Innovation has a proud tradition in Lower Saxony: the first functional calculating machine to perform all four basic arithmetic operations (Leibniz), the first manned motorized flight (Jatho), PAL colour television (Bruch) and an array of other technological firsts have their origin here. Today, too, new ideas and technologies and innovative products are emerging daily in Lower Saxony's companies and research institutes.
We need to strengthen this potential, as only through innovative products and services can enterprises become more competitive and create jobs. If innovations are to be developed in business and science, it is essential to have networks that bring together partners from both of these communities. In the form of the "Innovationsnetzwerk Niedersachsen", a successful institution has been created, with more than 200 members from different kinds of organizations such as chambers of commerce, municipal authorities, professional associations, transfer institutions and higher-education establishments. This innovation network is overseen by Innovationszentrum Niedersachsen GmbH, a Lower Saxony state government agency set up in 2003.
In recent years, great potential for innovation has already emerged in Lower Saxony - for example, the Brunswick region is the most research-intensive area in Europe. As ranked by the "Kompetenznetze Deutschland" initiative, Lower Saxony currently occupies a "Champions' League" spot in the table of German federal states.
Despite all this, within Germany as a whole - and beyond - Lower Saxony is still often best known as a region of scenic charms. To change this perception, the state government has launched a campaign called "Innovative Lower Saxony". This is designed to help ensure that our state will, now and in the future, also be seen as a land of innovation and high-tech excellence.