munich tech

Munich: Tech Silicon Valley of Europe

Munich is the economic heart of Germany and one of Europe’s biggest tech hubs. In March 2021, Apple announced that it would be expanding its European chip design center, investing an eye-watering billion euros by 2024. And Apple is by no means the only big tech player with its eye on the city: Google is building new offices and plans to double its workforce (currently 1,200 employees); and Amazon has recently opened new offices in Schwabing with more than 2,500 employees. In the wake of this, it’s hardly surprising Munich is becoming known as “the Silicon Valley of Europe.”

munich tech map

The attractions of the capital of wealthy Bavaria for these giant companies are clear. Many global companies are headquartered here, including BMW and Allianz. The city is also innovation-focused: there are over 1,300 startups in Munich, creating a collective value of over 17 billion euros since 2013. The city government also provides support for new ventures at every stage of development.

With 11% of Germany’s total startups, Munich is fertile ground for anyone hoping to launch a new enterprise or find fulfilling work. Wages are higher than in Berlin, and there is a wider choice of companies and industries than in the nation's capital. Munich’s traditional status as an engineering powerhouse is now shifting towards software engineering, making it an amazing place to launch a career in tech.

We’ve collected some of the most interesting and illuminating facts about tech in Munich for anyone interested in building a career in this innovative city.

     

   

    

    

    

big tech munich

Tech Giants

Apple, which opened its first office in Munich 40 years ago, has chosen the city for its European Silicon Design Center, which will be opening in 2022. The company will invest a billion euros by 2024 in this project plus extra investment in R&D that will focus on 5G and future wireless technologies. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, wrote that he “couldn’t be more excited for everything our Munich engineering teams will discover — from exploring the new frontiers of 5G technology, to a new generation of technologies that bring power, speed, and connectivity to the world."

Amazon, another global giant, opened its glossy new German HQ in Schwabing (in the north of Munich) and also chose the city for the offices of Amazon Web Services (AWS), to support the rapid growth of cloud computing in Germany.

iot

Making Connections

The term “internet of things” refers to the digital interconnection of computing devices in everyday objects, which enables them to send and receive data. It is an enormously valuable field—and growing. IBM’s Watson IoT Global Headquarters are located in Munich, where a team of one thousand developers, researchers, designers, and consultants work on cognitive computing. This venture represents IBM’s largest investment in Europe since the 1990s. In 2019, in collaboration with fortiss, the research institute of the Free State of Bavaria for software intensive systems and services, IBM set up the Center for AI Research, in order to develop secure, reliable AI technologies.

vr

A New Reality of Innovation

Virtual and augmented reality technology has been on the rise in popularity since the mid-2010s, particularly in gaming. There are several firms covering these technologies in Munich, but the best-known is Mentaio, whose 2015 purchase by Apple put them at the forefront of AR technology worldwide.

There are VR/AR coaching and development resources available in Munich such as workshops, master classes, and other events. The technology has even entered some of Munich’s more traditional industries; Audi recently launched a VR experience in select dealerships so that customers can virtually test the Audi driving experience in a safe, simulated environment.

media munich

Media in Munich

Munich is a hub for media as well as tech and is central to media diversity in Germany. According to the Munich Department of Labor and Economic Development, there are over 8,000 media companies in Munich, and over 30,000 employees. The city is headquarters to some of Germany’s biggest media groups including Burda Media, a publishing company that owns German editions of many famous international magazines such as Elle, Harper's Bazaar, and Burda Style. They city also leads in marketing and advertising technology.

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