings. In the three central cargo transport centres alone, more than 100 com­panies employing more than 7,000 people altogether have opened their offices. No wonder, they all are now near the motorway ring road around Berlin and thus within easy reach of the new BBI.

Directly at the airport, too, logistics companies like Dachser are concentrated. Re­­nowned companies of the industry such as DPD, Fiege, GEFCO, Kühne + Nagel, Rhenus, Rieck, Trinks or VW Originalteile Logistik (VW original parts logistics) are strong in the region.

Logistics companies benefit from the expertise of the logistics department of the Technical University of Berlin and the University of Applied Science Wildau as well as the Fraunhofer Application Centre for Logistics System Planning and Information Systems in Cottbus.
The industry transfer office for logistics is located at the University of Applied Science Wildau, in the direct proximity of the BBI. It is closely connected with the company network “Logistiknetz Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.” (“logistics network Berlin-Bran­­den­­burg”).

Future industry life sciences. With more than 450 enterprises in the biotechnology, medical engineering and pharmaceutical industries, re­­nowned hospitals and an excellent research landscape, Berlin-Brandenburg is one of the strongest life science clusters in Europe. Famous companies like Pfizer, Nycomed, Sanofi-Aventis and Bayer Schering Pharma emphasize the region’s importance for the industry. Research and development is done at five universities, three technical univer­sities of applied sciences and more than 20 research facilities.

More than 3,000 specialist graduates per year ensure that there are always enough young specialist employees. The initiatives BioTOP Berlin-Branden­­burg and TSB Medici provide an excellent network of the industry in the region.

Settling down is easy: The capital region provides six biotech parks. This offer is unique in Germany. More than half of the industry’s enterprises in Berlin-Brandenburg are assembled here. In the close neighbourhood of the airport alone, there are two central biotech locations: Luckenwalde and Adlershof. The two well-known centres of Potsdam, Golm and Hermannswerder can be reached easily from BBI.

Future industry clean technologies. The capital region is about to become the leading clean-tech region of Germany. In the year 2008 Brandenburg was awarded the “guiding star” (“Leitstern”) as the best German federal state regarding the use and development of renewable energies!


In the area of solar power there has been a unique boom of newly opened offices. Companies of international renown like First Solar, Conergy, Nano­solar, Aleo Solar, Jo­­hanna Solar, Solon, Inventux or EPV Solar have created almost 4,000 jobs in the region. And the region reflects almost the entire
value chain – from high-purity base material via special glass and metal frames to finished solar modules and specia­l­ized handicrafts.

In 2009 the world’s second biggest free-standing solar plant, consisting of about 700,000 solar modules on a space equalling 210 football fields, was opened.
In the north of Brandenburg, on a breeding farm the biggest photovoltaic roof system of thin-film modules is being installed. In Eberswalde the company MP-Tec has built the world’s biggest solar carport. Here is also the University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde, which was awarded the title “greenest university in Germany”. At this university, sustainability and renewable energies are not only taught, they are also used successfully. In the same place there is a district office which is unique in Germany: RWE Energy praised the zero-emission-house as one of the three most energy efficient industrial properties in Germany.

In addition, Brandenburg is Germany’s biggest production site of biodiesel and it is on the second position in Germany regarding wind energy. In this field new paths are trodden: In the Uckermark the world’s first hydrogen-wind-biogas hybrid energy plant is being built. In the historic Lusatian lignite mining area, the “Carbon Capture and Storage” technology (CCS) to capture carbon dioxide during the process of generating power from lignite is being developed – a procedure which may be able to set the international standards for clean power generation in the future.

Other areas of expertise in the airport region are, among others: automotive, manufacturing, media/information and communication technologies, microtechnology and rail systems.

Custom-made support. In the airport region investments are of value: Big companies that invest here can get grants of up to 30 per cent, mid-sized enterprises get up to 40 per cent and small companies up to 50 per cent. In addition, there are grants for research and development projects and also for joint science-economy projects. The grants companies can get for training specialist staff further are equally customized.


