More than 200 museums, 110 theatres, and a vast number of concerts and festivals fill the events calendar of the region. Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and over 200 castles and palaces testify to an eventful history.
The forests of three nature reserves in one of the sunniest regions of Germany are a paradise for nature lovers and those seeking rest and relaxation. Motorsport on the Hockenheimring or first-division ice hockey (Adler Mannheim), handball (Rhein-Neckar Löwen, TSG Ludwigshafen-Friesenheim), and football (1899 Hoffenheim) games give you the chance to share the excitement – and to join one of more than 2,700 clubs.
Gourmets love the regional cuisine and first-class gastronomy along with famous wines from four growing regions. And the people of Rhine-Neckar love their traditional wine and folk festivals, of which there are literally hundreds.
Rhine-Neckar means business! The region is one of Germany’s key industrial locations and is home to many global corporations such as BASF, SAP, Roche, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, KSB, and Fuchs Petrolub, as well as several medium-sized companies, whose brands such as Betty Barclay, Capri Sun, Lamy, Vileda, Bauhaus, and Hornbach have a wide reach.
Well over half of the goods produced in the Rhine-Neckar region are exported – evidence of the international focus and competitiveness of local companies. Key industries are automotive, mechanical and plant engineering, chemistry, information technology, biotechnology and life sciences, as well as energy and healthcare indutries. In many of these sectors, the region holds a leading position, both nationally and internationally. Rhine-Neckar is also second to none in terms of gross added value, with €77,4 billion in 2013.
This is where innovations originate: In Rhine-Neckar there are nearly twice as many people employed in research and development as the national average. 30 renowned research institutions, including the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and the German Cancer Research Center, along with 22 universities maintain an active exchange with industry – allowing good ideas to turn into pioneering products and technologies.
This endeavour for scientific discovery and progress has a long tradition in Rhine-Neckar. The Ruperto-Carola University of Heidelberg, founded in 1386, is the oldest university in Germany. About 85,000 students are currently enrolled at the regional universities. And roughly 10,000 of them come from abroad and enrich both science and society in the region.
Creating something together: Rhine-Neckar has always had an active civil society. At least half of its inhabitants are engaged in voluntary work, which is considerably more than the national average. This level of commitment manifests itself in the countless leisure activities offered to children, young people, and adults. As well as in the many different services provided to people in need of help.
Several foundations and patrons make a valuable contribution to our social community. In addition to many businesses, local authorities, and other institutions that are doing their part, for example by striking a good balance between economy and ecology or work and personal life. Whether relating to the care of children or relatives, there are many initiatives in Rhine-Neckar that are committed to making families feel comfortable and welcome.