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Electrical Engineering Powerful drivers of the Thuringian economy.

Industry Profile Electrical Engineering / Electronics

Thuringia has produced a host of sophisticated electrical innovations – from laser large-screen projection and MP3 compression of audio signals to groundbreaking research on im-proving the efficiency of high-performance LEDs. Global players such as Bosch, Jenoptik and Siemens research tomorrow’s solutions here.


Thuringia offers excellent opportunities for growth to companies who want to take off with new electrical applications or the most modern electronics. Renowned market and technology leaders have been relying on the Free State for years. Attractive customers, suppliers and research institutes are all in close proximity, especially in the areas of optics, medical tech-nology or the automotive industry. Thanks to its central location, Thuringia is also an ideal base for offering comprehensive on site services.

Daten und Fakten

  • 230 companies
  • ca. 24,500 employees
  • 38.3 % export quota
  • 13,500 university students in engineering sciences programs
  • Highest rate of graduates in engineering sciences in Germany

Key areas of production and technology

  • Actuators, drive and nano-positioning Systems
  • Production technologies
  • Firmware and software technologies
  • Information and communications technology
  • Microelectronics
  • Optoelectronics
  • Polytronics
  • Switching technology and power electronics
  • Sensors and Instrumentation


Thuringia owes its status as an electrical engineering powerhouse not only to the wide range of degree programs at local universities, but also to its highly trained workforce from mecha-tronic technicians to precision opticians.

University education

Thuringian technical universities carry on the region’s long engineering tradition with consid-erable success. They are among Germany’s best educational institutions. In the latest CHE university ranking, for example, TU Ilmenau came in 1st for mechatronics and for information technology. However, the universities in Schmalkalden, Jena and Eisenach also offer world-class training in these fields.

Aus- und Weiterbildung

In Thuringia, tomorrow’s specialists complete a rigorous course of theoretical and practical training. Numerous skilled occupation programs cover the entire electrical and electronic val-ue chain. Training associations raise the quality of education even more. The Jena Training Center, for example – a joint venture of Schott, Carl Zeiss and Jenoptik – produces highly trained specialists for many industry players. TU Ilmenau offers special continuing education programs such as power grid engineering and light application.

Research and Development

Thuringia’s research institutes are world leaders in developing intelligent electrical engineering applications. As new research findings emerge, they are quickly shared with companies through close ties between the local scientific and business communities.

Selected research institutes:

ELMUG (standing for “Thuringia Electronic Measurement and Plant Equipment”) is an indus-trial cluster that pools the technological capabilities of research institutions, developers, sup-pliers and service providers in the measurement and plant equipment industry. Thanks to the short travel distances in the Free State interested business partners can find each other quickly – whether for joint research projects, procurement or sales.

The Ilmenau University of Technology is not just a popular place to study, but is an interna-tionally renowned technology center for top-flight research in the field of electrical engineering and information technology. The Science Council – the most important consulting body for science policy on the federal and state level – confirmed the excellent research quality of TU Ilmenau in these fields in 2013. The university provides companies with an intensive transfer of knowledge, technology and personnel.

Selected companies

X-FAB Semiconductor Foundries AG

The X-FAB Group is an Erfurt-based multinational semiconductor foundry that produces cus-tomer-specific silicon wafers. Since 1992, the chip-manufacturer has invested a nine-digit sum in new equipment and state-of-the-art infrastructure at its Erfurt location, where it now employs around 700 people. It plans to make more investments in the coming years to build a production facility for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS).

Siemens AG, Power Generation

Siemens’ Erfurt generator plant is a center of competence for the development and produc-tion of generators rated up to 300 megawatts. Over 900 generators from Erfurt are in opera-tion worldwide, representing a total capacity of nearly 80,000 MVA. All told, these generators can supply power to nearly 65 million people, or roughly the population of France. More than 700 people work at the site.

SIOS Meßtechnik GmbH

Established in 1991, SIOS Messtechnik is an innovative developer and manufacturer of high-precision, high-quality laser interferometry instruments. The products it makes at its Ilmenau headquarters include the NMM-1 – the world’s most accurate and powerful nano-positioning and nano-measurement machine.

GÖPEL electronic GmbH

Jena-based GÖPEL electronic is a leading provider of electrical and optical testing and in-spection systems. Founded in 1991, the company currently has over 200 employees in addi-tion to the approx. 300 more specialists in its worldwide distribution and service network. GÖPEL was named one of Germany’s 100 best medium-sized enterprises as part of the TOP JOB Program. Its products have won several coveted awards in recent years.

Other selected companies

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      Thuringia offers about 400 fully developed and immediately available industrial and commercial sites of all sizes. Our online database gives you an overview of potential properties. In combination with our Company Database, that lists more than 4,000 approved profiles of Thuringian companies, you can also check which companies are located at your chosen site. In addition, this search function is also available for research institutions.