Region/Countries: Europe, Germany Industry: Energy, Power and Control, Manufacturing Date: February 2019

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Self-controlling machinery, sensor-aided production systems, automated data generation and cybersecurity are current areas of opportunity.

Even though services make up the largest share of the German GDP, Germany is still one of the strongest manufacturing economies in the world, and relies heavily on this backbone of its economy (27.6% of Germany’s GDP comes from manufacturing, compared to 18.9% for the U.S.). However, to stay competitive with the rapid progress of technology, German companies need international cooperation and know-how. Self-controlling machinery, sensor-aided production systems, automated data generation for increased efficiency, and cybersecurity are just a few of the current focus areas.

Most of the big German corporations have already discovered the opportunities that arise with the industrial internet of things (IIoT), but many small and medium enterprises have just begun to focus on modern automated manufacturing and smart factories. Analysis suggests an average growth of 19% per year in the German IIoT market in the coming years, with the automotive industry being the largest sector, followed by mechanical and plant engineering. The main driver for growth will be the progressive digitization of production and delivery processes. Wisconsin businesses can leverage these developments in the German market and discover opportunities for exports and mutual business opportunities, as well as knowledge transfer and exchange.

As presented in a global market update last year, Germany is an international hotspot for trade shows. One of the largest of its kind—the Hannover Messe fair, which focuses on industrial automation—is an excellent spot to explore market opportunities and cooperation, not only with German companies but also with other European players. This trade show welcomes more than 220,000 visitors a year (one-third of whom are international) and more than 6,500 exhibitors. It takes place from April 1-5, 2019 in Hannover.

In 2018, Germany represented the fourth-largest export market for Wisconsin businesses. With a total volume of $814 million, it received nearly 4% of all Wisconsin exports and is the leading market in Europe for Wisconsin exports. This video from Germany Trade & Invest tells more about the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Germany.

Wisconsin’s trade representative in Germany, AHP International, is an exhibitor at Hannover Messe and can give further advice and offer assistance in setting up business meetings at the trade show.