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Life Sciences Innovations are at home here.

Industry Profile Life Sciences

Thuringia is home to famous innovations and discoveries, from the patented mercury-free thermometer and the X-ray tube to the microscope. Scientists from Jena were involved in decoding the human chromosomes 8, 21 and X.


Thuringia looks back on a long tradition in medical technology, biotechnology and pharmacy. Today, businesses profit from a technological environment that is characterized by optimally overlapping competencies in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, medicine and microsystems technology. The R&D landscape is tailor-made to the needs of life science companies: A mix of first-class, nearby universities with relevant degree programs offers the best preconditions for joint research and personnel recruiting.

Facts & Figures

  • 490 companies
  • 22,000 employees
  • 6,200 university students
  • 3 universities and universities of applied sciences
  • 2 technology and business incubators
  • 45 clinics
  • 11 research institutions

Core competencies


  • Biotechnology
  • Functional genome research
  • Diagnostics
  • Functionalization of interfaces
  • Miniaturized and highly parallelized analyses systems
  • Food technology
  • Red and green biotechnology

Medical technology

  • Minimally invasive techniques
  • Laser applications in medicine
  • Medical systems in ophthalmology and endoprosthetics
  • Implants and biomaterials
  • Medical measurement and sensor technology


  • Development and manufacture of innovative therapeutic agents
  • Development and manufacture of bandage materials
  • Production of sterile pharmaceuticals
  • Production of solid and liquid dosage forms


Thuringians are dedicated to working and studying in the life sciences sector. Thus, they secure the innovative and competitive ability of companies located in Thuringia.

University education

In Thuringia, more than 6,000 university students are currently enrolled in degree programs related to life sciences. These include i.a.:

Friedrich Schiller University Jena Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences Jena Ilmenau University of Technology
Biology Optometry / Ophthalmic Optics Biomedical Engineering
Biochemistry Biotechnology Chemical Biotechnology
Bioinformatics Health Care Management Miniaturized Biotechnology
Chemical Biology Laser and Optotechnologies  
Microbiology Medical Engineering  
Nutritional Sciences Miniaturized Biotechnology  
Medicine Optometry/Vision Science  
Molecular Life Sciences Pharmaceutical Biotechnology  
Molecular Medicine Scientific Instrumentation  
Molecular Nutrition    

Vocational and further training

Vocational and technical schools in Thuringia train people in the following professions, for example:

  • Laboratory technician in biology, physics and chemistry
  • Medical-technical laboratory assistant
  • Mechatronics technician
  • Microtechnologist
  • Precision optician and mechanic
  • Industrial mechanic and industrial electronic technician

To maintain the high quality of training and keep pace with the rapid development of technology, Thuringian companies place a great deal of emphasis on the continuing education of their specialists. Along with the JENAER BILDUNGS CENTER SCHOTT CARL ZEISS JENOPTIK, the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, the Ilmenau University of Technology and the Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences in Jena offer various programs in further education as well as scientific Courses.

Research and development

Reap the benefits of a technological environment that uniquely combines competencies in biology, chemistry, physics, medicine, biotechnology and microsystems Technology.

Life science research on the Beutenberg Campus

One of Thuringia’s hotbeds of life science research and development is the Beutenberg Campus in Jena. More than 2,300 scientists and specialists in 11 university and non-university institutes as well as over 50 start-ups make discoveries and blaze new trails in biotechnology and medical Technology:

Additional research institutions in Thuringia

Moreover, there are numerous competency networks in Thuringia which are related closely with life sciences such as OptoNet or medways.

Selected companies

The company has more than 35 years of experience in developing and producing pharmaceutical aerosols and liquids. Within the Sandoz Group – part of the Swiss Novartis Group – it operates as the global development and production center for inhalation preparations and eyedrops (Sandoz Center of Excellence).

ALERE Technologies GmbH
ALERE is a developer and manufacturer of in-vitro-diagnostic agents. The company was founded by scientists from the Institute for Physical High Technology and the Hans-Knöll-Institute and is today part of the ALERE Group. It is a world leader in the Point-of-Care-diagnostic market.

Analytik Jena AG
With around 1,100 employees the company is a successful global player and one of the world market leaders in the field of laboratory analysis. Since 2013 Analytik Jena has been part of the Swiss Endress+Hauser Group.

Carl Zeiss Meditec AG
As a provider of system solutions in the field of ophthalmology Carl Zeiss Meditec ranks among the world’s leaders. For many years now, the company has been able to rely on its outstanding technological competence for developing innovative ophthalmology products.

Bauerfeind AG
The firm is one of the leading manufacturers of medical aid products such as bandages, orthotics, compression hose and orthopaedic inserts. Material and design award winners many times over, Bauerfeind products make a significant contribution to maintaining and restoring health.

Wacker Biotech GmbH
Jena-based Wacker Biotech GmbH has over 20 years of experience in biotechnology. Its cutting-edge site at the Beutenberg campus develops stable, highly efficient processes for the production of biotherapeutics and therapeutic proteins for customers under cGMP conditions.

Additional 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.