International affairs

Meeting with the Deputy Mayor of Chicago Steven Koch Co-Working Space 1871 : Chicago’s Center for Technology and Entrepreneurship

Following the success of the roundtable, “Business Opportunities in Chicago, U.S.A” the Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg organized an economic mission to Chicago, in collaboration with World Business Chicago and supported by PwC’s Accelerator. The mission took place on May 21-24 2017.

The aim of this mission was to explore possible future economic cooperation and business opportunities in the field of research, development and innovation and in particular in the context of the digitalization of the manufacturing industry which bears huge potential for synergies, exchange of best practices and common business development. The Chicago mission granted a great opportunity for Luxembourg companies to establish new business links and get in touch with local key partners they can turn to in order to get assistance and advice regarding access to this region.

Chicago has one of the largest and most diversified economies in the USA and its innovation ecosystem expands with almost breathtaking speed. Evidence of this is given by several international comparative studies and surveys. Global investment manager Schroders ranks Chicago 10th worldwide in its “Global Cities Index”, considering the city as one of the fastest growing urban economies boasting one of the highest economic potentials in the world.   Another recent survey conducted by KPMG and implying more than 800 tech leaders places Chicago in the top 10 of tech innovation hubs worldwide.

Highly dynamic, knowledge-driven and progressive environments like Chicago are of prime interest to Luxembourg, especially since  many of the Grand Duchy’s top priority sectors benefitting from solid governmental support are also key industries in Chicago: logistics, the automotive industry, biohealth, ICT & fintech are just a few of the numerous examples linking common interest and offering potential for further cooperation.

A part of the Luxembourg delegation, was welcomed by the Deputy Mayor of Chicago, Mr. Steven Koch. This meeting offered an excellent platform to promote and strengthen the commercial and economic ties between the region of Chicago and the Grand Duchy. Deputy Mayor Steven Koch also expressed his full support to Luxembourg companies considering developing their business in Chicago.

This meeting was followed by the visits of Boeing and selected Co-Working spaces:

  • Boeing Chicago: Boeing is one of the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. The company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in 150 countries. Boeing products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training.
  • The Co-working space 1871, Chicago’s Center for Technology and entrepreneurship. 1871 is the home to more than 400 early-stage, high-growth digital startups. Since its foundation in 2012, 1871 has become the hub for the city’s thriving technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Matter-Chicago Healthcare Startup Incubator which is a nonprofit health care technology incubator, and home to more than 150 startup companies.
  • UI Labs Innovation Center and the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute which both intend to unite industry, academia, and government under one roof. The 64 000-square-foot lab features collaborative office space, visualization facilities, interactive teaching areas and a manufacturing floor for cutting-edge industrial research, with a special focus on digital innovations.

This first day ended with a networking dinner in presence of the Luxembourg for Tourism delegation, the Luxembourg Trade and Investment Officer, Ms. Jeanne Crauser, as well as representatives from World Business Chicago, AWEX Chicago and PwC’s Accelerator based in Chicago.

During a roundtable organized in the premises of Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce signed a Memorandum of Understanding setting a first foundation for business exchange and cooperation.

All along this three day mission, various visits and meetings with key local partners confirmed the great potential for exchange and common business development between companies from Luxembourg and Chicago. Owing to their common economic landscape, Luxembourg and Chicago seem to be natural partners. Hence, the basis for future collaboration has been established and will be pursued.