Made in Mannheim

Mannheim is known throughout the world for its important inventions and groundbreaking ideas. The city’s long history of innovation continues to this day. Modern Mannheim is home to major global players, a broad range of medium-sized businesses, established traditional companies and an active start-up scene. Together, they are producing significant new products, services and processes that are driving the development of society and the economy. Seen in this light, Mannheim can rightly be described as a city with a long and proud history of innovation.


ABB Germany


What will assembly look like in the factory of the future? Headquartered in Mannheim, ABB Germany already has the answer. In 2015, the company introduced YuMi®, the world’s first collaborative two-arm robot. With this innovation, ABB has entered a new era in manufacturing automation.

The distinctive aspect of this innovation is that, thanks to YuMi®, humans and robots now work side by side – and without protective fences for the first time. Whether for computers, mobile phones, digital cameras, watches or toys, the hard-working automated helper is used wherever the precise assembly of small parts is required. While humans keep track of the overall production process and monitor the individual steps, the robot performs the monotonous or hazardous tasks. This reduces stress on people and improves the atmosphere in the workplace. With solutions such as YuMi®, supported by the ABB Ability™ digital platform, ABB is a technology leader in the digital transformation of industries.

The innovative assembly line worker was awarded the prize for best industrial robot 2016 at the China International Robot Show (CIROS) in Shanghai and also won the renowned innovation prize “Invention and Entrepreneurship Award in Robotics and Automation” (IERA).

Bilfinger SE


The implications of our ageing society are having an impact on companies as well. One product of demographic change is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit younger employees. This makes it all the more important for companies to preserve the technical knowledge and experience of their more seasoned employees. Because even if technical employees mainly work with their hands, the real capital is in their heads.

A knowledge database full of videos for practitioners from practitioners is intended to address this challenge. Bilfinger calls it “Industrial Tube”. The central element is a form of script that guides the user through the process of recording a video on a smartphone. This ensures that all relevant work steps are taken into account, including safety measures and the tools used. The individual sequences are automatically merged into a finished video and uploaded onto the Industrial Tube platform. An approval process ensures compliance with occupational safety standards and data protection. Based on artificial intelligence, the system also creates multilingual subtitles and keywords that ensure the video can be easily found and shared using keyword searches in the Industrial Tube portal.

It is not just Bilfinger that is using the video platform to transfer knowledge; the company has also made this solution available to external industry partners across all sectors. The aim is to establish Industrial Tube as the central knowledge platform in the process industry, where component manufacturers can post videos on the correct operation of their products, for example.

Photo © Johannes Vogt


Carl & Bertha Benz


It was in Mannheim that the car first took to the road. Its inventor, Carl Benz, studied mechanical engineering at the Karlsruhe Polytechnic. After moving to Mannheim and marrying Bertha Ringer in July 1872, he devoted himself to the design and construction of engines. On New Year’s Eve 1879, he succeeded in getting his stationary gas engine up and running for the first time.

To obtain funding for the costly development of his engines, Carl Benz converted his company into a public limited company in 1882, under the title “Gasmotorenfabrik in Mannheim AG”. However, since the supervisory members of his new company were primarily looking for profits, they had little understanding of his vision of the horseless car. So Carl Benz left the company and founded the “Benz & Cie Rheinische Gasmotorenfabrik” with new partners in 1883. Finally, alongside the production of gas engines, he was able to devote himself to the design of his fledgling motorcar.

On 2 November 1886, Carl Benz was granted a patent on his motor vehicle. However, the car was not an immediate commercial success. The patent motorcar failed to capture the public imagination until the courageous Bertha took an adventurous long-distance drive with the improved Model 3 in August 1888, without her husband’s knowledge. Together with her two sons, she drove from Waldhofstraße over dusty and bumpy roads to her mother in Pforzheim, 106km from Mannheim. This proved that the patent motorcar was not a crazy idea, but an extremely useful vehicle suitable for everyday use.

In 1914, the Technical University of Karlsruhe awarded Carl Benz an honorary doctorate. In 1926, the “Benz & Cie. Rheinische Gasmotorenfabrik Mannheim” and the “Daimler- Motoren-Gesellschaft” founded by Gottlieb Daimler were merged to form “Daimler-Benz-AG”. The rest is history.


