NRW – USA Summit

Thursday, June 20, 2024, 1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m, followed by a get-together

Session 1.1: Panel Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Time frame: 2:15 – 3:00 p.m., room: Foyer

„Business Relations with the United States: The Future of Collaboration after the Elections"

With regard to their internationalization strategies and their investment decisions, companies generally desire a stable, long-term business environment. The upcoming elections in the United States cause uncertainties in the corporate sector concerning the possible implications of the elections on the prospective economic collaboration with the United States.
Our workshop therefore addresses the following questions:
  • How can a close, value-based economic partnership with the United States be ensured beyond the elections?
  • Which implications might the election results have on existing governmental support programs, such as the Inflation Reduction Act?
  • How can companies mitigate possible risks in their long-term partnership with the United States?
  • How can a win-win exchange of knowledge and innovations with mutually beneficial investments in NRW and the United States be fostered?
  • Pauline Kao, General Consul of the United States in Düsseldorf
  • Prof. David Audretsch, Distinguished Professor at the Ameritech Chair of Economic Development and Director of the Institute for Development Strategies, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Annika Bahl, Director Government and Public Affairs, Wilo Group

  • Presenter: Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook, Senior Advisor, Bertelsmann Stiftung

Session 1.2: Panel NMWP.NRW

Time frame: 2:15 – 3:00 p.m., room: Konferenzwürfel OG

„Future of Computing“

Increasing digitalisation is leading to a massive increase in demand for computing power, raising the question of new and particularly sustainable computing concepts. On the other hand, the issues are becoming so big that we will find it difficult to solve them without the help of high-performance computers and AI. Topics such as "green IT" or "green digital" will therefore occupy us in the future, as will the need to solve extremely large computing tasks. New computer concepts that manage to solve the issues of sustainability and computing power at the same time play a key role in this inequality. These new computing concepts are summarised in the term "Future of Computing". This category includes, for example, computer chips that function like a brain or computers that calculate with quantum states. You can expect exciting insights into the future of computing at the "Future of Computing" panel. Together, we will explore the question of how new hardware can help us solve complex problems. We will learn how to upload a human brain into a supercomputer and we will talk about the experiences of deep-tech start-ups from North Rhine-Westphalia in the USA.

  • Dr.-Ing. Dennis Michaelis, CEO, Gemesys
  • Dr.-Ing. Markus Beckers, CEO, Arque Systems
  • Dr. Sabine Blankenship, Biotechnology/Bioeconomy Department, Ministry of Economics, Industry, Climate Action and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

  • Presenter: Dr. Daniel Stadler, Deputy Cluster Manager NMWP.NRW

Session 2.1: Panel IHK Düsseldorf

Time frame: 3:15 – 4:00 p.m., room: Foyer

"Strategies for successful business in the USA"

The US market is of great relevance for companies from North Rhine-Westphalia and is indispensable when it comes to the exchange of goods, services, knowledge and innovations. A look at the trade numbers between NRW and the USA reveils that the United States ranks third in terms of exports and fourth in terms of imports. Companies are expanding their involvement in the USA because of the growing market, also thanks to targeted funding for the transformation of the economy – infrastructure projects like expansion of roads, buildings and rural IT networks and investments in the environmental sector are shaping the agenda. In the manufacturing sector, for example, the production of semiconductors and electric vehicles as well as biotechnology are among the supported areas.

Many NRW companies are planning to increase their involvement in the USA. On the one hand, this is due to the growing market for capital goods. On the other hand, they want to actively react themselves from growing protectionism, be close to their customers, create alternatives to sales markets with political risks and diversify their supply chains.

How are companies from NRW approaching their US exposure against the backdrop of the political storm? What strategies are being pursued when building up US involvement - keyword de-risking? What does the step into the US market look like from a practical angle - legal challenges, surprises, insights? Which products can NRW companies use to score in the USA? We will talk about this with company representatives.

