Renewing the economy

The exogenetic factors that influence the pressure to change, as the new basic technology ICT and the globalisation in form of global competition of the regions are intensified by endogenetic ones. On the one hand, there are the consequences of the final phase of the coal and steel era and a structural policy that has to cope with a “delayed region”, on the other, there are the demographic change and its effects on the regional (labour) markets and the stretched public budgets.

Even if the blockings of properties, education and innovation have been abandoned – but not the blocking of interurban cooperation - the renovation of the economy is still a central but nonetheless precarious challenge. The delayed and therefore now time-lapse change from the coal and steel industry to a knowledge-based economy is impeded by too small potentials of (highly) qualified knowledge workers and of newly established new technology enterprises and quaternary services. Attractive jobs in finances, media, arts and culture, in research, pharmaceuticals and in ICT are – some exemptions excluded - mostly to be found elsewhere.

Whereas the coal and steel companies had successfully built up new promising fields, even if mostly outside the region, and whereas this modernisation had been accompanied by the closure of works and job reductions, the universities and research institutes as well as small and medium-sized enterprises have been giving important impulses to the development. The technology centre and the technology park in Dortmund are good examples; founded in 1985, they comprise nearly 300 companies and 8,500 jobs (2013) (s.a. phase 3a). The close connection between the Technical University of Dortmund and the research institutes proved very important.

First agricultural landuse (1964) ...<br>Source: RVR-archive for aerial photos 1964
First agricultural landuse (1964) ...
... then the foundation of the University of Dortmund (1980) ...<br>Source: RVR-archive for aerial photos 1980
... then the foundation of the University of Dortmund (1980) ...
... and finaly, its extension by the Technology Center (center of photo) and the Technology Park (2009)<br>Source: RVR-Aerial Photo Archive 2009
... and finaly, its extension by the Technology Center (center of photo) and the Technology Park (2009)

However, the Metropolis Ruhr remained separated from the Northrhine-Westphalian development of employment.

Development of employees in the Ruhr and Northrhine-Westfalia (1980-2011)<br>Source: RVR-data base
Development of employees in the Ruhr and Northrhine-Westfalia (1980-2011)