Innovative Ideas for Structural Change


RWTH coordinates alliance for structural change in the Rhine region.


Within the framework of the BMBF program "WIR! - Change Through Innovation in the Region", the "Mine ReWIR" project coordinated by the Institute for Advanced Mining Technologies (AMT) at RWTH Aachen University has been selected for funding by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research. 44 alliances were selected from 130 applications. The project is to receive funding of up to 250,000 euros to develop a detailed roadmap over the course of a nine-month long concept phase.

"Mine ReWIR" aims to establish a regional innovation network in close cooperation with the Human Technology Center (HumTec) of RWTH Aachen University and Nivelsteiner Sandwerke GmbH, thus turning the phase out of active lignite mining activities in the so-called “Reinisches Revier” region into a successful transformation story. The focus is on regional suppliers from the mining sector. In collaboration with companies and municipal stakeholders, the project aims to tap into innovative strategies to further expand the competencies in the field of primary raw material extraction that are already well-established in the region, to keep know-how in the region and thus contribute to a sustainable structural transformation. Core partners are the Mining Industry Network (Netzwerk Bergbauwirtschaft) in the EnergyAgency.NRW, the Aachen Chamber of Commerce (IHK Aachen), RWE Power AG, and the VDMA Mining and Fachverband Auslandsbergbau (FAB) as well as LTU Business AB from Sweden.

During the concept phase, the innovation potential in the areas of internationalization, digitization, diversification, and sustainable value chains for the development of new products and services are investigated and evaluated. The selected areas promote the region's competencies founded on a long tradition - with the aim of creating future-proof jobs and increasing the region's attractiveness. In this way, the alliance is helping to implement the vision of transforming the Rhenish mining district into a model region for energy supply and resource security in Europe. In the fall of 2021, once strategic planning has been completed, it will be decided which alliances will get to enter the implementation phase.

Source: Press and Communications