northwest2050 - Prospects for Climate-Adapted Innovation Processes in the Model Region Bremen-Oldenburg in North Western Germany

In northwest2050 the vulnerability caused by climate change will be determined for the three economic sectors food industry, energy production & distribution and port management & logistics. For the Model Region Bremen-Oldenburg in northwestern Germany so called roadmaps of climate adaption will be developed. As can be gathered from the title, "northwest2050 – Prospects for Climate-Adapted Innovation Processes in the Model Region Bremen-Oldenburg in Northwestern Germany," the project's future orientation goes well beyond the project's duration of five years.

Prospects for Climate-Adapted Innovation Processes in the Metropolitan Region Bremen-Oldenburg in North Western Germany

Project Objectives

In northwest2050 there are two different characters of roadmapping processes for climate adaptation in the northwestern region.

  1. On the one hand it is necessary to define the climatic vulnerability in each of the economic sectors food industry, energy production and distribution and port management and logistics. Additionally chances for innovation have to be evaluated and concrete measures have to be implemented. This activity, for example, is touching resilient food plants, environmentally friendly cooling- and air-conditioning technologies as well as climatic-unaffected electricity grids. Within the period of northwest2050 until spring 2014 these so called sector-oriented roadmaps are focusing on concrete innovation paths among the three economic sectors mentioned above.
  2. On the other hand all partners will develop a long-term roadmap of change for climate adaptation strategies for the whole Metropolitan Region Bremen-Oldenburg, situated in the northwest of Germany with the time horizon of 2050. The roadmap of change is based on the experiences and results derived from the short-term adaption strategies within the paths of innovation. It shall bundle its findings regarding the needs for structural changes until 2050. Close cooperation with the parallel projects in the support programme, as well as with the Centre for Integrative Environmental Research (CIER) at the University of Maryland should assure that this approach is generalizable and transferable. Parallels in the focus sectors of logistics/port management, the food manufacturing industry and the energy sector as well as parallels in the natural surroundings make transatlantic comparisons of the two coastal regions possible. They also serve to provide inspiration for the shaping of future-readiness with regard to climate change in both regions.

Project Structure

The relevance of climate change for the region and for its economy will be clarified in a first step in northwest2050 within the framework of a vulnerability analysis. As well as the region's vulnerability, the effects of climate change within the value added chain, that are not less important for the exposed locations of export and logistics, will be taken into account. It is already possible, for example, to assume as a starting point a growing need for cooling in summer, conflicts between food production and biofuel production, and fluctuations in the stability of power supply systems - which is in large part due to strengthend input from off-shore wind power plants.

In a second step, the region's abilities of coping with this change will be registered. The main interest is the potential of innovation and its ability to mobilise. Here, we find another distinctive feature of the project's methodology: It is not simply about adapting to expected occurrences ("What would happen if?") but rather about an improvement in the ability to adapt ("whatever happens!"). Not only the ability to adapt to climate change but also the region's ability to learn and to compete internationally will improve greatly. Together with partners from the respective economic clusters, concrete paths of innovations will be developed and taken. They target not only technical innovations at different stages of development (e.g. solar cooling systems, low exergy solutions, resilient logistics systems, adapted cultivation and processing strategies in the food industry), but also organisational and institutional innovations (e.g. management of regional climate impacts, adaptive governance, further development of mechanisms und structures of the metropolitan region in terms of accompanying the implementation of the "roadmap of change," land use management, risk communication, capacity building).The project also focuses on the understanding and improvement of structures and processes in the still young metropolitan region of Bremen-Oldenburg in northwestern Germany. Here, developing the ability to adapt and innovate – while at the same time securing the ability to implement adaptation options – is important, too.

The prospects of successfully bringing the region's most important processes into operation are favourable. On the one hand, the region's particular vulnerability has been recognised early and valuable preliminary work has already been done. On the other hand, the strong political and economic support for the project expresses the efforts of modernisation that have been undertaken in the region in recent years.

Project Consortium

Econtur gGmbH (Sustainability Center Bremen)


Metropolitan Region Bremen-Oldenburg in the Northwest e.V.

University of Bremen, Research Center for Sustainability Studies (artec=

Centos - Oldenburg Center for Sustainable Economics and Management, University of Oldenburg

University of Applied Sciences Bremen

BioConsult Schuchardt & Scholle GbR


northwest2050 Coordination:
Dr. Ralph Baumheier, Metropolitan Region Bremen-Oldenburg in the Northwest, e.V., Office of the Senator for Environment, Construction, Transport and European Affairs

Public Relations and Management:
Andreas Lieberum, Sustainability Centre Bremen
Matthias Kirk, Metropolitan Region Bremen-Oldenburg in the Northwest e.V.

Monitoring and Evaluation:
Dr. Fritz Heidorn, Sustainability Centre Bremen

Climate Impact Research and Analysis of Vulnerability:
Dr. Bastian Schuchardt, BioConsult

Focus on Governance:
Prof. Dr. Michael Flitner, artec, Bremen University
Prof. Dr. Bernd Siebenhüner, CENTOS, Oldenburg University

Focus on Consumer Behaviour and Gender:
Prof. Dr. Ines Weller, artec, Bremen University

Focus on Port Management/Logistics:
Prof. Dr. Winfried Osthorst, University of Applied Sciences, Bremen

Focus on the Food Industry:
Prof. Dr. Reinhard Pfriem, Oldenburg University

Focus on the Energy Sector:
Prof. Dr. Arnim von Gleich, Bremen University

Focus on Potential for Innovation and Corporate Climate Adaptation Strategies:
Prof. Dr. Klaus Fichter, Oldenburg University

Focus on Value Added Chain:
Prof. Dr. Martin Müller, Oldenburg University

Speakers of Science:
Prof. Dr. Arnim von Gleich, Bremen University
Prof. Dr. Bernd Siebenhüner, CENTOS, Oldenburg University

Joint Project
Dr. Ralph Baumheier


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  • Andreas Lieberum

    • Sustainability Center Bremen Jakobistr. 20
    • 28195 Bremen (Germany)
    • Telephone: 0421 230011-13
    • Fax: 0421 230011-18
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International Conference on Regional Climate Adaption and Resilience

Towards Climate Adapted and Resilient Regions

CLARR 2014

hosted by 'nordwest2050'
24 to 25 February 2014
Bremen, Germany

Click here for more information.

WEBSITE Nordwest2050

Videoclip nordwest2050