Regional Leaders Summit 2016 in Munich on „Digitization and Innovation“: concrete challenges, common projects, vision for the future


Signature of the Final Declaration of the 8th Regional Leaders Summit in Munich | picture (c) Bayerische Staatskanzlei

The focal topic of this year’s Regional Leaders’ Summit was “Digitalization and Innovation”. With the 8th Regional Leaders’ Summit, the partner regions expanded their cooperation in the fields of economy and science, shaped the developments accompanying digitalization, and opened up future prospects.

Bavaria used the opportunity of being the first host of the “second round” of Summits to further develop the cooperation. To give the inner-circle dialogs of the regional leaders new momentum, for the first time, high-level representatives of multinationals with roots in Bavaria were invited. The CEO of Siemens AG Joe Kaeser and the Board Member of Continental AG Helmut Matschi participated.

Furthermore, assisted by the Bavarian Research Alliance (BayFOR), the partner regions initiated new collaborative projects in which scientists from all seven partner regions work together on issues of future relevance, such as digitalization, aerospace, satellite technology, and renewable energies. The current status of the projects was presented during the Summit, among them a project on “mini-satellites”, which the University of Würzburg developed in cooperation with research institutions from all partner regions. A formation of connected mini-satellites shall enable new possibilities for three-dimensional images of the earth’s surface, along with many other uses.

During the “Future Leaders’ Conference”, two youths from each partner region came together to develop a joint vision on life and learning in 2040, which they presented to the regional leaders during the Summit. The Summit was opened on the evening of 13 July 2016 by a reception in BMW Welt at the invitation of State Minister Dr. Beate Merk and BMW Group. During the two conference days, the Regional Leaders’ Summit met in the Munich Residenz. The Final declaration of the Eighth Regional Leaders’ Summit was signed on 15 July 2016 in Munich. In the declaration, the regional leaders of the partner regions have agreed to continue the successful cooperation and to give it new momentum.

The 9th Regional Leaders’ Summit will take place in Québec in 2018 and cover the topic: “Energy transition: Towards a low-carbon economy”.