Berlin Adlershof: Record growth despite skills shortage and multiple crises
Positive development despite interlocking crises/ Remarkable increase particularly in employment
Despite various interlocking crises, the Science and Technology Park in Berlin Adlershof was able to grow significantly in 2022. Revenues and budgetary resources increased to €3.63 billion (2021: €3.21 billion), representing a 13% increase over the previous year. It is noteworthy that the Adlershof Science and Technology Park now employs over 28,000 people (2021: 24,500), representing a 14% increase over 2021. The increase in employment indicates that Adlershof companies are generally successful in attracting skilled workers, despite a shortage of skilled labor. In addition, approximately 950 apprentices were employed in Adlershof in 2022, along with approximately 6,600 students.
The Adlershof Science and Technology Park is divided into three areas: core area, growth area, and media city.
In the core area of the Science and Technology Park, revenues of the approximately 580 companies increased by 6.3% to €1.13 billion. The number of employees increased by 6.8% to almost 9,100. In addition, approximately 330 apprentices were employed. After the number of companies in the core area declined in the previous year, it increased again this year.
In the growth area, revenues and budgetary resources of the approximately 480 companies and institutions increased significantly for the second year in a row in 2022, totaling €1.67 billion. The number of employees increased by almost 14% to 11,400, and approximately 520 apprentices were employed (including at several training providers).
In the media city, the number of employees in the 210 companies increased to over 3,600 after remaining almost constant the previous year. In addition, 93 apprentices were employed. Revenues also increased by 14% to €456 million. The number of so-called "permanent freelancers" (from 780 to 1,150) increased, which is a positive development as this number had previously decreased. The fact that the grants received in the media city declined again in 2022, while the number of freelancers increased, suggests a recovery of the industry on site from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grants and third-party funding for the institutions of Humboldt University Berlin located in Adlershof amounted to €34 million, and basic funding amounted to €52 million. The budgetary resources for the non-university institutes were €214 million, and third-party funding was €75 million. The total number of employees in the scientific institutions was 3,900.
Companies in the Science and Technology Park continue to have a positive outlook for business development in 2023. About half of them anticipate an increase in revenues, while 41% of companies expect revenues to remain the same. Only one in ten companies predicts a decline in revenue, compared to 14% of companies last year who were pessimistic about the future.
Regarding the evaluation of so-called "soft location factors," the image of the high-tech location Adlershof was rated as very good and significant, as in previous years. Despite the fact that Adlershof companies are also affected by the shortage of skilled labor, they continue to rate their access to qualified workers at the location as good. The 14% increase in the number of employees clearly indicates this. In addition, companies were generally satisfied with their rental situation, despite the burden of rising energy prices.
As in the previous year, companies in the Adlershof Science and Technology Park were surveyed about their position on the topic of home office. Overall, most cannot imagine employees completely refraining from working from home – neither the employees themselves nor the management. In total, 64% (2021: 56%) of employees support working outside of the office for one to three days per week. Management remains unchanged from last year, with 64% considering this to be effective. While the number of employees who want to work on-site every day continues to decrease (2022: 26.7%; 2021: 32%), there is a slightly increasing proportion of managers who completely reject the idea of working from home for their employees (2022: 29.5%; 2021: 28.5%). Overall, there is a strong connection to the location. About half of both managers and employees consider working in Adlershof for four or more days per week to be effective.
In addition, the survey also identified the relevance of face-to-face contacts for various areas of business activities in the companies. Despite the frequently expressed wish to work from home on certain days, direct exchange was given a very high importance across all categories. Companies see the greatest value in personal contact for employee loyalty, as well as for motivation and well-being. Following closely are the establishment of business relationships, knowledge transfer and training, as well as creativity and idea generation. Adlershof companies particularly wish for stronger local cooperation, especially when it comes to skilled workers, training, and further education.
According to Roland Sillmann, managing director of WISTA Management GmbH, this situation is constantly creating new areas of focus for WISTA as operating company of the technology park. It is important to fulfill the social responsibility and to put the employees of the technology park at the center: "Until a few years ago, our focus was primarily on generating economic growth at the location in order to achieve a critical mass - successfully. Since 2018, Adlershof has increasingly focused on promoting solutions for the so-called grand challenges. In this way, the location fulfills its responsibility as the leading technology park in Germany to develop solutions for challenges such as climate change or resource shortage. In this way, we also attract and retain talents at the technology park who are looking for meaningful work that they can identify with and find it in the Adlershof companies and institutes."
Sillmann states: "As an operator, we also see it as our task to continuously design the growing Adlershof technology park in such a way that it remains an attractive location. The survey results confirm our intention to further upgrade the location for employees. For a future-oriented working world, there is a need for opportunities for interaction and networking with other actors, modern and appealing workspaces, and an inspiring environment. Only in this way can we attract smart minds and well-trained professionals, who ultimately make up Adlershof. They should enjoy coming to work, enjoy being here, and exchange ideas with each other. If this continues to work in the long term, we have an unbeatable location advantage in times of a shortage of skilled workers, in connection with the attraction of the capital region. This ultimately benefits the Adlershof companies, whose entrepreneurial achievements I have the utmost respect for in these persistently difficult conditions caused by the crisis."
WISTA Management GmbH
Rudower Chaussee 17, 12489 Berlin
Press release WISTA Management GmbH, 27 March 2023