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28 May 2019 - Jann Raveling

Twelve hidden champions from Bremen

Investing in Bremen

Examples of global market leading companies from Germany that are based in Bremen

Eurogate Hidden Champions
Strong companies within strong industries: many hidden champions are based in Bremen © Frank Pusch

Who are Bremen's hidden champions? Hidden champions are small and medium-sized businesses that are among the global market leaders in their niche industry; they are usually owner-managed and highly influential in shaping the market with their products – but few people have heard of them.

A number of these hidden champions can be found in Bremen. They come from all areas of business, including the maritime, aerospace and digital industries. They show that Bremen is regarded as one of the most innovative locations for industry in Germany – and rightly so. The city has the highest export quota of all Germany's federal states – products that are manufactured here are in demand all over the world.

Let's take a look at twelve hidden champions from Bremen:

1. SAACKE

SAACKE manufactures firing systems for the marine industry and for industrial processes. These include burners that are used in power stations and refineries or to generate steam on seagoing vessels. The company also produces exhaust gas cleaning systems that reduce emissions from ships at sea. SAACKE employs around 1,000 people worldwide and has been based in Bremen since the 1950s.

2. Fr. Lürssen Werft

The name Lürssen may well be familiar to local people, but the shipyard in Bremen-Nord is still a hidden champion on the international stage. As well as building naval vessels, the company is also a market leader in yacht construction. The rich and famous have their luxury yachts built in Bremen by a team of around 1,000 employees based at several locations.

3. UBIMAX

Augmented reality (AR) is a key technology of the future. UBIMAX specialises in glasses that superimpose digital information onto the real world. The company provides its AR glasses to industry for use in warehouses for order picking, inspection tasks, assembly support, quality control and remote maintenance – and this has made it a global market leader.

4. Saturn Petcare

This name should perhaps be more familiar to our four-legged friends, as Saturn Petcare is one of the largest pet food manufacturers in Europe. But don't be surprised if you have never heard of it, as the company, which employs just under 500 people, makes pet food in Bremen on behalf of many reputable brands.

5. GTF Freese

GTF Freese is a family-run business and market leader in the field of deck coverings, surface technology and flooring technology. The company installs durable flooring coverings on cruise ships and ferries, applies coatings to exterior surfaces to prevent corrosion and fits flooring in industrial buildings.

6. Vector Foiltec

Light and airy architecture has been popular for many years now, and Vector Foiltec supplies the corresponding plastic foils for making roof systems and cladding systems. The exterior of the National Aquatics Center in Beiing is one of the company's landmark projects. The Bremen-based business designs, plans and builds roofs from ETFE foil cushions and has become a global market leader in its field. BU: Getting ready for an expedition: Kloska lorries provisioning the Polarstern research vessel

Getting ready for an expedition: Kloska lorries provisioning the Polarstern research vessel
Getting ready for an expedition: Kloska lorries provisioning the Polarstern research vessel © Kloska

7. Kloska

There is probably nothing that Kloska cannot deliver. With over 130,000 different items, the ship supplier is well placed for the global market. The company is a kind of supermarket, offering a delivery service for ships and the offshore wind sector. As well as provisions for the crew, Kloska also supplies equipment and spare parts – which includes repairing and replacing parts all over the world – and operates its own workshops. The group employs a total of around 750 people.

8. Actega

DS Foodstuffs and medical products require high standards of hygiene and cleanliness. Actega DS makes sealing compounds for the food and beverage industry as well as plastics in granulate form for medical and pharmaceutical applications. The company employs around 150 people in Bremen. Its sealing compounds are used in crown corks and the closures of cola bottles – and have become the global standard for them. Almost everyone will have come into contact with products from Actega DS at one time or other.

9. Sikora

Sikora's business is all about precision – right down to the finest detail. The products from the Bremen firm are used to check the quality of tubes, pipes, strips, plates and sheets in production. Employing a team of 250 people, the company manufactures measuring instruments that are world-class, and was listed as a 'Global Market Leader Future Champion 2018' in the Global Market Leader Index.

10. Bruker Daltonik

Bruker Daltonik GmbH, which is based at Bremen's Technology Park, also specialises in measuring systems. Its expertise lies in mass spectrometers that are able to measure and identify even the most minuscule quantities of chemical substances. The company's products are used in medical applications all over the world to detect contamination by bacteria or toxic substances.

11. KAEFER Isoliertechnik

Employing almost 27,000 people worldwide, Kaefer is by no means a minor player but is nonetheless a hidden champion that few people know about. Kaefer is a leading company in insulation technology, in industry as well as in the maritime sector. In addition to insulation, the company also offers access solutions, surface protection, passive fire protection, refractory services and interior outfitting. 12. OHB The satellite-production company OHB is a real Bremen success story, which began not so long ago. In 1981, OHB started its meteoric rise to becoming a leading manufacturer of satellites and space components. The first listed space and technology group in Germany, OHB plays a key part in Bremen's successful aerospace industry and its components now travel as far as Mars.

12. OHB

The satellite-production company OHB is a real Bremen success story, which began not so long ago. In 1981, OHB started its meteoric rise to becoming a leading manufacturer of satellites and space components. The first listed space and technology group in Germany, OHB plays a key part in Bremen's successful aerospace industry and its components now travel as far as Mars.

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