Events > Opportunities for UK Businesses in Germany, via the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Opportunities for UK Businesses in Germany, via the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

29/06/2021 11:00-12:15

Webex online


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Businesses from across the Northern Powerhouse (NPH) are invited to join the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the trade and investment agency NRW.Global Business for a free webinar, designed to bring you closer to the wealth of opportunities available for UK technology focussed businesses in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).

Our chosen partner NRW.Global Business is part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. Their remit is to nurture and grow an innovative, favourable and forward-looking business environment whereas the UK’s Department for International Trade encourages and supports exporting UK products and services overseas.

Germany is the UK’s second biggest export market after the USA and the state of NRW, is Germany’s most economically successful and populous state.

Who’s it for?

NRW is Germany’s industrial and technology heartland adjacent to The Netherlands and Belgium. Opportunities exist for UK providers of technology driven solutions, with a particular emphasis on:

  • Process and compliance software solution
  • AI/machine learning and gamification solutions
  • Smart cities solutions including facility management
  • Training and education software solutions
  • Digitalisation of Public and Private Services
  • Providers feeding into Renewable Energy, Advanced Engineering, Logistics/Warehousing/Transport and many more sectors

This is a great opportunity to discover how your business can grow and to assess opportunities in Germany, along with the legal and regulatory requirements to operate within this market.





11:00 - 11:05Webinar Host, Maria Dotsch, International Trade Adviser, Department for International Trade based in Teesside, UK
11:05 - 11:10Julie Underwood, Executive Director of International Trade, North East England Chamber of Commerce
11:10 - 11:15Rafe Courage, HM British Consul-General, Dusseldorf
11:15 - 11:35Business Opportunities in Germany (NRW) Ms Dagmar Wulknitz and Andrew Harfoot
11:35 - 11:45Jane Kirz, Trade Adviser Technology, Department for International Trade based in Germany
11:45 - 11:55Legal Considerations - Dr Christoph Nawroth, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills
11:55 - 12:05Samuel Harrison, co-founder and Managing Director of Animmersion Ltd. – Visualisation and Immersive Technology Case Study
12:05 - 12:15Q&A
1. Maria Dotsch
International Trade Adviser
The Department for International Trade
Maria Dotsch is an international trade and development specialist. She works with companies to develop their domestic and international strategy and achieve their business objectives. Maria accomplished a commercially led traineeship in import and export administration working for international retail and wholesale cooperations in Germany. Moving on she worked as a buyer in the procurement department overseeing the creation of new product ranges including retail, wholesale and distribution. She moved then into the field of business generation working as a Business Development Director for an American Management Consultancy based in London. With over 20 years previous professional experience in international trade she works now for the UK Government. In her capacity as International Trade Adviser for the Department of International Trade she helps companies with tailored export advise. As part of her job she organises trade missions on behalf of the UK Government and leads UK companies in global markets. Maria is fluent in German and English.
2. Julie Underwood
Executive Director of International Trade
North East England Chamber of Commerce
Julie is the Executive Director of International Trade for the North East England Chamber of Commerce and currently has responsibility for the international services the Chamber delivers. This includes export documentation, expert training and advice around all elements of exporting and a bespoke Global Membership for businesses trading overseas. Julie is also responsible for the Department for International Trade delivery services, which includes a team of International Trade Advisers, working with businesses across the North East.
3. Rafe Courage
HM British Consul-General, Dusseldorf

Rafe was appointed Her Majesty’s Consul-General in Dusseldorf in July 2017. His area of responsibility covers North-Rhine Westphalia, Hesse, Rhineland Palatinate and Saarland. Rafe and his team promote UK exports to Germany, German investment in the UK; and provide consular assistance to British Nationals. Rafe joined the Diplomatic Service in 1986. He has experience of working on a wide range of topics, including commercial diplomacy; communications; immigration; political and economical matters. He has held a number of postings in Belgium, Pakistan, Turkey and the USA. This is his first posting in Germany.

4. Dagmar Wülknitz
NRW Global Business
Head of Unit UK, Ireland, France, Italy and the Nordic Countries, Dagmar has over 30 years of experience in assisting investors from all sectors of industry in establishing their foothold in the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany (NRW). Born in Düsseldorf, she has lived for most of her life in this region and knows all the key players in economic development, academia and the administration. Her clients benefit from her experience and know-how in the following way: Excellent networks in different sectors of industry Contacts with legal, accounting and HR professionals Contacts with clusters in various sectors of industry Information on sites and properties Consulting clients with their international growth strategies She is a marketing professional and studied at the universities of Cambridge, Herriot Watt, Grenoble (F) and Lausanne (CH). She speaks English, French, Swedish, Italian and Spanish.
5. Andrew Harfoot
UK Representative
NRW Global Business
Andrew assists UK firms to set up and grow in NRW, Germany – see www.nrwinvest.com. Andrew helps companies in three specific ways: • Advice on establishing a legal entity in NRW, Germany – usually a GmbH • Advice on recruiting in NRW • A property search service for buildings or land, to rent or buy plus, of course, general advice on doing business in Germany. Andrew is an economic development specialist and marketing consultant. He prides himself on providing practical advice and guidance on market entry strategies for Germany. Previously he represented the State of Virginia, USA in the UK for fifteen years. Andrew is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
6. Jane Kirz
International Trade Adviser
The Department for International Trade

Jane Kirz has worked for the Department of International Trade Tech team for nearly 5 years. Based at the British Consulate-General in Munich, she helps disruptive UK Tech companies involved in AI, Big data, Quantum, Cyber security and Safety Tech export their solutions to the German market. She also advises companies on  the EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

7. Dr Christoph Nawroth
Herbert Smith Freehills

Christoph Nawroth is a corporate partner in the Düsseldorf office of leading global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills and specialises in all aspects of M&A and corporate law. He has more than 21 years of experience and puts a particular focus on the advice of corporate clients as well as private equity and other financial investors. Christoph is continuously recommended by JUVE, Best Lawyers in Germany (in cooperation with Handelsblatt), etc. He is recommended as "Top Lawyer" by WirtschaftsWoche. His industry focus includes energy, infrastructure and transport, and private equity.

Christoph graduated from the University of Kiel and holds a Doctor of Laws degree (Dr iur). Before joining Herbert Smith Freehills in 2016, Christoph was a partner in another leading global law firm for more than 10 years. Christoph is, inter alia, co-editor of the Holding Handbook (Beck’sches Holding Handbuch) and author of several other publications.

8. Samuel Harrison
co-founder and Managing Director
Animmersion Ltd.

Samuel is an entrepreneur and thought leader who has been working in digital media and visualisation for over 20 years. He set up Animmersion in 2006 with the objective of leveraging the techniques and methodologies of the entertainment sector to create value in industrial and business applications.  Samuel’s experience ranges from leading business strategy on immersive technologies (HMD Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality) to user experience consultancy and data visualisation. He has worked with clients in many sectors including, construction, automotive, engineering, offshore and energy as well as delivering projects in retail and in the public sector. Day to day his core activities with Animmersion range across strategic interests and leadership, business development, and team development. 

Prior to setting up Animmersion, Samuel obtained a BA Hons in Creative Visualisation at Teesside University and then went on to work at the Universities Virtual Reality Centre as senior developer. In his role there he developed various animation and VR applications for industry, the arts and heritage, utilising the then cutting-edge Silicon Graphics platforms output to stereo 3D and hemisphere display systems. 

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