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Caterpillar Energy Solutions GmbH


With MWM Digital Power, the energy market is entering a new era. State-of-the-art components, combined with intelligent and reliable data analysis, ensure increased efficiency in the use and maintenance of power generation plants operated with gas engines and gensets.

Die aktuellen MWM Gasmotoren sind mehr als nur eine Weiterentwicklung im herkömmlichen Sinn. Vielmehr sind diese Aggregate und Komplettlösungen perfekt auf die Herausforderungen der Industrie 4.0 sowie auf die geänderten Rahmenbedingungen eines dynamischen Energiemarktes im Zeitalter globaler Wertschöpfungsketten zugeschnitten. Als Teil des Netzwerks der Caterpillar Inc. besteht Zugriff auf internationales Wissen und Ressourcen, die den Kunden bei der Entwicklung individueller Komplettlösungen weltweit zugutekommen. Mit einer neuentwickelten digitalen Kraftwerkssteuerung TPEM (Total Plant & Energy Management) setzt das Unternehmen neue Maßstäbe im Bereich der Steuerung von Energielösungen, die eine hohe Wirtschaftlichkeit durch zentrale Bündelung und Regelung ermöglicht.


CONIAS Risk Intelligence GmbH


We live in turbulent times. Even where peace still prevails today, the security situation may look very different tomorrow. This risk not only endangers the global supply chains of large companies; people too want to be safe from terrorism and violence at home and on their travels. For this reason, CONIAS Risk Intelligence GmbH from Mannheim has developed the world’s first digital system for the analysis and risk assessment of conflicts.

Much like a weather map, it allows users to constantly update political risks and retrieve them in a matter of seconds. It is founded on a database that is unique worldwide and makes it possible for the first time to identify and evaluate conflicts at an early stage and to make recommendations. Is a region safe enough for investment? Do employees need to be evacuated?

for specific locations or areas. Instead of expert opinions, they rely on measurable criteria. In this way, the customer can be sure that a uniform global standard is employed for evaluation, which greatly increases the reliability of the analysis. The tool is already being used by companies in the insurance and automotive industries. CONIAS received the MEXI 2016 Mannheim Business Start-Up Award for its development and was invited to the renowned Falling Walls Conference as one of the 20 most innovative university start-ups in the world.

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Full speed ahead: with a cargo handling volume of more than 7.4 million tonnes, the port of Mannheim is the second largest inland port in Germany and one of the most important in Europe.

In terms of the ecological balance, inland waterway transport is a powerful support for other freight transport routes because this method is much more environmentally friendly.

Loading and unloading for half a century: Germany’s first container terminal opened in Mannheim’s inland port in 1968. Since then, a lot has been moved here in the truest sense of the word. Whether with huge cranes, trucks or freight trains, around the clock and along the most important logistics chains in Europe – Tetris for the advanced.

Photo © Petra Arnold



From university graduate to company founder? That’s not unusual in Mannheim. Lukas Gentele, Daniel Thiry and Fabian Kramm teamed up straight after their studies at the University of Mannheim. With their cloud-based DevSpace platform, they are currently revolutionising the work of developers and programmers.

FEWER ERRORS, MORE EFFICIENCY: The basic idea behind covexo is to enable new software to be developed faster, more easily and without errors. This makes life a whole lot simpler for programmers.

New synchronisation technology pushes software code from local computers directly into the cloud. From there, everything is simply tested over the Internet during the development phase. This eliminates long and resource-consuming error and correction loops. A true revolution.

AWARD-WINNING CONCEPT. In autumn 2017, covexo won MEXI 2018, the Mannheim Business Start-Up Award, in the category “Digital Economy”. Among the other achievements of this IT start-up are the “Digital Innovations” prize from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, an award from Germany’s richest start-up prize fund and a trip to Silicon Valley for the final round of the Y Combinator. In the meantime, covexo GmbH has set up its headquarters in the MAFINEX business start-up centre in Mannheim. From there, the company aims to simplify modern software development even further. And, of course, to continue revolutionising the digital world.

