The european centre for creative economy (ecce), founded 2011, stems from European Cultural Capital RUHR.2010. The cultural and creative economy combines eleven creative and artistic industries: from art to music, literature, film, the media, design, architecture to games development. In the Ruhr area, the creative economy stands for approx. 86,000 persons working in this field and more than 10,000 businesses – yet it’s not only an economic factor but also a cross-sectional factor as regards content. It is equally involved in culture, urban development and education.

For ecce, the Ruhr region is a young region, which has change both behind it and ahead of it. We bring players and institutions together with the aim of driving the changes to the creative and future location Ruhr and making this visible nationwide and throughout Europe.

  • Shareholders

    Business Metropole Ruhr GmbH

    The Business Metropole Ruhr GmbH (BMR) is the regional business development corporation for the Ruhr region. It develops and promotes the Ruhr metropolis as a business location. It unites the economic interests of the 53 cities in the region. The aim of the BMR is to increase the competitiveness of the Ruhr region. This includes implementing an overall economic strategy for the Ruhr metropolis, continually developing it further, and fostering the image of the business location as a highly efficient and innovative region nationally and internationally.

    City of Bochum

    With a population of around 370,000 Bochum is one of the biggest cities in the Ruhr Metropolis governed by Lord Mayor Thomas Eiskirch of the Social Democratic Party since September 2015. Thanks to its central position it enjoys an economically strategic advantage. In the 1960s the setting-up of Opel and the Ruhr University laid the foundation stone for structural change. Bochum has been an important location for science and the service sector ever since: six universities and countless other educational establishments are among the big institutions in Bochum employing about 6,000 people in science, research and administration. New industries (construction, manufacturing, trade, energy and water supply, service) and technology centres have moved to Bochum within the past decades. As a Festival Venue Ruhr during the European Capital of Culture 2010 programme, Bochum finally achieved the recognition it deserves as a cultural city with a unique profile. Famous theatre venues and a lively cultural scene shape the city‘s new image and strengthen its location.

    City of Dortmund

    Dortmund is the business and commercial centre of Westphalia and with 587,000 inhabitants the largest city in the Ruhr metropolis. Dortmund has undergone rapid development in the last years: the city has become an important technological centre for various future-orientated branches. They include the information technologies, micro and nanotechnology, logistics and increasingly also biomedicine and robotics. Mayor Thomas Westphal (SPD) has governed the city since November 2020. In the Capital of Culture year Dortmund was home to one of the five visitor centres. As part of the Capital of Culture project, the Dortmunder U was transformed into the Centre for Art and Creativity and a touristic gateway to Dortmund and its environs.

    City of Essen

    Essen is the most advanced service, science and trade centre right at the heart of the Ruhr Metropolis. With a population of more than 580,000 and 50 districts Essen is the eighth largest city in Germany. The incumbent Lord Mayor is Thomas Kufen (Christian Democratic Union/CDU). Due to its university, a merger of the University of Duisburg and the University of Essen, it is also an attractive university centre. Thanks to the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Essen represented the Ruhr Metropolis during the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010, thus becoming one of the most important locations for art, culture and creativity. Some of the German companies with the highest turnovers have their administrative headquarters in Essen, including RWE AG, Evonik Industries (formerly RAG-Aktiengesellschaft), EON Ruhrgas AG, Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH, Hochtief AG and Thyssen-Krupp AG. At international trade fairs and public shows and exhibitions, Essen Fair welcomes over 10,000 exhibitors and up to 2 million visitors each year.

    Folkwang University of the Arts

    The Folkwang University of the Arts is the central place for artistic training in music, theatre, dance, design and academic studies. In line with the Folkwang idea of the cross-disciplinary interaction of the arts, a plurality of different art forms and disciplines have been united under one roof here since 1927. Folkwangers from the photography, communication design and industrial design programs have been re-included as of 2007. Today there are Folkwang locations in Essen, Duisburg, Bochum and Dortmund.

