Japanese-German online conference on regional economic development
How can regional economies be fostered, what challenges are accompanied by that and how can one overcome those challenges?
The project team of DIGIMARI organized an online conference on this question on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 together with scientists from the Ritsumeikan University and the University of Hyogo from Japan. Regional manager of the Regional Management of Central Hesse, Mr. Christian Piterek, gave an very informative lecture about the current economic promotion in Central Hesse, Germany. Central Hesse is a rather rural region in the middle of Germany in which no city has more than 100,000 inhabitants. Nevertheless, this region is particularly characterized by its industry performance and by its university education. The three strongest industries in Central Hesse are electrical and metal industries, healthcare and pharmaceuticals industries, as well as optics and photonics industries. In addition, the region is very competitive in an European comparison and particularly stands out in the areas of macroeconomic stability and technological readiness. In order to further advance Central Hesse from an economic point of view, it is the aim of the Regional Management to further expand the strengths of the region, to communicate these clearly and to build networks between companies, universities and other parties. Connecting established companies with start-ups is particularly important. However, there are still very few sustainable contacts between companies and start-ups. Therefore, special efforts are being made to promote the network expansion in order to activate the start-up potential and promote innovations.
Mr. Piterek also stated that many companies have recognized the necessity and advantages of digitization and have formulated suitable strategies for implementation. However, high costs, the lack of networking and restrictive personnel capacities occasionally still pose major problems when it comes to the implementation of those strategies. In order to overcome these challenges and strengthen the region’s competitiveness, the Regional Management Central Hesse also hosts regular events, such as the “Start-Up Weekend Central Hesse”, „Innovationsforum Mittelhessen“ and „Mittelhessen Digital”. Since marketing also plays an important role, an online platform for communicating the project and the region itself is set to be published within the next few months.
This exciting lecture was followed by an active exchange between the participants. It was an informative event for researchers from Japan and Germany to learn about the Central Hesse region and current issues in the area of regional economic development and to exchange ideas about developments in Germany and Japan in this regard. We look forward to the next symposium.