More than 15,000 companies enjoy the benefits that Bochum offers as a business location. Many of them operate in innovative technology fields such as the healthcare and creative industries, plant and mechanical engineering, or logistics. Bochum is a business hub situated at the heart of the Ruhr, where SMBs have become the engines of economic development and progress. Bochum Office of Economic Development collaborates with a multitude of companies, institutes and university chairs in the field of IT security, including the IT association Networker NRW, and the nrw.units network of IT security companies in North Rhine-Westphalia. Their shared goal is to support education, training, congresses/fairs and start-ups, and to promote networking between companies and the scientific community. Outstanding scientific expertise, for example at the Horst Görtz Institute of the Ruhr University and the Centre for Advanced Internet Studies, ITS Connect – Germany’s largest company networking forum for IT security, a healthy mix of promising start-ups and global players, not to mention the trade congress IT Trends Security, which Bochum will host for the fourteenth time in 2018, all testify to this fruitful collaboration. Bochum’s ecosystem for IT security start-ups is unique, with the Horst Görtz Institute alone having yielded 16 spin-offs in the last few years. In tandem with Bochum’s universities, the Bochum Office of Economic Development has set up the Bochum Institute for Technology, an extramural interdisciplinary research and development institute that promotes the implementation of scientific insights into value creation across the Bochum region. It is dedicated to closing the gap between academic research and commercial applications, working closely with local companies and universities.