What potentials does Green Growth have for the future regional development in Lüneburg and how could the region foster green innovations? To discuss this question and to learn about the topic forty stakeholders met in Lüneburg on 2nd November 2017. The meeting took place within the framework of the Regional Economic Development Forum, a biannual event within which business developers from the region’s counties and other key stakeholders such as the Chambers of Industry and Commerce and the NBank meet to discuss questions tackling their work and the general economic situation of Lüneburg Region. This year’s event was combined with the second local stakeholder group meeting of the project RUMORE. The large number of participants showed that it was the right approach to upgrade both meetings and thus create synergies.

The concept of Green Growth fosters the transformation towards low-carbon, eco-friendly and resource-efficient production methods and aims at creating growth potentials while protecting natural resources. For cities and rural areas this concept offers chances to jointly develop and apply innovations and to promote sustainable development. Although several projects about sustainability, renewable resources, e-mobility and connected topics already exist in the Lüneburg Region, it was the first time business developers and representatives from all counties in the region, from universities, chambers of commerce, agriculture and handicraft met to discuss about green innovation and the potentials for Green Growth in Lüneburg. During the meeting, the participants learned about different local and regional green economy projects and discussed on the added value of green innovations for the economic development of the region.

After a welcome by Jutta Schiecke, Commissioner for Regional Development in Lüneburg, Prof. Jörg Knieling introduced the concepts of Green Growth and Postgrowth, and outlined development potentials for Lüneburg Region. Afterwards, Dr. Marie-Luise Rottmann-Meyer, head of Competence Centre 3N, explained from a more practical perspective the potentials of bio-economy and renewable resources, and presented selected projects running in different parts of the region. This was followed by project presentations of Ursula Weber from Leuphana University and Dominic Meinardi from Ostfalia University of Applied Science. All speakers highlighted the potentials of green innovations for growth and economic development and emphasized the necessity to take sustainability issues stronger into consideration. The discussion with all participants proved that Green Growth is a promising approach for the future development of Lüneburg Region.

The afternoon session continued with presentations and discussions about the project RUMORE. The local stakeholders were introduced to selected Good Practices shown during the interregional learning event in Twente. Subsequently, they learnt about the current status of implementation of the Lower Saxon Multifunds Operational Program in Lüneburg Region and the working progress in RUMORE. From the second semester onwards the project work in Lüneburg has been carried out in smaller working groups. In each of the three working groups “EU funding and subsidies”, “Transfer of knowledge and innovation” and “Creative economy and start-ups”, the stakeholders discuss specific questions and try to develop new ideas for concrete projects and actions for the region. The approach of working in smaller groups and some first results from their work were presented and discussed during the stakeholder group meeting on 2nd November.