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Project title

Effects of Structural and Social Change on Municipalities in Germany and the Baltic States (CliMBinG) 

Time of implementation

01.03. - 30.11.2018 

Involved countries and institutions

1. Rezekne Academy of Technologies (Latvia)

2. Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania)

3. Tallinn University of Technologies (Estonia)

4. Harz University of Applied Sciences (Germany) 

Aim(s) of the project

The common goal of the project is to investigate the effects of social and structural change on municipalities in Germany and the Baltic States in a transfer-oriented and interdisciplinary way, to establish a transnational network of science and innovation in order to prepare proposals (an application strategy) in suitable EU research programmes solving urgent municipal challenges. The broader topic of the proposed project is intended to demonstrate its usefulness for education, business and administration. The title also points out that the great diversity and very different structures in these regions mean that there can be no uniform answer to the stated challenges. 

The proposed project is a combination of a research project and an event organisation.

1. Well-being and economic strength - these are the key words that summarise the importance municipalities/rural regions for our live. They are home, natural environment, place for recreation and retreat, important business locations for SMEs. According to Eurostat's definition, 90% of the surface area of the EU is rural or predominantly rural. Around half of the EU-population lives in areas covered by this definition. The major social/structural challenges of the EU such as climate-change, sustainability, declining birth-rates, migration (brain drain) and digitalisation are also changing social life and economy, especially in rural regions. A sustainable-regional development is therefore only possible if science, business, society, politics and administration work together and the stated highly-complex challenges are viewed from an interdisciplinary perspective which is also the CliMBinG project approach. Interdisciplinary and transnational approaches/instruments for coping with structural and social change in municipalities, especially in the Baltic States, are still not sufficiently available. The CliMBinG project closes this gap by bringing together experts from different disciplines of applied research with citizens, companies (especially SMEs) and public institutions. At the same time, the project should also lead to a stronger involvement of applied sciences in research and innovation in Europe (e.g. H2020).

2. Organisation of a kick-off-meeting (Harz UAS, Wernigerode) including an introduction to German language/culture, interdisciplinary research presentations, open-space /research-group-sessions. Organisation of a final seminar (RTA, Rezekne) that consists of public lectures/presentations delivered by scientists from Harz UAS, such as Prof. Heilmann or Pundt or Strack and an interactive evaluation of the projects to be developed (as “proposal clinic”).

These face-to-face meetings are desigend:

  • to identify and discuss best/good practice approaches / sustainable impulses for successful structural change
  • to provide an overview of possible EU research programmes within the topic
  • to strengthen the intercultural competences of the scientists / non-research staff involved
  • to evaluate / proof the project ideas
  • to ensure the direct involvement of municipal stakeholders in the project development – in particular municipal authorities and SMEs (IT, tourism, Environment sector) in order to reduce potential fears and prejudices and to demonstrate urgency and necessity of the CliMBinG topic (Benefit argumentation and conviction for a project participation)
  • to incorporate examples from current research into current study programme to give students and young scientists the possibility to develop own research ideas, show them possibilities for participating in the projects to be developed
  • to facilitate further cooperation and knowledge/technology transfer 

Target group

Direct: Project core team and support

  • researchers / non-research staff from Latvia (RTA), Lithuania (MRU), Estonia (TUT) and Germany (Harz UAS), who are directly involved in the CliMBinG project - approx. 20 

Indirect: Project stakeholders as e.g. potential participants in the planned meetings, discussions, partners in the EU project(s) to be planned (approx. 80)

  • Students from the participating scientific institutions as junior scientists and potential employees in the projects to be planned as well as beneficiaries of future joint study projects / programmes
  • Other universities / universities of Applied Sciences / scientific community / research institutes
  • Politicians / local governments
  • Municipalities - city councils, administrations, public utilities, Schools
  • Companies and their employees (especially SMEs – in the Tourism, ICT, Environment sector)
  • Associations, voluntary actors and citizens
  • Tourists
General Public (Other parts of the society in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Germany which are informed about (the results of) the planned events and EU projects to be planned through publications, university communication channels (research marketing activities) and media.  

Main activities of the project and venue(s) where the project activities will be carried out:

1. Organisation of a kick-off meeting (not less than a full day) “From local questions to a common EU project” including an introduction to German language and culture, interdisciplinary research presentations, open space / creativity and research group sessions (at Harz UAS in Wernigerode)

2. Development of research projects in the research groups via online meetings / conferences taking the needs of municipal stakeholders into account including partnering activities (regional / local site visits, online meetings)

3. Applications for research funding: seeking potential EU funding programmes for the research projects to be developed, if necessary adaptation to the funding programmes, submitting grant applications, developing of an application strategy

4. Organisation of a final seminar (not less than a full day) including guest lectures / hands-on presentations for students and municipal stakeholders as guest listeners to the CliMBinG topic as well as short project proposal presentations (pitching) and discussions (e.g. as proposal clinic), lessons learned with the core project team and relevant project stakeholders as future project partners (at RTA in Rezekne, Latvia) 

Public events in the frame of the project

1) Kick-Off meeting “From local questions to a common EU project” at Harz UAS, in Wernigerode (Germany), 26th -27th of April 2018.

2) September 11, 9:00 - 12:00

Rēzekne Academy of Technologies, Atbrīvošanas aleja 115, Rēzekne, Latvia

Seminar and discussions in the frame of the project