Innovative Regions

The Innovative Regions Unit supports decision-makers from businesses, politics and research in strategically accessing knowledge within innovation ecosystems. The experts in the research unit analyze emerging technologies or transforming industries and regions and apply this expertise to create an overview in an increasingly complex knowledge economy. The network- and knowledge-based understanding of innovation ecosystems embedded there, which is operationalized in the so-called AIR model (considering actors, interactions and framework conditions), serves to identify and analyse development paths, knowledge bases, diversification potentials and cooperations. In this way we support the transformation paths of regions, businesses and research institutions.

We explore what constitutes innovative regions and how our clients can shape them sustainably or benefit from them. Through ecosystem analyses, analyses of regional knowledge bases, market analyses and technology environment analyses, we provide a clear picture of the constitution of regional and sectoral innovation ecosystems and the basis for their evaluation and design. We support our clients' design and analysis processes by developing indicator systems, municipal and regional strategies as well as web-based analysis tools. We accompany and evaluate economic, regional and innovation policy promotion measures. Furthermore, we facilitate access to innovation ecosystems for companies and research institutions by identifying cooperation opportunities or cooperation partners, location analyses and location strategies.

With a wide variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, the researchers in the Innovative Regions Unit create structure in the mass of data. We specialize in the analysis of innovation indicators using bibliometric, technological, socio-economic and digital social data. We combine this with our expertise in regional development, innovation and economic policy and technology genesis to develop meaningful indicators for analyzing knowledge bases and ecosystems that are tailored to our clients' needs. Using methods of econometrics, statistics and network analysis, we visualize, evaluate and interpret complex relationships. We approach unstructured text data by means of semantic analysis (sentiment analysis, resonance indicators). Local knowledge from stakeholders is integrated into our analyses through interviews, workshops, systematic qualitative analyses (qualitative comparative analysis) or participatory methods (e.g., Bayesian networks).

In current projects, the Innovative Regions Unit is supporting the shaping of structural change in Saxony's lignite mining regions ("GENESIS – Creating new development paths in structural change in Saxony"), analyzing and accompanying the emergence of a German quantum computing ecosystem ("Quantum Ecosystem Deutschland (Q.E.D. )"), developing instruments for the data-based identification and evaluation of markets for non-university research institutions ("Markets for International Technology Transfer - MarketsFITT"), developing an economic strategy for the city of Zeitz and identifying potential cooperation partners in the European innovation ecosystem for a Japanese chemical company.

In the Innovative Regions Unit, an interdisciplinary team of geographers, regional researchers and economists is conducting research into questions of applied regional development. This is guided by an evolutionary understanding of the economy, in which regional and sectoral innovation ecosystems play a key role in the emergence of innovations. We understand these innovation ecosystems as networks of technologies and actors. In recent years, technological, social and ecological change has increasingly led to regional and sectoral transformations. At the interface between business, science and society, we investigate technologies with an impact on people and the environment and how the associated transformations can be managed and made sustainable.

Dr. Juliane Groth, Dr. Benjamin Klement, Manuel Molina Vogelsang, Dr. Max Mittenzwei and Lukas Willing are researching in the Innovative Regions Unit.




GENESIS kick-off event: Joining forces for a sustainable future in Saxony

The GENESIS research project kicked off on May 8, 2024 at the Kunstkraftwerk Leipzig with the motto "Working together to make an impact: shaping new development paths in Saxony's mining districts". Distinguished guests from politics, business and research discussed the challenges of structural change in Saxony at the event.


Graphic Recording of the kick-off event


Hannover Messe | Presentation at Tech Transfer Conference Stage / 23.4.2024

Quantumcomputing Ecosystem Deutschland: An emerging innovation ecosystem?

 Manuel Molina Vogelsang presents "Quantumcomputing Ecosystem Deutschland: An emerging innovation ecosystem?" Tuesday, April 23, 2024, from 3:45-3:55 p. m. at Tech Transfer Conference Stage in Hall 2, Booth B02

7th Geography of Innovation Conference, The University of Manchester, 10th – 12th January 2024.


