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The Baden-Württemberg healthcare industry

At a glance

The Baden-Württemberg healthcare industry – a recession-proof employer that has strong ties with the region - is of key importance for the state. It comprises the biotechnology and medical technology sectors and the pharmaceutical industry. In 2019, the industry with 98,619 employees generated revenues of over 25 billion euros.

The Healthcare Industry in Baden-Württemberg is strongly represented with 1,094 companies* that research, develop and/or manufacture here. In terms of the number of companies or employees, the state is the no. 1 Healthcare Industry location in Germany1/2/3. Baden-Württemberg's characteristic mix of small, medium-sized and large companies guarantees the stability of the region’s healthcare industry. Labour productivity figures and the number of skilled jobs also reflect stability and innovative capability.

193 health-related start-ups were founded in Baden-Württemberg between 2010 and 7/2021, most of them in the high-tech segment. Together with the state’s university hospitals, research institutions and networks, a lively innovation ecosystem has been created here. One of the focal points of the CyberValley as a digitalisation hub, for example, is the Healthcare Industry.

Taxable revenues and employee figures in the healthcare industry in Baden-Württemberg were calculated by the Baden-Württemberg Statistics Office on the basis of data held in the BIOPRO company database, as long as the relevant data had been submitted to the Statistics Office at the time of the survey. The data used in the survey were taken from 2019. BIOPRO’s company database lists 188 biotechnology companies, 842 medical technology companies and 88 companies in the pharmaceutical industry, all of which carry out research, develop and/or produce in Baden-Württemberg (as of 7/2021). © BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH

In addition to the major challenges facing the healthcare system, such as rising cost pressure and the shortage of skilled workers, the increasing number of multimorbid, chronically ill patients and the public’s heightened health awareness has huge potential for increased sales and high employment. This is also reflected in the gross value added of the Healthcare Industry in Baden-Württemberg, which amounted to around 18.2 billion euros in 2019. In 2019, about 215.000 people were employed in the industrial healthcare sector in Baden-Württemberg4.

Investment in research and development (R&D) is needed in order to generate innovation. Baden-Württemberg is well positioned in this area as shown by the figures on R&D intensity collected in an EU-wide comparison by the Baden-Württemberg Statistics Office. Here, Baden-Württemberg comes out top across all sectors as the most innovative region in terms of invested nominal gross domestic product (GDP) in R&D (5.6 percent of nominal GDP)55,6. As regards the number of patent applications, Baden-Württemberg also takes first place with 13,687 applications in 2020, followed by Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia7. With an export contribution of 38.8 billion euros, Baden-Württemberg’s healthcare industry is the leading exporter among the federal states of Germany. These are 94.9 percent of all exports of the healthcare sector in Baden-Württemberg.4

In general, the Healthcare Industry has proven itself to be an innovative and relatively independent driver of economic growth.

* For companies that are active in several economic sectors, the company was only counted once.


These figures were collected by BIOPRO and the Baden-Württemberg Statistics Office in 2021.

1) Spectaris: Die deutsche Medizintechnik-Industrie, Spectaris Jahrbuch 2020/21, available online at unter https://www.spectaris.de/fileadmin/Content/Medizintechnik/Zahlen-Fakten-Publikationen/SPECTARIS_Jahrbuch2020-21_11-2020_Lesezeichen_3.pdf

2) Biotechnologie.de/BIOCOM: Die deutsche Biotechnologie-Branche 2019, available online at https://biotechnologie.de/statistics_articles/28-die-deutsche-biotechnologie-branche-2019

3) German Economic Institute, Verband Forschender Arzneimittelhersteller e.V. (2019): Daten und Fakten der Pharmaindustrie in Baden-Württemberg, available online at https://www.iwkoeln.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Studien/Gutachten/Pharma_Standort_D/2021/Pharma_in_BaWü_4-2021.pdf

4) WifOR Institute on behalf of BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH (2021): Untersuchung des ökonomischen Fußabdrucks der industriellen Gesundheitswirtschaft in Baden- Württemberg, Stuttgart

5) Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg (2020): Forschung und Entwicklung – Teil 4: Baden- Württemberg im internationalen Vergleich, available onlite at www.statistik-bw.de/Service/Veroeff/Monatshefte/20200705?path=/GesamtwBranchen/ForschEntwicklung/

6) Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg (2021): Innovationsindex für die Länder bzw. Regionen der Europäischen Union, available online at https://www.statistik-bw.de/GesamtwBranchen/ForschEntwicklung/Innovation-I_EU.jsp

7) German Patent and Trademark Office, current statistics: patents, available online at www.dpma.de/dpma/veroeffentlichungen/statistiken/patente/index.html

Website address: https://www.gesundheitsindustrie-bw.de/en/facts-and-figures