Innovative Regional Growth Cores – The programme

The “Innovative Regional Growth Cores" (German: Innovative regionale Wachstumkerne) support programme is aimed at achieving regional cooperation programmes, which have a platform technology – or the potential for it – and boast significant unique selling points in their area of competence.

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The “Innovative regionale Wachstumkerne” funding programme is aimed at achieving regional cooperation programmes, which have a platform technology – or the potential for it – and boast significant unique selling points in their area of competence.

The funding programme is aimed at regional alliances from companies, universities and research institutes that already have a joint technology platform in their region and boast unique selling points in their area of competence. “Innovative regionale Wachstumskerne” aims to effectively use and systematically further develop the competences and potential available in East Germany.

The unique competence of a region can include mastering certain technologies and procedures, or processing materials in a particular way. These unique selling points are often based on a long, regional tradition and are rooted in businesses and research institutes, in part also protected by patents. Ideas and activities of the regional innovation alliances should be oriented towards economic implementation right from the start. The BMBF therefore requires the alliances to have a well-founded, market-oriented strategy. Over the long-term, the Growth Cores should develop innovative, successful products in the market and increase regional added value. At best, this can be the start of a cluster process.

Since the start of the programme in 2001, they have supported 51 initiatives; so far the funding amount for the initiatives selected amounts to EUR 350.6 million up until 2018. The funding programme added on the “WK Potenzial” programme in 2007. Its requirements particularly with regards to the technology platform come under the “Wachstumskerne” (Growth Cores) programme.

Significant success

An external evaluation published in 2016 demonstrates clearly measurable and significant successes to the “Wachstumskerne” (Growth Cores) programme. Almost 80 percent of the growth core partners questioned see a good to very good attainment level for their growth core target. Already, around half of those questioned have products on the market that are based on the growth core, or the products are in the process of being launched onto the market. 77 percent of those questioned believe that the growth core has positively influenced the economic development of the location region. Overall, the evaluation assessed the “Innovative regionale Wachstumskerne” (Innovative Regional Growth Cores) support initiative in terms of target attainment, effectiveness and context integration as very successful and are in favour of continuation and, where appropriate, expansion to other weaker regions.

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