The information and communication technology branch (in short IuK) plays a key role in business and society. As a cross-sector technology it is a pace setter for many other industries since their development largely relies on this technology. Its overall economic impact goes far beyond the actual branch. It is estimated that more than 50 percent of industrial production in Germany and over 80 percent of German exports depend on the deployment of state-of-the-art information and communication technologies.
These technologies make it possible to handle many processes in the areas of public administration and the educational and health sector more efficiently and generate savings worth billions of euros. However, the triumphant sweep of the IuK branch through the world of business and technology continues through the private sector with its wide range of products and services.
In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern IuK technology has become an important economic factor with a tremendous potential. Approximately 14,500 people are employed in over 650 companies in the IT branch. Almost 100 companies have located in the greater area of Rostock alone. And at the universities approximately 2,000 researchers and students are devoted to the topic of IuK. The location index "Softwareland MV" lists nearly 400 entries of companies and research facilities and provides an excellent overview of this sector’s performance.
Presently 20 technology centres with a total lettable area of 74,000 square metres are available for young companies and start-ups. Seven of the centres pursue interdisciplinary approaches whereas 13 are targeted at a specific technology field or branch. A number of IuK competence centres such as the Competence Centre for Multimedia Technology in Rostock, the Electronic Commerce Centre in Neubrandenburg, the Centre for Applied Telemedicine in Greifswald, the Roggentin Informatics Centre or the "Multimediaport" in Wismar have also been supported.
The Land continues to support IT companies in terms of investments and through the FuEuI programme "Förderung von Forschung, Entwicklung und Innovation" (Promotion of research, development and innovation) that aims to support research, development and innovation. The programme, in particular the funding of collaborative research, goes down well with the branch – almost one quarter of the funds flow into the IT sector.
In order to ensure the enhancement and marketing of the IT location Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the IT Initiative Mecklenburg-Vorpommern e.V. (ITI) founded in 2005 assumes the overall coordination and encourages synergies between science and business. The members of the ITI (www.iti-mv.de) include 60 of the most successful companies of the branch as well as state research facilities.
Furthermore, the IT Future Fonds (ITFF) was established in 2008. Since the creation of the ITTF the IT-Initiative MV e.V. has been in charge of awarding the funds with the support of the MV Ministry of Economics, Construction and Tourism. The contest honours young IT companies that have made significant contributions to innovation through cutting-edge projects. To date, four rounds of call for project proposals have been carried out and eleven development projects have been awarded and funded.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has established itself as a premium service provider location in recent years whereby the service centre branch has experienced an extraordinarily positive development with over 16,000 employees and 110 companies – and the upward trend is expected to continue. The Telemarketing Initiative Mecklenburg-Vorpommern e.V. (TMI) was initiated in 2001 as a platform for companies in the telecommunications industry and has contributed significantly to this positive trend. The TMI (www.tmi-mv.de) also acts as a network hub between politics and business, promotes the development of call centres and companies in the telemarketing and telecommunications industry and pools the interests of the branch’s stakeholders, i.e. organisations, service providers and service centres.