Matchmaking Event between German and Canadian SMEs
On Monday, January 20, 2020, about 15 Canadian AI companies visited it's OWL to learn about the work of the Leading-Edge Cluster and to establish contacts with local companies. The visit was part of the "Canadian AI and Industry 4.0 R&D Partnering Mission" organised by the Canadian Embassy of Canada in Berlin.
Fraunhofer IEM's IdeenTriebwerk (Think Tank) was cozy on Monday: about 40 people from industry, science and politics from Canada and Germany had come to Paderborn at the invitation of the Leading-Edge Cluster to network internationally and discuss current issues in digitisation. After the morning was filled with input on the work of it's OWL and funding opportunities for bilateral cooperation projects, the afternoon offered opportunities for interaction. A World Café gave participants ample opportunity to enter into expert discussions and network on the basis of the topics "AI in Product Development", "The Future of Work" and "Digital in NRW - Competence Center for SMEs". Günter Korder, Managing Director of Operations it's OWL, was very satisfied with the event: "We succeeded in bringing both sides into a real exchange, which hopefully will not be just a flash in the pan, but a milestone in a long-term cooperation".
With this event, it's OWL is building on existing relationships with Canada. Already in spring 2018, a delegation of high-ranking Canadian companies visited the technology network in order to sound out cooperation opportunities. With success: from contacts made two years ago, a cooperation with the innovation region of British Columbia was established to answer the question of how technology networks can cooperate more specifically and more closely in order to achieve global top positions. German-Canadian cooperation has already achieved its first concrete successes. After joint meetings between it's OWL and the University of British Columbia, project consortia consisting of German and Canadian industrial and scientific partners have been identified, which are jointly developing innovative solutions in the field of AI. Furthermore, an academic exchange between the UBC and universities in the OWL region is being discussed.
On the second day of the delegation visit, the SmartFactoryOWL in Lemgo was visited. Here the Canadian visitors could see for themselves the innovations "made in OWL" and partly even experience own products in action.