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Economic Development Bremerhaven


Knowledge base

The maritime character of the business location Bremerhaven is reflected in the scientific landscape, which is recognized internationally as well as nationally.

In both basic and applied research, renowned institutes in the city are active in the fields of oceanography, climate research, port industry, sea transportation and logistics, wind energy and others, e.g. the food and fish industry. The close cooperation with industry is of great significance for all institutes. 

Fostering the innovative energy of enterprises in Bremerhaven and Bremen is the declared goal of the State of Bremen’s policy. With aerospace technology, wind energy and the logistic/maritime industry, the State of Bremen has strong “innovation clusters” that are squarely in the focus of innovation policy. To give this the necessary foundation, the “Cluster Strategy 2020” was developed by the senate departments responsible for economy, science and the environment. This paper defines central objectives, instruments, measures and thematic fields of action that are to be implemented in the coming years. The spectrum of measures ranges from providing suitable infrastructures, through forcing the transfer of research and development achievements into the regional economy, up to varied funding and advisory offers, support possibilities in the attraction and qualification of skilled employees, and also in the founding of companies. 


Der maritime Charakter des Wirtschaftsstandortes Bremerhaven spiegelt sich auch in der national wie international beachteten Wissenschaftslandschaft wider.

Sowohl in der Grundlagenarbeit als auch in der angewandten Forschung finden sich zu den Themen der Meereskunde, Klimaforschung, Hafenwirtschaft, in den Bereichen Seeverkehr und Logistik, der Windenergie sowie z.B. der Lebensmittel- und Fischwirtschaft namhafte Einrichtungen in der Stadt. Die enge Kooperation mit der Wirtschaft besitzt für alle Institute einen hohen Stellenwert.

Die Förderung der Innovationskraft der Unternehmen in Bremerhaven und Bremen ist erklärtes Ziel der bremischen Landespolitik. Mit der Luft- und Raumfahrt, der Windenergie und der Maritimen Wirtschaft/Logistik verfügt das Land Bremen über starke „Innovationscluster“, die im Fokus der Innovationspolitik stehen. Um dies zu stärken, ist von den für Wirtschaft, Wissenschaft und Umwelt zuständigen Senatsressorts die „Clusterstrategie 2020“ entwickelt worden. Hier werden zentrale Ziele, Instrumente, Maßnahmen und thematische Handlungsfelder definiert, die in den nächsten Jahren umgesetzt werden sollen. Das Spektrum der Maßnahmen reicht von der Bereitstellung geeigneter Infrastrukturen über die Forcierung des Transfers von Forschungs- und Entwicklungsleistungen in die regionale Wirtschaft bis hin zu vielfältigen Finanzierungs- und Beratungsangeboten, Unterstützungsmöglichkeiten bei der Fachkräftegewinnung und -qualifizierung sowie bei der Unternehmensgründung. 

Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences

Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences is distinguished by its close attention to topics of the maritime industry and its orientation towards practical applications. For example, the study course “Transport Engineering / Logistics” has been recognized as one of the top courses in Germany for almost three decades. In the master course “Wind Energy Technology”, which receives strong support from the wind energy industry and regional businesses, and in the bachelor course “Food Technology / Food Economics”, the students are trained in close cooperation with local industry.

The University’s Career Service Centre, supported by BIS, helps the students to successfully manage the leap from studying to career. Proving advice and the placement of job offers belong to the chief tasks of the Service Centre. Overview of the study and research opportunities at Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences

Overview of the study courses and research programmes of Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI)

The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) is counted amongst the world’s most highly reputed facilities in polar, ocean and climate climate research. About 800 people are employed at its headquarters in Bremerhaven. With its location at the Handelshafen (Merchant Port), the AWI forms the nucleus of the developing research and development mile for the maritime industry in Bremerhaven.

Service unit Technology Transfer at the AWI Technology transfer comprises all activities in the context of invention and innovation, starting with motivation and support for inventors, followed by the assessment and submission of applications for intellectual property rights, and ending with management of the entire IPR base. In addition to these steps, issues relating to the commercialization of the IP are handled; these include analysis or assessment of the market potentials, marketing activities, and the active search for licensing or cooperation partners for further development, as well as the support of spin-offs.

Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES)

Fraunhofer IWES North-West ensures investments in technological developments in the field of wind energy through its validation services. By operating large test rigs for rotor blades, nacelles and support structures as well as for components such as bearings, shafts and composite parts, it accelerates the market introduction of innovative products and enhances certification processes. State-of-the-art laboratories and measurement equipment that allow the systematic identification and reduction of development risks complete the portfolio. Fraunhofer IWES North-West employs around 140 scientists and administrative staff at four sites: Bremerhaven, Hanover, Bremen and Oldenburg. In 2015, the operational budget has been 15 million Euros.

The testing spectrum was developed in cooperation with industry leaders, who were involved from the design phase right up to commissioning. This approach made sure that the test rigs and measurement equipment comply with actual industry needs. These assets combined with the methodological competence of its employees make Fraunhofer IWES a preferred research and development partner for companies all around the globe. The international network of Fraunhofer IWES North-West is being systematically expanded through, for example, participation in the expert committees of the IEC for the specification of future standards for rotor blade and nacelle testing.

Together with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the university association ForWind, IWES is part of the Research Alliance Wind Energy. In total, this alliance comprises more than 500 scientists all investigating topical issues in the field of wind energy. In order to guarantee transfer of academic expertise, strong ties with further universities have been built.

Institute of Wind Energy at Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences

The Institute of Wind Energy at Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences conducts applied research in the field of wind energy technology, in close collaboration with the bachelor course “Maritime Technologies” and with the master course “Wind Energy Technology”.

ttz Bremerhaven

The ttz Bremerhaven is an independent provider of research services and operates in the field of application-oriented research and development. Under the umbrella of ttz Bremerhaven, an international team of experts is working in the areas of food, environment and health. For over 25 years, the Technologie-Transfer-Zentrum has initiated, facilitated and supported the research and development projects of local companies.

Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL)

The Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL)was established in Bremen in 1954. Its main tasks are connected with research and advisory services for the maritime industry, with the focus in Bremerhaven lying on information logistics.

Institute for Marine Resources (IMARE)

The Institute for Marine Resources GmbH (IMARE) and the Centre for Aquaculture Research (ZAF) are the youngest knowledge transfer institutions in the seaside city.

Thünen Institute for Fisheries

The Thünen Institute for Fisherieswill take up its duties in Bremerhaven in 2016. The new laboratory and office building with fish pilot plant will be set up in the tradition-steeped Fischereihafen area south of the city centre.

German Shipping Museum

The German Shipping Museum (DSM) in Bremerhaven is the only national museum to show the entire maritime history of Germany, and is also one of the few maritime-history research institutes with an international reputation.

German Emigration Center

Not only is the German Emigration Center a tourist magnet but, with its countless photos, documents and other memorabilia, it also has a unique collection on migration history.