Monday, April 13, 2015 

Governor Walker Arrives in Germany for European Trade Mission

Governor leading state delegation in weeklong trip to boost exports, encourage investing in Wisconsin

Germany – Governor Scott Walker has arrived in Germany to mark the start of a weeklong European trade mission to promote state exports and encourage foreign companies to consider establishing or expanding operations in Wisconsin.

“The pro-business climate we have developed in Wisconsin, and our quality workforce, help make a strong case for why companies in Germany, France and Spain should take a close look at our state if they’re considering entering the U.S. for the first time, or increasing their presence here,” Governor Walker said. “I look forward to meeting face-to-face with business and government leaders in all three countries, to increase awareness of all Wisconsin has to offer.”

Governor Walker is leading a 22-member delegation that includes Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary Reed Hall and other WEDC staff, as well as executives from seven Wisconsin companies. Jim Paetsch, vice president of Corporate Expansion and Attraction for the Milwaukee 7 regional economic development organization; and Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council, are also on the trip, which runs through April 21.

On Sunday, Governor Walker and the delegation attended the opening ceremony of the Hannover Messe trade show in Hannover, Germany, the world's largest industrial fair. German Chancellor Merkel and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi both spoke at the event.

Today, Governor Walker met with company leaders at Merck KGaA, the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company, located in Darmstadt, Germany.  Merck is in the process of acquiring Sigma-Aldrich Corp., a U.S. life sciences firm with three facilities in Wisconsin.  The Governor spoke with Merck executives about how the acquisition will impact those operations and how Wisconsin’s strengths in water technology and energy could possibly lead the company to make more investments in the state.

The governor also met with Tarek Mohammed Al-Wazir, deputy prime minister of the German state of Hessen, which is Wisconsin’s “Sister State.” Governor Walker and the entire delegation met with about 20 Hessen business, government and university leaders to build on the existing cultural relationship that was established in 1976 and to seek more economic development efforts between the two states.

Finally today, Governor Walker, WEDC leaders and Richard Moss of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health will meet with representatives of DZNE, the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, to discuss a plan for collaboration efforts.

Throughout the trade mission, the WEDC staff will assist the 10 Wisconsin business executives who are part of the delegation by providing them with support as they take part in personalized one-on-one meetings to develop business partnerships and increase global opportunities for their companies.

“While increasing awareness of Wisconsin among European business and government leaders is a key component of this trip, equally as important is working with state companies to help them make the right connections in their target countries,” said Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “In 2014, Wisconsin set a record for exports and we want to provide businesses with the opportunity to build upon that success.”


Monday, April 13, 2015

University of Wisconsin-Madison, German Center of Neurodegenerative Diseases to Collaborate on Alzheimer’s and Dementia Research

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed during Governor Walker’s European trade mission

Bonn, Germany – Governor Scott Walker was joined by officials of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) today at a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in which the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) and DZNE agreed to collaborate on research efforts aimed at slowing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases.  This partnership is forged in hopes that outcomes for patients, as well as individuals at increased risk for developing these diseases, will improve.

“Both of these institutions have conducted groundbreaking research in this area, and through this collaboration, they hope to develop ways to not only slow down the pace of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, but also enable early diagnosis,” Governor Walker said.  “Every 67 seconds someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s, and we must use every means possible to fight this disease that not only kills, but also drastically reduces one’s quality of life.”

This agreement calls for collaboration under specific areas, including: development of therapeutics designed to slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, identification of new approaches to improving the care of patients with Alzheimer’s or other neurodegenerative diseases, discovery of new drug targets for diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, dissemination and implementation of best practices for the diagnosis and care of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and discovery of new biomarkers or other approaches to early diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease and ongoing assessment of disease progression.

Governor Scott Walker attended the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by Dr. Richard Moss, Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies at the UW School of Medicine, and Dr. Pierluigi Nicotera, Scientific Director and Chairman of the Executive Board for DZNE, as a part of a week-long trade mission in Europe.  The current trade mission focuses on providing Wisconsin business leaders with the opportunity to meet one-on-one with executives in Germany, France, and Spain in order to develop new partnerships overseas, as well as meet with European companies to discuss establishing new or expanding current operations in Wisconsin.  Governor Walker is joined by a 22-member delegation comprised of leaders from WEDC, seven Wisconsin companies, The Water Council, and the Milwaukee 7 regional economic development organization.

To find out more about the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, click here.  For more information on the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, click here.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Governor Walker Speaks at Hannover Messe Trade Show

Governor emphasizes importance of free trade at world's largest industrial fair

Hannover, Germany – Governor Scott Walker today highlighted the opportunities presented by the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) free trade agreement during a speech at the Hannover Messe trade show, the world's largest industrial fair.

