OstWestfalenLippe (OWL) – at the top of North Rhine-Westphalia

The slogan is a reference to the most northern point in the state as well as to the region’s strong economy. As a Leading-Edge Cluster predominantly made up of medium-sized companies, the strength of it’s OWL comes from the success of the regional economy.

According to a study by the Stockholm School of Economics, OstWestfalenLippe is among the strongest production clusters in Europe, and marked by a high concentration of employment, capacity for innovation and export quota. The region has 400 companies in mechanical engineering, the electrical and electronics industry and the automotive supply industry, employing around 80,000 individuals and generating annual revenue of EUR 16.5 billion

The core of the cluster is made up of family-run businesses and a wide range of medium-sized firms. These include numerous global market leaders – strong brands such as Claas, Gildemeister, Hella, Miele and Wincor Nixdorf, but also many hidden champions. Beckhoff, Harting, KEB, Lenze, Phoenix Contact, Wago and Weidmüller set global standards in industrial electronics, and hold 75% of the global market share for connector technology.

The OstWestfalenLippe region is marked by a broad mix of manufacturing industries, with a focus on the furniture, food, plastics and metal sectors where there are 1,696 companies employing 190,000 individuals and generating revenue of EUR 38 billion. These firms work together in eight industry initiatives.