SAP Schools Angela Merkel on Innovation, Silicon Valley-Style

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel zu Besuch in Palo Alto.
Angela Merkel in Palo Alto.

On April 15, SAP hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Labs Palo Alto, where she joined Silicon Valley business leaders, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs in a panel discussion on managing the dynamics of innovation.

“Silicon Valley’s strength as a pioneer in innovation, where both risk and transparency is encouraged, was the perfect back-drop to the discussion, says Rami Branitzky, Managing Director of SAP Labs North America.

In her opening remarks, Chancellor Merkel outlined her goal of learning from Silicon Valley in helping grow the dynamics of innovation throughout Germany. She also emphasized her focus on encouraging a greater exchange of ideas among global thought-leaders. A lively and candid session followed, touching on the need for sustainability initiatives, trends across labor markets, and the importance of implementing legislative policies that foster growth.

The event illustrated the benefits of on-going collaboration between the public and private sectors to address critical issues and share best practices. “As an established global business leader, it’s essential that SAP continues to foster and engage in this kind of dialog – incorporating the strength of our ecosystem,” Rami says. “For SAP Labs Palo Alto, today’s meeting served as a unique opportunity to continue building a bridge between German leadership and our growing position of industry influence in the Valley.”

Chancellor Merkel has engaged with SAP on several occasions throughout her tenure, but this was her first visit to SAP in Palo Alto. “Adding to the distinction for us is that, behind the scenes, SAP was chosen over several top local companies and academic institutions, all of which were vying for the opportunity to host the Chancellor,” Rami says.

Chancellor Merkel traveled to Silicon Valley after attending the Global Summit on Nuclear Security in Washington D.C. While in California, she also met with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in Los Angeles and attended meetings at Stanford University, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, Bayer Healthcare plant, and the Volkswagen Automation Innovation Lab.