Foto © Ben van Skyhawk



The basic idea behind covexo is to enable new software to be developed faster, more easily and without errors. This makes life a whole lot simpler for programmers. New synchronisation technology pushes software code from local computers directly into the cloud. From there, everything is simply tested over the Internet during the development phase. This eliminates long and resource-consuming error and correction loops. A true revolution.

© Ben van Skyhawk

Curt-Engelhorn-Centre for Archaeometry (CEZA)


How do you determine the age of a mummy? And what does a thousand-year-old piece of broken glass reveal about the life of past cultures? CEZA in Mannheim uses the latest high technology to find answers to these and many other questions.

HOMEMADE, TOP QUALITY: Have you ever heard of the 210PB test? For the experienced scientists at CEZA in the heart of the Mannheim squares, it is part of their daily work. And not just because, in addition to several other important methods, the test was developed in-house. The method is also capable of proving the origins of modern production. As a unique analytical method, the test caused a sensation that reached far beyond the borders of the German research landscape.

EXPERIENCE RESEARCH: Exciting research findings can currently be experienced in the “Javagold” exhibition in the Reiss-Engelhorn Museums. For almost ten years, these golden treasures have been analysed at CEZA using state-of-the-art methods. Besides investigating the origin and production technique of the objects, CEZA is also developing a method for dating gold objects.

Photo © CEZA, Fotograf Ralf Mager

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Edition Panorama GmbH


Simply change the perspective: that was the thought that occurred to Mannheim photographer Horst Hamann as he stood at the junction of New York’s 41st Street and the Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue) in 1991. He turned his camera from the horizontal to the vertical and squeezed the shutter: vertical panorama photography was born. 

From Hamann’s pictures, the Mannheim publisher of Edition Panorama, Bernhard Wipfler, developed a vertical book format. Technical printing challenges and initial difficulties in the book trade – the shelves were simply too small – did not stand in the way of the breakthrough of vertical photography as an art form. The coffee-table book “New York Vertical” went on to become an international bestseller. The work presents completely new aspects of a metropolis that has already been photographed on many occasions. 

Since then, vertical motifs have become a familiar part of our everyday lives. As art prints, calendars or cards, they decorate the walls of homes, offices, public facilities and of course galleries. Vertical panorama photography also provides variety in newspapers, magazines, advertising and the Internet.

With the company’s unusual image format in unique illustrated books and calendars, Edition Panorama has become a pioneer in a market it created and is now considered a world leader.



What was once always round has now become angular. Present as household towel in roll form in virtually every kitchen, this ubiquitous product is now conquering even more rooms in new hygienic packaging.

What was once always round has now become angular. Present as household towel in roll form in virtually every kitchen, this ubiquitous product is now conquering even more rooms in new hygienic packaging.

The name of Germany’s best-known kitchen towel, the “Zewa”, can be clearly traced back to the city of squares. Paper has been produced here since 1884 – at that time in the production facility known as the “Zellstofffabrik Waldhof” (ZeWa), which now belongs to Essity, one of the world’s largest suppliers of hygienic papers.

Even today, almost 300,000 tonnes of hygienic paper are produced in Mannheim every year and processed into Zewa, Tork, DANKE and private label products.

Photo © Lys Y. Seng


Aliaxis Deutschland GmbH


Sie gilt als Technologie der Zukunft und zählt zu den saubersten Wegen, um Energie zu gewinnen – die Brennstoffzelle. Die Größte Europas steht seit Kurzem in Mannheim. Häufig als moderner Antrieb für die Autoindustrie diskutiert, nutzt die Aliaxis Deutschland GmbH (ehemals FRIATEC GmbH) das Prinzip der kalten Verbrennung, um ihren eigenen Strom zu produzieren: Sie ist der erste europäische Betreiber eines Brennstoffzellenkraftwerks mit 1,4-Megawatt – eine Leistung, die für die Versorgung von rund 400 Haushalten reichen würde. Die Mannheimer zählen damit zu den Vorreitern beim Einsatz dieser umweltfreundlichen Technologie.

Mit dem neuen Kraftwerk deckt das Unternehmen knapp die Hälfte seines Energiebedarfs – umweltfreundlich und nahezu ohne Schadstoffe. Denn im Gegensatz zur herkömmlichen Energiegewinnung erzeugt eine Brennstoffzelle Strom direkt aus Erd- oder Biogas – ohne es zu verbrennen. Die Aliaxis Deutschland GmbH spart so rund 3.000 Tonnen CO2 pro Jahr und senkt seine Energiekosten. 

Just like a battery, a fuel cell consists of many individual cells that together form a fuel cell stack. Each individual cell contains an anode, a cathode and an electrolyte. When a hydrogen-rich fuel such as natural gas or biogas enters the fuel cell stack, it reacts with oxygen. The chemical reaction produces electricity, heat and water.



In May 1931, Mannheim native Rudolf Fuchs founded his eponymous company in the heart of the city. Despite economically difficult times, he went ahead with founding his business and initially concentrated the fledgling company on importing and selling high-quality refinery products from Pennsylvania (USA).

Due to the stop on imports caused by the war and the loss of his most important customers, Rudolf Fuchs made a virtue out of a necessity. He began to develop new industrial lubricants, which he adapted to the requirements of the respective machines on site with the aid of additives. During this period, he innovated a range of emulsion lubricants, Vaseline products, anti-rust oils and “Renolit” timing belt oil.

Today, FUCHS PETROLUB SE is a global corporation and the world’s largest independent supplier of lubricants. The company’s product range is immense. It extends from motor oils for vehicles and industrial lubricants to special lubricants for agriculture and construction, cable cars and hydraulic oils for mining. In spite of this success, FUCHS PETROLUB remains a largely family-owned company.

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Assembling a complicated machine without first carefully reading the instructions? This is exactly what ioxp GmbH from Mannheim has made possible. With its Cognitive AR, the company has developed a so-called Augmented Reality Assistance System for industry that supports the user during assembly, maintenance and servicing. Using artificial intelligence, the system learns new processes at lightning speed and documents even the most complex processes. 

Here’s how it works… A virtual step-by-step guide is displayed directly in the user’s field of vision via data glasses. By means of markings, such as dots and arrows that appear on the device to be mounted, the user knows the precise position in which a part needs to be installed. The system even warns of errors and dangers. If the user moves his or her hand to the wrong position, it is virtually marked in red. 

All it takes to teach the system how to work is to demonstrate the assembly once and record it on video: through this action alone, the Cognitive AR system has already learned the new procedure. This allows employees to independently create multimedia documentation without needing any knowledge of IT or design. A colleague can then be trained via data glasses or smartphone and get started right away. 

Something that is currently mainly used in industry could soon also be put to work within your own four walls. You want to assemble a wardrobe but you’re not sure exactly which part belongs where? In the future, you will no longer need manuals. The manuals will be included directly in the products.

John Deere Walldorf GmbH & Co. KG


Mannheim is the birthplace of the tractor. It all began in 1921 when the engineer Dr Fritz Huber developed the world’s first “crude oil tractor”, the Lanz Bulldog HL12, thus laying the foundations for modern agriculture. Whether in arable, vegetable or fruit farming, around 100 years later the Mannheim tractors of John Deere GmbH & Co. KG are true high-tech geniuses that use GPS, sensors, electronics and computers to help farmers all over the world to optimise their daily work.

This is why John Deere is also regarded as a pioneer in what is known as “precision agriculture”. In 2001, the company was the first in Europe to introduce GPS for tractors, creating the basis for parallel driving systems such as AutoTrac. This system enables machines to trace their tracks “track by track” to an accuracy of within two centimetres. This avoids double cultivation of the same section of field. Seed, crop protection agents and fertilisers are spread evenly without overlapping or gaps. The driver monitors the system and has time to manage his or her business via smartphone.

At the same time, the farmer’s tractors, machines and smartphone or PC system are becoming increasingly networked so as to record and exchange operational data. When the harvesting machine is filled, it controls the tractor and trailer driving alongside it. The trailer is then fully automatically filled, evenly and optimally. Another example is tractors being able to record where and how much of which fertiliser they have applied. And thanks to GPS, the farmer knows where his or her machines are being used. An online platform enables the farmer to use this and lots of other data to protect the environment, increase yields and plan the next season.


Karl Friedrich Drais


Karl Friedrich Freiherr von Drais, a trained forester from Baden, was one of the most ingenious and unconventional inventors of his time. The list of his inventions is long.

Drais not only wrote a formula for solving complicated mathematical equations (1810), but in 1812 constructed a machine which, while playing the piano, wrote down the notes on a rotating cylinder. In 1813, he developed a dual number system and in 1814 a “carriage without horses”. His “fast writing machine” of 1825 anticipated the later Morse alphabet with its coding. Even a novel “wood-saving stove” (1833) and a “cooking machine” (1834) are among the imaginative baron’s inventions.

However, by far his most important innovation was a two-wheeled wooden vehicle driven by the muscle power of its driver: the “walking machine”. On 12 June 1817, Drais used it to travel from Mannheim Castle to the Schwetzingen livery stables in today’s Relaistraße and back in just under an hour. By contrast, the horse mail took four hours to complete the same route.

Later, the walking machine was successfully replicated throughout Europe. With his flash of inspiration, Karl Drais gave mankind one of the most useful inventions in history.


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Palatinate Chamber Orchestra Mannheim


The “Mannheim School” is regarded as a pioneer of the modern orchestral sound and classical symphonic concerts. The term refers to a circle of musicians who formed at the Mannheim court during the reign of Elector Carl Theodor. It was 1743, the year when the Palatine Elector Carl Theodor appointed violin virtuoso Johann Stamitz as concertmaster, thus laying the foundation for one of the most influential orchestral and composition schools in Europe.

Together with music director Ignaz Holzbauer, Stamitz turned the Hoforchester (court orchestra) into one of the best and largest ensembles in Europe. They not only gave solo roles to the wind instruments; they were also one of the first to complete the woodwinds through the inclusion of the clarinet, which was barely used in orchestral music at the time, and banished the harpsichord from symphonies in favour of a “pure” orchestral sound. In this way, the Mannheim School created the modern sound of the classical symphony orchestra on which composers such as Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven based their works.

The Mannheim musicians also set standards in orchestral training. The playing culture, the virtuosity of the individual players and the perfection in the execution of the compositions were celebrated by the audience as a sensation. These achievements can be attributed above to Stamitz’ master student Christian Cannabich, who according to Mozart was the best orchestra leader he had ever seen. Cannabich was probably also responsible for the introduction of the uniform bow stroke in the strings. What surprised the audience at the time is, seen from today’s perspective, a matter of course for orchestras all over the world.


Kunsthalle Mannheim


The Kunsthalle Mannheim is considered the birthplace of the term “Neue Sachlichkeit” (New Objectivity). In 1925, an exhibition of contemporary painting was the first to bear this title. The term was coined by Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub, second director of the Kunsthalle Mannheim.

125 paintings by 32 artists were shown in the groundbreaking and highly regarded exhibition – including works by Georg Schrimpf, Franz Radziwill, George Grosz and Otto Dix. Hartlaub was the first to recognise a common zeitgeist and artistic approach among a large number of artists in Weimar Republic painting. Whether still life, portrait or landscape, the thematic diversity of the artworks was united by a common trope: they all portray a sober, detailed and realistic representation of reality. Marked by the harrowing experiences of the First World War, the artists distanced themselves from the art of Expressionism.

Emanating from Mannheim, the term “Neue Sachlichkeit” (New Objectivity) has established itself as representative of an entire art epoch. Today, it is a firmly established name that describes a current that is present in all areas of Weimar Republic culture – whether in painting, literature, photography, architecture or film.

One hundred years later, the Kunsthalle Mannheim continues to impress with its innovative impulses. In June 2018, a striking new building was opened on the Friedrichsplatz. Surrounded by a transparent metal screen, the seven exhibition halls connected by bridges, terraces and a roof garden form a “city within the city”. With its linear, functional structure, the building echoes the clean style of the “New Objectivity”.

MVV Energie AG


Since the mid-1960s, Mannheim has had one of the largest and most efficient district heating networks in Europe. District heating has a future. It is progressively becoming more renewable and is therefore an indispensable building block for energy system transformation and climate protection.

As a pioneer in the transformation of energy systems, Mannheim-based energy company MVV has consistently been investing in climate-friendly and future-oriented heating solutions. In Mannheim, district heating alone is currently preventing the emission of around 300,000 tonnes of CO2 . With the recently completed connection of Friesenheim Island and further projects for renewable heat generation, MVV is further extending this climate advantage.

The future of heat supply in Mannheim is green 

Particularly in urban conurbations, district heating is and remains part of a sustainable energy supply concept. Around 120,000 households, commercial enterprises and companies are supplied via the regional district heating network, which stretches over 567 kilometres – not just in Mannheim itself, but as far away as Heidelberg, Schwetzingen and Speyer. MVV also focuses on innovative technologies and applications, from the groundbreaking use of plastic-cased pipes in conjunction with a new type of laying technology, through the “Taurus” decentralised heat transfer station for home use, to the district heating storage facility that went into operation in 2013 – a gigantic thermos flask that stores heat and further protects security of supply.




“Blue Village FRANKLIN” is the name of the innovative mobility concept that the formerly largest US-American housing estate in Germany has in store for its new residents.

Welcome to the future: a city infrastructure for all transport users, a low-barrier and well-developed public transport system as well as supplementary low-emission mobility services form the three pillars of Blue Village FRANKLIN. This intelligently networked concept creates a better quality of life in the new urban district. This is because every resident can easily reach his or her destination – by bus, train, car sharing, electric scooter or bicycle. And this keeps the environment happy too.

Foto © Alexander Münch

Nationaltheater Mannheim


The premiere of Friedrich Schiller’s “The Robbers” was pretty scandalous. Nevertheless, it was a complete success. To this day, the spirit of the German poet-prince echoes in Mannheim.

“The theatre resembled a madhouse, rolling eyes, clenched fists, stomping feet, hoarse screams in the auditorium! Strangers sobbed and fell into each other’s arms, women staggered towards the door, close to fainting. There was a general dissolution like in chaos, out of whose mists a new creation erupts.”

- An eyewitness after the premiere

Tradition and the contemporary under one roof: even if the reactions of viewers today are usually not as extreme as in 1782, Friedrich Schiller’s premiere has firmly anchored itself in the DNA of the Nationaltheater Mannheim. Incidentally, it will not only be dazzling audiences in the summer of 2021, when international artists will be further expanding the poet’s themes and ideas during the Schiller Days. The theatre is already stretching an arc into the past in the current season with productions of “Maria Stuart” and “Die Räuber”. Once again demonstrating that “contemporary” and “tradition-conscious” go hand in hand.

Photo © Hans Jörg Michel

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Opal – Operational Analytics GmbH


You know the situation: you’re in the bakery waiting to buy your favourite rolls but they’ve just sold out. That’s annoying, and not only for you. It’s a problem for the baker too, because the lack of products means not only lower turnover but a reputational cost as well. At the same time, your baker won’t be happy if there are lots of rolls left at closing time. The result of this supply and demand conundrum is that almost three million tonnes of food are thrown away in Germany every year.

Short-term purchasing forecasts help to ensure freshness. Mannheim-based start-up OPAL Operational Analytics has developed a software package that optimises the order quantities of fresh foods such as fruit, vegetables and baked goods. With the help of a wealth of real-time data from cash registers, bakery facilities and packaging machines, as well as information about the weather, public and other holidays, the software analyses and forecasts the correct order quantity. It is child’s play to operate. Your baker can use an app in his cash register system to see when and how many of your favourite rolls he needs to bake. This means less food ends up in the dustbin – and you never have to go home again without your favourite fresh rolls.

Photo © Thommy S. Mardo

Pepperl+Fuchs SE


Ludwig Fuchs and Walter Pepperl opened their first repair shop for radio equipment in Mannheim on 15 November 1945, marking the birth of the family business Pepperl+Fuchs. The workshop developed so well that they soon opened a shop in Mannheim-Sandhofen. The company quickly made further progress, manufactured its own transformers and was involved in setting up power supply networks in Ludwigshafen.

When BASF, a major customer of Pepperl+Fuchs and located not far from Sandhofen, asked for an alternative to mechanical switching contacts in potentially explosive areas, Walter Pepperl and his colleague engineer Wilfried Gehl, invented the intrinsically safe “inductive proximity switch”, which was launched in 1958.

This solution for the contact-free detection of metallic objects has become an industry standard and is one of the most proven electronic components in automation technology. At the same time, it laid the foundations for the Pepperl+Fuchs Industrial Sensors and Explosion Protection divisions. Today, the former repair workshop for radio equipment is one of the world market leaders in these two sectors, employing 6,200 people and generating sales of 670 million euros in 2018.

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Roche Diabetes Care


Prick your finger, apply a drop of blood to the test strip and the device displays your current blood sugar level. Roche Diabetes Care (then Boehringer Mannheim) enabled what is now part of everyday life for many people with diabetes. In 1983, the company launched the first blood glucose meter for use at home, revolutionising diabetes treatment and saving patients the hassle of going to the doctor’s surgery.

Today, Roche’s blood glucose monitoring systems are faster and more powerful than ever before. In 2009, Roche developed the Accu-Chek® mobile blood glucose monitoring system, which combines a blood glucose meter, lancing device and 50 tests in one. It gives people with diabetes everything they need to measure their blood glucose at home and on the move.

The latest devices can do even more. Blood glucose values are automatically sent from glucose meters such as Accu-Chek® Guide to the mySugr App on a smartphone. This means that patients no longer need to keep a blood glucose diary. What’s more, they can share practical reports with their diabetes specialist and thus receive better care.

Since 2017, Roche Diabetes Care has also been offering Eversense XL, a unique system for continuous glucose measurement (CGM). Long-term CGM enables people with diabetes to keep track of their glucose levels. At the heart of the system is a sensor that stays under the skin for up to six months and sends glucose data to a smartphone app via a transmitter.

Anyone interested can network online in the community #meinbuntesleben (#mycolourfullife) and share their experiences with diabetes in everyday life.

With its innovations, the Mannheim-based company is pursuing a global vision: by 2025, its aim is to help people with diabetes even more and to provide real relief so that they do not need to spend so much time thinking about their diabetes treatment.

Shipping Association of Mannheim / Society for the Promotion of Inland Navigation Law / Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine / Mannheim Port Authority


It was 17 October 1868 when an international agreement was concluded in Mannheim Palace that revolutionised shipping: the “Mannheim Act”. This was the origin of free navigation on the Rhine and served as a model for traffic on all European rivers. The idea of liberalising shipping on the Rhine at a time of many small states is considered to be the intellectual and political model of the European Union.

The agreement threw national regulations overboard, dismantled customs duties and established uniform rules for the first time. From then on, these rules applied to shipping along the entire course of the river. The “Mannheim Act” thus paved the way for one of the most important trade routes in Europe and promoted economic relations between the neighbouring states. Today, nearly 300 million tonnes of goods are shipped along the Rhine every year: from raw materials and chemical products to huge containers, from Switzerland to the North Sea.

The provisions of the “Mannheim Act” conferred legislative and judicial power on the “Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine”, based in Strasbourg. It is considered to be the oldest international organisation in the world still active today.

The “Mannheimer Schiffahrtsverein von 1894 e.V.” and the “Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Binnenschiffahrtsrechts an der Universität Mannheim e.V.” continue to nurture the idea of the “Mannheim Act” today. To commemorate the historical event, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2018, every two years they award the Rhine navigation plaque in partnership with the City of Mannheim as part of the inland navigation banquet in the baroque palace.


