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German expo puts international spotlight on Virginia Tech

February 26, 2016

Large trade fair in Germany
The Hannover Messe trade fair attracts about 6,500 exhibitors and 200,000 visitors from around the world.

Virginia Tech will be among the exhibitors President Barack Obama sees when he travels to Germany in late April to participate in Hannover Messe – the world’s largest trade show for industrial technology.

Obama’s participation in the show – a first for a sitting president – presents a unique opportunity to showcase American innovation and ingenuity and to highlight the United States as a prime investment destination, according to the White House.

Hannover Messe attracts more than 200,000 attendees from over 70 countries. This year’s U.S. delegation will be the largest ever, including more than 210 companies, research institutions, and regional economic development organizations. This will be Virginia Tech’s first time as part of that delegation.

“Virginia Tech’s faculty, research, and educational programs are regularly ranked among the best in the world," said Guru Ghosh, vice president for Outreach and International Affairs. "A global stage such as Hannover Messe allows the world to see that we truly are a top-100 global research institution."

Research and development expenditures at Virginia Tech have grown annually for more than 15 years, climbing to $513.1 million in fiscal year 2014. The university is the top academic research center in Virginia in National Science Foundation-reported research expenditures.

Ranked No. 39 by the NSF in fiscal year 2014, Virginia Tech is the only university in the commonwealth among the national top 50 research schools.

Organized by the Language and Culture Institute and Continuing and Professional Education – both part of Outreach and International Affairs – in conjunction with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, the Virginia Tech exhibit at Hannover Messe will showcase the university’s talent, research, and partnerships with business and industry.

“This is about creating relationships that might benefit Virginia Tech and the commonwealth of Virginia,” said Don Back, director of the Language and Culture Institute. “As part of the American Research pavilion, we will be able to show off the university’s commitment to impactful scholarship and our ability to collaborate across disciplines. We are also hoping to use this opportunity to forge partnerships with global businesses and organizations.”

This year’s show runs from April 25-29. Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to speak at the opening of the show and then tour the exhibits the following day.

University researchers and organizations that want to take part in the show or have their projects featured in it can email Back or call 540-231-6963.

Written by Rich Mathieson

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