„NRW goes Innovation: Israel“ continues a successful series of events. For the fourth time in three years a group of companies from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) travels to Israel to discuss cooperation and innovation. The delegation comprises young companies, established Mittelstand and hidden champions and also corporates from North Rhine-Westphalia – the largest German region, situated in the heart of Europe. Many small and medium sized companies from our region are world market leaders in their segment – and yet they are keen to establish cooperation with Israeli companies and start-ups to boost innovation and digitalisation.
With almost 18 million inhabitants North Rhine-Westphalia is the most densely populated region in Germany. Twelve of the 40 largest German retailers are headquartered here. At the same time North Rhine-Westphalia is the industrial heart of Germany. International corporates and a large number of small and medium sized companies create a very dynamic economy. If NRW were a country in its own right, it would rank 19th in the world ahead of Switzerland, Sweden, Poland and Belgium. Some 160 million people live within a radius of 500 kilometres around the state capital Düsseldorf. No other European metropolitan region possesses such purchasing power. 8 of the 30 companies in the German stock index are headquartered in Germany and 60 world leading trade fairs regularly take place in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund and Essen.
In order to be well equipped for future challenges a close exchange between economy and science is also essential: knowledge transfer creates an innovation climate to help our region be a pioneer in digitalisation and an attractive business region. More than 60 technology and start-up centres promote innovative start-ups, spin-offs and attract high tech companies. The universities actively support their researchers to establish spin off companies, their participation in trade shows and the registration of patents. It is therefore not surprising that one in five German start-ups have their home base in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Israel and Germany are joined by our common interest in peace, stability and prosperity for our countries and regions. To this end there are many partnerships between cities, schools, universities, enterprise, institutions and associations from both our countries who are engaged in active cooperation. Therefore we wish everyone successful meetings and cooperation for a thriving Israel-North Rhine-Westphalian partnership.