In the autumn of 2008, the "Energy & Environment" cluster was chosen by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Economy as one of the 12 winners of the first round of its competition for consolidating regional clusters in Baden-Württemberg. Numerous regional representatives from companies, institutions, research establishments and colleges have teamed up to form the "Energy & Environment" cluster and now present themselves jointly as a "Region of Energy Efficiency".
- Professional cluster management combines resources
The huge potential the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region (MRN) has in this field of the future is now being systematically developed and marketed internationally by a professional cluster management. Around 250 partners from the business, science and public administration sectors have joined forces in the "Energy & Environment" cluster. Noteworthy cluster partners in the field of science are the University of Heidelberg, Mannheim College, Kaiserslautern Technical College and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim.
- Tasks and objectives of the Energy & Environment cluster
The cluster's most important objective is to increase energy efficiency in the MRN, with its main focus being directed at existing buildings together with small and medium-sized companies. Ensuing investments lead to orders for the regional economy. The cluster management also concentrates on successfully marketing innovative services and products both at home and abroad, as well as on supporting small and medium-sized companies by means of mutual collaboration or co-operations with major enterprises. Other responsibilities include intensifying the transfer of technology and supporting relocating companies and start-ups, tasks which are a practical supplement to the existing energy and environment-related expertise in the MRN. As well as energy efficiency, the cluster management also devotes itself to renewable energy with the main focus on deep geothermics together with energy and environmental concepts for conurbation areas.
- Innovative companies on board
The most important resource potential of the cluster are the around 250 partner companies belonging to the energy & environment sector. These include global market leaders such as BASF and Saint Gobain Isover from the insulating material sector, ABB and Siemens from the building systems sector, Alstom and MWM from the power plant sector, KSB, a producer of energy-efficient pumps, and Bombardier from the innovative transportation technology sector. These are joined by the energy suppliers MVV Energie, Pfalzwerke and EnBW, who focus strongly on renewable energy, as do TWL and Stadtwerke Heidelberg, as well as the numerous local municipal public utilities and providers.
- Regional networks - vital partners
The regional networks that have been involved in the energy and environmental sector for many years also play an important role for the cluster. These include the "Energy Efficiency Agency" (E2A), the "Rhine-Neckar Centre of Environmental Expertise" (UKOM) and "Urban plus", the Alliance for Living, Environment and Occupation. The existing KLIBA energy agencies in Heidelberg, Mannheim Energy Agency, EOR in Rhineland-Palatinate, EAN in the Neckar-Odenwald administrative district and Energy Agency Bergstraße also collaborate very closely with the cluster management.