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Group picture of representatives from politics and business of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Eastthuringia on Gera in the Micro-Hybrid

Representatives from politics and business meet at Micro-Hybrid

IHK-Workshop brings Jena and Saale-Holzland-Kreis together at one table.

"Jena and the Saale-Holzland district want to use their potentials jointly in the future and expand them on the basis of concrete cooperations" - this was the conclusion drawn by Jena's Lord Mayor Dr. Thomas Nitzsche and District Administrator Andreas Heller at the IHK workshop at Micro-Hybrid Electronic GmbH. The IHK Ostthüringen also invited companies from the region to the workshop in order to promote joint land development for the region. The impetus came from the IHK location survey of 2018, in which the companies called for a new cooperation between the two regions. "Concrete measures are needed to cover current and future space requirements in the region. Only together can the city and district release existing reserves in order to continue to be economically successful," emphasised IHK Vice-President Dr. Knuth Baumgärtel, Managing Director of Micro-Hybrid Electronic GmbH in Hermsdorf. He referred to the TRIDELTA Campus Hermsdorf as a high-tech location for technical ceramics and electronics. This is where the common interests of the companies are already bundled and where specialists are attracted who want to work and live here.

Developing intermunicipal industrial estates

"Companies need free commercial space for development opportunities, expansions or new settlements. Industrial sites tailored to the needs of companies are a central building block. With 97 percent of the currently available commercial areas in Jena occupied, the possibilities are limited. Company bosses have to decide: Continue to grow in the surrounding area or bear Jena in the company name", says IHK managing director Peter Höhne.

While Jena currently has only seven hectares of vacant commercial space available, the Saale-Holzland district has over 100 hectares as small, individual areas. With the development of the Hermsdorf Ost III industrial estate, a further 50 hectares will be added. "In other regions there are already models in which the metropolis and the surrounding area are jointly developing and marketing industrial sites. There is no need to reinvent the wheel here," District Administrator Andreas Heller referred to examples of best practice.

Sufficient living space decisive in competition for skilled workers

"Over the next few years, the demand for housing for specialists in Jena companies will continue to increase. The Zeiss investment alone is expected to create 500 new jobs. It pays to cooperate with the Saale-Holzland district in two ways to ensure flexibility," said Thomas Nitzsche, Mayor of Jena.

"So far, approximately 40 percent of Jena's commuters have come from the Saale-Holzland district. These are used as skilled workers in the companies and secure the trade tax revenues at the company location. However, in terms of the proportion of income tax that benefits the municipalities, the place of residence is decisive. So both the surrounding area and the city can profit equally from the economic success", IHK Managing Director Peter Höhne explained the win-win situation for both regions.

Marketing as an economic region

For the growth of the region, the economic promoters want to move closer together. Administrative tasks will also be examined to see where synergies are possible and intermunicipal tasks can be fulfilled jointly. "If an inquiry cannot be served in Jena, there may be a solution in the Saale-Holzland district. The city of Jena also benefits from a strong and economically more attractive surrounding area," said IHK Vice President Baumgärtel. "To achieve this, all players must see the region as a whole and not just be fixated on their city or municipality. The positive impulses of Jena and its environs can be felt throughout eastern Thuringia and beyond".

Participants of the workshop (from left to right): Wilfried Röpke (JenaWirtschaft), Michaela Berger (Economic Development Corporation Saale-Holzland-Kreis), Andreas Heller (District Administrator Saale-Holzland-Kreis), Roland Bak (jenawohnen), Daniel Störzner (Tridelta Campus), Sabine Wosche (LEG Thüringen), Dr. Thomas Nitzsche (Lord Mayor of Jena), Dr. Knuth Baumgärtel (Micro-Hybrid, IHK Vice President) and Peter Höhne (IHK Managing Director)

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