The Key Region

The Key Region

Velbert and Heiligenhaus are "the Key Region". Locking and security technology are at home here. In the Key Region the future is "unlocked"! Trademarks such as BKS, CES and Wilka can be found on nearly every bunch of keys. Locking systems made by Huf Hülsbeck & Fürst, Kiekert or WITTE Automotive can be found in many cars, and the Mercedes star, which is manufactured by Fingscheidt, is encountered every day, everywhere.

Have a look at the EconomyEconomy in the Key Region and at Velbert & Heiligenhaus - The Locations


The Velbert / Heiligenhaus region, located in the triangle formed by Düsseldorf, Essen and Wuppertal, is the leading cluster in the security and door hardware technology area. Under the name The Key Region, it leads the field not only in Germany, but also internationally: there is no other region in the world with a similar cluster structure in this branch of business. The Key Region association is the cluster initiative of the region - a network of companies, institutions and universities in a cluster concerned with locking, securing and door hardware.

The main task of The Key Region cluster initiative is to link up the businesses and institutions of the cluster and initiate cooperation projects between them. To promote networking, the association organises regular events such as its network meetings and the Key Region business breakfast, which serve as contact forums, and expert talks on cluster-specific technological and management-related themes. The meetings attract up to 100 participants and are very well-received. Other activities take place in the public relations field. Thus, the cluster initiative has developed the cluster brand The Key Region together with local businesses. Under the umbrella of this brand, The Key Region association organises joint booths at international trade and recruiting fairs. In addition, participating companies integrate the cluster brand into their own trade fair presentations in order to further promote the renown of the region among the specialist audience. A good example of the work done by the network in the collaboration area is the project development for the Institute for Security Systems (Institut für Sicherungssysteme) described in the "Highlights" section.

Over 7.000 people, or around 16% of all employees in the security and door hardware technology branch in Germany, work in the Key Region in over 70 enterprises. Together with upstream and downstream branches such as electronics, toolmaking, casting, surface refinement, plastics engineering and others, security and door hardware technology make up the value chain of the locking, securing and door hardware cluster. Around 17.000 people are employed in Velbert and Heiligenhaus in this value chain.

The marked specialisation of the region is emphasized by the presence of cluster-specific institutions such as the Professional Association of the Lock and Door Hardware Industry, the Testing Institute of the Locks & Fittings Quality Assessment Association, and the Joint Training Workshop of the Industry, which is strongly geared toward the cluster. The Bergische Universität Wuppertal, too, is part of the cluster with its pronounced competence in mechanical engineering and security technology.

One of the highlights of The Key Region's activities is the founding of the Research Institute for Security Systems as an Institute of the Bergische Universität Wuppertal in Velbert / Heiligenhaus. Until the establishment of this institute, the cluster lacked a scientific institution at the beginning of the value chain which could create the "raw material" knowledge. The institute functions mainly as a think tank, creating a knowledge base for entrepreneurial innovations by providing new insights in areas of future significance. In addition, the Institute contributes to improving the supply of skilled employees for the cluster.

The Institute for Security Systems is notable for its origin as a public-private partnership between business, science and local authorities. It is a cooperative effort between a university, two neighbouring cities and twelve medium-sized enterprises which produce security systems, locking technology and door hardware for the automobile industry and for building construction. The benefit to be had by the participating companies in jointly building up this cluster-specific research institution can be found in the innovative potential gained by all stakeholders, which can be used by each of them for their own individual development goals.

For more details please have a look at the portraits of Velbert and Heiligenhaus. There you can find more information about Education and Training, Culture, Recreation and Sports as well as a City Profile.

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