North Rhine - Westphalia

17.845.000 (2010)
34.083 km2
543 billion euro (2010)
30.430 euro
Main industry sectors: 
Chemical indus try (15.8% of industrial turnover), mechanical engineering (12.0%), electrical engineering and electronics (10.8%), metal production and processing (9.4%).

Nordrhein-Westfallen (NRW) is the largest German Bundesland (federal state) regarding population and is located in the centre of Europe, in the West bordering Belgium and The Netherlands.

NRW is the most important chemical region in Europe, its more than 500 chemical companies with more than 128.000 employees, the chemical industry is one of the most important branches in the region.

Nordrhein-Westfallen is a Land with an excellent infrastructure. The transport system with seven international airports, Europe_s largest domestic port in Duisburg and a road network of nearly 30.000 km (whereof 2.200 km are motorways) is unrivalled in the world.

Twelve universities with chemical departments and a large number of advanced technical colleges and research institutes are located in NRW, providing a lively science community. North Rhine-Westphalia with its long industrial tradition shows a high acceptance for industry and offers a large pool of skilled workers.

There are two main chemical clusters in NRW, one in the northern Ruhr Basin, the other along the river Rhine. Both cluster areas are promoted by chemical industry initiatives organised as Public Private Partnerships, namely ChemSite in the Ruhr Basin and ChemCologne in the Rhine Area. Further chemical plants are distributed across the region.

The decline of the traditional industries, especially of the coal and steel industries, faced NRW with high unemployment rates and the challenge of structural changes. These problems have been and still were addressed by concentrating on futureoriented technologies, also in the chemical branch.

North Rhine-Westphalia involved institutions: