Ever since Gottlieb Daimler invented the automobile in Stuttgart in 1886, the world’s most important competence centre for mobility has been here. In addition to the internationally renowned brands Daimler and Porsche, numerous suppliers of the automotive industry are also based in the State Capital.
Stuttgart is also home to the most important research, development and production fields of the automotive industry. Important enterprises of the supply industry work closely with local university, scientific and research institutions. These enterprises often play a leading role in the world market – for instance Robert Bosch GmbH.
The increasing global demands on mobility and the correlation with climate change represent special challenges to be faced by enterprises, research institutes and universities: developing a leading market for electric mobility and new mobility services.
With its twelve institutes the Faculty for Aerospace Engineering at the University of Stuttgart is the largest in Europe. Nationwide it is the only state university with its own faculty for aerospace engineering and based in the State Capital. Therefore, it is not surprising that 80 percent of all aerospace engineers in Germany are and were trained at the University of Stuttgart. From aerothermodynamics and small satellites to dust astronomy – the Institute of Space Systems in Vaihingen has an enormous range of research.
The is based in Stuttgart‐Vaihingen, very close to the university. Some 700 employees work at the six institutes where their research and work includes developing innovative vehicle concepts and technologies for saving and converting energy.
Worldwide leading aerospace enterprises are based in Stuttgart, in addition to important suppliers: Tesat‐Spacecom, Fichtner, Thales ATM, in‐innovative‐navigation, Bosch and Mahle Behr.
With innovative high-tech products and services Stuttgart is a hub for future technologies. In the European competence centre for mechanical and electrical engineering worldwide leading products in the fields of machine tools, industrial lasers, high-performance electronics, medical technology and environmental technology are manufactured. In addition to science and research institutions, as well as education institutions, planning and consulting companies are also involved in the engineering cluster.
With the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart is home to the largest and most profitable public-sector bank and savings bank in Germany. More than 100 banking institutions are based in Stuttgart, making the city the third largest financial centre in Germany. Stuttgart also has 29 insurance companies. With 11,250 employees, the State Capital is one of the six largest insurance locations in Germany, outperforming Berlin and Frankfurt (Main) in this sector. With Allianz Lebensversicherungs-AG, Stuttgart-West is the second largest location of Allianz worldwide.
The is only second to Frankfurt as the leading trading centre and the private investor exchange in Germany. Private investors can trade in equities, securitised derivatives, bonds, funds and participatory notes – at conditions otherwise reserved for institutional investors. With an annual trading volume of some 90 billion euros in all asset classes, the Stuttgart stock exchange ranks number ten in Europe.
In 2007, together with the Ministry of Economics of Baden-Wuerttemberg and the Credit Industry Foundation of the University of Hohenheim, the Vereinigung Baden-Württembergische Wertpapierbörse e.V. (Association of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Stock Exchange) founded Stuttgart Financial. The aim of this central platform is to strengthen Stuttgart as a financial centre.
Stuttgart is one of the leading IT locations in Germany and has the highest number of employees in the high-tech sector on a European level. The State Capital is also home to the headquarters of renowned IT companies such as Vector Informatik GmbH or GFT SE. One of the eight German locations of the hardware and software developer Microsoft is also located in the district of Vaihingen.
Since February 2020, a new supercomputer has been in operation at the at the University of Stuttgart. Its performance amounts to 24 petaflops and it is 3.5 times faster than its predecessor. It’s called Hawk, (in German Falke). The supercomputer is the fastest computer system for industrial production worldwide. It supports research in science and industry, particularly in engineering, to advance applications in the fields of energy, climate, mobility, medicine and health. The production and installation of Hawk cost 38 million euros.
In the German media landscape, Stuttgart, with some 400 publishing houses, has traditionally been considered as the place for specialist books, trade journals and scientific publications. Groups such as Ernst Klett AG, the Georg von Holtzbrinck publishing group and Motor Presse Deutschland are all based in the State Capital. The Stuttgart Newspaper Group with Stuttgarter Zeitung and Stuttgarter Nachrichten, as well as Südwestrundfunk ensure journalistic diversity. The diverse media landscape makes Stuttgart an attractive environment for a large number of service providers in the communications industry. Young media talents have excellent training opportunities at the Stuttgart Media University, the Merz Academy, the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg and other institutes.
Stuttgart's creative industry is an important part of the local business landscape. Architecture, design, advertising, publishing, film, music, the art market, photography, events, software, games – at present there are some 4,500 companies in the creative sector. In comparison to the rest of Europe the creative economy in Stuttgart is top.
The software and games industry makes up the largest sub-sector in Baden-Wuerttemberg – some 40 percent of the companies is based in Stuttgart, which is also reflected in the turnover: of the estimated 6.2 billion euros in the total industry turnover 44 percent is generated in the Stuttgart area. Several universities and academies in Stuttgart even offer a "Game Degree".
Stuttgart also enjoys a worldwide reputation in the film and animation industry, visual effects and virtual reality. Several renowned festivals, such as the Festival of Animated Film or the SWR Doku Festival, are two fixed events in the State Capital, and supported by the city's Economic Development Department.