30,000 employees underscore the Munich Metropolitan Region's outstanding position as a European venue for biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical engineering and healthcare, all of which are subsumed under the heading "life sciences". More than 400 biotech and pharmaceutical companies – including industry leaders such as Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, MSD, Hexal and Sandoz – have a presence in the region.
The Munich region in particular has emerged as a leading location in the field of biotechnology. Cooperation and close networking between biotech and pharmaceutical firms on the one hand and the relevant research organizations and university faculties on the other are a hallmark of these industries in this region. Examples include the three biotech-focused Max Planck Institutes for Neurobiology, Biochemistry and Psychiatry, the German Research Center for Environmental Health, the relevant faculties at Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) and the Technical University Munich (TUM), and the universities of applied sciences in both Munich and Weihenstephan-Troisdorf. The beating heart of the region's biotechnology cluster is the Innovation and Start-Up Center for Biotechnology in Martinsried, which ranks as a top biotech venue in Europe and throughout the world.
The structure of production in the Munich Metropolitan Region is focused primarily on what is known as red biotechnology, which centers around applications in medicine, pharmaceuticals and diagnostic research. Nearly half of all the biotech companies in and around Munich operate in this segment. The heaviest concentration of biotech firms is in Martinsried and Freising-Weihenstephan. Plans to develop a new life science park in Freiham to the west of Munich will help ensure that the region remains attractive to innovative companies in this discipline in the future.
The Munich Metropolitan Region is also a leading venue for medical engineering, accounting for 60 percent of Germany's production of electromedical equipment and 30 percent of its total medical production.
At the same time, impressive medical capabilities, geological diversity and a unique array of cultural offerings that lead 1.2 million visitors a year to spend five million overnight stays at health spas and resorts identify the region as Germany's foremost healthcare hub. The Munich Metropolitan Region thus boasts a very high density of excellent clinics, hospitals and specialized medical practices. Healthcare is indeed one of the region's growth industries, with "healthcare tourists" from the Arab countries in particular valuing the quality of service and care provided here.