The Software Cluster in southwest Germany is Europe's “Silicon Valley for Business Software”. In the region around the software development centers of Darmstadt, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, Saarbücken and Walldorf are more than 124,000 employees working for more than 11,000 software companies. Since 2007, the Cluster has been increasingly coordinated by a common strategy and structure in order to maintain and further increase competitiveness.
The central coordination office of the Software Cluster is located at the TU Darmstadt, and four additional regional coordination offices work directly with the local companies. The goals of the Software Cluster include the promotion of research and development; technology transfer and business start-ups; branding and international visibility of the Cluster; as well as the creation of new qualification offers to combat the shortage of skilled workers.
As a major result of these organized efforts, the Software Cluster was awarded a distinction in the German government's Leading-Edge Cluster Competition in 2010. In a total of four Leading-Edge Cluster projects, around 40 key players from the German software industry have joined forces, including Germany's largest software companies and numerous innovative SMEs. They cooperate with some of the most renowned German computer science faculties and research institutions and jointly develop the business software of tomorrow. DFKI is a partner in the strategy board of the Software Cluster. More than 250 other companies have since joined the network as "partners in the Software Cluster".