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Life Sciences Thriving industry in Germany‘s heartland.

Industry Profile Life Sciences

Thuringia has always been at the forefront of the life sciences. It brought forth the mercury-free thermometer, X-ray tube and microscope. In addition, Jena scientists were involved in sequencing 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

  • 530 companies
  • 24,500 employees
  • 5,200 university students
  • 3 universities and universities of applied sciences
  • 2 technology centers and business incubators
  • 43 hospitals
  • 10 research institutionsand development providers

Core competencies


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

Medical technology

  • Minimally invasive technology
  • Medical laser applications
  • 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 dressing materials
  • Production of sterile pharmaceuticals
  • Production of solid and liquid pharmaceuticals


Life science specialists work hard and research harder in Thuringia. Their profound expertise is a big reason why the state’s industry players are so enormously competitive.

Academic training

Around than 5,200 university students are enrolled in study courses closely tied to life sciences. These include i.a.:

Jena University of Applied Sciences Friedrich Schiller University Jena Ilmenau University of Technology
Clinical Optometry Biotechnology Biomedical Technology
Emergency care and services Biochemistry/Molecular Chemistry Biotechnical Chemistry
Health Care Management Biochemistry Miniaturized Biotechnology
Laser and Optotechnologies Bioinformatics  
Medical Engineering Biosciences  
Miniaturized Biotechnology Chemical Biology  
Nursing Sciences and Management Dentistry  
Ophthalmic Optics/Optometry Medical Photonics  
Optometry/Ophthalmic Technology/Vision Science Medicine  
Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Microbiology  
Physiatrics Molecular Nutrition  
Scientific Instrumentation Molecular Medicine  
  Molecular Life Sciences  
  Nutritional Sciences  

Training, further education

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

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

Moreover, workers in Thuringia benefit from a comprehensive range of further education and training opportunities in the life sciences sector. In addition to the “Jenaer Bildungszentrum” (training center of Schott, Carl Zeiss and JENOPTIK), the Ilmenau University of Technology and the Jena University of Applied Sciences offer various continuing education programs and science courses.

The Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Informatics at the Ilmenau University of Technology, for example, has been the organizer of the annual “International Summer School in Biomedical Engineering” for up and coming biomedical experts.

Research and development

Jena’s Beutenberg campus

In keeping with the motto „where life science meets physics“, 3,000 scientists work in Thuringia‘s most internationally acclaimed location for research and development.

At the Beutenberg campus in Jena scientists and experts in 10 university- and non-university-based institutes as well as in 50 young biotechnology and medical technology enterprises make discoveries and blast new trails.

Jena’s Beutenberg campus is home to:

Additional research institutions in Thuringia

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

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 40 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
Founded in Jena, the company has been part of Abbott since 2017. As such, it is one of the world leaders in rapid diagnostics at the point of care, with a focus on cardio metabolic disease, infectious disease and toxicology.

Analytik Jena AG
Analytik Jena AG is a global supplier of analysis and automation solutions that enable specific and highly sensitive tests, e.g. by means of high-throughput screening, in the pharmaceutics, life sciences, food and environmental sector. Since 2013, the company belongs to the Swiss Endress+Hauser Group.

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

Bauerfeind AG
Bauerfeind AG is a premier manufacturer of medical devices such as bandages, orthoses, compression stockings and orthopedic inlays. 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 25 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.