The healthcare sector is one of Thuringia’s strongest drivers of employment and growth and constitutes an exceptionally important component of the regional economy. The field of specialization “Healthy living and the healthcare sector” comprises the following thematic areas: medical technology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, food industry, and healthcare.
A wide range of topics associated with the topic of “healthy living” are addressed by this industry. Thanks to its traditional strengths in the field of optics, Thuringia ranks as a global innovation leader in the fields of microscopy, laser technology, and ophthalmology, for example. New thematic areas such as infection research and aging research have also established themselves in recent years, and the results achieved have earned international recognition. The production of pharmaceutical products is another key field of competence for Thuringia.
When it comes to the food industry, expertise has been accumulated in thematic areas such as “healthy nutrition” and “prevention of nutrition-based cardiovascular diseases.” At the interdisciplinary level, efforts are being made to address the societal issues associated with modern lifestyles and the challenges of demographic changes – such as social inclusion and health & wellness at the workplace, respectively operational health management – and to raise corresponding public awareness.
Scientific competence in the field: This is provided by Thuringia’s six institutions of higher learning (three universities and three universities of applied sciences), 15 research institutions, and two technology & startup centers, as well as by the 26 clinics and polyclinics of the Jena University Hospital (Source: State Development Corporation of Thuringia (LEG Thüringen) / medways e. V., data for 2013).
Thuringia’s Beutenberg Campus has become an internationally prominent location for research and development. The campus hosts 3,000 scientists and technicians working for ten academic and extramural institutions as well as over 50 enterprises under the motto: "Where life sciences meet physics.”
Key economic data for this field of specialization:
• Turnover: € 7,445,352,000
• Number of operations: 8,530
• Size of the workforce (employees subject to compulsory social insurance contributions): 163,640
Source: based on TLS data (data for 2019)
The social challenges posed by globalization and the demographic shift towards aging populations are of particular significance for the field of specialization “Healthy living and the healthcare sector.” Thus, the following thematic focuses have been derived:
In light of these factors, Thuringia’s innovation activities in the field of specialization “Healthy living and the healthcare sector” focus on the following topics:
The vision defined by the Innovation Strategy together with the strategic objectives form the basis on which this particular Working Group operates.
Healthcare innovations “made in Thuringia” are sought-after throughout the world and, thanks to an interdisciplinary approach, give rise to end-to-end value-added chains: