Photo: Christian Spahrbier

Hamburg – Gateway to the world of tomorrow

A city for future-oriented and sustainable business events

Anyone who’s been out on the town in Hamburg with Florian, Saskia, and Karin knows that there’s a lot to discover here. As MICE ambassadors for Hamburg and its metropolitan area, we’ll show you hotspots not to be found in any other city. For our latest tour, we’re inviting you on a journey forward through time and show you that Hamburg has not only grandiose event locations and hotels but also strong economic collaborations and cluster.

Photos: / DoubleVision

In order to do so, we called on the business, tech, and science know-how of four of our colleagues from the Hamburg Convention Bureau (HCB): Caroline, Frank, Karine and Sarah know everyone there is to know in the future-oriented economic clusters of Hamburg. These four are responsible for landing international business events with a focus on highly innovative branches from logistics to maritime industries, aerospace, medicine, the life sciences, media and IT all the way through renewable energies and topics related to the smart city. Also tagging along is Nele, the head of our team and in charge of operations of the Conventions segment of the HCB.

You’d like to know what life will be like in the world of tomorrow? Then come with us on an exploratory journey into the future! It begins right in the middle of Hamburg.

As the second-largest city in Germany and the largest city in Europe that isn’t a national capital, Hamburg has always been distinguished by the interplay of innovation and growth. Hamburg residents are creative doers. Those who come to the city have free range to unfold their talents. That’s why people from all over the world who want to reinvent their city every day choose to live here.

Photo: / Marek Santen

Photo: / DoubleVision

With its modern business and research landscape, Hamburg is becoming one of Europe’s most innovative hubs.

Photo: / DoubleVision

Urban sustainability in the HafenCity

Photo: / Geheimtipp-Hamburg

We begin our tour in the place where Hamburg’s innovative capacity is visible at first sight and tangible after only a few steps – in the HafenCity, Europe’s largest urban building and development project.

A hot urban centre, the HafenCity is today already a lively residential and professional hub: Around 3,000 apartments have been built already and more than 730 companies have settled here. At HafenCity University (HCU), degrees have been pursued and research undertaken for around five years.

Photo: Christian Spahrbier

We stroll through a panorama of modern architecture, a lot of light and ever new views of the banks and waterways. Visible from everywhere is the unmistakable silhouette of the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg’s trailblazing landmark. We will be accompanied by André Stark, press spokesman of HafenCity GmbH, who will give us an exclusive insight into the life of Hamburg’s new urban district.

Photo: Christian Spahrbier

A model of the current status of the project over its entire area gives a taste of the breath-taking dimensions of this new city space that is taking shape along the former harbour areas of the Elbe, all at a scale of 1:500. It can be inspected in person at the Kesselhaus or “boiler house”, a brick building from the 19th century that once served as the power centre of the historical Speicherstadt warehouse district. Today, visitors of the HafenCity are welcomed there with up-to-date information, rotating special exhibitions and a café.

Photo: Christian Spahrbier

The heart of the HafenCity beats in the Überseequartier.

Photos: Christian Spahrbier

Spectacular architecture, unique shopping experiences and a cosmopolitan flair that reflects Hamburg’s maritime heritage: The exceptional character of the Überseequartier is already evident today. We’d like to know more about the future of this thriving neighbourhood and visit the Überseequartier InfoPavilion. In photos, visualisations and models, we experience what a diverse array awaits those who will live, work, and spend their free time here.

Innovation in the HafenCity stands for sustainability.

Photos: Christian Spahrbier

And we’re excited about it! We make our way to Osaka 9, the Sustainability Pavilion, where ecological city development is presented in a way you don’t see every day. A spatial sculpture made of creatively recycled loading pallets brings to mind memories of the earlier port industry, forming an original, multimedia framework for communicating information on topics such as construction and energy, efficient use of land as well as sustainable city structures and mobility.

Photos: Christian Spahrbier

All this has already become a reality in the HafenCity.

“Here, visitors can take a test drive through the sustainable metropolis of tomorrow,” says Caroline, our specialist in media, IT, the creative economy, renewable energies and the smart city. This part of the city is easily navigated by bicycle and is seamlessly plugged in to the local public transportation network. Anyone in a hurry just takes the U-Bahn. From the Hamburg inner city, the bank of the Elbe at the southern edge of the HafenCity is reachable in only a few minutes. The ride on the U4 line is a true highlight, as the Überseequartier, HafenCity Universität and Elbbrücken stations captivate with artful colour, light, and sound concepts.

Photo: / Timo Sommer

The Unilever building sets trends for office buildings of the 21st century. Built out of ecologically ideal materials, its light-filled, futuristic architecture soars over seven storeys as well as an impressive atrium. An outdoor stairway leads directly to the riverside promenade with a view onto the cruise terminal and the facing port.

We breathe in a bit more sea breeze at the Baakenpark, an artificial peninsula that forms the green centrepiece of the eastern HafenCity. “Big city atmosphere and high quality of life are not opposing categories in Hamburg. This sports and leisure park on the water is a great example of that,” remarks Sarah, whose work at the HCB focuses on the acquisition of association events.

Maritime, innovative, ecological, and chock-full of cool locations – that’s the HafenCity. Who could imagine a better place for green meetings?

Photo: Christian Spahrbier

The ZAL – Laboratory for modern aeronautics

We lift off from the water into the air and land in Hamburg’s aerospace Silicon Valley. Here, we can indulge our fascination for all things aerial.

The ZAL, Hamburg’s Center of Applied Aeronautical Research, where industry and the sciences collaborate closely, is one of the most cutting-edge research centres for civil aviation in the world. On 26,000 square metres, around 600 engineers are at work on the future of flight.

Photos: Christian Spahrbier

What’s most special about this place is that in the ZAL, various companies, from startups to major corporations, come together. The result is expedited development periods and faster time to market maturity for innovations that set global benchmarks.

“Hamburg is the third-largest hub for civil aviation in the world, and the ZAL is making the hanseatic city ready for takeoff for the 21st century. Here, an array of technical expertise and high-tech equipment gives rise to new synergies,” explains Frank, who supervises the sector cluster on logistics, maritime industries, and aviation at the HCB.

Photo: Christian Spahrbier

Cabins and cabin systems are a core competence of the Hamburg aviation hub. The research activities of the ZAL thus include the testing of new acoustic solutions for the quiet cabin of tomorrow. The Flight-LAB Demonstrator, one of a kind in the world, allows for testing conditions that come very close to those of a real flight situation. New cabin technologies are implemented and tested in the multi-storey Cabin and Cargo Test Rig at a 1:1 scale. Borne aloft by so much inspiring innovation, we resume our expedition into the future.

Digital fitness at the Health Innovation Port

This platform dedicated to the future of healthcare will get you fit for the 21st century. Startups can dock here with innovative ideas and new business models for digital health.

Photos: Christian Spahrbier

The Health Innovation Port (HIP) brings startups into contact with established actors from the world of health care. Supported by a cooperation among industry, health insurance funds, hospitals, the public sector and the sciences, this collaboration space offers founders a unique mix of coworking community, incubator, and mentoring platform.

Photos: Christian Spahrbier

After we’ve checked out the flexible working spaces, the pitch area and the in-house maker’s lab with a 3D printer together with the Community Manager at HIP Katja Bergholter, we take a break on the sofa, acutely conscious of how much health has to do with a sense of wellbeing. “The atmosphere in the HIP is ideal for innovative minds that want to develop their visions and concepts quickly and with an orientation towards practice,” observes Karine, the HCB point person for cooperations with the industry clusters of medicine, healthcare and the life sciences.

The thematic diversity of the circa 20 startups that are currently active at the HIP is large, reaching from artificial intelligence through virtual reality all the way to big data. That’s what we call healthy prospects for the future!

Photos: Christian Spahrbier

Welcome to Hamburg! Ahoy to the future!

Those who come to Hamburg have their finger on the pulse of the present. We hope that we’ve been able to infect you with our excitement for creativity and innovation. Our team is happy to pave the way for you to the Hamburg economic cluster and to provide you with any information and contacts that you need in order to connect with precisely your industry of focus.

If you are planning an event, we would be glad to advise you in advance and assist in its implementation.

Just contact us! We look forward to meeting you!