Dipl. oec. Anja Wilde: MMR – Raising its profile through networking

Its outstanding dynamism makes the Munich Metropolitan Region one of the leading business centres in Europe. And this is not PR, but it is a tangible and proven fact.

“The Munich Metropolitan Region has achieved top positions in every respect” – this is the plain result of a study carried out by the Federal Institute for Re­­search on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) in May 2009, which compared the strengths and weak­­ness­­es of German metropolitan regions. The result of this study is not a rare ex­­cep­tion: Already early in 2009, the sci­en­tific regional ranking of the New So­­cial Market Economy Initiative (INSM) had placed twelve regional ad­­ministrative units of the MMR among the top 20 of more than 400 rural and urban coun­­ties surveyed.

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To the Munich Metro­po­litan Region In­­itiative (MMR), which was reorganized in 2009, this result not only attests to the whole region’s traditional­ly strong infrastructure, but it also ack­­nowledges the excellent networking ac­­tivities of the previously existing structures.

Success does not grow on its own, but is the result of the organized interaction of many committed people: “In the Munich Metropolitan Region, we want to join the forces of the public sector, the chambers, the business com­­munity, science and society to be an engine of innovation and sustainable economic development”, Munich’s Lord Mayor and chairman of the MMR Initiative, Chris­­tian Ude, summarizes the intended aim. The more in­­ten­sive the networking be­­­­­­tween pol­­i­­tics, bu­­siness, sci­­ence and research as well as art and cul­­ture, the more successful the long-term results gener­at­ed from syn­­ergies. To realize this vi­­sion, the MMR is determined to re­­main one of the most successful bu­­siness regions in Ger­many and Eu­­rope, to promote the idea of co­­hesion within the Metropolitan Region and to further strengthen the residents’, partners’ and members’ identification with this region.

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The region clearly wishes to present it­­­­self as a regional entity. The MMR initiative’s role is to visibly represent this entity and to showcase the region’s pro­­file, its key competencies and its hard and soft location factors for a national and international audience, for in­­stance at trade fairs, at events and in publications. Strong partners, including 24 rural counties, six urban counties, addition­al local authorities at county level and more than 100 companies and institutions, make significant contributions to the region’s success through their ac­­tive involvement and commitment to the Metropolitan Region.

The MMR Initiative supports and strength­­­­ens the region by initiating tar­­get-ori­­ented projects – from MMR commuter tickets to group stands at trade fairs such as Expo Real in Munich.

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Most of the project work is defined, planned and implemented through five work teams and their relevant fields of activities:

• Knowledge team
• Business team
• Environment
• Mobility team and
• Culture team

The knowledge team’s aim is to promote networking and the transfer of knowledge and to communicate information about the MMR as a knowledge region to the public. Projects like the periodic knowledge event “EMMi” or a knowledge atlas showing the medium and long-term po­­tential of the educational system within the MMR once again attest to the commitment of the members and participants.
The business team’s task is to initiate and manage pro­­jects (for example, sur­­veys on key local industries, joint presentations at fair trades) which are to in­­crease the economic pow­­er of, for in­­stance, the health care in­­dustry and enhance the at­­tractiveness of the Mu­­nich Metropolitan Region as a business location.

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The environment and health team ad­­dresses strategies for dealing with cli­­mate change, forward-looking resource management, and the advancement of the landscape as a hard and soft location factor.

Regional activities are to be recorded and pooled to realize synergies that re­­lieve the environment, which will further improve the environmental conditions in the Munich Metropolitan Region.

The mobility team analyzes transport and logistics issues in the context of the MMR as a destination and the accessi­bility of destinations within the MMR, and develops prospects for expansion. One of its successful steps toward pro­­moting identification is the AboPlus­Card, an MMR-wide regional public trans­­port ticket for commuters launched on 1 Jan­­uary 2009, which is coordinated by the Munich Transport and Tariff Asso­cia­tion (MVV).

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Likewise, the recently established culture team seeks to strengthen cultural cooperation and networking and to in­­crease the international profile of the region as an entity.

In short, the MMR Initiative showcases the region’s characteristics in a sus­tain­­­able way. The aforementioned structures help to highlight its multifaceted reality and the broader context of interrelations. The interaction between various technologies, robust links between ex­­pert authorities and the sustained will­­ingness and capacity to innovate are ba­­sic mainstays of the location’s attractive­­ness.

Internally, the MMR Initiative serves as an ex­­change and dialogue platform for participants and as an information cen­­tre for the whole Metropolitan Region, which is used to integrate the strengths of all participants and to communicate best practices. This leads to win-win sit­­uations for all parties involved and as a consequence, the notion of the Me­­tro­politan Region as a valuable asset will be perpetuated in the partners’ and people’s minds.

awe_Wilde_1The author, born in Munich in 1967, studied economics and social sciences at Augsburg University. She completed a postgraduate MBA course at the Uni­versity of Southern Queensland, Australia. After holding various positions as press officer and marketing director, Anja Wilde has been the managing director of the Munich Metropolitan Region MMR since May 2009.