Even though Bremerhaven’s port – one of Europe’s largest centres handling containers and cars – is of world-wide significance, the area has experienced repeated deep economic crises in recent decades due to an excessively maritime-oriented economic structure; these crises have particularly affected deep-sea fishing, fish processing and the shipbuilding industries, with their upstream and downstream industries, and have resulted in a dramatic loss of jobs.
Against the background of the restructuring of Bremerhaven's local economy into an efficient technology base – particularly in the promising sectors of blue biotechnology, the food industry, wind energy and polar and maritime research, etc. – a foundation stone has been laid for attracting companies from the T.I.M.E. sector (T.I.M.E. = telecommunications, information technology, multimedia and entertainment). This took place in the context of the "economic development" support priority of the URBAN II EU Community Initiative and involved the renovation of the old "Imperial Post Office" (erected in 1901) and the planning for a new building.
The conversion involved a thorough modernisation of the building, which is located right next to the two oldest docks (Old Port and New Port) and thus inside Bremerhaven’s largest tourism development area. In the course of the conversion work, various changes were made to the structure, and, in particular, state-of-the-art technology tailored to the needs of the future tenant companies was installed. This includes both active and passive network components, a wide-ranging provision of media technology and a link-up to a high-performance broadband network. In addition to the networking, a central service room has been set up and available to all the tenants.
The proximity to the local scientific and technological institutions (Bremerhaven University, Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven Institute of Food Technology and Bioprocessing Technology, Bremerhaven Institute of Organisation and Software, etc.) offers an ideal breeding ground for growth and innovation, particularly in the exciting T.I.M.E. sector.
t.i.m.e. Port is intended to initiate and develop technology-intensive companies, with a view to achieving a rise in the number of new start-ups and subsequently in the number of employees. This would offer an opportunity to create long-term jobs and to improve the availability of training in the URBAN assisted area. It goes hand in hand with a general improvement of the commercial image of Bremerhaven. Also, it is expected that in the medium term the establishment of the technology park will have positive multiplier effects for the entire regional economy – and thus for the programme area.
The focus and the innovative central element of all the activities in the technology park, which is operated by the business promotion company BIS (Bremerhavener Gesellschaft für Investitionsförderung und Stadtentwicklung mbH), is the centre management set up using URBAN II funding; it serves as an active interface to the local suburb management, to the measures under the "labour market and training" support priority (priority II under the URBAN programme), and to the other players in the area covered by the programme. Also, it supports the resident companies in the start-up phase, in obtaining support funding, in marketing activities and in finding partners.
The t.i.m.e. Port building was completed on 1 April 2002. It offers a total of some 2,700 m² of space, and is fully occupied by 14 companies with a total of almost 70 employees. Several parties have already expressed an interest in the 2nd building phase, which is to commence in Autumn 2003.
|URBAN II, Economic development
||2000 – 2006||Total support: 9,389,362€
of which ERDF: 4,694,681€
more informations www.time-port.de