About us


Where can I find partners for my research project? How can I finance it? How can I make contact at all with international business partners? And what chances do my products have, for example in the eastern European marketplace?

Typical questions submitted on daily basis to ZENIT GmbH in Mülheim an der Ruhr and which are answered by about 45 experts. ZENIT's experience in this field dates back to 1987. On behalf of the European Commission, ZENIT advised its clients on all EU-related issues as Euro Info Centre. Some 3.000 enterprises used its broad range of services each year. As an Innovation Relay Centre of the European Commission, the largest technology transfer network in the world, ZENIT made an active contribution from 1995 onwards to transnational technology transfer. The core objective: to bring together knowledge, technology and people. From NRW to 32 target countries and vice versa.

Since the start of NRW.Europa at the beginning of 2008, ZENIT is fulfilling this task for the whole of North Rhine-Westphalia in co-operation with the NRW.BANK and NRW.International.

Shareholders of ZENIT GmbH, which was founded in 1984, are an interest grouping comprising some 200 enterprises, the Netzwerk ZENIT e.V., the State of North Rhine-Westphalia as well as a consortium of banks composed of NRW.BANK, the Private Bankenvereinigung NRW and the WGZ-Bank AG Westdeutsche Genossenschafts-Zentralbank (WGZ BANK). Most employees have many years professional business experience and either an engineering or business administration qualification.


NRW.BANK is the state owned development bank of North Rhine-Westphalia. We support our owner, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, with regard to important structural tasks. We operate in a strictly neutral manner as a partner of banks and savings banks. NRW.BANK offers the full range of financial development products in its core business segments.

As partner of NRW.Europa our team "EU Funding / Foreign Trade and Investment Promotion" (NRW.BANK EU- und Außenwirtschaftsförderung) offers an individual inquiry service for companies, institutions and municipalitities in North Rhine-Westphalia with focus on

  • EU programmes in Germany and target countries,
  • national and regional funding and financing facilities in target countries,
  • foreign trade and
  • investment activities abroad.

As partner of NRW.Europa we maintain EEN network contacts more than 60 countries. Over and above that we can draw from the network of funding institutions and banks in Europe. For concrete projects, we can provide for direct local contacts in order to facilitate immediate access to national finance and funding resources for small and medium-sized enterprises.

NRW.International GmbH

More and more frequently, interesting sales markets beyond the national borders present themselves to small and medium-sized enterprises. Whether in Asia or South America, the Middle East or just around the corner in the border regions – goods and services "made in Germany" are in demand. It is important to exploit the existing potential at an early stage. 

  • Trade fair and delegation scouting –
    As part of NRW.Europa, NRW.International supports North Rhine-Westphalian companies looking for partners at an international level. The organization supervises foreign business delegations that come to North Rhine-Westphalia, for example during a trade fair or to initiate business contacts. NRW.International brings the foreign firms together with North Rhine-Westphalian companies by organizing company visits or talks on cooperation projects. 
  • Participation in trade fairs abroad – 
    As part of NRW's foreign trade promotion, companies have the opportunity to exhibit at joint booths. This can take place at an official NRW joint pavilion for companies or also as part of NRW's participation within a national booth. In addition, NRW.International coordinates a special small group support program for companies with fewer than 250 employees – at all those trade fairs where neither the federal state of NRW nor Germany as a whole are represented.
  • Delegation trips, trade missions and SME exchanges –
    Together with its partners, NRW.International organizes and coordinates delegation trips and trade missions, in each case enriched by an extensive specialized program tailored to the participating companies, featuring brokerage events and symposia, for example. In accordance with the development and growth potential in the target markets concerned, these activities are flanked politically by the state government.

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NRW.Europa - Your network for innovation and new markets

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