FFE Magazine

Old Berlin airport to be transformed into tech hub

by FFE EU News staff

Photo source: Yvonne Zagermann

As new internet start-up firms sprout every 20 hours in Berlin, the senate is scrambling to help secure a home for the new businesses. So far, they are eyeing the Tempelhof airport, which has been empty since 2008.

The iconic airport opened in 1923 as a commercial airport. Now known as the Berlin Airlift, the Tempelhof once kept 2.5 million Germans alive for nearly a year during the city’s division into East and West Berlin.

Bigger airlines moved to Schönefeld and Tegel airports starting 1996 when operations in Tempelhof slowed down. Finally, in 2008, Berlin Airlift was converted into a park and events centre.

Berlin is currently leading other EU countries in the start-up scene. A report from consultants McKinsey & Company revealed venture capitalists have invested €133 million in the city, which may produce 100,000 jobs by 2020.

The study suggested that to support the new Berlin boom or Gründerzeit, a campus for start-ups must be founded.

Berlin’s mayor Klaus Wowereit supports the idea of transforming Tempelhof into a tech hub, saying ‘I like it a lot. It’s a symbolic place that could be given an edge by the start-up scene.’



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