Governor Pühringer Visits New York City

Governor of Upper Austria Josef Pühringer. Photo: Facebook/ Josef Pühringer

The Governor of the State of Upper Austria Josef Pühringer accompanied by State Minister for Social Affairs Birgit Gerstorfer and State Minister for Economic Affairs Michael Strugl undertook an official visit to New York City from January 29 to February 3, 2017.

They were joined by Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner and Consul General Georg Heindl for a series of meetings and site visits focusing on the medical technology industry, which included the IBM Watson Customer Experience Center, the Columbia University Medical Center (meeting the Austrian-American neuropsychiatrist and Nobel Laureate Prof. Eric Kandel), the Mount Sinai Hospital (to catch up with the Linz-born virologist MD Peter Palese), as well as concluding a letter of intent for cooperation with the NY MedTech Cluster. They also visited the start-up WeWork to compare notes on start-ups and co-working initiatives.

The cultural highlight of the visit was the concert of the Bruckner Orchestra at the Carnegie Hall. The ensemble from Upper Austria’s capital Linz performed Philip Glass’ “Days and Nights in Rocinha” along with the world premiere of his “Symphony No. 11”, presented on the occasion of the 80th birthday of the maestro. On the sidelines, the Governor took the chance for a chat with actress Meryl Streep.

The evening before, the Austrian Cultural Forum under the Motto “Culture as a Gateway” organized a round table on creative industries in and around NYC which seamlessly flowed into a private reception, during which Governor Pühringer presented the “Decoration of Honor in Gold of the Federal State of Upper Austria” to Philip Glass, who has made Linz his second home. The evening was perfected by a musical performance by members of the Bruckner Orchestra.

The delegation also enjoyed the delicious cuisine of Upper Austrian chef Marcus Glocker at his Manhattan Restaurant Bâtard.

After State Minister Strugl’s departure to Montreal, the remaining delegation paid a visit to the World Trade Center’s Observatory, the 9/11 Memorial and its museum.

The last day of the visit was dedicated to the United Nations for an official talk with Thomas Gass, the Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs, and a tour of the UN main building as well as a press conference.

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