Strong Industry Sectors - Strong Saxony


...are it's vibrant industrial branches. Already in the 18th century, the Industrial Age began in Saxony with the founding of the first machine construction companies. The region, thus, headed the field on the European mainland. The first locomotive to be designed and engineered in Germany, the first sixcylinder engine, the centrally positioned gearshift lever in automobiles – all of these pioneering innovations come from Saxony.  

Industrial branches continue to contribute towards Saxony’s value creation today. The branches which define the infrastructure are the automobile industry, machine and plant construction as well as the microelectronics / ICT sector.

Diagram: Saxony‘s  Most Important Branches – Share of Saxony‘s Industrial Turnover (2018)


In 2018, Saxony's industry (results for enterprises with 20 and more persons employed in the manufacturing trade as well as in mining and quarrying) generated a total turnover of 68,630 million euros; this exceeded the previous year’s value by 1.8 percent. Domestic business, thus, increased by 3.0 percent, foreign sales by 0.7 percent. The export rate, i.e. the proportion of foreign sales of the total turnover, amounted to 39.3 percent (previous year: 39.8 percent).

The most important industrial branch continues to be the automobile industry with a share of 26.2 percent of all sales. It is followed by the metal production sector with a 13.3 percent share, machine construction with a 12.8 percent share, as well as by the electrical engineering / microelectronics branches with a share of 11.3 percent of Saxony's industrial turnover.



With five production sites of BMW, Porsche, and Volkswagen as well as approximately 780 suppliers, equipment and service providers of the industry sector, “Autoland Saxony” is one of the top locations in Germany. The automobile industry with its more than 95,000 employees is Saxony’s branch with the highest turnover. It contributes over one quarter of the industrial turnover and more than one third of foreign sales.


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“Silicon Saxony” is Europe’s largest microelectronics / ICT cluster and the fifth largest of its kind around the globe. Every third chip produced in Europe bears the label of origin “Made in Saxony.”

About 2,400 companies with a total of 64,000 employees are active along all steps of the ICT value creation chain.


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Saxony is considered to be the cradle of German machine construction. For about 200 years now, such globally coveted mechanical engineering products as, for example, textile, tool, and printing machines have been coming from Saxony. With about 45,000 employees in approx. 1,000 firms, mechanical engineering is one of the most important industry sectors in Saxony.


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In Saxony, the environmental and energy technology branch is an important economic factor. Saxony’s enterprises assume a leading position, above all, in such key markets as, for example, power generation and energy storage as well as recycling management. The industry sector benefits from Saxony’s long tradition as an industrial venue specifically for machine and plant construction. Saxony’s mountains had also been important mining centers for many centuries – during the Middle Ages, silver and other „precious“ raw materials were extracted; later, the focus was more on lignite and uranium. 


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Saxony is one of Germany’s most dynamic life science regions today. About 300 companies committed towards biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical technology successfully cooperate with well-known research institutions. They focus on the fields of regenerative medicine (e.g. tissue engineering), diagnostics, molecular bioengineering, bioinformatics, lon-term monitoring as well as implants and prostheses.


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    Saxony's Main Industry Sectors

    Industrial branches continue to contribute towards Saxony’s value creation today. The branches which define the infrastructure are the automobile industry, machine and plant construction as well as the microelectronics / ICT sector.

Gabelstablerfahrt im „Logistikzentrum Auslandsversorgung" von DB Schenker in Leipzig

Source: Deutsche Bahn AG

Industrial diversity is Saxony's strength

Saxony, with its healthy mix of traditional and future-oriented industry sectors is not only one of the most innovative, but also one of the fastest growing German Federal States.

In addition to the main industry sectors, which essentially determine the economic structure, the business venue Saxony is also characterized by such branches as, for example, railway and aerospace technology as well as company-related service sectors as, for example, logistics or the software industry.

Further Industry Sectors in Saxony

Im Rahmen des Exzellenzclusters „cfaed“ wird auch an der Echtzeit-Interaktion von Robotern und Menschen geforscht. „Versuchsobjekt“ ist ein gestengesteuerter NAO-Roboter (im Bild), der zukünftig zum Beispiel im Haushalt helfen könnte.

Source: Dresden University of Technology / cfaed / 5G Lab Germany, photo: Matthias Hahndorf

Saxony's Innovative Power

A great plus for Saxony is its extraordinary innovative power. The region is a European "innovation leader" (source: EU’s "Regional Innovation Scoreboard").

Saxony’s researchers and entrepreneurs play a decisive role in developing intelligent solutions for everyday use in the future. Their focus is on intersectoral topics such as lightweight engineering, energy storage technologies, electromobility or organic & flexible electronics.

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More about Saxony's Cross-sectoral fields of competence

We support Saxony.

Prof. Ezio Bonifacio

Director, Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) at Dresden University of Technology

"After having worked in London, in Perth/Australia, and in Milan, I came to Dresden in 2007. Here, I found the perfect environment for my research at the CRTD. When it comes to developing regenerative therapies, we benefit substantially from the interdisciplinary exchange. This applies both to the institute and the city’s scientific community."

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HZwo Network - Helping Fuel Cell Drive Systems Achieve the Breakthrough

Many German universities and institutes are researching alternative drive systems in order to achieve economically and ecologically viable mobility. When breaking the topic down to the level of fuel cell drive systems and powertrains, then only a few institutions remain. Chemnitz University of Technology is one of them. It is here where Prof. Dr. Thomas von Unwerth established the Professorship of Advanced Powertrains in 2010 and put the topic hydrogen fuel cell drive systems into the focus of research. At that time he could already look back on a decade of experience in this field. He earned this competence in the corporate research of Volkswagen and while working, for example, also on the creation of a fuel cell vehicle fleet for the 2008 Summer Olympics in China.

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