Approaches to Shaping Structural Change towards a Sustainable Industrial Society


The resource-intensive industries in Germany, like the regions they serve, face enormous pressure to adapt. Only with innovative products, processes and business models can they maintain their position in international competition and at the same time achieve increasingly ambitious climate targets. The phase-out of coal-based electricity is intensifying the pressure for transformation, especially for the chemical industry in Central Germany.

Project description:

By linking socio-economic and techno-economic expertise at Fraunhofer IMW, this project develops instruments for the design of structural change processes for regional actors from politics and industry. For this purpose, scientific findings on regional path development and sustainability transitions on the one hand and quantitative competences in the modelling of coupled energy and material networks on the other hand are transferred into implementation-oriented research.

In this way, this project will develop, among other things, a monitoring system for structural change, a techno-economic model for the coupled optimization of energy and material flows and instruments for the transformation of innovation ecosystems. The chemical industry in Central Germany will be the first application case.

Project tasks:

The main result of the project will be a "Strategy Box on Structural Change". It represents a bundle of services that includes instruments for advising politicians and companies, intermediaries and clusters on how to shape structural change. This strategy box will be used in the following fields of action in a demand-oriented way:

  • Identification of potential for diversification into new technologies, markets or sectors
  • Evaluation of potential diversification paths
  • Analysis and design of regional value chains
  • Creation of efficient and cost-saving energy and material flows
  • Development of sustainable innovation and business model potential



Project duration:

January 2020 to December 2021

Project Sheet

Approaches to Shaping Structural Change towards a Sustainable Industrial Society

Unit, Innovation Policy and Transfer Design

Center for Economics and Management of Technologies CEM