Science in the Ruhr region

The Ruhr region is one of the densest research landscapes in Europe. In addition to 5 universities and 17 universities of applied sciences, numerous acclaimed extra-university research establishments are located in the Metropole Ruhr. Predominant here are the three major names Fraunhofer, Leibniz and Max Planck.

What distinguishes the research activities in the region in particular is that science and research do not remain concealed behind the walls of the universities and institutes. In the Ruhr region science, academia and business often go hand in hand. Valuable research findings are not destined to gather dust in a drawer, but to be transformed into marketable products.

Focal points of research

The Ruhr has always been a region of researchers and discoverers. Without innovations in coal mining and steel production the region would never have developed into one of the most important economic regions in Europe. Today, researchers are still following in those traditions, but delivering top performance in completely different fields.

Environmental Technology

The development of environmental technology has emerged as one of the key areas of research in the Metropole Ruhr. Here research is conducted into the removal of legacy pollution, waste-avoiding process and product design for industry and the use of regenerative energies.

Medical Technology

A further focal point is the field of medical technology research. Here different disciplines such as medicine, biology and technology work together in close co-operation. The interlinking of research and application in particular means that patients can quickly benefit from new diagnoses and healing methods.


The Ruhr region also enjoys an excellent reputation as a research location in the area of logistics. Over 600 researchers at 13 universities and extra-university research establishments have joined together to form the research and development arm of the LogistikRuhr network. One of the areas in focus is  process-oriented logistics research, which deals with the optimisation of flows of goods.

Recruiting excellent scientists can be supported by Dual Career Services. In the Ruhr Region the Dual Career Network Ruhr, an Network of 19 partner institutions from Universities and universities of applied sciences, economy and adminsitration work together to Support Partners that coming with the scientist.

Dual Career Network Ruhr



  • Information about entry and stay for non-EU scientists:

'Rights of residence for researchers from non-EU countries in Germany'
Information of the German Rectors' Conference

Research stay in Germany
Information of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees

Detaillled Information about Visa regulations for scientists

Alongside concentrations of research in the realms of the environment, medicine and logistics, numerous other focal points have emerged at the universities and research establishments of the Ruhr region, above all in the fields of technologies and materials, in the IT sector and the areas of society and communications.


  • Many acclaimed institutes and research establishments are present in the Ruhr region, such as Max Planck Institutes, Fraunhofer Institutes and the Leibniz Association.
  • In Dortmund, Duisburg and Oberhausen there are a total of four Fraunhofer Institutes (Material Flow and Logistics / Software and Systems Engineering / Microelectronic Circuits and Systems / Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology).
  • The Leibniz Association is represented with a total of four institutes in Bochum, Essen and Dortmund (Mining History / Business Development / Occupational Physiology / Analytical Sciences).
  • The Max Planck Society maintains two institutes in Mülheim an der Ruhr (for Chemical Energy Conversion/ Coal Research) and one in Dortmund (Molecular Physiology). In addition, there are also industrial research institutes.
  • An overview and further information can be found on our web portal

Non-University research in NRW

  • Further information on the Lead Market Education and Knowlesge can be found here:

Lead Market Education and Knowledge

An overview of networks, organisations and foundations for the promotion of research and science can be found here:

  • Zentrum für Innovation und Technik in Nordrhein-Westfalen (ZENIT): Network of around 180 primarily small and medium-sized enterprises that brings together potential partners from the fields of business and science/academia for the promotion of innovation and internationalisation.

Zentrum für Innovation und Technik (ZENIT)


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