Dr. Marc Bovenschulte
Demography, Clusters and Foresight
All over the world, regions are facing similar challenges, regardless of whether they are urban or rural, or whether they are prospering, stagnating or shrinking. They all face the same substantial tasks that need to be solved in the future: the globalised flow of goods, money and information, climate change and the associated trend towards decarbonising industry, demographic change and digital transformation. These global trends result in constant change that affects competition, patterns of demand and the innovation and manufacturing processes. They are changing both global and regional value creation systems. Overcoming these challenges places a great deal of pressure on the transformation capability of every region in the world. Not even regions with strong economies are immune to extensive upheaval. They need to recognise the signs of the times and react accordingly. Only by doing so can they stay competitive and maintain employment and prosperity in the long term.
There is evidence that cluster initiatives and powerful cluster management organisations are effective tools for the (further) development of urban agglomerations. In the past, these cooperation networks consisting of members from the scientific and private sectors were major players in regional innovation activities. In particular, they helped small and medium-sized businesses to participate in innovation processes. Cluster initiatives will continue to be key drivers of innovation, for example in the health and recycling economies and in the transitioning energy and mobility sectors. They are an active instrument for regional development. New types of cooperation networks are also extremely important for regional development in economically underdeveloped areas.
For many years, we have been working on the various aspects of regional development, at both a national and international level. We take a holistic and sustainable approach to this work. Depending on the client’s requirements for advice and support, we develop thematically appropriate solutions and implement the relevant measures. As we do so, we focus on the question of how innovation can contribute to achieving the goals of homogenous public services, participation, autonomous living, employment security and added value. Other important topics here include digitalisation, Work 4.0, education, the involvement of civil society and new forms of participation.
We work closely with regional players, such as centres for regional and economic development, cluster management organisations and chambers of industry and commerce, as well as representatives from the scientific and private sectors, unions, other associations and civil society. We advise politicians and government representatives from municipalities and federal states as well as at a national and EU level. We work together to proactively shape processes of transformation and structural change.
Excerpt from our Portfolio