NEWS AND MARKETS Hannover – the hidden champion Airbnb - a hip startup, based in California, with a brand new idea. Private hosts offer their accommodations to complete strangers. The host earns some extra money, and guests get an affordable place to stay – often becoming “a part of the family”. The company was created in 2008 and has become well-known worldwide. But do you know when people in Hannover came up with such an idea? In 1947, nearly seventy years ago, the first industrial fair “Hannover Messe” took place. Housing was in short supply among the ruins of post-war Germany, so Hannover created a platform for guests from all over the world to share private accommodations. Not only was this a brilliant and simple idea - it has developed over the years and has been the basis of friendly relations between international visitors and their local hosts in Hannover. It is one of the reasons why Hannover should rank first in Germany in terms of international personal relationships. But also typical of Hannover, this has been implemented without excessive marketing and PR. The same goes for IT. Do you know when the first CeBIT took place? In 1970 – a time when the majority of the population did not even know computers existed. Here, again, Hanover was a trendsetter. Since then, CeBIT has grown to become a global brand in the industry and far beyond. Why? Because facts and performance speak for themselves and are still the best form of advertising.That is exactly what makes Hannover unstoppable. It does not blatantly beat the publicity drum but, rather, stresses the facts and figures. This corresponds to the temperament of the people who live here. A typical Hannoverian stands out because of his or her efficiency and practicality. In Hannover, people would rather be a “ hidden champion”. The successful mid-sized companies in Germany are an excellent example for this; companies that are primarily distinguished by the quality of their products. These businesses do not need to pretend to be larger than they really are nor do they need advertising referring to old traditions, which are now of secondary importance. Hannover does not boast about being a “Gateway to the World”, as Peter Eisenschmidt, Hannoverimpuls GmbH Hamburg has advertised itself since the Middle Ages. The city does not overemphasize cultural events, like Munich with its Oktoberfest, like Berlin via its “international” attitude towards life or the Ruhr area with its industrial competence. Hannover has, for example, earned the title of a “UNESCO City of Music”. The city has the biggest “green lung” in Europe, the “Eilenriede”; an urban forest spanning 640 hectares. The cost of living is low and medical care is top-notch. “Hard facts” - that is what matters. But the city makes an especially good impression with regard to its “hard facts”, which are particularly important for investors. Hannover is located in the heart of Germany and, as a result, it serves as a crossroads for main transport corridors between northern and southern Europe or between Paris and Moscow. The Deutsche Messe AG is located here - the largest trading center in the world. With 463,275 m 2 of hall space it overshadows all other trade fairs. The SNIEC in Shanghai has about 200,000 m 2 of capacity. Around 100 trade fairs are organised by the operating company “ German Messe AG” in Germany and abroad, making it to a market leader. International companies rely on Hannover But let us leave the fairgrounds and focus on Hannover itself. Can you name a product from Hannover? No? Have you ever seen a VW Bulli? If there were a symbol of the German economic miracle and a car that stands for robustness and efficiency, it would be the VW bus. And since 1956 it has been produced, of course, in Hannover. Or take Continental, a company which not only used to be one of the world’s largest tire producers but also a hi-tech supplier for mechanical engineering, railway, printing or construction industries, chemicals industry as well as the aviation sector. In the spirit of internationalism, foreign companies have invested in Hannover and created important pillars in the economy. Johnson Controls has established its European headquarters in Hannover. The company is considered “one of the most admired” and “world’s most innovative companies” and it is no coincidence that it opted for Hannover. Further, the Hannover Medical School (MHH) serves as just one example of the pioneer role Hannover plays in the field of research as well. It is one of the leading institutions of its kind worldwide and this position is likely to be strengthened in the coming years. As a result, Hannover is in many ways an ideal location for innovative and pragmatic businesses and investors. In this city, there are a multitude of ways to successfully establish a business and network in Germany. Here, the economic development agency “Hannoverimpuls” is at your service as a reliable partner. We provide pragmatic and unbureaucratic assistance, open doors for you, thereby laying the foundation for your success in one of the most important economies in Europe. Photograph: HMTG, Mahramzadeh, Hannoverimpuls GmbH www.hannoverimpuls.com
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01 Authors: Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Erwin R
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