© Berlin Partner / Monique Wüstenhagen

Chemicals Industry

The chemicals industry is one of the most research-intensive sectors of the German economy. In Berlin you'll find an innovation-friendly climate.

For example, the Chemical Invention Factory (CIF)  at TU Berlin makes it possible to transform the results of research into highly innovative start-ups in the fields of green chemistry, materials science, and nanotechnology with success. The CIF acts as a sustainable structural measure of the UniSysCat (Unifying Systems in Catalysis) excellence cluster approved in 2019 as part of the joint excellence strategy of the states and the federal government. This is where chemists, physicists, biologists and engineers from four universities in Berlin and Potsdam, two Max Planck Institutes, the Helmholtz Center Berlin, the Leibniz Research Institute FMP, and the Charité come together to collaborate across disciplines and institutions.

From green chemistry to biopolymers to innovative composite materials for lightweight construction, the chemical industry is a strong pillar of industrial production in the capital region. Above all pharmaceuticals, but also special plastics, consumer chemicals, paints, and varnishes dominate the products made in Berlin. The development of plastic-based filaments for additive manufacturing is also becoming increasingly important.

Why Berlin?

„Berlin is known for its lively start-up scene. The city offers an ideal environment for young e-commerce companies as well as successful high-tech start-ups like DexLeChem. The proximity to top scientific expertise in chemistry, an outstanding infrastructure and opportunities to interact directly with other company founders as well as with creative minds in politics and at well-established companies are what make Berlin such an ideal location.“

Sonja Jost
Sonja JostManaging Director and Head of R&D at DexLeChem GmbH

The capital's chemical industry is characterized by a wide range of chemical products. A high concentration of employees and innovation diversity characterize the structure of the Berlin chemical industry.
While 75% of the region's chemical workers are employed by its five largest chemical companies, numerous small and medium-sized companies with high innovation potential are shaping the landscape of Berlin's chemical industry.

Facts and figures at a glance

  • 46 companies with about 12,000 regular employees (based on companies with 20 or more employees)
  • roughly 8.3 billion euros in revenue    
  • export share: 72%
  • the chemical and pharmaceutical industry accounts for approximately 93 % of sales in the sector and 80 % of all employees.

(Source:  State Statistical Office for Berlin-Brandenburg, 2019 - data refer to 2018)


From plastics to pharmaceuticals, the chemical industry in Berlin is extremely diverse. As a supplier of numerous starting products, the industry works closely with other branches of industry such as medicine, energy, information and communication technology, and optics.

The chemical industry offers high growth and employment potential. The close proximity to Berlin's universities also meets the constantly growing demand for qualified junior staff in the chemical sector. Around 3,000 graduates, whose educational quality is rated top marks nationwide, come onto the labor market each year.


© Berlin Partner

Berlin's chemicals industry

Use our interactive industry map to learn more about selected locations and available infrastructure - in 2D and in 3D.

Interactive Map

Selection of scientific institutions

Selection of networks, initiatives and associations

BVP: Berlin-Brandenburg Association for Polymer Research

Association of organisations from various university and non-university research institutions as well as companies active in polymers research.

KuVBB: Network for Plastics, Chemistry, and Biopolymers

KuVBB supports R&D and business in the production, processing, and application of synthetic and bio-based plastics in the states of Brandenburg and Berlin. It promotes the mutual transfer of knowledge and makes sure that the industry presents itself attractively to outsiders.

Plastics and Chemistry Cluster of the State of Brandenburg
(Cluster Kunststoffe und Chemie des Landes Brandenburg)

The cluster networks companies and research institutes in the plastics and rubber-processing industry as well as the chemical industry in the State of Brandenburg.

European Bioplastics e.V.

The association "European Bioplastics" was founded in 2006 to represent the interests of European industrial manufacturers, processors and users of bioplastics, biodegradable materials and products made from them.

Northeast Germany Chapter of the Chemical Industry Association
(Verband der Chemischen Industrie e. V. Landesverband Nordost)

The association represents the economic and socio-political interests of the chemical industry vis-à-vis government agencies, organizations, labor unions and opinion-makers. It provides consultation on all matters that affect the chemical industry in Eastern German.

Bildungswerk Nordostchemie e.V. (training, further education)

The vocational training center chemistry (bbz Chemie) is the training and further education center operated by Bildungswerk Nordostchemie e.V. for the chemical, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology industries in Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia.

AKB - Arbeitgeber- und Wirtschaftsverband der Kunststoff Verarbeitenden Industrie in Berlin und Brandenburg e.V.

AKB represents around 100 companies in the plastics industry in Berlin and Brandenburg. The AKB is a member of UVB, the regional umbrella association for business associations .

IG BCE Mining, Chemical, Energy Industrial Union, Berlin-Mark Brandenburg District

The Berlin-Mark Brandenburg district is the largest district in IG BCE covering members working in a territory of 48,000 km². It includes the states of Berlin, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, and all of Brandenburg except Lusatia in the south. Its work primarily focuses on the chemicals, energy, water, plastics, and glass industries, as well as workers involved in the production of gypsum, paper, ceramics, rubber, and leather.

INAM - The Innovation Network for Advanced Materials

INAM is a non-profit association that acts as a network and connects start-ups, SMEs, companies, research institutes and investors with a passion for advanced materials. There are currently over 70 active members, and the number is increasing.

Selection of company builders, incubators, accelerators, and labs

The Inkulab helps people with ideas get started with their own business. For start-ups with innovative business ideas in the life sciences, green chemistry, and nanotechnology, it offers free lab space and an accompanying start-up incubation programme.

Chemical Invention Factory
Enabling the successful transformation of research results into highly innovative spin-off companies in the field of green chemistry, materials science, or nanotechnology is the central goal of the Chemical Invention Factory (CIF) at the John Warner Center for Start-Ups in Green Chemistry established in 2018 as an independent incubator at Technical University (TU) Berlin.

FUBIC - Business and Innovation Center next to Freie Universität Berlin Campus
The FUBIC is currently being built on the site directly adjacent to the Free University of Berlin (FUB). The future innovation campus will be home to technology-oriented start-ups and young companies from the fields of life science, healthcare and IT.

Further innovation and creative labs in Berlin

Your contact

David Hampel

David Hampel

Head of Unit
Manufacturing Industries