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Business network nectanet: First French company accepted

Business network nectanet: First French company accepted

Second floor, right: The first French company of the Ortenau business network Nectanet has been located in a commercial building right next to Offenburg railroad station since the end of last year. With a few simple offices, a colorful seating area and a large coffee machine, the twelfth location of Ingérop Germany, a group of companies headquartered in Munich, still exudes start-up charm. “We have positioned ourselves perfectly here,” says site manager David Zillhardt. There are still a few technical problems, for example when the French hardware simply won’t work with the German interfaces. But the proximity to the highway and the train station is ideal for customers and employees. The best schnitzel in town has also been found right on the doorstep.

“A kind of link”

But there is much more to Offenburg than good transport connections and the down-to-earth gastronomy. “Offenburg is a kind of link between France and our other German locations,” says Zillhardt. His team consists of six employees, five from Alsace and one from Offenburg. But because the engineering office is set to grow, more engineers, architects and project planners are needed. Ingérop’s core business is construction projects of all kinds. “We work for and with construction companies,” says Zillhardt. “In all sectors of the construction industry.” The engineering office plans construction projects, advises or prepares expert opinions and feasibility studies, and undertakes project management and construction supervision. These include large building construction projects such as office buildings, trade fairs or hospitals, hydraulic structures such as canals, port areas or dams, but also urban development projects, the (expansion) construction of railroad lines or highway sections.

District heating power plant planned

Ingérop is also planning in the energy sector. The Strasbourg branch of Ingérop France, for example, has planned a district heating network power plant that uses the surplus heat from a paper mill to heat around 10,000 homes in Strasbourg. Ingérop Germany is currently working on the 36 million euro renovation of a secondary school in Bühl, but the new branch in Offenburg does not yet have any specific projects on its doorstep in Ortenau.

Vibrant region

The company, which works nationally and internationally for private and public clients as an independent engineering company, has nevertheless deliberately chosen Ortenau for its new location. “The region is lively, you can really feel that things are happening here,” says Zillhardt. The company benefits both from Baden’s bustle and the conscientiousness with which business is conducted here. “We want to land new projects in the region, but we’re not like the Gauls who just come and take over,” he says. Instead, they want to learn more and are “really keen” to work with their German colleagues. However, Zillhardt has already noticed the first differences in mentality. German colleagues and business partners usually provide much more precise information and explanations, they often work in a more targeted manner, with higher expectations and usually with better pay. Most ideas about the German working world – for example the cliché of perfectionism – have now been confirmed. However, it is sometimes all the more surprising when something goes wrong contrary to expectations: Zillhardt had to have the fiber optic cable in the new office laid himself after moving in, and not even the appropriate equipment was originally thought of when the office building was constructed.

Symbolic bridge

As a new member, Ingérop was received very openly by Nectanet. “The Franco-German friendship is really lived here, the Rhine doesn’t seem to be a border at all,” says Zillhardt. The Gambsheim cycle and pedestrian bridge, also an Ingérop project, could also be seen as a symbol of this. The bridge is not only a connection across the Rhine, but also breaks the world record as the “longest aluminum pedestrian bridge without support for the public”.

An article by the Mittelbadische Presse / Victoria Hof.