“Wisconsin has a wealth of assets for the business community,” Governor Walker said.  “We have a loyal, dedicated, and skilled workforce, a strong and diverse transportation network, and an aggressive commitment to growing our economy and creating jobs.  Any company looking to invest or expand should look to Wisconsin to grow your success.” 

TTIP is a free trade agreement currently being negotiated by the United States and European Union, which together account for one-third of global trade and nearly half the world’s economic output.  The agreement focuses on increasing trade and investment between the two regions.

The Governor noted that the TTIP has the potential to promote the international competitiveness of the U.S. and create jobs and economic growth through increased economic ties with our largest trade and investment partner.

After the speech, Governor Walker met with the Hannover Messe Board of Directors to further discuss why German companies should consider investing in Wisconsin and to discuss opportunities for Wisconsin to be more involved in next year’s global trade show. 

Governor Walker also met with Stephan Weil, the Prime Minister of the German state of Lower Saxony, to discuss opportunities for economic development collaboration between the two states.

Earlier in the day, Governor Walker and Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), met with Joachim Janssen, the CEO of the Viessmann Group, one of the world's leading manufacturers of heating, cooling and climate control technology. Viessman has operations in 11 countries, including the U.S.  One of its U.S. subsidiaries is BIOFerm Energy Systems in Madison provides anaerobic digestion technology for energy generation and waste management throughout North America.

Governor Walker and the Wisconsin delegation received an update on that operation and also made a case for Viessman to consider increasing its operations in Wisconsin in part because of the state’s strong energy, power and control sector.

Governor Walker is leading a 22-member delegation in a weeklong trade mission to Europe that includes visits to Germany, France and Spain. The delegation includes leadership and staff of WEDC, executives from seven Wisconsin companies and others. During the trade mission, the company executives are taking part in one-on-one meetings with potential business partners while Governor Walker and WEDC leaders will participate in meetings with European companies to discuss expansion or investment opportunities in Wisconsin.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Governor Walker Touts Wisconsin to Spanish Business Leaders

Governor hosts roundtable and one-on-one meetings during trip to Spain as part of European Trade Mission

Bilbao, Spain – Governor Scott Walker today met with more than 30 business executives in the Basque Country in northern Spain to encourage companies to consider investing in Wisconsin.

“When it comes to sector strength, there are many similarities between the Basque Country and Wisconsin as that region is home to companies in industries such as manufacturing, energy, and aeronautics,” Governor Walker said. “These meetings provided us with the opportunity to make a strong case for why companies in those sectors and others should consider expanding in Wisconsin or partnering with companies in our state.”

Governor Walker addressed business leaders at a “Doing Business in the U.S.” roundtable organized by the Basque Region Trade and Investment Agency. The session included executives, directors and managers of Basque Country companies already planning to expand their operations in the U.S. In speaking to those business leaders, the governor focused on Wisconsin’s manufacturing strengths, favorable business climate, commitment to workforce development and extensive research and development resources.

In addition, the Governor met with Basque Region Secretary of Economic Development and Competitiveness Arantza Tapia to discuss the parallels between Wisconsin and the Basque region’s industries, and to explore the opportunities to further economic development.

Governor Walker, Secretary Hall, and other WEDC staff members also attended a luncheon meeting with several of the major companies in the Basque Country to further promote Wisconsin as a destination for their operations.

The day wrapped up with Governor Walker and the delegation meeting with top executives at the global headquarters of Ingeteam, a global manufacturer of industrial equipment used primarily for the energy, marine, and rail markets.  Milwaukee is the base of Ingeteam’s North American operations and the company has more than 100 employees at its plant in the Menomonee Valley.

Governor Walker met with Javier Madariaga, president and founder of the company, Javier Ojeda, the company’s CEO and other top executives to acknowledge the investment Ingeteam has made in Wisconsin, tour the facilities and talk about Ingeteam’s future plans in the U.S.

The Milwaukee 7 regional economic development organization that serves southeastern Wisconsin has worked with several Basque Country companies and played a key role in this leg of the Governor’s trade mission to Spain.

