The states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein are setting up the Northern Germany Innovation Office Schleswig-Holstein/Hamburg in California’s Silicon Valley on Tuesday (August 28, 2018). A delegation of around 60 business and scientific representatives are in Silicon Valley to mark the occasion. The initial, three-year project aims to link up companies based in Silicon Valley and San Francisco with players from northern Germany. To this end, employees in San Francisco will co-operate closely with their colleagues in the Economic Development and Technology Transfer Department of Schleswig-Holstein (WTSH) in Kiel and Hamburg Invest.
Office to help make local contacts
According to Frank Horch, Hamburg’s Senator for Economics, Transport and Innovation, Silicon Valley is one of the key locations for the IT and high-tech industry worldwide. “Through our companies and our HamburgAmbassador, Petra Vorsteher, we have developed connections to the region. Many global corporations have their German headquarters in Hamburg. That’s why it’s particularly important for us to be on site with an office,” said Horch. The new innovation office will help north German companies to make contacts with companies in San Francisco and Silicon Valley and other suitable partners. They will also have an opportunity to spend time in Silicon Valley to gain insight into the working methods of local companies and the scientific community. Tim Ole Jöhnk has been appointed manager of the office.
Facebook and Google already in Hamburg
Hamburg is the top location in northern Europe for many U.S. companies. The proximity to markets and customers in Germany as well as the connection to the growing regions in northern and north-eastern Europe are decisive reasons for U.S. companies to settle in Hamburg. U.S. oil companies such as Exxon or food industry giants such as Kellogg’s have German or northern European headquarters in Hamburg. American IT companies such as Adobe Systems, dropbox, Facebook, Google, Hootsuite, smaato, snap, Twitch or Twitter also have branches in Hamburg.
Commenting on the new branch, Dr. Rolf Strittmatter, Managing Director of Hamburg Invest, noted: “According to the KfW Start-up Monitor, Hamburg and Berlin are the states with the highest start-up activity. And San Francisco is one of the hotspots for start-ups worldwide. Hamburg has been planning a stronger presence in the region for quite some time. An office together with Schleswig-Holstein is advancing the whole north.”