Siemens AG


In clinics with hundreds or thousands of patients, the timely and reliable supply of medicines, meals, laundry and sterile instruments is essential. The logistics challenge that needs to be mastered day and night is correspondingly great. Driverless transport systems (automated guided vehicles or AGVs) can play an important role in ensuring smooth supply and disposal in hospitals by automatically and independently delivering the required goods and removing waste. In this way, they relieve the burden on hospital logistics and help to ensure greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Flexible systems for versatile applications: the innovative AGV solution for hospitals was developed in cooperation with a mechanical engineering company that is responsible for constructing the vehicles. This company implemented the solution using hardware and software from Siemens. Free navigation on the floor and ceiling allows maximum flexibility and reduces complexity thanks to the guidance level with intelligent path control. The modular system can be adapted to any conceivable application and to existing goods transport solutions.

City of Mannheim


One glance at the history of Mannheim shows that the city’s greatest capital lies in the diversity of its inhabitants. Today, people from 170 nations live here and 43 per cent of Mannheim residents have a migration background. Mannheim’s urban society is characterised by a colourful mix of people with different lifestyles and world views. The willingness to communicate forms the basis for respectful cooperation.

To ensure that things stay this way, we have the “Mannheim Declaration for Coexistence in Diversity” – a voluntary commitment unique in its dimension throughout Germany for the recognition of the equal rights of different identities and against their discrimination. In the Mannheim Declaration, diversity is more than just one aspect. It refers not only to religion, culture or ethnicity, but also states that no one may be discriminated against on the basis of social origin, skin colour, gender, psychological or physical abilities, or sexual identity.

To date, more than 300 Mannheim initiatives, institutions, religious communities, associations and companies have signed the declaration and are actively supporting the cause of a diverse society. This is not just a declaration but also a commitment to action. The targeted action of many is expressed in the “Mannheim Alliance for Coexistence in Diversity”, a city-wide alliance that unites groups and institutions with very different focal points and encourages them to cooperate.

The “Mannheim Declaration” was initiated by the City of Mannheim and adopted by the municipal council.


TÜV SÜD Service Centre Mannheim


It is only safety that turns innovations into progress. In response to a steam boiler explosion in the Mannheim brewery at “Großer Mayerhof”, which was then in E4, 22 entrepreneurs founded the “Society for the Monitoring and Insurance of Steam Boilers” in Mannheim on 6 January 1866. It is regarded as the first technical inspection association in Germany and at the same time marks the beginning of TÜV SÜD’s history. The goal was to protect people, the environment and property against technical risks – an aspiration that still governs the company’s actions today.

Having started life in Mannheim, technical surveillance associations were soon becoming established throughout Germany. As a result, the number of boiler explosions fell sharply and steam engines, which were initially extremely dangerous, became a safe building block for industrial progress.

Known to many above all from the roadworthiness inspections of their own cars, TÜV SÜD is still shaping the idea of technical safety after more than 150 years. The company accompanies technical development and helps to shape progress. Today, for example, it is increasingly focusing on digital topics such as industry 4.0, new mobility and cyber security. In this way, TÜV SÜD remains true to its historic mission: to minimise risks, promote the acceptance of technology and thereby create confidence in the future.

Born in Mannheim, TÜV SÜD is now active worldwide. With more than 24,000 employees, the company is represented at over 1,000 locations around the world.

Universitätsmedizin Mannheim


With Kypho-IORT, the University Medical Centre Mannheim (UMM) has developed a groundbreaking method for operating on patients with metastases of the spine. It immediately alleviates pain, enables targeted therapy and saves precious time in the fight against cancer. First performed at the hospital in 2009, the procedure has been continuously improved and has already been used well over 100 times. Kypho-IORT has also proven itself outside the UMM and is now being used in clinics around the globe.

Kypho-IORT combines two previously separate therapy steps in a single minimally invasive operation: kyphoplasty, in which the vertebral bodies affected by metastases are stabilised with bone cement, and intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT), in which the tumours are irradiated during the intervention.

In the course of the operation, diagnostic procedures such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are combined with conventional surgical therapies. Throughout the procedure, physicians apply an optimal dose of radiation, which is individually calculated for each patient. The metastases are eradicated and the adjacent spinal cord is protected.

The innovation was developed at UMM in a close collaboration between the Clinic for Radiotherapy and Radio-oncology and the UMM Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery Centre.