Getting to know each other, networking, working thematically and finally jointly providing the Münsterland region with new impulses for innovation: this is what the five Münsterland think tanks within the joint project Enabling Münsterland came together for for the first time in June and July 2020. At these kick-off meetings, the members from business, research and networks met for the first time and discussed topics such as environmentally neutral materials, the circular economy, networked production, digitalisation and technological solutions from medicine.
Due to the Corona pandemic, all meetings took place at a distance and under strict hygiene conditions at the M44 Centre in Münster. After a round of introductions, in which the members already named focal points on the topics, they also dealt with the future. In a self-designed newspaper article, they addressed the question of what success story they would like to read about their company or institution in the newspaper in five years' time.
In addition to the knowledge from theory and practice that the think tank members themselves brought from their professional contexts, the meeting also featured various impulses from experts on the respective topic. These often led to exciting discussions. In addition, the participants worked together in various workshops. They also named topics about which they would like to learn more in the future.
The first assessment by all participants was extremely positive. "Even at the first meeting of the members, exciting and detailed discussions developed between the experts from business, science and networks," emphasises Klaus Ehling, board member of Münsterland e.V. "The members were directly open to exchanging ideas among themselves and were grateful for the opportunity to network. We are looking forward to further collaboration and the cooperation approaches and projects that can and should result from this."
The next meeting of the think tanks is planned for the end of 2020. Then the first ideas and recommendations for action for the region will already be developed. In 2021, the participants of the think tanks will then visit special places that will inspire them to take new steps together in Münsterland as well. Until 2022, the think tanks are to meet twice a year and develop strategies for the future in workshops.