In Brandenburg, the “regional cores of growth” (“Regionale Wachstumskerne” – RWK) provide particularly attractive grant conditions. Altogether the state’s government has identified 15 locations with special appeal and growth per­­s­­pectives. The airport BBI is in an RWK, the “Schönefelder Kreuz” (“intersection of Schönefeld”). The extended surroundings with a radius of up to one driving-hour around the airport include ten cores of growth altogether (for a complete list: www.wachstumskerne.de).

The airport region also pays off considering the costs – thanks to low property costs and low business tax rates factors, some of which are only slightly above the legally fixed minimum of 200 points. And that’s right at the BBI! It’s worth comparing!

Locations in all places. The airport region’s choice of locations is very varied – and has the right offer for all needs. Right at the BBI, just in front of the terminal, the “Airport City” is being built. In addition to a hotel and a congress and conference centre, extensive spaces for offices, restaurants and services are planned. Only a few hundred metres away from the terminal, right at the motorway junction, the “Gatelands business park” and the so called “AirTown Berlin” are being built.
In Schönefeld, too, to the north of the airport and between the motorway and the suburban railway station, the “Airportpark Berlin-Brandenburg” is being built as a joint project of the Investa group in Munich and the Irish investor Bulberry Properties Ltd. It measures 60 hectares and so far it has been the biggest development project around the BBI. An airport city for 10,000 inhabitants, an adjacent high-quality services park as well as separate spaces for logistics are planned.

In the Business Park Berlin, to the north-east of the BBI, the British company Segro has bought about 38 hectares of space, where it develops areas most of all for logistics, trade and production.

Along the central road axes, additional nearby business locations are found, for example in Niederlehme, Königs Wuster­­hausen, Ludwigsfelde, Adlershof or Neukölln. Altogether there are 34 important business locations in close proximity to the airport within a distance of about thirty driving-minutes. But also the further surroundings of the airport have a lot to offer, like the TIP in Cottbus, an uninterrupted industrial area of about 200 hectares directly at the Brandenburg University of Cottbus! Within one driving hour you can also reach Potsdam, the city of the Prussian kings and today a centre of science and media, the renowned rail systems location Brandenburg/Kirch­­möser or the solar city Frankfurt (Oder).


A region for living and working. The airport region is not only an appealing location for companies but also an ideal region for their employees. From exclusive city homes via living in green surroundings to the mansion near the water – here unique locations are for sale or rent at fair prices. The mix of vibrant big city and fascinating surrounding is the special appeal of Berlin-Brandenburg. Internationality is important here – with people from 180 nations.

The entire capital region provides a high level of culture with more than 170 museums, 150 stages, a varied arts scene as well as more than 500 castles, parks and churches, among them the UNESCO Heritage with the Sanssouci palace in Potsdam.

In Berlin-Brandenburg almost every sport is possible. In Brandenburg alone, golf players, for example, can choose between 22 golf courses, horse lovers can pick one of 100 horse farms, and 2,000 kilometres of long-distance bike paths, among them the longest cycle path of Germany, are available for touring cyclists.

Advice from a single source. The airport region offers advice from a single source to the companies. Together the business development organizations of both states, Berlin Partner GmbH and ZukunftsAgentur Brandenburg GmbH (“FutureAgency Brandenburg”), have set up the Airport Region Team. The team’s office is directly on site at the BBI in Schönefeld.

Welcome to the Airport Region Berlin-Brandenburg! Welcome to Germany’s capital region!


Kammradt-DruckFrom 1991 to 1995, the political scientist (born in 1966) held a managing position in the field of press and PR work at the state fi­­nance minister’s office in Berlin. After that he was a marketing manager for Herlitz Falkenhöh AG and for the “future agency” ZAB ZukunftsAgentur Branden­­burg GmbH as well as a press officer for the Minister of Economic Affairs of the State of Branden­­burg. Dr. Steffen Kammradt has been the manager of the ZAB Zukunfts­­Agentur Brandenburg GmbH since 2008.