North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is the most populous and the most densely populated state in Germany. With its 17.9 million inhabitants, there are more people living here than in the neighboring Netherlands. More than 160 million people live within a radius of 500 km around the state capital Düsseldorf – this represents almost one third of all EU consumers. From no other location in Europe can so many people with such high purchasing power be reached within such a short distance as from NRW.
The size of the market and the favorable location conditions attracts companies from all over the world to the Rhine and Ruhr. Around 20,000 foreign companies have already invested in NRW and control their German or European activities from here. They make NRW the number one investment location in Germany.
All major European cities can be reached within three hours from the two major international airports in Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn, Germany's third-largest cargo airport. A dense network of waterways, railways and roads provides fast routes to the sales and procurement markets in Europe and the rest of the world. In Duisburg, the world's largest inland port ensures reliable connections to the Belgian and Dutch seaports.
More than 110 technology centers and non-university research institutes in the state form the densest research network in Europe and provide ideal conditions for technology transfer. And the wide range of studies offered by the 70 universities and universities of applied sciences ensures that companies from all industries can find qualified employees here.
Renowned theaters and museums, five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, sports events, and cultural festivals all contribute to one of the richest cultural landscapes in Europe.