Paderborn has experienced a significant upturn as an industrial location over the past 30 years, with companies operating in the IT and communications technology sector playing an important role in this development. As early as the start of the 1970s, the city underwent the transformation from a largely rural intermediate centre into Eastern Westphalia's second regional centre with a catchment area of some 500,000 people. And from the end of the 1980s onwards, a wave of IT company start-ups in Paderborn put the city on a dynamic course during which it has become a renowned high-tech location.
Today, the city boasts a high concentration of specialised IT companies and organisations, with a percentage of IT employees which is five times above the national German average. Paderborn also has the highest density of software firms - over 200 in number - of any city in North Rhine Westphalia in relation to its number of inhabitants. Added to this is the city's traditional focus on hardware production. International giants such as Siemens, Wincor Nixdorf and Flextronics operate in Paderborn.
The location's outstanding general conditions for the training of a pool of highly qualified employees lend it further significant potential. The city boasts a nationally recognised offering of IT educational, training and research establishments, as well as the University of Paderborn, with its strong focus on the fields of computer science and technology.
But what were the crucial influences behind Paderborn's development into an attractive location for the IT industry? The main impetus was undoubtedly provided by Heinz Nixdorf, the founder of Nixdorf Computer AG. His home town in the 1960s was an industrially underdeveloped region. As hardly any established industrial structure existed at the time, Nixdorf was able to put his stamp on the location with the establishment of a new