innovative. science in cologne.

  • The Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing is situated on the University Hospital Cologne campus very close to the CECAD and CMMC research facilities. © Axel Schulten
    The Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing is situated on the University Hospital Cologne campus very close to the CECAD and CMMC research facilities. © Axel Schulten

Cologne is counting as one Europe’s largest and most innovative scientific regions. Boasting some 100,000 students and more than 40,000 science-related jobs, it is also one of Germany’s most important university and research centres. This makes the science “business“ the second biggest employer with an annual financial volume of 1.65 billion Euro. In addition to 16 universities, the city is also home to numerous internationally renowned research organisations. This drives one of Cologne’s key strengths: the knowledge transfer into the economy. ...

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Cologne is counting as one Europe’s largest and most innovative scientific regions. Boasting some 100,000 students and more than 40,000 science-related jobs, it is also one of Germany’s most important university and research centres. This makes the science “business“ the second biggest employer with an annual financial volume of 1.65 billion Euro. In addition to 16 universities, the city is also home to numerous internationally renowned research organisations. This drives one of Cologne’s key strengths: the knowledge transfer into the economy. As a result, the city creates a wealth of employment opportunities at the interface between science and business.

The University of Cologne is one of the oldest universities in Europe. With 6 faculties, 102 subjects, 10 interdisciplinary research and teaching centres, close cooperation with the University Hospital Cologne and the renowned Max Planck Society as well as the Helmholtz Association research facilities, the University of Cologne enjoys an outstanding international and national reputation.

We interviewed Dr. Patrick Honecker, Director of Communications and Marketing at University of Cologne. He explains the importance of Cologne as a place for knowledge transfer. Recently, his division was awarded the Prize for Higher Education Communication. Two further interviews with Professor Ribbe & Professor Adli elaborate on how to use water & language – and tell us what makes Cologne stand out from their points of view.

research specialisations at a glance.

  • Ageing and demographic change
  • Social and economic behaviour
  • Quantitative modelling of complex systems
  • Cultural and societal change
  • Social inequalities and intercultural education

The Cologne Science Forum (KWR) promotes the region’s scientific and economic potential. Representatives of Cologne’s universities and research institutions, the City of Cologne and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) cooperate to strengthen and improve Cologne’s image as a knowledge-centric and forward-looking city. The CCB welcomes this initiative and is cooperating closely with the KWR.

simply brilliant. further institutions with outstanding expertise.


University Hospital Cologne

59 clinics and institutes at the University Hospital provide almost every conceivable medical service. Numerous different professional groups are involved in ensuring cutting edge medicine is available to the public. On the hospital campus, patients are treated using new research and methods resulting from state-of-the-art research. Thanks to the Max Planck Institute for Aging-associated Diseases (CECAD), the University Hospital provides unrivalled opportunities for interdisciplinary research as well as an excellent working environment for scientists and graduating ones. Another important research centre on the campus is the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC). Here, clinicians and researchers investigate the causes of cardiac and vascular diseases, cancer, inflammatory, infectious and neurodegenerative disorders at the molecular level. Their findings provide a better understanding of causative disease mechanisms. Using these findings, the University Hospital’s Center for Integrated Oncology (CIO) was able to develop new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of lung cancer that have been successfully used to treat a large number of patients.

German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Headquartered in Cologne, the DLR is Germany’s research centre for aerospace, energy and transport since well-above 100 years. Research is carried out into environmentally-friendly technologies, life in space, safety solutions and new methods of communication. Unique to Cologne, the envihab (environment habitat) is the DLR’s large-scale air and aerospace research facility.

The European Astronaut Center (EAC) is also located on the DLR site. Starting 2017, it is also possible to put on events and workshops at the EAC. For this purpose, the EAC offers plenty of "space“, in the foyer, in the seminar room or in the astronaut training hall. The European Aviation Safety Agency, EASA, completes Cologne’s trio of aviation and space travel organisations. The agency has been located on the banks of the Rhine for a year.

Cologne University of Applied Sciences (TH Köln)

Founded in 1971, TH Köln offers German and foreign students and academics specializing in social, cultural, social, engineering and the natural sciences an inspiring learning, working and research environment. At present, more than 26,000 students are enrolled in more than 90 undergraduate and master study programmes. Some 1,800 people work at the university. TH Köln is shaping social innovation and meeting the challenges of our time. Interdisciplinary thinking and action as well as regional, national and international activities make the TH Köln an esteemed partner for cooperation and innovation in many areas. The university’s high standards stand for themselves – something for which it was awarded the Genius Loci Prize for Teaching Excellence by the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Association of German Science) in 2017.

German Sport University Cologne

The German Sport University Cologne combines education, international research and high-level sport. It is not only Germany’s only sports university but also the largest in terms of scientific institutes, scientific disciplines and registered students. Situated in the Müngersdorf Sports Park, at the heart of Cologne’s green belt and offering an excellent sports infrastructure, the "SpoHo“, as it is known, offers a truly unique environment for around 900 employees and over 6,000 students from more than 85 countries.

BioCampus Cologne

BioCampus Cologne offers innovative technology companies an ideal environment in which to develop sustainably. The BioCampus has 25 hectares of clea-room, laboratory, office and hall space as well as room for expansion. Forming a perfect ecosystem for start-ups, SMEs and large companies, cross-business synergies in future-focussed sectors sucha s life sciences, chemistry, ICT, engineering, energy and mobility are the focus of interdisciplinary cooperation. In the long term, the BioCampus will strengthen the innovative power of Cologne as a location for business and is already one of the largest technology parks in Germany.


An overview of all universities and research institutions can be found here.

Click here for our up-to-date event calendar, including major events from the science-world.

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Meeting Point Cologne

Cologne and its surrounding areas boast a long trading and industrial tradition. All in all, it’s home to a future-proof mix of industries. Find out more in our section ‚Meeting Point Cologne’.

We would be pleased to send you the "Meeting Point Cologne" as a print brochure. Also don't miss to read through our interviews with inspiring characters from the science and business sectors in Cologne.