Content in plain language

Fin.Connect.NRW –
explained in simple terms


On this page, you will find out:

What is Fin.Connect.NRW?
What is Fin.Connect.NRW for?


Fin.Connect.NRW is a network in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany.

Companies, the financial industry and scientists work together in this network.

The financial industry includes: banks, insurance companies and investors.

For example, an investor is someone who lends money to a new company.

Scientists include, for example, universities and professors.


The network helps with the economic transformation.

Economic transformation means that companies change greatly.

Today, economic transformation means:


sustainable transformation.

More than anything else, companies have to be environmentally friendly.

They must protect our climate now and in the future.

For example, by not printing lots of paper.

But companies should also be socially responsible.

This means, for example, treating all employees the same.

Companies should also be ethically responsible.

For example, by not allowing fraud.


Digital transformation

The internet has changed many things.

People can now use the internet to do things that they used to do in person.

For example ordering things.

Companies need to keep up with this digitalisation


The economic transformation costs a lot of money.

The financial industry can give the companies the money.

The economic transformation also needs innovations.

Innovations are new ideas.

Scientists can give companies new ideas.


Because of this, the financial industry, companies and scientists should work together or ‘network’.


The economic transformation can happen through:

  • Financing
  • Innovation
  • Working together

The Fin.Connect.NRW network wants to help with this.


Do you want to know more about this transformation?

If so, then read on.



Financing the transformation


Experts think that the transformation will cost around 70 billion euros in North Rhine-Westphalia every year.

So a lot of money will be needed.

Another way of saying this is:

A lot of money must be invested.

But the companies need to invest and change.
They need to invest and transform (change) or they won’t be around in the future.

And if they do, for example, the people who work at these companies will still have their jobs.


The money for this change is available.

Either private people give money to the companies.

In other words, investors give money to ‘capital seekers’ (companies who need money).

Or the banks loan the companies money.

This is called a bank loan. Companies can use these bank loans to finance investments.


Investments always involve risks.

Insurance companies can insure investments against these risks.

This means that insurance companies are also very important for the economic transformation.

They insure the risks involved in the economic transformation.



North Rhine-Westphalia


North Rhine-Westphalia is one of Germany’s federal states (a region with its own government).

It is a very good location for the economic transformation.

North Rhine-Westphalia is in the centre of Europe.

Lots of people live in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Lots of companies are based in North Rhine-Westphalia.

For example large, well-known companies.

Or small, new companies.

For example, German companies.

Or companies from outside Germany.

North Rhine-Westphalia is important for the financial industry.

Düsseldorf is a centre for banks in Germany.

Cologne is a centre for insurance companies in Germany.

There are also important banks and insurance companies in other cities in North Rhine-Westphalia.

North Rhine-Westphalia is also important for science.

For example, there are 68 universities there.

North Rhine-Westphalia is very ‘diverse’.

This means that there are lots of different types of people and companies there.

This is one of North Rhine-Westphalia’s strengths.

This strength will help the economic transformation.



Innovations for the transformation


The economic transformation needs new ideas and new technologies.

Companies must use the new knowledge so they will have the chance to make money in the future as well.


Where do these innovations come from?


The innovations come from science and research.

But not just from universities.

For example from economics professors.

But also from research centres.

For example the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in North Rhine-Westphalia.


North Rhine-Westphalia also has more students than any other federal state in Germany.

Companies are interested in getting these young, talented people to work for them.

This is why they network with them.


Knowledge learnt at school is also important for later innovations.

For example, North Rhine-Westphalia encourages schools to teach children about business and finance.

This subject – economics – is being taught to all children between the ages of around 11 and 17.



Fintechs and insurtechs:

What are fintechs and insurtechs?


Some companies in North Rhine-Westphalia make the digital and sustainable transformation faster.

In many cases they are newly formed companies.

These companies and their employees have very special ideas.

Fintechs and insurtechs are examples of these companies.


Fintech means financial technology.

Fintechs offer financial services with digital technology.

For example, a bank account that you can use with your smartphone.

This is why fintechs are important partners for banks.

Their ideas help banks with their transformation.


Insurtech means insurance technology.

Insurtechs offer insurance services with digital technology.

For example taking out insurance online.

This is why insurtechs are important partners for insurance companies.

Their ideas help insurance companies with their transformation.


For example, the companies use internet platforms to discuss ideas with banks and insurance