Its membership of both the metropolitan regions Frankfurt/Rhein-Main (Rhine-Main) and Rhein-Neckar (Rhine-Neckar) creates a unique selling point for the Bergstraße district. No other administrative district in the greater region belongs to two metropolitan regions. In its metropolitan position, which lies midway between Frankfurt am Main and Heidelberg, it has unique connection options and an excellent transport infrastructure as well: Europe’s freight airport number one, the Frankfurt International Airport, is located 25 Minutes away and the European long-distance connections A5 Zürich-Hamburg, A6 Paris-Prag and A67 Straßburg-Frankfurt can be reached quickly from every company. The ICE train station in Bensheim offers direct connections to Zürich, Stuttgart and Frankfurt am Main and there exist high-speed roadways to Karlsruhe-Basel, Stuttgart-München, Darmstadt-Berlin, Frankfurt am Main-Köln, and from Mannheim and Frankfurt to Paris as well. Furthermore, Europe’s second largest inland port is situated nearby in Mannheim and a container terminal is located five kilometres away in Gernsheim as well.
Der internationale Flughafen in Frankfurt ist die zentrale Verkehrsdrehscheibe der Region.
Throughout Germany, the economic region is famous for its motley sector mix, which makes it more crisis-resistant than other locations and offers attractive opportunities to workforces from many sectors. As part of a scientific study, the consulting firm ExpertConsult identified twelve competence fields in the economic region Bergstraße which push its economic development: chemical as well as plastic and rubber industry, pharmaceutics and biotechnology, medical technology, automation, technology for measuring, control and regulation, mechanical engineering, software and telecommunication, food and healthcare industry, automotive and vehicle industry, logistics and packaging as well as article surveillance and labelling, environmental and energy industries.
The companies located here appreciate the Bergstraße district as a business location, which wins people over with its skilled workforce. With its education and advanced training opportunities, the region is placed in the European Top 10 ranking. The universities of Heidelberg, Mannheim and Frankfurt am Main, the Technische Universität and the Hochschule Darmstadt, the Hochschule Ludwigshafen am Rhein, the Fachhochschule Worms and the Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg Mannheim offer the right conditions, not only for scientific cooperation, but also to gain highly qualified employees and executives. Many possibilities of further education complete the offering for employees in the companies. Examples include in particular the Zentrum für Mathematik in Bensheim, the Odenwald-Institut of the Karl Kübel Stiftung in Wald-Michelbach and the Kreishandwerkerschaft Bergstraße as well as the “Industrie- und Handelskammer Darmstadt Rhein-Main Neckar”.
The so-called “soft” location factors should not be underestimated, because the Bergstraße district is not only very attractive as a business location, but also scores points with many tourism features. The economic region includes a total of 22 cities and communities, and is divided into four subregions of Bergstraße, Neckartal, Odenwald and Hessisches Ried, each of which is known for its economic, cultural and scenic charms. Thus, the wine-growing area Hessische Bergstaße is known for its fine wines. The Odenwald, the Hessische Ried and the Neckartal also guarantee high level of life quality in the Bergstraße district. Many castles and fortresses invite exploration, the Niebelungensteig continuously attracts hikers. You can find a number of locations with popular routes for mountain biking or Geopark Rangers invite you to explore nature. Regular wine festivals are always a magnet for visitors. Kloster Lorsch, which is an UNESCO World Heritage site, is a popular destination and attracts many tourists from home and abroad all year.
Furthermore, culture enthusiasts can find open air festivals, music and other events here among those offered in the area of music and theatre. The Bensheimer Festival “Vogel der Nacht”, which includes comedy, theatre and live music, which is a popular crowd puller, or the international street theatre festival “Gassensensationen” in Heppenheim are some examples.
Because of its picturesque environment, the region has repeatedly been a popular film location for national and international film productions. Back in 2006, Indian film makers recognised the potential of the Bergstraße region as a movie location and Bollywood movies like “Humraah – The Traitor” and “Aap Kaa Surroor” were realised there. This was followed by high-quality productions from Germany. The economic region Bergstraße benefits from these film productions because they contribute to both an increase in publicity and an economical and touristic development of the region. An official study confirmed the positive effects of the film industry on tourism in the Bergstraße district. Thus an increase of overnight stays from 2,512 Indians in 2008 up to 7,450 in 2010 was there to be seen.
Companies from home and abroad which want to settle in the Bergstraße district or existing firms which want to extend their operations can make use of about 100 hectares of commercial and industrial area. The business development programme Bergstraße GmbH offers investors from home and abroad a high number of services and counsels them on all questions of relocating there in individual, personal and professional aspects.