Now the region is part of the same league as London, Northern Brabant, Jutland or Southeastern England. In Germany, the leading innovation regions are those of Karlsruhe, Upper Bavaria, and Stuttgart. In the current ranking, Northern Hessen even occupies first place in the "Product and Process Innovations in Small- and Medium-Sized Companies" category (out of a total of 214 European regions). Just in the last two years, the corresponding index improved by 6 percent. Decisive for this success has been the innovative strength of the Northern Hessian companies, which is specifically promoted by the good collaboration of this region's players: University, research facilities, transfer structures, corporate networks, and the management of cooperative relationships – a key task of Regionalmanagement Nordhessen GmbH – jointly improve the innovation climate. Investments like Science Park Kassel, projects such as the promotion Nordhessen business plan competition or the expansion of the research infrastructure by the Fraunhofer IWES, for example, and business R&D investments, currently Continental's HTPC tire research center, are responsible for this success.
Regional manager Holger Schach is pleased "that joint regional efforts, above all the development of cooperation networks for the issues of the future, namely mobility, energy, and health - whose results are obviously difficult to measure - are now acknowledged by the innovation ranking of the European Commission. This confirms to us that Northern Hessen is on the right path." Even in the future, everything must be done to expand the regional innovative strength as the most important location factor in the competition among the regions.