Californian pioneering spirit inspires Heidelberg technology sponsor

At the beginning of November, Mayor Prof. Eckart Würzner spent two days visiting partners in Palo Alto and San Francisco (SF) together with four members of the municipal council from the CDU (Dr. Jan Gradel), The Greens (Felix Grädler), Heidelberg (Wolfgang Lachenauer) and Free Voters (Dr. Simone Schenk), his spokesperson Nicole Huber and the TP Managing Director Dr. André Domin. The purpose of the trip was to establish future areas of cooperation between Heidelberg and Palo Alto, based on the Smart City Alliance that has been in place since 2013. The existing cooperation in the areas of environmental protection, energy efficiency, transport, start-up support, culture and sport are to be strengthened further. In this context, the mayors of both cities also agreed to enhance this connection with an official municipal partnership. The visit also crucially served to present examples of Californian risk-taking, the support of entrepreneurship and the translation of knowledge into services and products to the municipal council members. From the meeting on the night of the US presidential election on November 8, to the discussions at the design company IDEO (Apple mouse, Eli Lilly insulin injection pen, etc.) from which the Design Thinking School ( in Stanford emerged, to visiting the Tesla factory in Fremont and TechShop, RocketSpace and Exploratorium in SF, through to the reception at the German consulate in SF, the entire itinerary was all about education, creativity, translation and financing municipal services. The impressive examples are to be evaluated in terms of transferability and ideally established in Heidelberg – just like ExploHeidelberg, which was founded in 2002. Subsequently, André Domin held discussions with the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship of the UC Berkeley and representatives of the Caohejing Hi-Tech Park Investment Fund and Innovation Center in SF, and NextFlex, an R&D and manufacturing institute for flexible hybrid electronics (FHE). Last but not least, the Heidelberg Technology Park together with InnovationLab GmbH and BASF was introduced at the IDTechEx trade show. Energy harvesting, e-mobility and e-storage, 3D printing, printed electronics and sensors, as well as virtual and augmented reality in theory and practice were presented in a most impressive way in Sant Clara.



19.12.2016 - 15:40