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Accepted Paper:

Mobilizing, instrumentalizing, and governing regions for innovation: a comparative analysis of regional transformation  
Cindy Rentrop (Technical University of Munich) Stefan John (Human Technology Center, RWTH Aachen University)

Long abstract:

In this presentation, we compare two German regions that face a transformation of their socioeconomic fabric, fueled by several self-diagnosed deficits. In order to obtain and maintain future-proof characteristics in the global economic competition, technology-driven governance approaches become more popular for the scholarship of urban development and policymaking. Our first case describes how the end of coal mining and its energetic use pressures the Rheinish lignite region into reinventing itself. Next to less complex technologies, hydrogen plays a central role in the transformation, which is perceived as the solution to stay competitive and maintain wealth. The second case describes how the understanding of incremental innovation by the German Mittelstand no longer fulfills the requirements of the global imperatives of innovation. Therefore, a key region of the Mittelstand, namely Heilbronn-Franconia, drives its own transformation towards Artificial Intelligence, considering it as the premise to remain competitive and maintain its wealth. Even though both regions vary in their initial economic structure and their social, cultural, and historical dynamics, face unique structural challenges, and imagine different solutions to their problem, we want to compare their approach to the technology-driven governance of regions. We are interested in how both regions are mobilized, instrumentalized, and governed through technologies and which impact this technology-driven governance has on the respective region. We, therefore, deconstruct the mechanisms behind both cases in order to outline which dimensions of technology-driven governance lead and guide regional transformations and what is imagined and considered to be a successful transformation.

Traditional Open Panel P103
Mobilizing regions for innovation
  Session 1 Tuesday 16 July, 2024, -