With 37,000 matriculated students, Gießen has a higher percentage of students than any other German city. This close association with higher education has helped transform Gießen into a high-tech business location. Several programs have been established to help speed the transfer of technology from the ivory towers of academia to the private sector. The Transferzentrum Mittelhessen (TZM) in Gießen is a joint project of the universities in Gießen and Marburg, as well as the Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen. The TransMIT program supports researchers and scientists in bringing their ideas to market and helps entrepreneurs find innovative solutions. The new Medical Application Center at the THM is an excellent example of technology transfers in a key industrial segment. The biomedical research center BFS at the JLU is one of the most modern facilities of its type. And the cluster timm (Technology & Innovation Medical Region Mittelhessen) was created specifically for the medical industry.
The city of Gießen has 12 business parks with very good transportation connections. For example, a former US military complex was renamed Europaviertel. The Technology and Innovation Center Gießen (TIG GmbH) and the transfer center TransMIT Gmbh are both located here and in the "Rechtenbacher Hohl". Currently the technology park Leihgesterner Weg and a former military airport are being redeveloped. The state of Hessen is also investing 36 millions euros here in a Center for Insect Biotechnology which will bundle the activities of the Fraunhofer-Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Oncology, the Justus-Liebig-University (JLU) and the Technischen Hochschule Mittelhessen (THM).
In addition to the public and private service sectors, several other important industries are represented in Gießen. For example, companies in the medical technology, metalworking, electronics and logistic sectors are based in the city. In terms of retail, Gießen ranks number one in Germany in terms of total number of shoppers for cities with a population of under 100,000. Four Business Improvement Districts make the city center attractive. The largest service companies in Gießen are the Universitätsklinikum Gießen-Marburg GmbH and the Volksbank Mittelhessen eG. The major industrial companies are Emhart/Tucker GmbH, Heyligenstaedt GmbH, Mettler Toledo GmbH and Pascoe GmbH.