Alberta-Germany Matchmaking Symposia 2013

The Alberta-Germany Collaboration Fund Symposium 2013, which consisted of multiple events in the German cities of Dusseldorf, Munich and Dresden from Nov 19 to Nov 28, was considered a great success.

A strengthening of the German-Canadian relations was accomplished through promotion of bilateral entrepreneurial and academic cooperation in joint R&D projects. With a focus on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), 21 companies from the Province of Alberta were selected to participate in this series of events to identify opportunities for new product development and commercialization projects.

The first event from Nov 19 to Nov 23 was set around the Medica 2013 in Dusseldorf, where companies were given the opportunity to attend one of the world’s largest trade fairs in the medical sector and numerous matchmaking events. Information was given about the collaboration fund between Germany and Alberta through the German-Canadian Centre for Innovation and Research (GCCIR) and the Central Innovation Program SME (ZIM) by Cornelia Sarwas (Manager of the GCCIR) on Tuesday evening.

A new set of companies from different sectors attended the second series of three different matchmaking symposia held in the German cities of Dusseldorf, Munich, and Dresden, respectively, from November 25 to November 28.

The sessions in particular featured presentations about the two funding sides by the GCCIR and the Central Innovation Program SME (ZIM) managed by AiF Project GmbH as well as presentations by the local partners such as the Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Dusseldorf, Dr. Christian Hackel (CEO of TUM-Tech) in Munich and Peter Nothnagel (CEO of the Economic Development Agency Saxony GmbH) and Dr. Anja Techel (Alternate Head of the Fraunhofer Institute (IWS)) in Dresden.

Keynote speeches were given by major industry players in Germany, such as Dr. Achim Marx (Director of Evonik Industries AG) and Dr. Christoph Sievering (Clustermanager of CleanTechNRW) about current themes of interest in the fields of Clean- and Nanotechnology in Dusseldorf, in Munich by Robert Stabl (CEO Cluster ICT, BICCnet) about recent development in the sector of Information- and communications technology in Bavaria and Germany.

After the official program, German and Canadian delegations were given the chance to make new contacts through company introductions in their respective sectors and subsequently had the opportunity to consolidate new and intensify already existing contacts in one-to-one conversations.

Many participants found promising partners and indicated they would submit their applications in the coming days. “Our efforts were rewarded with a great reception by the participants as well as our partners”, says Cornelia Sarwas, Manager of the German-Canadian Centre in Edmonton. The second call for applications to the Alberta-Germany Collaboration Fund for Research&Development and Commercialization closed on January 31, 2014.