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Roman Noetzel und Dr. Simone Weske als Redner bei einer Veranstaltung in Brüssel

Premiere in Brussels – DLR Projektträger presents "Foresight Navigator”

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DLR Projektträger has presented the new "Foresight Navigator" to the European Committee of the Regions. With this, it was once again able to demonstrate its expertise in methods for what is known as the smart specialisation of regions in combination with strategic foresight processes.

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27th June 2022 — On the 21st June 2022, the SEDEC (Commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture) of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) – the assembly of regional and local representatives of the EU – met in Brussels. DLR Projektträger was invited to present itself at this meeting. The focus was on DLR-PT 's current consulting projects on local and regional innovation strategies. In addition, a premiere aroused particular interest: For the first time, the new "Foresight Navigator" for regions was presented to the public. This tool supports political actors in regions and municipalities in shaping a sustainable future in their economic, social and innovative context. DLR Projektträger developed the Foresight Navigator together with European partners.

Presenting DLR Projektträger in Brussels

Roman Noetzel, head of DLR Projektträger's European and International Cooperation department, and Tanja Woronowicz, head of the IQIB (Institute for Qualifying Innovation Research and Consultancy), presented the joint competencies in the fields of funding policy and research and innovation management. The focus was on DLR Projektträger's expertise at regional and municipal level. The current assignments in this thematic field are diverse – they range from analysis and strategic consulting in the area of Smart City to the use of synergies between the European Regional Development Fund and Horizon Europe to support in the development and implementation of regional strategies for Strategic Foresight processes and smart specialisation, which is about identifying the unique selling points of a country or region, highlighting the competitive advantages of each region and mobilising regional actors and resources for a specifically targeted vision for the future.

In the discussion following the presentation by Noetzel and Woronowicz, Committee Chair Anne Karajalainen emphasised that she was impressed by the "highly interesting presentation" and DLR Projektträger's broad expertise for regions and municipalities. Former CoR President Markku Markkula also showed great interest in DLR Projektträger's cross-cutting cooperation with the Federal, state and regional governments in the framework of the Synergy Dialogue ("multi-level governance").

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Using strategic foresight methods is crucial for the sustainable development of regions in Europe.

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Roman Noetzel
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Head of Department Policy Issues in the European and International Cooperation Division
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Porträt Roman Noetzel
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Premiere for the Foresight Navigator

Strategic foresight methods have proven to be a necessary component of strategic planning, management and monitoring in smart specialisation. This was also clearly emphasised by Roman Noetzel. "Strategic foresight using foresight methods is crucial for the sustainable development of regions in Europe,” he said. “Regions not only face the challenges of the so-called twin transition in the two areas of sustainability and digitalisation, but also have to position themselves in the geopolitical context." Smart specialisation strategies must therefore be complemented by geopolitical aspects in order to strengthen the resilience and competitiveness of regions, Noetzel continues.

Those responsible for developing smart specialisation have a wide range of instruments and methods at their disposal. But in the flood of frameworks, good practices and tools for developing regional innovation strategies, it is not easy to focus on the essentials. This is where the Foresight Navigator comes in. With the new governance tool, those responsible for smart specialisation no longer need to concern themselves with method selection. Instead, they can focus more on the substantive challenges that are important for shaping a sustainable future in their regional economic, social and innovative context.

The Foresight Navigator was developed under the technical responsibility of the IQIB together with DLR Projektträger and European scientists from the Czech Republic and Romania, who can draw on experience in developing smart specialisation strategies with strategic foresight methods. In-house expertise also helped with the development. DLR Projektträger’s new International Strategies and Instruments Department provided technical support for the process. Its head, Dr Simone Weske, had already presented the DLR Projektträger’s expertise in strategic foresight at a high-profile event of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) at the beginning of the year.

Strategic foresight at the DLR Projektträger Brussels location

Strategic foresight is also a focus of the DLR Projektträger Brussels office. At the "European Week of Regions", the largest annual event in Brussels on the topic of cohesion policy, DLR Projektträger organised and led a workshop last year that looked at Strategic Foresight from the perspective of smart specialisation. Valuable contributions from this discussion were able to flow into the development of the Foresight Navigator.

Main and Other Contacts

Contact at DLR Projektträger

Dr Simone Weske

Dr Simone Weske

Head of Department
International Strategies and Instruments
European and International Cooperation
+49 228 3821 1822