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Berlin to go, english edition, 02/2016

  • Text
  • Business
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SERVICE NEXT STOP: THE

SERVICE NEXT STOP: THE GLOBAL MARKET The EU and International Services Unit at Berlin Partner helps companies achieve their global objectives Germany’s capital region has a distinct and well-known international character. In fact, foreign companies and institutions repeatedly choose Berlin as the site of their German offices and satellites. The path from Berlin out into the world is also often the key to success for many companies. Thomas Einsfelder, Head of the EU and International Services Unit at Berlin Partner, works with his team of experts to provide customized services designed to help companies gain access to international markets. His offerings range from up-to-date information and international cooperation opportunities to participation in international tradeshows. The next big step. It’s often a magical threshold where companies in the expansion phase must undertake precise planning. Especially when the next big step involves going international. Which target markets make the most sense for us? How do we go about finding the right production partners in foreign countries? Are there funding opportunities that might support our internationalization projects? Thomas Einsfelder, Head of the EU and International Services Unit, has answers to questions such as these. Depending on the project, Einsfelder manages a team of up to 20 members that coordinates its work as a “task force” consisting of in-company experts, and it is their job to help Berlin-based companies and institutions achieve their international goals. In addition to comprehensive cooperation services, the assistance offered by this unit includes international tradeshow services, delegation services and funding for internationalization efforts. These services provide companies with up-to-date international market information as well as expedient market-entry support. Information, Advisory Services, and Partnership Matching Services through the Enterprise Europe Network Indeed, as Einsfelder argues, “Innovation-oriented companies seeking to enter international markets require up-to-date information and customized services. And our cooperation service provides both.” Since 2008, the Enterprise Europe Network Berlin-Brandenburg has operated under the Berlin Partner umbrella as the largest SME consulting network in the world. It offers the international and EU-wide provision of cooperation partners with the help of its Partnership Opportunity Database, which is updated on an ongoing basis. In fact, one could liken it to a dating agency for companies. Among its 25,000 database entries are descriptions of partners active in the tech, R&D and distribution sectors from 27 EU member states. “We accompany our clients from the no-cost creation of their company profile to the marketing of their services and products abroad,” explains Einsfelder. As soon as the target market has been determined, the Enterprise Europe Network organizes various meet-and-greet events for interested parties, whether in Berlin or abroad. A wide variety of options are created – including joint meetings at international tradeshows such as the ILA or the Innotrans and matchmaking sessions and networking events – which let participants stretch out their feelers and get to know new markets and partners. Meeting Services for Business-Relevant Events all over the Globe Tradeshows are the ideal setting in which to generate these contacts. The Berlin Foreign Trade Program organized by the Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research, one of Berlin Partner’s many service partners, places the emphasis on support for international tradeshow participation. The team at Berlin Partner is responsible for coordinating the international tradeshow meetings for Berlin-based companies as well as handling tradeshow participation. Tradeshows Photo: Porträt T. Einsfelder: Berlin Partner/Fotostudio-Charlottenburg, Illustration: iStock.com / zbruch 20 BERLIN TO GO

SERVICE timeframes. The services range from project application workshops to meetings with EU Commission representatives. “The procedure is complex,” admits Einsfelder, “because we are dealing here with the Rolls Royce of R&D funding. And yet, our concrete support measures have already enabled us to help many projects gain funding.” In 2015 alone, the Enterprise Europe Network advised 178 companies and scientific partners on matters relating to H2020. Having the right information at the right time is worth its weight in gold. All the latest data, cooperation searches, events and workshops are pooled, listed according to theme and sent out every two months via an associated email service. The experts at Berlin Partner are then available for deeper discussions. These activities are complemented by membership in ERRIN, the European Regions Research and Innovation Network in Brussels. As an on-site network, it offers a direct connection especially to European regional offices; this is a partnership that led to nine collaborative projects in 2015. are thoroughly scrutinized to determine which ones promise to offer a competitive edge. “Only a couple of years ago, the SXSW Festival, which today is the most important date on the new media and mobile tech calendar, was nowhere to be seen on the list of priority gatherings. These days, things are different, and we keep an eye on developments such as these,” explains Einsfelder. Pooling information is one of his unit’s core activities. The unit’s “Preview of Upcoming International Dates” identifies dates, events and hotspots on international target markets, such as those in China, Turkey, North America and Asia, and collates them based on the forward-looking themes they address. As Einsfelder emphasizes, “The challenge facing our internationally active partners lies less in finding relevant information and much more in filtering it effectively. Our preview of upcoming international dates sorts out the top events and pools current knowledge from out of the entire network.” Advisory Services and Concrete Support for EU Projects The Belgian capital of Brussels functions as the key hub for European-wide networking projects. With the help of two Berlin Partner employees at their Brussels office, the Enterprise Europe Network manages the EU’s “Horizon 2020” (H2020) research and innovation program, among other initiatives. Hidden behind this auspicious name is the largest research and innovation program in the world with a total volume of roughly €80 billion. The Berlin Partner employees in Brussels support Berlin-based businesses in formulating proposals for themselves and their international partners and then submitting their applications within the appropriate VIP and Delegation Services in Berlin and Abroad The path out into the globalized world begins in Berlin. As Einsfelder explains, “In order to generate sustainable partnerships in business and politics, we make it possible for companies and individuals to gain personal knowledge of the capital region, it’s business advantages and resident companies.” With help from Berlin Partner’s VIP and Delegation Service, his unit showcases the Berlin-Brandenburg business region in various formats, from trips abroad for business delegations accompanied by political figures to trips here at home. The service portfolio, which is jointly carried out by Berlin Partner and InPolis, ranges from welcome greetings and traditional half-day city tours to customized two-day program schedules, for example, on the theme of Berlin as a startup metropolis with individual theme-related stops at coworking spaces and incubators. In other words, it encompasses everything that serves to set the course for internationalization. As Einsfelder sums it up, “A strong home base is what makes international success possible in the first place. And we provide for both.” ih Thomas Einsfelder Head of Unit, EU and International Services at Berlin Partner for Business and Technology GmbH Fasanenstr. 85 | 10623 Berlin Tel. +49 30 46302-541 thomas.einsfelder@berlin-partner.de BERLIN TO GO 21

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