The Institute of Economic and Cultural Geography bundles economic, cultural and social geographic research and teaching. The world is more interconnected than ever before. Changes in one region of the world therefore have substantial and often immediate effects on others. We study how regional economic systems, cities, regions and people act and react in the context of these rapid changes. We also focus on social, cultural and political aspects of the development of spaces and the spatiality of human action. These fundamental questions motivate both research and teaching at our institute.

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New research project in economic geography: DUI.REG - Measuring the Doing-Using-Interacting mode of SMEs in structurally weak regions

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As innovations are one of the driving forces of economic growth, they are of central economic and political importance. The recording of the learning processes, which underlie all innovations, has been a long and urgent but major challenge in innovation research, since learning can take place in a variety of contexts. Especially in structurally weak peripheral regions, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) produce innovations through more informal forms of learning. These are characterized by the so-called Doing-Using-Interacting innovation mode. In current innovation research, however, the established measurement models usually only record activities in relation to the formal Science Technology Innovation (STI) mode. The primary German research and innovation policy also aims at strengthening the STI mode in the economy.

The aim of the research project DUI.REG is to apply the new indicators for measuring informal innovative strength in 12 regions, which were established in the previous project InDUI. It should, thus, be possible to systematically record the informal DUI innovation mode in order to gain a broader empirical basis for innovation policy decision-makers. The research project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for the years 2022 to 2025. Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Sternberg, Anne-Sophie Kagel (M.A.) and Christoph Friedrich (M.A.) form the project team for the Department of Economic Geography at the Leibniz Universität Hannover. Partners in the joint project are the Chair of Microeconomics at the University of Jena under the direction of Prof. Dr. Uwe Cantner, the professorship for economic policy and SME research at the University of Göttingen under the direction of Prof. Dr. Kilian Bizer and the Institute for Small Business Economics at the University of Göttingen (ifh Göttingen) under the direction of Dr. Jörg Thomä.

The project team from the University of Hanover will qualitatively contextualize the survey results in order to examine the influence of regional learning processes, conditions and development paths. The aim of this sub-project is to highlight how the SMEs in the study regions perceive their respective environment with regard to the innovation conditions.

Published by C. Friedrich und A.-S. Kagel

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