Berlin-London forge link to boost tech growth

Berlin and London to work together in supporting fintech and smart cities tech companies to scale up.

London skyline
London and Berlin have announced a landmark partnership to promote greater trade and investment between the two cities.

Cities work together to focus on tech and creative companies

The agreement will see the two capitals' economic development agencies - London & Partners and Berlin Partners - work together with a focus on providing support for scale-up companies and collaboration in areas such as fintech, big data, the Internet of Things and other creative industries."The new partnership will see businesses from both cities benefit from greater access to trade missions, investors and introductions to corporate partners to help with office space, recruitment, legal services and other tailored advice for companies looking to set up or expand their operation in each city," reported the London Loves Business website."As part of the agreement announced today, Europe’s two largest tech hubs pledged to collaborate more closely to share knowledge and best practices on smart cities and the use of technology to solve urban challenges."

London and Berlin are Europe's two largest tech hubs

Rajesh Agrawal, London’s deputy mayor for business and chairman of London & Partners, and Dr Stefan Franzke, chief executive of Berlin Partners, signed the agreement at the official opening of London & Partners’ first office in Berlin.Staff at the office will provide support for German companies looking to set up or expand in the UK capital, as well as helping London companies looking to do business in Germany.Mr Agrawal said, “London and Berlin are two of the world’s leading hubs for technology, innovation and creativity. We see lots of opportunities for collaboration, especially in fast growing areas such as fintech and smart cities.

Cities both possess smart and outward looking business hubs

“Today’s agreement with the city of Berlin and the opening of our first office in Germany demonstrates London’s desire to work with like-minded, outward-looking business hubs. Brexit or no Brexit, we want to show the world that London is open for business, talent and investment from across the world.”Ramona Pop, deputy mayor of Berlin, added, “The UK is one of Berlin’s most important economic partners. Brexit presents us all with difficult challenges and makes a close collaboration between Berlin and London all the more important. As growing capital cities, both face similar urban challenges.“The partnership between Berlin and London will be to the economic advantage of both. In particular the two cities are driving forces within Europe for innovation and digitalisation. We want to shape our common future in Europe: at this moment of divergence, we come closer together.”

Smart cities technologies growing rapidly

Knut Hechtfischer, founder of Berlin headquartered Ubitricity, an electric charging solutions company with an office in Shoreditch, London, said, “Much like Berlin, London is a hotbed for innovation. With strengths in developing smart cities technology, it was a natural place for us to expand our operation in the UK market."The creative energy and vibrancy of an area like Shoreditch is similar to the start-up scene in Berlin and it has made London feel like a home away from home for our business.”
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