State delegation connects with new tech, new business in Germany

Following is a brief wrap-up from Commerce International Trade Specialist Andrew Crowder on this year’s ChooseWashington delegation to Hannover Messe 2018.

Where could you see German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mexican President Pena Nieto fist bump a robot? Hannover Messe, of course! With 5,800 exhibitors and 210,000 professional trade visitors, “the Messe” is the largest industrial trade show in the world. The interplay between automation and energy technology, IT platforms and artificial intelligence is driving the digital transformation of industry and the newest technologies were on display at Hannover Messe 2018, April 23-27. The theme this year was “Integrated Industry – Connect & Collaborate”

For the seventh year, Commerce hosted a delegation of outstanding companies at the ChooseWashington booth, located in the U.S. Energy Pavilion at the Messe:

Everyone hit the ground running on Day 1 with a tour of the State of Niedersachsen energy booth. The visit immediately resulted in significant meetings for three of our companies. All of our delegate companies were busy in meetings and benchmarking their technology.

On Day 2 of Hannover Messe, delegation members scoped out opportunities in the power generation and distribution sectors with a custom briefing on Germany’s ongoing transition to renewable energy and the Internet of Things (IOT)/Industrie 4.0 transformation in Germany Germany Trade and Invest, a cabinet-level agency of the German government, hosted.

In addition, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce] and Director General of the U.S. Commercial Service, Elizabeth Erin Walsh, visited our ChooseWashington booth.

Day 3 in Hannover was another busy day.  Our companies had productive meetings most of the day.  U.S. Energy Pavilion (where we were) was among the busiest halls at the show. Others were Hall 27, also featuring clean energy technologies such as fuel cells, wind and alternative generation, the industrial automation hall (where the robots were!) and the digital factory exhibit hall.

Highlight of our Thursday evening was a reception hosted by the State of Niedersachsen.  Our contact, Olaf Krawczyk, introduced us to Dr. Bernd Althusmann, German Minister of Economic Affairs, Employment, Transport and Digitalisation. Dr. Althusmann succeeds Olaf Lies, now serving as Niedersachsen’s Minister for the Environment, Energy, Construction and Climate Protection. We thanked Minister Alhusmann for hosting and emphasized the importance of Washington‘s ongoing relationship with Niedersachsen for technology collaboration and business development.  Global Fiberglass Solutions and Adgetec representatives conversed briefly with him in German.

On Day 4, Additive Metalworks and Protium Innovations both headed out to the ILA airshow in Berlin, with Global Fiberglass following on FridayTwo companies approached us with interesting technologies. One was a German company that has a heat-using photovoltaic cell to reclaim waste heat and generate electricity from diesel engines. The other is a Ukranian company that has a special catalyst to reduce carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide emissions from diesel engines.

Niedersachsen’s launch of a pilot program for a hydrogen-powered locomotive (60 percent of Germany’s locomotive fleet is still diesel rather than electric) and associated technologies was a highlight in another of the energy halls at the show.

Just when you would think things are winding down at 3 p.m. Friday, on the last day of the show,

Adgetec CEO Mark Mueller-Eberstein had a standing-room-only (literally) crowd spellbound at his presentation of Blockchain, the Internet of Things, and the transformation of business. It was an amazing ending to another successful international business development outing for our ChooseWashington delegation. Watch for more success stories as they come in!

Looking ahead to next year, in addition to another strong showing in energy and clean tech, we expect to build our IoT/AI/ML delegations to the show. Microsoft and Amazon Web Services, as well as T-Mobile, have established large presences at the show in recent years.

To learn more about the companies and download our exhibit directory, visit our webpage at

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