The university city Where ideas become products
Forward-looking research can be world-changing. Nowhere is this more true than in Aachen, whose university and college laboratories and test facilities produced the first all-metal aircraft and the first diesel particle filter. This was also home to the first wind tunnel and the first particle accelerator.
Outstanding universities & colleges
- RWTH Aachen University: an official elite university
- Aachen University of Applied Sciences: one of Germany’s biggest FE College
- KatHO: Unique course in Germany: “Community work for women whilst raising families and beyond”
- College of Music and Dance: Collaboration with Aachen Theatre
Innovation and practice-led technology transfer for business go back a long way in the university city of Aachen, where the first national technology centre was opened in 1982. Since then 1,250 businesses have been launched, creating 30,000 jobs between them. Science has dominated the region’s transformation from coal mining to high-tech which now represents the largest part of the local economy.
Over 50,000 people study and teach at the city’s four universities and colleges: RWTH Aachen University, Aachen University of Applied Sciences (FH Aachen), the Aachen Department of Cologne College of Music and Dance, and Aachen Catholic University of Applied Sciences (KatHO).
Universities, production facilities and research labs
RWTH Aachen University an official “elite university” in research and teachning, is also the region’s biggest employer and biggest training establishment. Research and teaching are aided greatly by inter-university networks involving the local centres of Aachen, Liège, Maastricht and Hasselt (ALMA) as well as a link-up between Aachen, Delft, Zürich and Paris (the IDEA League). The JARA research alliance between RWTH Aachen University and the Forschungszentrum Jülich (Jülich Research Centre) is a leading-edge collaboration with global significance.
The German Research Association (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG), Germany’s central research funding body, has ranked Aachen University, with its € 257 million of subsidy income, as the country’s Number 1 recipient of tertiary education subsidies. With € 550 million of incoming DFG funding, the Aachen/Bonn/Cologne region, which includes the Jülich Research Centre, is the most significant part of Germany in terms of volume of research activity.
Given this concentration of scientific capability, a great many international businesses have located their production facilities and research labs in Aachen, for example Ericsson, Ford, Microsoft and FEV (Motorentechnik GmbH).
Walking through the city, the place also has a research-and-learning feel to it, with one person in five between the ages of 18 and 30, and one in two employees working in a sunrise industry. Aachen is a city of grand tradition, but 40,000 students keep it young and lively.
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