As a business location in Mittelhessen, Marburg is closely linked to the Philipps-Universität with 26,000 students, as well as with the international pharmaceutical companies with over 5,000 employees. This close relationship between the university and private sector has translated into numerous joint ventures, research projects, spin-offs and clusters - for example, in the pharmaceutical, health care, biotechnology and nanotechnology sectors. Behringwerke, one of Germany's largest chemical parks, was founded in Marburg more than 100 years ago by Emil von Behring, who won the first Nobel Prize for medicine. Behringwerke continues to develop, and over the last three years more than 300 million euros have been invested. The major companies based at the chemical park - CSL-Behring, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics und Pharmaserv - all plan to continue to expand their facilities.
The largest single employer in Marburg remains the university, with about 6,000 staff members, followed by the pharmaceutical sector, numerous mid-sized companies in the metalworking and printing industries, and finally, companies in the financial, retail and service sectors. As a business location, Marburg continues to have a competitive advantage. For many years now, the labor force in Marburg has expanded, the unemployment rate has remained under 5% and population continues to grow. For companies interested in either relocating to Marburg or in expanding their existing facilities, numerous commercial and industrial real estate parcels are available at market-based prices.