UAH, Madison County partner to retain international business expert

christian bertacchini

Christian Bertacchini at the entrance to the European Parliament, located in close proximity to his office.

Christophe De Perlinghi

Doors are opening for Madison County in international trade, says international business development expert Christian Bertacchini, who is the county's representative in the European, Middle Eastern and African (EMEA) region.

"Madison County offers an amazing ecosystem of innovation, research and world-class companies in many different fields," says Bertacchini. "Of course, defense and aerospace dominate the landscape, but there is an increasing diversification into other fields as well, such as energy, cybersecurity and so on. Madison County also offers great infrastructure, with an important cargo airport and a multimodal node.

"UAH, of course, is a highly rated research university offering very specific capabilities in fields such as space and other advanced related technologies," he says. "It can be very appealing for companies to have such an institution in the community, and also for students to come and study."

The Madison County Commission and UAH partnered to retain Bertacchini and send him to open an office in Brussels, Belgium, to represent the area's economic interests.

"This is an international partnership between UAH and Madison County to facilitate international companies doing business in the Huntsville area, or companies located in our area doing business in Europe," says Ray Vaughn, UAH vice president for research and economic development.

County Commission Chairman Dale Strong concurs.

"International trade, innovation and entrepreneurship are pillars of sustainable economic development," Strong says. "The Madison County Commission and UAH recognize the importance of these pillars and have established a presence in Brussels for the purpose of developing research and business collaborations with potential partners in Europe to strengthen our local economy, here in Madison County."

From his European base, Bertacchini finds new markets, supports company initiatives in the EMEA region and looks for partners or licensees in his quest for international business development initiatives to benefit Madison County-based companies. He is also involved with matters pertaining to Latin America and Asia.

"Another aspect of my work,' he says, "is to identify European companies that are contemplating a move to the United States and to promote Madison County as a destination."

Bertacchini also works to foster international collaborative research and innovation between UAH and European research centers. "I will also be looking for opportunities for student exchanges and teacher exchanges," he says, "or simply to promote UAH as a great place for EMEA students to come and study."

High-level meetings have been held with representatives of several regions of Europe in advance of the signing of cooperative agreements.

"This opens the doors for getting local business development entities to assist our companies in finding markets here, or to promote Madison County as a destination," Bertacchini says. "We also have the ear of a number of research centers in Belgium, France, Switzerland, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom. They have already expressed an interest in seeking ways to collaborate. We are already working on commercial missions both ways."

 

Contact

Dr. Ray Vaughn
 256.824.6101
ray.vaughn@uah.edu

Jim Steele
256.824.2772
jim.steele@uah.edu

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