The authors of a new study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) have come to this conclusion. Although the value creation share of industry-oriented services increased significantly between 2000 and 2016 in NRW, the report claims, the losses from the decline in manufacturing industry have not been offset as yet. In addition, according to the ISI researchers , industry-oriented service providers are comparatively heavily dependent on the industrial value creation chain of other federal regions and countries. Overall, there is still plenty of potential for development in North Rhine-Westphalia as far as synergies between industry and services are concerned, through cooperation agreements for example. This will allow competitiveness to increase and reliance on foreign countries to fall.

For the people of NRW, industry is still hugely important according to information from the State Ministry of Economics. Six out of ten citizens of the federal state depend on it. According to the business development agency NRW.Invest, industrial companies in North Rhine-Westphalia turned over just under €358 billion in 2018.