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.
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.
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.
Most of the project work is defined, planned and implemented through five work teams and their relevant fields of activities:
• Knowledge team
• Business team
• 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.
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).
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.
The 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.