The Geography of Innovation Conference provides a forum for discussion to scholars interested in scientific, policy and strategic issues concerning the spatial dimension of innovation activities.

Regional Transfer Development and Innovation Policy Division
Dr. Friedrich Dornbusch

Innovative Regions Unit:
Manuel Molina Vogelsang
Dr. Max Mittenzwei

August 2023

Launch of Fraunhofer activity map: quantum computing funding landscape

The Fraunhofer activity map of the German quantum computing funding landscape, which was developed in the research project Quantum Ecosystem Deutschland Q.E.D. at Fraunhofer IMW, is now available online for all interested:

The interactive map illustrates which organizations in Germany are publicly funded in the field of quantum computing. By clicking on an organization, a comprehensive insight into the projects worked on, the total amount of funding received and the cooperative relationships established is provided.

The online database has been visually enhanced. The funded projects, their objectives and the associated partner network can be accessed quickly and easily. In addition, the network ties created by the funded measures are displayed. This makes an essential part of the quantum computing ecosystem visible, tangible and comprehensible point by point.


The data on which the activity map is based comes on the one hand from the comprehensive project funding data of the federal government's funding catalog, and on the other hand from supplies from the individual federal states. Furthermore, projects funded by Horizon Europe are mapped. The European funding landscape is thus presented in an integrated manner.



Leipzig Fraunhofer researchers support regional development in Saxony's lignite mining regions

Researchers at Fraunhofer IMW in Leipzig are helping to shape structural change in Saxony's lignite mining regions in Lusatia and Central Germany. In the research project GENESIS, funded by the German government, a data-based twin of the coalfields is being created in close cooperation with the Saxon State Ministry for Regional Development.

August 2023

Launch of the Fraunhofer Activity Map: Quantum Computing Funding Landscape

The Fraunhofer Activity Map of the German quantum computing funding landscape, developed as part of the Quantum Ecosystem Deutschland (Q.E.D.) research project at Fraunhofer IMW, is now available online to all interested parties. The interactive map illustrates which organizations in Germany receive public funding in the field of quantum computing. Clicking on an organization provides a comprehensive view of the projects they are working on, the total amount of funding received, and the collaborative relationships established.

More events and news

The news articles are arranged according to their topicality. The filter allows you to narrow down the time period. To read current news of this unit, you can additionally search for it using the term “Innovation Policy and Transfer Design“.

Industry and Research Projects


GENESIS (Creating new development paths in structural change in Saxony)


Quantum Ecosystem Germany (Q.E.D.)


Markets for International Technology Transfer - MarketsFITT

All Current Projects

Completed Projects


See all industry and research projects of the unit

Scientific Library on Regional Development

In this scientific infothek, you will find bundled information on how research contributes to successful structural change. We report on scientific models, instruments and procedures for regional development and transformation processes and the resulting policy advice. This page is updated regularly. If you have any comments, please feel free to contact the editors.


Scientific Library on Regional Development

Regional Development and Innovation Policy Division

This research unit belongs to the scientific portfolio of the Regional Development and Innovation Policy Division.


Staff of the Unit

Research assistants:

