Gearing Up for InnoTrans

July 18, 2012

InnoTrans International Trade Fair for Transport Technology is only two months away and we had a chance to catch up with Kerstin Schulz, InnoTrans at Messe Berlin project manager .

Innotrans is the world’s largest trade fair and marketing platform for rail transport technology, railway infrastructure and now also for public transport. Schulz says about 2,300 companies from around the world will be there. “There is hardly a single vehicle manufacturer or supplier operating at a national level who will not be attending InnoTrans.”
There will be 180,000 square meters of exhibit space and more than 100,000 trade visitors from more than 100 countries. A unique selling point is 3,500 meters of track for display of around 100 exhibits, from road-rail vehicles to high-speed trains.
Schulz says the trade fair has developed into a platform for transport companies. “The representations of rail operators such as Deutsche Bahn, SNCF, Russian Railways, the East Japan Railway Company as well as China’s Ministry of Railways, to name only a few, are equally important as those of the manufacturing industry.”
Over the years InnoTrans as a trade fair, convention and outdoor track display has proved a success and she says, they have been consistently refining it. “This year we will add four more halls and in that context will develop a focus on certain themes in those halls.”
“The Public Transport und Interiors sections will feature a new hall forum with their own Speakers‘ Corner for exhibitors there, a Design Forum, and in particular a brand new format dealing with buying. Together with Deutsche Bahn, Europe’s largest transport company, we are starting up a suppliers’ forum this year.”
As for U.S. participation, “there are around 40 companies taking part, including GE Transportation, Wabtec, Herzog Railroad Serivces, Milwaukee Composittes, Schneller, Penn Machine, Loram Maintenance, as well as many more.”
This is the first time there will be a combined U.S. display at the fair, which is being organized by the Railway Engineering-Maintenacne Suppliers Association (REMSA).
A definite highlight this year will be the high-profile opening event with Federal Minister of Transport Dr. Peter Ramsauer. “We are also pleased to welcome Dr. Rüdiger Grube, chairman of the board of Deutsche Bahn, and Siim Kallas, vice-president of the European Commission. In addition to political figures, representing the international industry, the presidents and CEOs of Siemens, Alstom and Bombardier will also be on the podium.”
Another major highlight is certain to be the Rail Leaders‘ Summit at the convention, where transport ministers and the CEOs of international transport companies will meet. This event is a platform addressing people and topics from around the world.
The InnoTrans Convention is an important part of InnoTrans, Schulz explains. “Experts at high-level discussion rounds will debate the latest industry topics. The convention’s main event is the Dialogue Forum, which is organised by the following leading associations: VDV (Association of German Transport Companies), Deutsches Verkehrsforum, UNIFE (Association of the European Rail Industry) and VDB (German Railway Industry Association).
Schulz acknowledges many companies have been affected by the European debt crisis, particularly suppliers in Southern Europe, nevertheless, there is consistent high-level international interest. “One the whole one can say that especially in difficult times, companies regard InnoTrans as a marketing platform that offers opportunities and prospects.”