Saxony's Minister of State for Regional Development, Thomas Schmidt, welcomes the project and emphasizes: "The challenges posed to the regions by the phase-out of lignite mining and power generation are complex. The federal government is providing substantial funding to mitigate the consequences and develop regions capable of meeting the challenges of the future. The two Saxon coalfields are in different positions in this respect. Development needs are also manifested differently within the coalfields. There is no blueprint for the structural development process. The effects of the measures taken are also very delayed. There are many options and measures that can be used to create new employment, added value and quality of life in Saxony's lignite mining regions. But it is not always clear which paths are most promising for socioeconomic development in the coalfields. It is particularly important for the success of structural change that prospects are created for the local population and economy in the regions directly affected. The GENESIS research project will provide the Saxon State Ministry for Regional Development in particular with a tool for evaluating the effectiveness of measures on a more sound basis and thus for steeringthe direction of future measures."
Project manager Dr. Friedrich Dornbusch, head of division Regional Development and Innovation Policy at Fraunhofer IMW explains the research project "GENESIS": "Our scientists at Fraunhofer IMW in Leipzig are researching how structural change can best succeed and are developing a data-based twin of the coalfields for this purpose. On the one hand, the Saxon State Ministry for Regional Development will use this to gain an overview and options for action in shaping structural change, and on the other hand, it will be used to support projects and initiatives in networking along new development paths."
New data for new development paths in the precincts
With the innovative approach of the data-based twin, the latest findings in economic geography and AI-based methods of Data Science are brought into practical application for policy advice. The aim is to improve the data situation related to the regions and to raise its quality to a new level. The statistical data on the regions will be collected together with data on economic, innovative and social activities in the regions from various, partly unstructured, data sources, linked by artificial intelligence and made accessible to decision-makers via an online platform. With the help of analysis modules, new development paths are to be identified, cooperation partners are to be connected, and the effects of Saxony's support for structural change are to be made measurable. In addition, the researchers of Fraunhofer IMW will enter into exchange with central actors of structural development, jointly develop questions and scientifically support the transformation process. This will provide the Saxon State Ministry for Regional Development with tools to evaluate and review the effectiveness of measures and strategic approaches for structural change in a more substantiated manner. Thus, the transformation process can be controlled in a more targeted manner and contributes significantly to the improvement of the efficiency of support programs and opportunities related to structural change.
Overview and transparency for structural development
The project is also intended to give the population of Saxony a better overview of socioeconomic developments in the coalfields. A regularly updated platform will be made available online to interested citizens, offering transparency on funded projects, perspectives of the coalfields with regard to future issues and their economic development. This will highlight both the challenges and the successes of regional development and offer starting points for participation in structural development.
Funded by the federal program "STARK"
The project "Designing new development paths in structural change in Saxony (GENESIS): A new instrument to support technology-oriented transformation in the Lusatian and Central German coalfields" is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action as part of the STARK funding program for strengthening transformation dynamics and Awakening in the coalfields and coal power plant sites on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag. The Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW will receive funding totaling 3.7 million euros for the period 2023 to 2027. The project is led by Dr. Friedrich Dornbusch, Head of division "Regional Development and Innovation Policy" at Fraunhofer IMW.
Your contact persons:
Fraunhofer IMW, Neumarkt 9-19, 04109 Leipzig
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Head of division Regional Development and Innovation Policy:
Dr. Friedrich Dornbusch
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