Coal and steel once provided work for hundreds of thousands of people. The economic miracle after the Second World War would have been unthinkable without the industrial centre at the Emscher. The special geological structure, which made it necessary to penetrate deeper and deeper layers, but also the development of a modern democracy, which legally guaranteed people the protection of life and health, elevated mining and steel production in North Rhine-Westphalia to the rank of a high-tech industry.
The enormous demand for labour led to an influx from half of Europe and turned the coalfield into an early melting pot. This melting pot became a unique example of the integration of different cultures. From the hard work and the dangers that lurked hundreds of metres underground, a sense of togetherness and very own traditions developed that overlaid the region’s established structures and history and led to an impressive climate of openness and tolerance. That’s another reason why it didn’t go off the rails to the sounds of “Glück auf, der Steiger kommt” on the minor’s apron. On the contrary: a resilient mix of research and technology, of start-ups and concentrated industrial experience grew on the industrial wastelands. Along with the proverbial “handshake quality” grewthe certainty that cuts and upheavals like those experienced by the Ruhr region do not have to end in agony. The age of transformation began here many years ago -as structural change. For a future technology with long-term aspirations, there is therefore no better region than the Ruhr region. And that is why the decision for the headquarters of the United Robotics Group was made in favour of Bochum.