As Germany's number one investment location, North Rhine-Westphalia is in demand worldwide among foreign investors and is also home to numerous companies with global growth potential. Economics and Climate Protection Minister Mona Neubaur and Felix Neugart, CEO of the state-owned foreign trade promotion company NRW.Global Business, are today presenting the NRW.Global Business AWARD to the US clothing manufacturer Levi Strauss, the Indian IT group Tata Consultancy Services, the Turkish software specialist Gizil and the sanitary and heating technology company Viega from Attendorn in NRW. With this distinction, the state recognizes significant investments by foreign companies in North Rhine-Westphalia and particularly successful international expansion activities by North Rhine-Westphalian companies.
Mona Neubaur, Minister for Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Protection and Energy: "The North Rhine-Westphalian economy is in the middle of an ambitious transformation process. We can only achieve the major task of the energy transition and a climate-neutral future together. Our goal is to diversify our economic relationships more strongly and, with the help of international partnerships, to advance the energy transition and the climate-friendly transformation of our economy. As we tread this path, future-oriented companies with their know-how and technologies are a valuable support in the state. We honor these contributions by national and international companies in North Rhine-Westphalia with the NRW.Global Business AWARD."
Felix Neugart, CEO of NRW.Global Business: "The economic strength of North Rhine-Westphalia with its export-strong and innovative corporate landscape goes hand in hand with the attractiveness of the location for foreign investors and creates the best prospects for digital and sustainable technologies. It is not for nothing that we promote North Rhine-Westphalia abroad with the slogan 'Europe's Heartbeat' – as a pioneer and international hub in the heart of Europe. Our award winners are outstanding ambassadors for NRW worldwide."
An overview of the award-winning companies:
Levi Strauss: The U.S. clothing manufacturer from San Francisco is building its European distribution center in Dorsten on an area of around 70,000 square meters. The innovative, green logistics facility is being constructed and operated on a former coal mine site in keeping with the principles of recycling, resource conservation and zero waste. The aim is to make the ecological footprint as positive as possible and to ensure a continuous circular economy employing the "cradle to cradle" approach. Using state-of-the-art materials handling technology, the company, which is primarily known for denim products, is expected to distribute up to 55 million items per year for the European market here in full operation from May 2024.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS): The Indian IT group has been active in Germany since 1991 and, as a provider of IT services and consulting, is advancing the digitization of companies. Its services range from application development and systems integration to digital business transformation. Among other things, TCS has more than 200 sustainability solutions that support companies in implementing ESG priorities. TCS has operated a regional delivery center in Düsseldorf since 2008, and this year added another in Bonn. The company is also active elsewhere in North Rhine-Westphalia in Leverkusen, Aachen and Wuppertal. The IT specialist has recorded significant growth in the state: A total of 1,300 people are employed at the five NRW locations, and 265 new jobs have been created.
Gizil: The young Turkish technology company provides software solutions for industrial companies and energy suppliers, opening its first foreign branch in Düsseldorf in 2022. Gizil's specialty is the creation of digital twins of complex power generation and industrial plants. This allows the status of a plant to be tracked in real time and all processes to be reproduced digitally – for example, by simulating production, planning maintenance or training for incidents. The company's range of services covers the entire life cycle of such plants, enabling process optimization and the reduction of costs and CO2 emissions. Technologies such as laser scanning, smart modeling, virtual and augmented reality, and gamification are used for this purpose.
Viega: The family-owned company from Attendorn in the Sauerland region of NRW is a supplier of high-quality installation technology. With almost 5,000 employees at ten international locations, Viega has become the world market leader. Today, the company exports to over 75 countries and has a global presence with production facilities in the USA, China and India as well as its own sales organizations. This year, the family-owned company also opened a highly sustainable, smart seminar center in Attendorn, thereby also setting new standards for innovative construction. Viega's products can be found in buildings, industrial plants, shipbuilding and supply engineering, and carry the North Rhine-Westphalian Viega brand around the world – for example, to the Pentagon in Washington D.C. or the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg.