The apron area at the former Tempelhof airport, where once upon a time passengers boarded and disembarked from planes under an enormous roof, is cavernous indeed. Nowadays it mostly lies empty, but this week it is playing host to 10,000 people for Campus Party. The enormous size both of the event and its venue is perhaps reflective of the unfulfilled potential many feel exists for Berlin to truly become a global technological center.
And it was at Campus Party this morning where a new marketing campaign dubbed ‘redefine the possible. log in. Berlin.’ was launched with the aim of promoting the city – both at home and abroad – as a ‘strong, high-performing IT location.’ Organized by the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research (DETR), Berlin Partner, the Berlin Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the regional ICT association SIBB e.V., it is a strong sign that, finally, the authorities have woken up to what is going on in tech in Berlin and are are fully behind it.
As proof of this new belief, standing on the stage alongside the representatives of the campaign’s organizers was Benedikt Lehnert, CMO at 6Wunderkinder – and discourse with the digital sector is one of the stated aims of the campaign. It will also target industry professionals and investors and sell them the idea of Berlin as an important and attractive tech location using print and online advertising and appearances at international trade fairs and events.
As the press release accompanying the launch says: ‘Not only is Berlin THE startup location for young Internet enterprises, it is also an established, high-performance location for information technology and the digital industry.’
Nicolas Zimmer, State Secretary at the Berlin Senate’s DETR, has been at the heart of efforts to build a relationship between government industry in the tech sector. Speaking at the launch, he reiterated his belief that the city is the right place at the right time: “Everything in Berlin is possible; not everything comes true, of course, but you can try it which is something I think is unique in Germany.”
In the Berlin region, the ICT, media and creative industry – of which digital and startups are an important part – encompasses 36,841 companies with an annual turnover of €26.11 billion and employing 181,217 people directly, and about 314,000 altogether.
“Berlin is… building up its position as the startup capital of the Internet industry, supported by its leading status in research and education, its internationality and intercultural competence,” Zimmer added. “We want to highlight this trend and ensure that a real digital economy is created through these creative individuals and startup ventures, bringing jobs, income and prosperity for Berlin.”
Benedikt Lehnert, meanwhile, emphasized that Berlin needs to remain true to itself: “Berlin has a unique opportunity to develop its very own identity, straddling the areas of technology and design. At the same time, this continually changing metropolis is attracting highly qualified professionals from all over the world.”
While the provided examples of the adverts to be used – which include Berlin landmarks blurred over – are not exactly inspiring, the campaign itself is a wonderfully welcome sign that everyone in the city is onboard with taking tech to the next step,
Some 10,000 people from around the world who have gathered in this behemoth of a building this week will no doubt be happy about that.