Study Tours on Climate Change Innovations in Germany

Germany is a laboratory and playing-field for climate change projects in different spheres like technology development, renewable sectors, resource and material efficiency, rural and urban Climate Communes etc. Mesopartner organises expert excursions on climate change innovations and economic development for practitioners in the EU and in developing countries. These study tours are organised partly on a sector, cluster or value chain basis, or on a territorial basis. The excursions entail different focus areas, topical programs and didactical formats. Despite the different topic areas, the study tours have one thing in common: They are all geared towards opportunity identification. This means that they do not aim to show good (as well as bad) practices that can never be used as blue-prints. Instead, our objective is to create a learning atmosphere in which we can reflect with the participating experts about learning and action opportunities within their own working reality and in their different local and national environment. This is why the study tours also always include workshop formats that encourage these reflection processes.

In the following you will find some topics covered by study tour programs we are offering.

Climate change innovations within rural, urban and metropolitan areas: Different settings require different approaches

The excursion provides an insight into the different institutional and driver-settings that have contributed to new change initiatives with local and regional businesses and local governments including the local creative class. There are significant differences as well as similarities between rural and urban territories in this respect. Through visits to sites, projects and meetings with certain local and regional change agents, the excursion provides an insight into the systemic elements that can lead to competitive (dis)advantages in the promotion of climate change innovations within different territorial realities.

Promotion of local and regional "green” innovation systems: Discovering opportunities and challenges

The promotion of climate change or “green” innovations also requires a knowledge-intensive environment and strong network relations between R&D institutions, technology institutes and innovative businesses. Climate change innovations do not only occur in regard to renewable energy sectors. It is also a cross-cutting theme in low- and high-tech sectors to reduce the use of resources and in the development of more resource-efficient materials. The study tour focuses on the identification of technological and knowledge-intensive institutions and innovation networks active in the promotion of clean technologies.

Value chain linkages and systemic competitiveness in renewable sectors: Identification of regional promotion activities at the local and regional level

Renewable sectors have only one thing in common. They are all oriented towards introducing new energy-production formats. This includes the strategic promotion of biomass, solar, wind, water and ocean power strategies. Nonetheless, when looking into their value chains, they differ totally in their supplier-buyer constellations and in their institutional and innovation network settings. Several world-leading clusters and value chain relations have emerged around different renewable sectors in Germany. Some of these networks will be visited according to the interests of the client. The study tour integrates visits to respective businesses in the chain and technology institutions active in the different fields. Integrated reflection formats with the participants will demonstrate the policy as well as institutional requirements that are relevant for the promotion of such sectors. An opportunity-driven approach is used to identify entrance points for the promotion of such sectors in transformation countries and OECD countries.

Integrating life cycle approaches in regular value chains and clusters: Opportunities for concrete actions and innovation orientation

The promotion of value chains and clusters has become one of the dominant economic development approaches worldwide. Although a number of global businesses are active in reducing their ecological footprint, for instance their products’ carbon, material and water footprints along their supply chain, in general the life cycle approach has not been integrated into many value chain and cluster approaches at the local and regional level. However, in the future it will become a cross-cutting theme for value chain and cluster promotion activities. The excursion focuses on the identification of concrete promotion activities related to life cycle assessments in different economic sectors, clusters and value chains. It will include small reflection workshops with practitioners on how to implement life cycle assessments in traditional and innovative production networks.

Other study tours on economic development and local innovation promotion

During the last 10 years Mesopartner has organised several German study tours on economic development promotion (with and without a special focus on “green economic development”). We are connected to a large German network of economic development representatives and practitioners and well informed about the economic development strategies in the EU. The latter approaches contain many learning experiences, positive as well as negative ones. To enable clients to get to know this laboratory we have organised a wide range of study and excursion tours like the following:

  • Local and regional economic development: How to promote regions within a structural change process
  • Local innovation systems in Germany: Application-oriented knowledge development geared towards businesses
  • Local and regional economic development: Institutional and policy requirements
  • Cluster promotion in Germany: Experiences for transformation countries and development practitioners
  • Regional development with an economic lens: Top-down and bottom-up approaches to promote regional competitive advantages