It is worth to notice that an Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) has been approved for the urban agglomeration of Ostrava (functional urban area) embracing a population of 1 million. The geographical location of Ostrava makes it the natural gateway between Central and South-Eastern Europe.
Ostrava is known for its rich industrial heritage. For two centuries, prominent industries in the
region were those related to the discovery and mining of high-quality black coal. Naturally, steel, chemical and mechanical engineering industries subsequently developed here. In combination with the restructuring of the 1990s, the overly one-dimensional economic structure of the region brought about a high rate of unemployment and social problems.
However, it appears that Ostrava has the worst of these problems behind it. Through restructuring, the region's key enterprises have managed to cope and are now thriving. In addition, the SME segment is being developed in the region, often with the support of the state's grant policy. The Ostrava area has undergone greater changes than it would appear. In recent years the region's dynamic growth has been spurred by foreign investments, support for science and research, and assistance for SMEs, particularly with regard to innovation.
Strategic industrial zones have grown up in Ostrava-Hrabová and Mošnov. Science, research, high technology and innovation, and their use in production, have a growing impact on the region's economy nowadays. This is evidenced by the Ostrava Science and Technology Park, which operates in close cooperation with the Technical University in Ostrava. In fact the four Universities in the region (36,000 students in total), in particular the Technical University of Ostrava is a key
asset in many aspects. The establishment of cluster organisations is another economically
important factor. Moravia-Silesia and Ostrava are currently home to wood-industry, automotive and engineering clusters.
Since the start of the millennium, the local economy has shifted and expanded rapidly into hightech sectors, including precision engineering and manufacturing, automotive, R&D and full range of knowledge-based industries. Inward investment is playing a key role on this.