“The Milwaukee 7 region has established strong ties to the Basque region of Spain,” said M-7 Vice President Jim Paetsch, who is part of the Wisconsin delegation. “Milwaukee has attracted significant investment from northern Spain, including Basque manufacturers Ingeteam and Inesa, as well as SIC Lazaro, which is headquartered in nearby Navarra.  We value on our relationships with these companies, the Basque government, and the Basque development agency.” 


ed. note: no releases from France

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Governor Scott Walker to Lead Western European Trade Mission in April

Wisconsin businesses invited to join Governor on trip to Germany, France and Spain

Madison –Wisconsin businesses interested in expanding their exporting efforts in Western Europe are invited to join Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) for a trade mission to Germany, France and Spain in April.

“This trade mission provides an outstanding opportunity for companies to conduct in-person business meetings with potential business partners and to develop key relationships that can lead to additional overseas sales,” Governor Walker said.  “Last year, Wisconsin companies exported a record number of products overseas as more businesses recognized the importance of being part of the global economy.  Trips such as this are one way that state businesses can build upon that success.”                                                                 

During the trade mission, which runs April 12-20, each participating company will have scheduled individualized meetings with companies whose needs or capabilities align with their company’s exporting objectives—whether the meetings be with end users, distributors or other market intermediaries.  In addition, Governor Walker will participate in events to promote Wisconsin business partnerships.

The Wisconsin delegation will travel to Hannover, Germany; Bilbao, Spain; and Montpellier, France—all cities whose surrounding regions are economic bright spots within Europe.

The trip will kick off with a visit to the Hannover Messe Trade Show, which focuses on industrial automation and machinery and draws companies from around the world.  After three days in Germany, the group will move on to Bilbao, Spain.  This area has the highest per-capita income of any Spanish region and has long been a center of manufacturing, and business and government leaders are eager for trade relationships with U.S. companies.

The final segment of the program takes place in Montpellier, France, a city in located in an area that has focused on building a critical mass of companies in the water and clean technology sectors.  This region is also highly active in the food and beverage and aerospace sectors.

All three countries have stable, highly developed economies with a high standard of living and the purchasing power that accompanies that.  Thus, these mature markets are ripe for the advanced technologies being developed in Wisconsin.  Companies need not have extensive prior experience with exporting to participate.

Governor Walker and the WEDC team will focus on attracting foreign direct investment while in Western Europe.  Separate from the program for Wisconsin companies, the governor and business attraction specialists will be meeting with European business executives about establishing new operations in Wisconsin and providing additional capital to existing businesses to expand their Wisconsin operations and create jobs.

“We began implementing a new foreign direct investment attraction strategy with our trip to London, and this trip to Europe continues that initiative, as well as maintains a focus on increasing exports in Wisconsin,” said Katy Sinnott, WEDC vice president of International Business Development.  “Robust exporting and attracting foreign investment are both essential parts of our strategy to more fully integrate Wisconsin into the global economy.”

Companies in the following sectors are especially encouraged to join Governor Walker on the Western Europe trade mission:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Industrial machinery and automation
  • Energy, power and control
  • Aviation and aerospace
  • Water technology
  • Clean technology
  • Renewable energy
  • Food production and processing

The registration deadline for the trip is Friday, March 13. To learn more or to register, please visit


Schedule from WEDC:

April 11: Depart U.S. for Hannover
April 12: Germany country briefing; Hannover Messe opening ceremony; group dinner
April 13: Hannover Messe Wisconsin reception
April 13-14: Individual business appointments in Hannover
April 15: Travel to Bilbao, Spain and country briefing
April 16-17: Individual business appointments in Bilbao
April 18: Individual appointments and cultural activity in Bilbao
April 19: Travel to Montpellier, France, country briefing and individual appointments
April 20: Individual business appointments in Montpellier; company site visit and reception
April 21: Depart Montpellier for U.S.

Following up on the announcement a group called the Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative posted this on Feb. 27, 2015.

HELP WANTED: European Partners to Monitor Scott Walker

WCMC is looking for European partners to monitor Scott Walker during his upcoming trip to Germany, Spain, and France. We want to know where he goes, who he sees, and what he does, especially outside of publicity events staged for the US press. We particularly want to know who is in his entourage, which we can learn from photographs of his group arriving and leaving at airports, hotels, dinners, etc.

Walker, the current governor of Wisconsin, will be traveling in Europe April 12-20, with visits scheduled in Hannover, Germany, Bilbao, Spain, and Montpellier, France.

Stay tuned. WCMC will post updates to his schedule as we learn of them.

We also would like to be able to spread the word about Walker to European audiences. Now that he is considered a serious contender for the US presidency, he is your problem too. He is perhaps the most dangerous politician to have emerged from the xenophobic and theocratic ultra-right wing faction in the US. Click here for a primer on his track record. His election to the presidency would be a global disaster.

Please contact the Wisconsin Citizens Media Coop at