Comparisons of the eastern and western federal states of Germany reveal a trend of lower economic strength in eastern Germany. This is reflected for example in the strength of small and medium-sized companies and more generally in the depth of added value; but companies in eastern Germany are also less likely to be technology leaders within their respective industries. In addition, major structural changes are expected in the future, especially in regions affected by the planned exit from coal-fired power generation. In the next few years, it will be essential to plan structural adjustment processes constructively and advantageously to establish new forms of value creation based on existing skillsets. The transformation to a hydrogen-based economy offers great opportunities to establish new fields of technology and build on existing strengths in the energy, primary production, vehicle construction, and plant engineering industries.
The goal of the project is to investigate the extent to which converting existing economic clusters and establishing new ones to use and generate hydrogen might represent a promising option to shape the structural development in the federal states of eastern Germany in the short and medium term until 2030. The transformation to a hydrogen economy offers great opportunities to establish new fields of technology founded on existing strengths, especially in the energy, primary production, vehicle construction, and plant engineering industries.