HARTFORD, Conn. — April 3, 2017 — Governor Dannel Malloy extended an official welcome at the State Capitol last Wednesday, March 29, 2017, to open Industry 4.0 – Opportunities and Challenges for Connecticut, a German-American Business Forum that included a large parliamentary delegation from Baden-Württemberg, Germany, members of the Connecticut business community, research institutions, and government.
Hosted by the Capitol Region Council of Governments and the German Consulate Boston, the event highlighted the importance of German-American partnerships and investments in Connecticut and how Industry 4.0 is revolutionizing advanced manufacturing here and abroad. Planning for this event began more than a year ago, as part of an effort to formalize the Consulate’s outreach in Connecticut, already a hub of German investment and advanced manufacturing, and to inspire additional German-American partnerships within its New England-based footprint. Similar programs have been hosted in Boston and New Jersey.
The distinguished roster of forum speakers included: Dr. Ralf Horlemann, Consul General, German Consulate Boston; Andreas Deuschle, Head of the Delegation and Chairman of the Science, Research and Arts Committee; and Theresia Bauer, Minister of Science, Research and the Arts; Dr. Andre Sharon, Director of the Fraunhofer Center for Manufacturing Innovation; Dr. David Parekh, Corporate Vice President, Research, and Director, United Technologies Research Center; Peter Hoecklin, President and CEO, TRUMPF Inc.; Dr. Kazem Kazerounian, Dean, UCONN School of Engineering; and Catherine Smith, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.
Presentations covered the power of Industry 4.0—through digitization, automation, smart sensors—to revolutionize manufacturing processes and to drive an unprecedented level of efficiency, productivity and transparency; how Connecticut businesses, universities and government are working in this space and are leveraging important partnerships to push the innovation envelope, train workers, invest in equipment and stay competitive; and the desire to foster greater collaboration and the exchange of ideas at an international level.
“German companies have a great interest in investing in U.S. markets, and the Industry Forum in Hartford showed us many great opportunities for how we can work together and how we can create more jobs in manufacturing,” said Dr. Horlemann, reflecting on the success of the Forum.
Earlier that morning, the delegation was treated to a tour of the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. (CCAT) Advanced Manufacturing Center before heading to the Forum at the State Capitol.
“We were thrilled to have the German delegation tour our Advanced Manufacturing Center and learn more about how we are collaborating with German manufacturing companies to make cutting-edge technologies available to Connecticut manufacturers,” said Elliot Ginsberg, president and CEO, CCAT. “In fact, our newest addition to the AMC – a 130,000 pound composite machining center – is manufactured in Germany by global leader Zimmermann GmbH.”
The delegation’s overnight stay in Hartford kicked off with a networking reception on March 28 at the Hartford Hilton hosted by CohnReznick, Pullman and Comley, LLC and the Connecticut German-American Business Forum.
The event attracted executives and investors in the Connecticut business community, leading manufacturing companies and Connecticut economic development, government and education leaders. It provided the perfect venue for welcoming Baden-Württemberg officials and forging new transatlantic relationships.
“It was great to bring together this group of government and business leaders to promote manufacturing in Connecticut. The German-American manufacturing community plays a vital role in contributing to our state’s economic growth. CohnReznick remains committed to these programs that foster the spirit of collaboration and we look forward to future events,” said Jim Kask, partner at CohnReznick and founder of the German American Business Forum—Connecticut.
“This was a dynamic group and an exciting conference, and we look forward to working with everyone involved to create new opportunities in Connecticut,” said Adam Mocciolo, partner at Pullman & Comley.
Dr. Lyle Wray, executive director of the Capitol Region Council of Governments, added that “CRCOG was delighted to work in close partnership with the German Consulate Boston to convene such an informative workshop on how Industry 4.0 is revolutionizing advanced manufacturing processes in Connecticut and Germany. Our speakers universally highlighted the importance of working collaboratively—across industry, research institutions and government—as well as internationally, and our agency is happy to continue to facilitate these conversations to help inspire additional cooperation as well as next generation economic development in our region and state.”
About Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) CRCOG is established under the Connecticut General Statutes as a voluntary association of municipal governments serving the 38 Metro Hartford municipalities. Our members have collaborated for more than 30 years on a wide range of projects related to planning, transportation, service sharing, and cooperative procurement to benefit our towns individually and the region as a whole.