ENGLISH 18 FOREWORD Our district has a lot to offer: Over an area of 734 km² stretching from Aldingen to Wurmlingen, you will find a unique natural landscape, from the south-western foothills of the Swabian Mountains, parts of the Baar plateau that hint at what’s to come in the neighbouring Black Forest, right down to the Upper Danube Valley. The 35 municipalities in the Tuttlingen district are characterised by the wide variety of education, culture and leisure opportunities that are available, all of which contribute to the excellent quality of life enjoyed by the around 144,000 inhabitants. One of our district’s main strengths is also its home-grown economy and the enormous concentration of industrial activities. Creativity and an innovative spirit as well as the tireless dedication of our businessmen and women and our employees have helped to turn the district of Tuttlingen into an attractive and flourishing economic area with an exciting dynamic and a good capacity for innovation. Globally operating companies based in the district are increasingly maintaining leading positions in relation to international competition, and are playing pioneering roles in the development of new and innovative products. Right at the heart of the industrial activities in the Tuttlingen district is medical technology sector. With the district playing a key role in the iron-processing trade, the foundation stone for the development of this field was laid over 300 years ago. The first knife-maker’s workshop and surgical instrument makers were established around 150 years ago, thereby paving the way for Tuttlingen to become the “world centre of medical technology”. By an inventive spirit and plenty of hard work, many one-man operations have blossomed into global companies and market leaders in the field of modern medical technology. With well over 400 companies specialising in the field, the Tuttlingen district is one of the largest medical technology hubs in the whole of Germany, making this sector one of the best advertisements for our home-grown economy. The medical technology sector is the largest employer in our district. As well as the usual big names, a large number of small and medium-sized companies also provide secure jobs and therefore positive prospects for over 10,000 people within our region. But the medical technology sector is not only of extraordinary importance for our economy; it also helps ensure that people can be provided with top-quality medical treatment both here in our country and all over the world. Medical technology saves people’s lives! I am delighted that ACIG in Tuttlingen will be presenting an attractive exhibition each year to give a comprehensive overview of the surgery sector in the Tuttlingen district. This new edition of Surgical Guide features an overview of the different companies in the region, and is therefore aimed above all at helping customers who are not from the area navigate their way through the unparalleled variety of options. Stefan Bär, District Administrator