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Southern Upper Rhine future strategy

Client

Southern Upper Rhine Chamber of Industry and Commerce

Year

2020


Prognos took a closer look at the region on behalf of the Southern Upper Rhine’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce: How is the region perceived from the outside? What are the peculiarities that distinguish it from other regions? And the most important question: What will the region have to do to maintain its current positive status? From an intensive dialogue and participation process a future strategy was derived.

The region’s strengths and weaknesses

“The Southern Upper Rhine is a tourism region, an economic region, and also a scientific region,” specified study author Tobias Koch. This combination is both a challenge and a hurdle, because having a clear, specific profile for the region is an important factor for how external experts and political decision-makers perceive it. The region is also characterised by a broad and diversified sector structure and by significant development differences between the Upper Rhine Valley, which is, according to regional analysis overheating in many areas, and the valleys and high altitudes in the Black Forest. In addition, there is a broad and strong scientific landscape. Already today, the biggest problems are the skilled-worker shortage and infrastructure bottlenecks (e.g., transport, fibre optic/mobile communications, residential and commercial areas).

The strategy

“Clear action is required to maintain the prosperity of the region,” stresses Tobias Koch. Strategic guidelines and objectives are being developed for the region. The Southern Upper Rhine requires a clear, recognisable, and distinctive profile. The topic of “sustainability” could be a common and evolving bracket or area of competence for the region. The extension of the broadband and mobile communications coverage as well as the implementation of priority transport projects as quickly as possible, such as the Rhine Valley Railway or the extension of the A5 motorway, and the improvement of public transport links to industrial areas, are also of the utmost importance.

The approach

In cooperation with the client, Prognos brought leading decision-makers from industry, science, politics, and administration into the “Southern Upper Rhine Strategy for the Future” process, over the course of one and a half years. The process involved the preparation of many key figures, and conducting, in part, very personal interviews as well as thematic workshops and strategic discussions. In total, there were 70 people implicated on a working and decision-making level. In addition, around 650 responses in the form of feedback from a Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) company survey, were also fed into the study, as well as the regular feedback received from the committees of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Southern Upper Rhine.

The report (PDF, in German)

Project team: Tobias Koch, Melanie Reisch

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Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

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