December 3, 2013
Veteran Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) specialist, Rainer W. Heumann, has joined the NETVRIDA team as European Union Representative. Heumann has a strong track record representing Tennessee clients in Europe via lengthy service heading the EU office for the State of Tennessee and for the Memphis Chamber of Commerce. Previous tenures with the European Union, British Chamber of Commerce in Germany, and the U.S. Department of Commerce highlight Rainer Heumann’s Foreign Service career.
“I am excited about the opportunity to represent the Northeast Tennessee Valley region in Europe,” said Heumann. “The area has a strong manufacturing culture similar to mountainous areas of Germany, Austria, and Japan. Advanced and precision manufacturing ventures are very successful here.” Major EU companies such as Siemens Energy and Automation, Mahle, Huf North America and many more have significant investments in the region.
Establishing Heumann’s new EU office is one of a series of proactive steps the Northeast Tennessee Valley has taken to assist European companies wishing to enter the U.S. The Innovation Lab (I-Lab) on the campus of East Tennessee State University (ETSU) is a key element in the regional recruitment strategy. The I-Lab partnership includes ETSU, Germany’s Hochschule Bremen University for Applied Sciences, and local companies to provide services to EU firms as well as providing opportunities for educational exchanges between the universities.
The I-Lab program targets small and medium-sized companies with niche markets that have proven highly successful in Europe. ETSU's MBA program has a 20-year relationship with Hochschule Bremen in which students can earn dual degrees from both universities. The German MBA students assist NETVRIDA staff with translation services and hosting company visits, and gain valuable work experience assisting companies to enter the North American market. The ETSU Innovation Lab functions as an international business incubator and provides affordable space with a rental subsidy enabling companies to have a "Soft Landing" and reduced startup costs.
"The Soft Landing program is vitally needed as many companies want to move slowly while entering a foreign market and the program provides an organized path with incentives and resources that ease the fear and risk of a new international business venture. The Northeast Tennessee region is also an easy sell due to many similarities with Germany. Europeans love the Blue Ridge/Appalachian Mountains which offer tremendous outdoor recreational opportunities similar to those throughout Europe," said Heumann.
“We have benefitted significantly from Rainer Heumann’s expertise over the years and we are thrilled to officially add him to our recruitment team,” said NETVRIDA Executive Director, Alan Bridwell. “Our region is preparing for the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, (an expanded free-trade agreement between the United States and the EU) and Rainer Heumann is our mentor, coach and quarterback for new FDI ventures.”
Heumann’s recruitment wins for eastern Tennessee include the Volkswagen U.S. headquarters and assembly plant in Chattanooga and Wacker-Chemie’s huge investment in Cleveland, Tennessee among many others. "Our staff and the region’s economic developers are learning much from Rainer and the rapport and trust he has with his EU contacts and network is a great asset to our region," continued Bridwell.
Heumann’s primary office is in Neuss/Düsseldorf, Germany with an affiliate office in Berlin. For more information, please contact Rainer Heumann or Alan Bridwell at the web link here: http://netvaly.org/index.php?page=contact.