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Germany

IRS, Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning
Erkner, Germany

IRS is an academically independent extra-university research institute and a member of the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz research association. It is a registered society jointly funded by both the German Federal Government and the State of Brandenburg. The IRS was founded in 1992 and is based in Erkner near Berlin. In its research, the IRS focuses on fundamental elements of sustainable regions, their governance in interdependence with social developments - especially the importance of a civil-society.

The institute follows an interdisciplinary and a trans-disciplinary approach. It is engaged in research and analysis about the Regionalisation of Economic Space (Research Department I - Head: Dr. Hans Joachim Kujath), Regional Institutional Change in the Provision of Common Goods (Research Department II - Head: n.n.), Knowledge Milieus and Settlement Structures (Research Department III - Head: PD Dr. Ulf Matthiesen), and the Regeneration of Shrinking Cities (Research Department IV - Head: Prof. Dr. Hans Joachim Buerkner).

As the work of the IRS is permanently characterised by the task of linking the institute's basic spatial research to a problem- and user-orientation, the research departments with a medium term perspective (min. 5-6 years) focus on the institute's lead-projects and linked contract research for national and European research bodies as well as for the federal government, German states, regional and local bodies. In its research, international comparison and the inclusion of the central and eastern European states plays an important role. The IRS co-operates closely at national and international level with universities, colleges and other research institutions.