Research platform Start-a-Factory
City of startups
Berlin is quite well known for its startups, but not so much for its factories. Of course, a lot of production is also done here. But first and foremost, Berlin is a city of knowledge. However, one does not exclude the other. Knowledge-based high-tech production is something that fits very well with Berlin and for which there are excellent prerequisites in the application-oriented research institutions of the city.
You can tinker with apps anywhere. Sophisticated hardware is another story. Developing professional hardware prototypes requires more than what you can find in your own garage: Special components, expensive machines, and, last but not least, the expertise on how the final product can result from a prototype. Up to now, the startup landscape has lacked a tailored offering for this step between the initial idea and the creation of a prototype that is ready for mass production.
Start-a-Factory opening on September 22, 2017, © Fraunhofer IZM
New research platform Start-a-Factory
In Berlin, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft now offers a research platform for startups and SMEs. At the Start-a-Factory, companies can test their new hardware developments. In the end there should be the “startup garage of tomorrow:” with high-tech equipment and tailored to the needs of young companies. In the new laboratory complex, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM) are exploring the problems of product development and are developing and testing suitable solutions.
The laboratories of Start-a-Factory have everything you need to develop a prototype, © Volker Döring
Modular and flexible
The goal is to address the needs of young companies in a precise way and to develop a flexible, cost-effective environment – the “startup garage of tomorrow.” This can then be set up at the locations of future project partners. At Start-a-Factory, development and production-related interfaces are determined within the process chains. But also factors that influence later production costs are taken into account from the very beginning. Both serve to prepare for a smooth and cost-effective transfer into mass production.
The lab environment of Start-a-Factory is designed to be modular and flexible, in the form of containers. These feature high-end, professional equipment. The selection of equipment is adapted according to the development focus in terms of content.
Fraunhofer IZM is expanding its research and development infrastructure with the new laboratory complex in order to be able to offer comprehensive development competence across high-tech technology research, from cleanroom high-tech, to models of time-efficient standard solutions, as well as expertise transfer concepts.
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Header image: © Frauenhofer IZM
Why should you start a business in Berlin?
Welcome to Berlin – the vibrant city in the heart of Europe! Berlin attracts businesses and startups from every sector. Science, research, and creative industries also love Berlin. True innovators enjoy living and working in Berlin, as the conditions for setting up a company in the city are outstanding.
Berlin offers the ideal infrastructure for setting up a company. The city’s new international airport makes Berlin quicker and easier to reach than ever from all over Europe and the world. Berlin’s public transport network is extensive and excellent. Office space is plentiful and rents are still lower than in most European capitals. And if you just want to test the waters, few cities have as many co-working spaces as Berlin.
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Starting Out and Scaling Up
Feel the spirit of entrepreneurship in Berlin! Berlin startups such as Zalando, DaWanda, and ImmobilienScout24 are major influencers in the German market, and venture builders like Rocket Internet and Project A are also located in Berlin. Accelerators and incubators exist at every level and for almost any sector.
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Finally, the large pool of highly skilled specialists from all over the world is a key reason to locate a company in Berlin. Thanks to the relatively low cost of living and vibrant cultural scenes, Berlin attracts many highly talented people – which directly benefits businesses in the city.
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A growing German economy – good for entrepreneurs and investors
GDP growth is high and unemployment is low. A large market with consumers who like to spend. It's a great time for investments and market entry in Germany. Reason-Why.Berlin offers useful information on the German economy and various aspects of building business in Berlin.