My first visit to the Hannover Messe industrial fair

Source: M. (Maroš) Sefčovič i, published on Monday, April 13 2015.

What I saw reassured me of what I knew before; Europe has everything it takes to become a global leader in renewable energies!

This week was my first visit to Hannover and definitely a memorable one! I went there in order to visit the Hannover Messe -- the largest industrial fair in the world, which this year attracted over 200,000 visitors from Europe and around the globe. Brilliant inventors from across industrial sectors were there to present, exchange, and learn from each other's experience. Inventions came in all forms; from artificial ants to personalised perfume, and automated production. Of course my main interest was in the field of energy, which was one of this year's core themes, besides industry 4.0. And given the immense size of the fair, I had no choice but to be strategic about what I had time to see…

Hannover Messe: Betting on The India Story

Video of Hannover Messe: Betting on The India Story

I was not alone. I joined Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel for the opening ceremony. Together with my colleague Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska and many other decision-makers from politics and business, I participated in Chancellor Merkel's and Prime Minister Modi's opening tour of the fair.

The atmosphere was ecstatic and the innovations were amazing. One of them was the production of a personalised perfume bottle within an automatized mass production which was tailored especially to Chancellor Merkel's taste during our presentation. When she had to pick the name of her newly-composed perfume bottle, the chancellor did not hesitate; it was "Angela's Dream". It seems like in the field of innovation, dreams come true quite fast…


With Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Modi.

Given our very different backgrounds, it was fascinating to exchange our impressions from what we had seen. Elzbieta for example, in her capacity as Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, was telling me about the latest innovations she'd seen in the field of Industry 4.0.

But what had touched me the most in this exchange was hearing how attractive Europe looks through the eyes of the outside world. The Indian delegation was very large! They came because they were highly interested in European technologies including smart grids, virtual power plants or renewable energies and in connecting the remaining fourth of their population to electricity.

Such cooperation has therefore a tremendous potential for both sides! We could help India bring electricity to over 300 million people and help them in modernising their country. Exporting European sustainable technologies at such scale would also boost the EU economy, and make a huge contribution to reducing global CO2 emissions!


With Chancellor Merkel and Commissioner Bienkowska

All in all, what I saw reassured me of what I knew before; Europe has everything it takes to remain a global industrial leader and be No. 1 in renewable energies! We have the minds, the know-how, and the experience. In fact, there were so many inspiring experiences presented at the fair, that we almost missed our train to our next destination…

A big thank you to all those involved in this very successful event!


Hearing about innovation from manufacturers in the renewables sector


Hearing about innovation from manufacturers in the renewables sector


Addressing the German Renewable Energy Federation (Bundesverband Erneuerbare Energien)