  • Alina Brumm
  • Eva Stanetzek
  • Ina Steffen


Publication Type
2024 Enhancing international collaboration in science, technology, and innovation to achieve sustainable development goals
Dominguez Lacasa, Iciar; Molina Vogelsang, Manuel
Journal Article
2023 Die These: Plattformen (zer)stören die lokale Musikindustrie und machen es Künstler*innen unmöglich, von ihrer Musik zu leben
Braunschweig, Björn; Klement, Benjamin
Journal Article
2023 A future agenda for research on climate change and human mobility
Oakes, Robert; Geest, Kees Van der; Schraven, Benjamin; Adaawen, Stephen; Ayeb-Karlsson, Sonja; Sherbinin, Alex De; Etzold, Benjamin; Groth, Juliane; Hermanns, Kathleen; Lakeman, Silvana; Nawrotzki, Raphael; Rademacher-Schulz, Christina; Romankiewic, Clemens; Serraglio, Diogo; Sterly, Harald; Thalheimer, Lisa; Wiederkehr, Charlotte; Williams, David
Journal Article
2023 What we know and do not know about reciprocal pathways of environmental change and migration: lessons from Ethiopia
Hermans, Kathleen; Wiederkehr, Charlotte; Groth, Juliane; Sakdapolrak, Patrick
Journal Article
2023 Musik ist überall, aber wo ist sie wirklich?
Braunschweig, Björn; Klement, Benjamin
2023 Europe's Digital Sovereignty: An International Political Economy Conceptual Approach
Kreutzer, Stephan; Molina Vogelsang, Manuel
Conference Paper
2022 Erfassung der Hürden und Perspektiven für eine effektivere Förderung kommunaler Entwicklungszusammenarbeit
Molina Vogelsang, Manuel; Winter, Jana; Sondermann, Rosa
2022 Wie Europa seine digitale Souveränität wiederherstellen kann
Kreutzer, Stephan; Molina Vogelsang, Manuel
2022 Schlüsseltechnologien und technologische Zukunftsfelder in Ostdeutschland. Endbericht
Stehnken, Thomas; Aminova, Elena; Klement, Benjamin; Dornbusch, Friedrich; Mittenzwei, Max
2022 Characteristics of Innovation in Bioeconomy
Mittenzwei, Max
Aufsatz in Buch
Book Article
2022 Potenzialstudie Grüne Gase. Analyse und Bewertung der Potenziale Grüner Gase in der Innovationsregion Mitteldeutschland
Kutz, Christopher; Bünger, Ulrich; Weindorf, Werner; Reichelt, Lutz; Moll, Johannes; Schultz, Reinhard; Schultz, David; Kirchner, Ron; Dinse, Caroline; Klingl, Stephan; Pothen, Frank; Borovskikh, Pavel; Ventz, Hannah; Samartzidis, Lasare; Klement, Benjamin; Schubert, Lisa; Klöppelt, Christian; Bergander, Stefan; Renno, Juliane
2021 Kompetenz- und Innovationsanalyse der Region Düsseldorf - Kreis Mettmann zum Strukturwandel im Rheinischen Revier
Kahl, Julian; Klement, Benjamin; Dornbusch, Friedrich
2021 Düsseldorf - Kreis Mettmann. Kompetenz- und Innovationsanalyse zum Strukturwandel im Rheinischen Revier. Kurzfassung
Kahl, Julian; Klement, Benjamin; Dornbusch, Friedrich
2021 POTENTIALANALYSE - DIANA. Point-of-Care-Diagnostik macht Therapien effektiv: Technologische Innovationen auf Basis neuer Materialien und mikrostrukturierender Herstellungsverfahren
Pohle, Anna; Molina Vogelsang, Manuel; Stach, Tim
2021 Innovationsstudie 2021. Leuchttürme im Rheinischen Revier
Dornbusch, Friedrich; Klement, Benjamin; Kahl, Julian; Molina Vogelsang, Manuel; Köller, Christoph; Görgen, Walter; Nahl, Bettina van; Pinter, Joseph
2021 Transfer Concepts for Applied Research Projects. Market Discovery
Kahl, Julian; Weiße, Marlen; Molina Vogelsang, Manuel
2020 Begleitende Evaluation des Modellvorhabens "ZIM-Kooperationsnetzwerke International" sowie Untersuchung der Förderung von internationaler Zusammenarbeit bei Forschung und Entwicklung (FuE) im Zentralen Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand (ZIM). Abschlussbericht (Kurzfassung)
Berger, Florian; Biela, Jan; Merkl, Fiona; Kahl, Julian; Klement, Benjamin; Dornbusch, Friedrich
Diese Liste ist ein Auszug aus der Publikationsplattform Fraunhofer-Publica

This list has been generated from the publication platform Fraunhofer-Publica