Australia Feb 19, 2016

Report: Our trip Down Under

Our visit to Australia just before Christmas was packed with new insights.

I have already written a blog post explaining why the fifth continent is of interest to us; here is my report on the trip.

Our collaboration with Australian companies already has a long tradition – we have been active Down Under since 2014. The first Australian companies have already settled in Bavaria, including the aerospace company Quickstep and Redflow. Grey Innovation, which supports companies in the development of promising technologies, has also chosen Bavaria, and has already submitted applications for EU funding together with the Bavarian Research Alliance.

 In 2015, we decided that we finally wanted our own presence on the ground and set off for Australia with lots of exciting topics in our bags. Our diary was jam-packed. My schedule included 26 meetings in just four days, including discussions with associations and cluster-like amalgamations, government organisations, multipliers and technology transfer centres from Australian universities. During our trip, we were able to provide valuable tips to companies already interested in settling in Bavaria. In meetings with start-up incubators in Sydney and Melbourne and with the hosts of the Startup Daily blog, we experienced the Australian start-up scene up close and personal – and were able to provide valuable insights into the Bavarian start-up scene in return. 

#bytevaria discussion panel

The highlight of our exchange of experience was the first event in our new #bytevaria discussion panel series. Along with the face-to-face interviews featured in #bytevaria talk, we also plan to focus more on establishing contact with multiple discussion partners simultaneously. This makes the #bytevaria discussion panels the ideal setting for exclusive insights into the practical aspects of setting up companies in Bavaria. Why should a company settle in Bavaria and how can companies benefit from the ongoing digitization and related funding measures in the state? We want to discuss these and many other issues with our partners; and Sydney was the perfect place to start. In the first #bytevaria discussion panel, I met and chatted with Yasar Ceviker from the Bavarian fashion label A Kind of Guise and Gilbert Michaca, CEO of Grey Innovation. The discussion was hosted by Tyler Brûlé, Editor in Chief of Monocle magazine. Over beer and Bavarian snacks, our discussion entitled “Why Bavaria might be better than Brisbane for your next business venture” brought together two business communities who have more in common than it first appears. An active start-up scene, a blossoming financial landscape and an excellent quality of life that attracts many talented people are only a few of the points that Bavaria and Australia have in common. What also unites both of these locations is their global thinking and action. You can find out more about the #bytevaria discussion panel here.

Intensifying established ties

The close personal contact is already paying off: the first return visitors plan to come to Bavaria during the first half of 2016. In addition, Australia Day in January was all about research and development. Austrade will be hosting the Australian Business and Technology Forum in Munich on 21st April 2016. The Australian foreign trade commission hopes to use the event to network companies from throughout Germany with Australian partner companies.
All in all, we have achieved a great deal over the past few months in our efforts to promote Australian-Bavarian collaboration. Of course, we will use our blog to keep you informed on how things progress and what our plans are for the future.

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