Asahi Kasai seeks start-up cooperation with Düsseldorf-based "digihub

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On his trip to Japan, Mayor Thomas Geisel...

... welcomes the concentration on a new, expanded corporate headquarters in Düsseldorf Harbour / Support from the state capital is a plus for the location - "Düsseldorf Evening" with record number of guests

The Japanese Asahi Kasei Group plans to bundle its activities in Dormagen and Düsseldorf next year at a new location in the Düsseldorf port in the new C-View. The new location was also the subject of Mayor Thomas Geisel's visit to Asahi Kasei in Tokyo during the three-day OB visit to Japan.


Asahi Kasei President Hideki Kobori also associated the relocation of the European headquarters in Düsseldorf and the research and development centre from Dormagen with the service of the business development department of the state capital Düsseldorf: "The city supported us very well, which also helped us with the planning of our new location in Düsseldorf. Here we want to grow throughout Europe and also develop new business fields in cooperation with start-ups."


The preparations for this project, which was initially known about the real estate industry and then confirmed by Asahi Kasei, are in progress, but not yet completed. Mayor Thomas Geisel welcomed the company's plans: "We promise to continue to support Asahi Kasei to the best of our ability. I also expressly welcome her commitment to Düsseldorf, especially to the sports city of Düsseldorf and the Judo weekend for children.


On this occasion, Geisel was not only able to promise the opening of the Asahi Kasei Europe Business Forum on 29 October in Düsseldorf, but also to provide competent support in the search for the right partners in the start-up scene: "We want to find out which start-ups you are interested in and help you make contact," explained Peter Hornik, who heads the "digihub", Digital Innovation Hub Düsseldorf/Rheinland, of Düsseldorf, to the Asahi Kasei management.


"The establishment of start-ups is promoted by the university landscape in Düsseldorf and the Rhine-Ruhr region as well as R&S locations. Companies and start-ups in the region benefit from the immediate proximity to each other," said Alexander Smolianitski, Chief Digital Officer of the City of Düsseldorf, explaining the great demand for Hornik's consultants, with whom the city provides start-up assistance to digital companies.


During Geisel's visit to Japan, other topics on the agenda included the Olympics and the deepening of the partnership with China Prefecture as well as further meetings with companies such as Hitachi and Sumitomo. At an investor seminar with 170 participants and at a roundtable with representatives of the Düsseldorf and Japanese start-up scene, organized by the German-Japanese Business Association (DJW), the great interest of the Japanese business community in economic relations and engagements in Düsseldorf became visible. At the same time, Düsseldorf and the state-owned Japanese foreign trade association JETRO want to further increase their existing network offers and consultations. Mayor Geisel and Masayoshi Watanabe, JETRO board member in Düsseldorf, and German-Japanese Business Association (DJW), signed a declaration of intent. Geisel: "At our meetings in Tokyo, we learned that the large, established corporations are increasingly seeking contact with young, innovative companies in our city in order to profit from their inventive spirit through cooperation".


During Geisel's visit, Sumitomo also expressed a particular interest in working with Düsseldorf start-ups. The conglomerate can also count on the support of the "digihub". "Following on from today's meeting in Tokyo, we as the Digital Innovation Hub Düsseldorf/Rheinland are very pleased to be able to talk to Sumitomo in Düsseldorf about joint activities and networking with the regional start-up ecosystem in the future," said "digihub" boss Hornik.


The attractiveness of the state capital was also demonstrated at the "Düsseldorf Evening" at the New Otani Hotel in Tokyo, to which the City of Düsseldorf, the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs, Messe Düsseldorf and NRW.INVEST traditionally invite visitors every two to three years. It is aimed above all at Japanese people who once worked in Düsseldorf and now want to enjoy the Rhineland flair with Altbier tapping by brewery boss Karl-Heinz Gatzweiler and Lord Mayor Geisel and cultivate contacts: The invitation was particularly well received this time: "1,400 guests - that is an absolute record and a great response for the organising partners," said Messe boss Werner Dornscheidt, together with the other hosts, Mayor Geisel, State Secretary for Economic Affairs Christoph Dammermann and NRW.INVEST Managing Director Petra Wassner. Geisel concludes: "The Düsseldorf evening was a great conclusion to a successful journey. And it has been a good tradition for over 35 years."