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North Rhine-Westphalia presents "Digitization and innovation at its best" in London

London/Düsseldorf, 3. December 2015 – The state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the regions OstWestfalenLippe (OWL) and Cologne/Bonn are jointly organizing a specialized forum for British companies at Tower Bridge House in London on 3 December 2015. The state-owned economic development agency NRW.INVEST and regional partners will present developments in the context of digitization and the resulting challenges for the economy. The tax and legal framework is portrayed by the auditing firm Roever Broenner Susat Mazars. The aim of the event is to win investment partners for key future trends in the industry in North Rhine-Westphalia.

In the course of "fourth industrial revolution" the industrial location North Rhine-Westphalia is facing new opportunities and challenges. Intelligent technical systems, i.e. the use of digital technology and computer-controlled, complex, networked systems to create transparent and efficient manufacturing processes, offer a great deal of new potential. In particular, the science region OstWestfalenLippe and the business and innovation Cologne/Bonn region play an important role here.

OstWestfalenLippe is one of Germany's most important regions for solutions when it comes to the digital transformation of companies. In the technology network Intelligent Technical Systems OstWestfalenLippe (it's OWL) 174 companies, universities and other partners have joined forces. It's OWL is a leading-edge cluster in Germany, nominated by the Federal Ministry of Research (BMBF). The partners in the cluster develop solutions for Industry 4.0 in numerous research projects. "The spectrum ranges from automation and drive components through machinery, vehicles and home appliances to networked production facilities. Small and medium-sized enterprises can also benefit from this unique technology platform," explains Günter Korder, CEO of it's OWL Clustermanagement GmbH. One characteristic of the region is the strong culture of cooperation between science and industry. "The excellent cooperation between top research institutions and technology leaders in the region opens up new perspectives for many industries, provides new options for training and study, secures employment and creates new jobs," says Herbert Weber, CEO of OstWestfalenLippe GmbH. OstWestfalenLippe one of the strongest production locations in Europe and was honored by the Federal Ministry of Economics as one of the top 5 most innovative regions in Germany in 2014. In mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and the automotive supplier industry some 400 companies with 80,000 employees generate sales of about 17 billion euros.

The ICT sector plays a very important role in the Cologne/Bonn region. This is where solutions for a secure digital world are created. Global players and a dynamic start-up scene develop innovative IT applications jointly with the science community. "The Cologne/Bonn region has a strong triangle of companies, research institutions and federal facilities in the field of digitization and IT security that we want to continue to promote and expand. We are looking for partners here to complement our value chain and join us in getting innovative projects off the ground," says the Bonn-based economic development specialist Victoria Appelbe. According to a recent study of the European Commission on major IT hubs in Europe, Bonn currently occupies 12th place among the 1,303 regions in the EU. Strong sales and employment-intensive, large companies as well as dynamic medium-sized enterprises characterize the industry in the Cologne/Bonn region. Well-known companies and institutes at home here include the global headquarters of Deutsche Telekom AG and Deutsche Post DHL, Bayer Technology Services, Scopevisio AG, Pallas GmbH, @-yet GmbH, legitimis GmbH, MediaRunway and many more. The role of IT is of great importance for the process of innovation throughout the economy.

"The largest German state, North Rhine-Westphalia, is presents itself with two of its most efficient regions, provides an insight into its competencies and highlights opportunities for British companies," says Petra Wassner, CEO of NRW.INVEST. "North Rhine-Westphalia is the ideal location for research and development, for production and distribution in Europe. More than 1,600 British companies have already recognized this and settled in North Rhine-Westphalia."