The City of Brampton successfully wrapped up a Virtual Mission to Germany that took place from April to early June. Germany’s global leadership in manufacturing, sustainability and innovation, which are strengths shared by Brampton, make it an important region to seek new investment from. Additionally, Brampton is already home to the Canadian headquarters and presence of several German companies including: A Berger Precision, SEW Eurodrive, IREKS, SHW Pump and Drive, and Multivac Canada.
The goal of the mission was to market Brampton internationally and attract investment, both new investment and through the growth of Germany companies with existing operations in Brampton. The mission was supported by the Canadian Embassy and the Ontario Trade and Investment Office in Germany, and included engagements with government, businesses, industry organizations, start-ups and technology incubators.
The events of the mission included participating in a pre-mission briefing with the German Consulate in Toronto and Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The discussion covered a range of topics including: Industry 4.0, E-mobility, and the importance of connecting with mid-market companies (SMEs).
Hannover-Messe and Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst
To promote initiatives in Brampton and seek new investment, the Economic Development Office (EDO) team participated in the Virtual Hannover-Messe trade show. Working with the province, our team supported a presentation by the Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst as part of the official program of the trade show. The EDO also used the virtual Hannover-Messe international platform to engage with several companies and highlight areas of strategic value of doing business in Brampton.
Meeting with Canadian Ambassador to Germany
The Mayor-led official engagement on the mission began with a meeting between the City of Brampton and the Canadian Embassy in Germany including the Canadian Ambassador to Germany, the Honourable Stéphane Dion. The key objective of this meeting was to brief the Canadian Embassy on the mission and seek their feedback on areas of opportunity for Brampton. The Embassy provided background on the German economy, potential opportunities with the companies the City met with, as well as a focus on opportunities around the CETA Free trade agreement with Europe.
Business Retention and Expansion Meetings
As a large share of investment into a community comes through existing companies, the next engagement included a series of meetings with the German headquarters of businesses based in Brampton. These meetings included German and Brampton company representatives with updates from the German businesses and the City of Brampton. Areas of discussion included: Business impacts during the pandemic, ways to strengthen the relationship between the City and the businesses, and a discussion around assisting companies with growth opportunities in Brampton.
Transit Electrification Roundtable
To promote the E-bus pilot currently underway in Brampton and support knowledge sharing between our regions, the City of Brampton delegation organized a roundtable with the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) and the E-Mobil BW (Smart mobility association of the Baden-Württemberg region of Germany). The main theme of the roundtable revolved around the CUTRIC-led “Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial” that the City of Brampton is participating in. This global, first-of-its-kind project is the result of ongoing collaboration between Brampton Transit, CUTRIC, as well as manufacturers of the fully electric buses New Flyer Industries and Nova Bus, and charging station manufacturers ABB and Siemens, who all took part in the roundtable.
Presentations and discussions focused on electrified transportation and included representatives from both the public and private sector from Brampton and Germany. Some key opportunities coming from the roundtable include facilitating investment discussions between private sector participants, and facilitating connections between Brampton, CUTRIC, and E-Mobil BW, Brampton Transit and Stuttgart Transit and other government partners.
Partner Meetings – Brampton Innovation District
In an effort to build international partnerships and learn global best practices, the EDO organized an introductory meeting between innovation partners from the Brampton Innovation District and CyberForum Karlsruhe; one of Europe’s largest Tech networks and clusters that operates several incubators/accelerators. These include a Cybersecurity and a Smart Production focused accelerator. The session was part of the City’s work to build international bridges for the Innovation District, and will help in promoting areas of collaboration and knowledge sharing between innovation ecosystems. Additional meetings held with businesses and start-ups revolved around introducing these entities to Brampton, thereby furthering the relationship and exploring potential expansion plans to Brampton.
The City of Brampton team has begun post mission work to fulfil action items from the meetings held and to continue discussions on the opportunities presented during the mission.
Brampton and Germany share many strengths and values, from strong manufacturing and innovation industries to making sustainability a priority. This mission provided an opportunity to reinforce the strong ties Brampton has with Germany, as well as open doors for new investment and future expansion for German businesses that already have a presence in our City. Brampton truly is a City of Opportunities and I look forward to witnessing the great relationships and development that will come from the connections we made during this mission.
- Patrick Brown, Mayor, City of Brampton
Brampton is a Green City and through this mission we have further developed our status as leaders in sustainability. At our roundtable on transit electrification, we were able to discuss Brampton’s e-bus pilot with an international audience and gain a better understanding of how we can continue to advance, develop and implement e-transit in our community.
- Doug Whillans, City Councillor, Wards 2 & 6, City of Brampton