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High-tech, efficient and green

Environmentally friendly production processes are currently very popular worldwide. Kicking off the Hanover Fair, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasised the enormous growth potential of green technologies. The industry is booming - not only in Europe.

The Chancellor shakes hands with a robot at a mechanical engineering company's stand. Stroll through the Hanover Fair Photo: Bundesregierung/Denzel

Merkel gave her assurance that Germany would continue to strongly advocate sustainable development on the international level. She recalled that the Federal Government has been spending an extra three billion euros a year for science and research since 2009, mainly in support of practice-oriented approaches. "We must work systematically to overcome Germany's weakness when it comes to converting into products its many accomplishments in the field of research", the Chancellor said. However, Germany is on the right track.

Growth-creating innovations also require enough graduates in the technical and scientific disciplines. There is still a lot to do in this field.

Green technologies bolster the economy

The long-established Hanover Fair has made "Greentelligence“ its guiding theme this year. The concept refers to intelligently networked and environmentally friendly production technologies. Energy efficiency has long been a matter of discussion in all industrialised countries.

This year, the Fair's "Hermes Prize“ went to a medium-sized electrical engineering company, Phoenix Contact, which developed a measuring system that analyses lightning currents when they strike wind turbines. The analysis is transmitted directly per Internet to the remote maintenance centres. Lightning strikes are one of the main sources of strain for rotor blades. The system developed by the family enterprise from Westphalia determines which rotor blades were hit when by lightening. Maintenance work can thus be more targeted and the reliability of the turbines is improved.

During her traditional opening stroll, the Federal Chancellor experienced several examples of new, efficient technologies: from electric vehicles using renewable energies to wind turbines linked to energy storage systems and mind-controlled robots. Everywhere, the networking of industries is improving efficiency.

Ten per cent growth on average in partner country China

China is the partner country of this year's Hanover Fair, as it was 25 years ago. Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao recalled the amazing tempo with which the Middle Kingdom has since then risen to the status of a great industrial nation. One of the great tasks it faces today is the shift from "made in China" to "created in China“. Wen and the Chancellor want to make sure that German-Chinese business cooperation will play an important part in this process. This topic was also discussed at the German-Chinese Business Forum which met in the margins of the fair.

Speaking before entrepreneurs from both countries, the Chinese Prime Minister announced that his country wants to cooperate even more closely with its European partners in the future. China will continue to open up to foreign business, he promised. He also said the Chinese government intends to improve the protection of intellectual property (keyword: product piracy), a step to which there can be no alternative in the long run. As a result of new technologies, our know-how, the various markets and the rules that govern them are coming closer together.

About 5,000 exhibitors from 69 states are represented at the Hanover Fair from 23 to 27 April, 460 of them from China. The companies show how combining efficient processes, environmentally friendly materials and sustainable products intelligently can stimulate international markets. Bringing together eight international trade fairs, the Hanover Fair embraces several sectors: industrial production, services as well as research and development. In 2012, the new Leading Trade Fair for environmental technologies, IndustrialGreenTec, is being held for the first time.

Apr 23, 2012