  • Alexander Ketterl, CEO, Kiepe Electric GmbH, Duesseldorf
  • Ulrike Mühlberg, Vice President Political Communication and Coordination Corporate Public Affairs, DHL Group, Bonn
  • Dr. Julia Pfeil, Attorney and Counselor at Law (California), Dentons, Frankfurt

  • Presenter: Ralf Schlindwein, Managing Director International, IHK Düsseldorf

Session 2.2: Panel NRW.Global Business

Time frame: 3:15 – 4:00 p.m., room: Konferenzwürfel OG

"Microsoft's billion-euro investment in NRW - What positive effects can be expected for the region?"

Microsoft recently announced its largest investment in Germany to date: 3.2 billion euros will be invested in the expansion of its cloud and AI infrastructure. The Rhenish Region in North Rhine-Westphalia will benefit in particular from this investment. But what does this mean in concrete terms for the future of the former lignite mining area? Together with experts, we will take a closer look at the positive effects of the upcoming settlement and discuss them from different perspectives: What led to the successful site decision in NRW? What is Microsoft actually planning? How does the company want to get involved locally? What impact will the relocation have on structural changes in the Rhenish area? What advantages do the local authorities involved foresee? What long-term economic effects will the strong technological impetus have for the region: perhaps AI-related follow-up settlements in newly emerging digital parks?

  • Michael Flügge – GPS Channel Lead Germany, Microsoft Deutschland GmbH
  • Dr. Ruth Laengner – City of Bergheim, Head of Structural Change and Sustainability Department
  • Dr. Christian Temath – Competence platform KI.NRW, Managing Director

  • Presenter: Eric Wallner, NRW.Global Business

Session 3.1: Panel NRW.BANK

Time frame: 4:15 – 5:00 p.m., room: Konferenzwürfel OG

„How to enter the US market successfully? – A journey with funding instruments from an entrepreneur's perspective“

The US market offers attractive business opportunities. However, small and medium-sized companies in particular face challenges when entering new markets.
How can they successfully enter the market? Who provides support and advice? What funding instruments are available? We will discuss the answers to these questions with our guests.
Dr. Robert Brüll, founder of FibreCoat GmbH, will report on his experiences and discuss the opportunities and challenges of market entry together with the state economic development initiative SelectUSA and NRW.BANK.

  • Dr. Klaus-Hendrik Mester – Associate Director, NRW.BANK
  • Jay Carreiro – Commercial Consul, U.S. Consulate General Düsseldorf/ SelectUSA
  • Dr. Robert Brüll – Co-Founder and Managing Director, FibreCoat GmbH

  • Presenter: Petra Milesevic – Head of Unit EU Funding, Foreign Trade & Investment Promotion, NRW.BANK

Session 3.2: Panel BIO.NRW

Time frame: 4:15 – 5:00 p.m., room: Foyer

„Culture Club: Start-up und Investment-Kultur in den USA und NRW“

NRW has an excellent university landscape and start-ups are constantly emerging from it, developing innovative ideas into marketable products and subsequently expanding into international markets. This is also the case in the USA and, in addition to many other similarities, there are nevertheless differences in the mindset of founders and investors, which are due to the different economic cultures. Using the example of life sciences, the workshop will address questions such as how start-ups, SMEs and investors from NRW and the USA can be better networked, what both sides can learn from each other and which aspects of corporate culture are crucial for successful expansion into the (American) market. In addition, based on the experiences of the panelists, the question of where relevant differences exist in terms of infrastructure and other framework conditions in both markets and what impetus the state of NRW could provide in this regard will be explored.

  • Dr. Patrick Bongartz, CEO & Co-Founder, BioThrust GmbH
  • Julia Rhode, CEO & Co-Founder, Corbiota GmbH
  • Frank Tepper-Sawicki, Partner Corporate, M&A Dentons

  • Presenter: Dr. Nils Schrader, Managing Director, BIO.NRW