Strategy design

Strategy design

The first step along the path of further improving Thuringia’s position among the group of innovation leaders by 2020 was to define the region’s five most promising fields of activity. These now serve as focal points for the Free State’s Innovation Strategy. 

Four fields of specialization serve as the main pillars of RIS3 Thuringia:

  1. Industrial production and Systems
  2. Sustainable and smart mobility & logistics
  3. Healthy living and the healthcare sector
  4. Sustainable energy supply and resource Management

The cross-sectoral field defined for the Innovation Strategy is “Information & communication technology, innovative and production-related services” since these technologies and services generate significant growth stimuli for all four fields of specialization.

In order to develop the fields of specialization and the cross-sectoral field in a targeted fashion, a further focus is on “cross-sectoral tasks.” While they address specific requirements and topics in the fields of specialization and in the cross-sectoral field, they also play a strategic role in promoting Thuringia overall as a region of innovation.

The Innovation Strategy is available via the following link:

RIS3 Thuringia: Regional Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialization in Thuringia (PDF file, 1.4 MB)

Major milestones

More than 500 stakeholders representing the business sector, the scientific community, and intermediaries came on board to help elaborate the Thuringian Innovation Strategy.

  • Public consultations as well as expert interviews and discussions were held with representatives from the business sector, the scientific community, intermediaries, and the governmental administrative authorities from August until October of 2013;
  • On this basis, an Interim Report was prepared in October of 2013;
  • Subsequently, wide-ranging “roundtable discussions” took place regarding the Interim Report in November of 2013;
  • April 2014: A draft version based on the Interim Report and the feedback from the roundtable discussions was presented;
  • May 6th, 2014: The draft was finalized in cooperation with selected representatives of partners in the economy and in the social sector (e.g. chambers, sectoral networks, Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGB), professional & trade associations);
  • June 10th, 2014: The Thuringian Innovation Strategy was formally adopted by the cabinet of the Free State of Thuringia;
  • June 16th, 2014: The Thuringian Innovation Strategy was presented at the Weimar Economic Forum;
  • October 2014: Submission of RIS3 Thuringia to the European Commission;
  • December 3rd, 2014: The European Commission confirmed that the Innovation Strategy fulfilled the ex-ante condition for funding and approved the Thuringian EFRD Operational Program.

The diagram below shows the sequence of steps of  up to the confirmation from the EU Commission:

Major milestones

The task of coordinating the elaboration of the Thuringian Innovation Strategy was steered by Department 22 (“Industrial Policy & Clusters”) of what was then the Thuringian Ministry for the Economy, Labour, and Technology, in close cooperation with the Thuringian Ministry for Education, Science, and Culture (TMBWK) and the the Thuringian ClusterManagement Unit of the State Development Corporation of Thuringia (LEG Thüringen.  VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH was hired as an external consultant to provide technical and organizational support.