The Elbe Valley "Region as Campus

District Administrator Dagmar Schulz together with professors at the end of the first day of the event at Werkhof Kukate

The Grüne Werkstatt Wendland and the IZT - Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment invited professors to a conference at Werkhof Kukate on 16 and 17 May 2023. The occasion was the "Region as Campus" project, in which a network of regional actors from the Elbe Valley and supra-regional colleges and universities for cooperation and knowledge transfer is to be further developed and consolidated.

Already in the past, the Green Workshop Wendland and university professors successfully addressed issues of regional business partners as well as specific challenges of the Wendland region in a wide variety of formats with content from the teaching and research of professors and students from all over Germany. Topics such as the conversion of an industrial wasteland or a former farmstead as well as innovative and sustainable product ideas and concepts for energy-saving construction and production processes were creatively addressed in design camps, semester projects, excursions and student theses. The focus of last week's event was therefore on the question of how these long-standing cooperations can be consolidated and transferred to other regions.

This is where the project "Region as Campus | University Network for Practice-Oriented Research, Teaching, Knowledge & Experience Transfer in the Elbe Valley". an. It is led by the IZT - Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment from Berlin and is carried out within the framework of the programme "WIR! - change through innovation in the region". of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research funded over three years.

The project aims to create and consolidate a lively university network for practice-oriented research, teaching and knowledge and experience transfer in the four-state region of Mecklenburg, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Lower Saxony. The interdisciplinary network is to shape the region into a knowledge campus and initiate long-term cooperation between regional actors such as companies, business development agencies and civil society, as well as universities and research institutions located outside the region. On the one hand, it is investigated how these cooperations can achieve long-term effects on the innovation processes and the self-organised transformation of the region. At the same time, participatory research needs and innovation potentials will be identified in order to develop practice-oriented and public welfare-oriented innovations for a sustainable future. Elbe Valley and implement them. In this context, the focus is on the future of work, mobility and forms of living in accordance with the thematic fields of "New Work", "New Paths" and "New Living".

The first step of the conference was to share perspectives and exchange experiences, challenges and ideas. One of the core questions was how the research interests of the professors, study contents and research needs as well as practice partners in the region can be combined in interesting tasks.

In addition to District Administrator Dagmar Schulz of the Lüchow-Dannenberg district and local stakeholders, seven professors who teach at HAWK Hildesheim, Hannover University of Applied Sciences, Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences in Wolfsburg, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences and the TU Clausthal took part. The IZT - Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment and the Grüne Werkstatt Wendland are convinced that the project can be a way to attract young people's interest in this rural region, because "the country needs young people".

More information on the project:



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