    City of Gelsenkirchen

    For decades, the work in coalmines and plants determined the life of the citizens of Gelsenkirchen. Since then, a lot has changed. Today, the city is more modern, liveable and attractive than ever, and with a population of approx. 270,000 it has a lot to offer to visitors. Worker’s housing estates and former coalmines and plants are contemporary witnesses telling the history of a great industrial era. Instead of plane facades, Gelsenkirchen presents itself as a colourful potpourri. The Science Park Gelsenkirchen, the infrastructure of which was especially designed for “brain workers”, is host to numerous IT businesses. They do not only represent a particularly fast-growing industry offering interesting and highly qualified jobs, but they also help other industries in the city to control their processes with the help of state-of-the-art information and communication technology.


    OWT Oberhausener Wirtschafts- und Tourismusförderung GmbH

    OWT, a business and tourism development corporation in Oberhausen, is the main contact for companies from a wide variety of sectors and also for tourists and visitors to the city. If you would like to invest in Oberhausen, relocate a company, transfer or take over an existing business or set up a new company you will find the right contact at OWT. If you would like to visit and discover Oberhausen, attend one of the many functions and events, visit one of the numerous attractions, go on a shopping tour, experience art and culture and spend a wonderful time in an exciting environment, you can contact OWT directly and take advantage of our relevant know-how, appropriate contacts and valuable tips.

  • Creation


    The european centre for creative economy (ecce) originated in the Capital of Culture RUHR.2010 – the first European Capital of Culture that understood cultural and creative industries as the mainstay of their programme and recognised them as a component of cultural diversity. Already as an institute of RUHR.2010, ecce was committed to directly supporting players from creative industry sectors and the development of locations and spaces for creativity. It was an important driving force in communicating the Ruhr region as a location of cultural and creative industries.


    First successes

    For the Creative.Quarters Ruhr structural project ecce collaborated with local authorities, planning offices, cultural offices and business development agencies on the basis of the concept of integrative urban development. In close cooperation with initiatives from the independent scene, artists, creative professionals as well as companies and owners, ecce moderated processes that have led to successful results: examples of this are the Atelierhaus in Essen's northern inner city, the Creative.Quarter Lohberg in Dinslaken, the Games Factory Ruhr in Mülheim and the music centre in the Viktoria.Quarter Bochum.


    2011: Foundation

    In October 2011, ecce and the business development agency Wirtschaftsförderung metropoleruhr GmbH (wmr) were commissioned by the sustainability resolution of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Regionalverband Ruhr (Ruhr Regional Association) to supervise, in close coordination, the process of developing the Creative.Quarters Ruhr into a prominent address for creative industries and cultural locations in the region. In consequence of this, ecce GmbH was founded at the end of 2011 with its head office at the Dortmunder U.


    New accents and networks in Europe

    Along with the further development of creative centres through the initiation and moderation of multi-city and cross-departmental working groups, communication and promotion of the Ruhr region as a creative location, ecce is continuing to make its mark in Europe, to mediate, coach, inform and operate networks at the interface of industry, urban development and culture.

  • Team


    Christian Weyers
    Managing Director

    Phone: +49 (0) 231 22 2275-75
    E-Mail: weyers(at)e-c-c-e.com

    Marion Edelhoff
    Head of Administration
    Phone: +49 (0) 231 22 22 75-50
    E-Mail: edelhoff(at)e-c-c-e.com

    Peter Urban
    Phone: +49 (0) 231 22 22 75-33
    E-Mail: urban(at)e-c-c-e.com

    Hen-Suk Jung
    Team Assistance

    Phone: +49 (0) 231 22 22 75-23
    E-Mail: jung(at)e-c-c-e.com

    Jan Suberg
    Project Management Communication

    Phone: +49 (0) 231 22 22 75-29
    E-Mail: suberg(at)e-c-c-e.com


    E-Mail: heimatruhr(at)e-c-c-e.com



    RKP Regionales Kultur Programm NRW
    Head of Kulturbüro Ruhrgebiet

    Matthias Schliewe
    Phone: +49 (0) 231 22 22 75-20
    E-Mail: schliewe(at)e-c-c-e.com

    Kreativ.Quartiere Ruhr

    Kassandra Kanthak
    Project Management

    Phone: +49 (0) 231 22 22 75-52
    E-Mail: kanthak(at)e-c-c-e.com


    Nathalie Schraven
    Project Assistance

    Phone: +49 (0) 231 22 22 75-73
    E-Mail: schraven(at)e-c-c-e.com