The BMBF Innovation Initiative "Entrepreneurial Regions" (German: Unternehmen Region) stands for innovation-oriented regional alliances which develop the region’s identified core competences to clusters on a high level and with strict market orientation.
With this aim in mind, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has systematically developed a series of programmes for the New German Länder since 1999. The programme lines
improve the conditions for innovations and set the course for the long-term success of regions ("clusters") in the New German Länder.
All programmes represent the basic principles of the BMBF innovation support policy and thus of “Entrepreneurial Regions”: lateral thinking, cooperation, strategic planning and entrepreneurial action.
The programmes’ aspirations are based on the fact that the most innovative products and applications are almost exclusively the result of highly specialised and integrative knowledge from many sources, minds and organisations of widely varying origins and orientation. In "Entrepreneurial Regions", this philosophy is closely tied to an entrepreneurial approach.
The entire philosophy of "Entrepreneurial Regions" and the corresponding programme policy is based on four guidelines:
1. Only the best from the region - innovation based on regional strengths
Innovation is the key to successful economic development. "Entrepreneurial Regions" promotes outstanding innovation potentials ("strengths") in the region.
2. Innovations: taking action together in a creative and strategic manner
Innovation potentials are set free in regional alliances made up of members from the industrial, scientific, academic and administrative community. "Entrepreneurial Regions" demands a binding, consistent strategy with a symbiosis of flexibility and creativity from the initiatives.
3. Innovations with market orientation
"Entrepreneurial Regions" initiatives must be based on strategically designed concepts and a long-term marketing strategy. This also holds true of R & D projects. The background: entrepreneurial thinking, planning and action are pivotal to the success of regions.
4. The BMBF’s aim: regions with clear profiles based on outstanding technological platforms
The aim of "Entrepreneurial Regions" is to develop regional alliances into regions with a clear profile - regional clusters. This can only be achieved when emphasis is placed on top quality from the start of development support onward. The BMBF manifests this claim to excellence of the supported initiatives through the high standards of the funding guidelines and the accompanying evaluation.