Preparation of a moderation and exploration study on the topic of business development 4.0 in Baden-Württemberg – stocktaking and conclusions

Application opportunities and actual use of digital technologies in the economy, administration and society have been developing dynamically for some time now. In this context, particularly regions like Baden-Württemberg that can fall back on a dense network of innovation and location-promoting institutions are facing the question as to how the players in municipal and regional economic development adapt to the rapidly changing needs of their target groups in order to be able to continue to offer adequate services that support the respective locations in the future. Accordingly, the term Economic Development 4.0 is understood to mean the active turn of municipal/regional economic development to support or proactively accompany the digital transformation of the economy.

The objective of the study was to comprehensively and systematically elaborate the status quo of Economic Development 4.0 in Baden-Württemberg, to identify and present successful examples, and to identify support needs for municipal/regional economic development agencies. This provided a systematic overview of the topic of Economic Development 4.0 in Baden-Württemberg's municipalities and regions, and the resulting implications were discussed in a total of five workshops with core players in economic development in Baden-Württemberg's four administrative districts and other experts.

  • Preparation and evaluation of literature
  • Conducting an online survey among the state's economic development  agencies
  • Validation of the results and discussion of conclusions in four workshops
  • Implementation of a comprehensive workshop with scientists and practitioners

In various presentation and text formats, the interim and final results of the literature analysis, the online survey and the selected examples from other (federal) states were recorded and presented for discussion. The high complexity of the topic, combined with the connection of economic development to other areas in the administration, became clear. This leads to challenges and starting points with regard to internal administrative processes on the one hand, to the respective target groups on the other, but also with regard to business development as an intermediary in the context of the overall administration in which it is embedded. This results in different approaches and options for the strategic realignment of business development on the basis of the specific circumstances and challenges in each case.




Ministry of Economics, Labour and Housing Baden-Württemberg