Research field 3

Regional development | Marketing and consulting

The central focus of our work is the conceptualisation and realisation of development strategies supporting sustainable regional development and regional value-added chains, the evaluation of the related approaches as well as advice on the development of innovative concepts. In this context, the transfer of scientific findings to the level of consulting practice is the focal point, thus ensuring that our clients will benefit from the latest research results in a timely manner.

Our team’s core qualifications are in the fields of regional development and regional marketing, planning, climate change and renewable energies, demographic change as well as food marketing, support of economic development and consulting. In our work a variety of methods is applied. 

Integrated rural development and support programme-related advice

In the context of rural development and in conjunction with support of regional economic development, integrated regional development strategies and their participative conceptualisation are gaining importance. By elaborating concepts and projects we contribute to these vital regional strategies and processes. Furthermore, we provide consulting services to regional management teams with regard to organisational development, supervision and monitoring of results, and we also take on responsibility for regional management tasks ourselves.

Sustainable economic management and nature conservation-oriented regional development

Supporting regional value-added chains is becoming more and more important – especially with regard to environmentally and nature-friendly products and services. We pursue the corresponding strategies in the context of support for rural economic development as well as with respect to “conservation-by-cultivation/use” concepts. The advancement, realisation and evaluation of the related approaches form a central component of our work.

Promotion of regional products and regional marketing

We provide consulting services related to the conceptualisation and establishment of regional marketing strategies. The Success Factor Analysis (EFA) approach developed at the IfLS helps to optimise regional marketing projects. An issue of increasing importance is the integration of small and medium-sized processing and trade enterprises (SMEs) as well as the consideration of the promotion of regional products in the context of an overall integrated regional marketing approach (cross marketing of products, tourism offers as well as location marketing).

Demographic change

The development of convertible, sustainable and innovative strategies and concepts to cope with demographic change are a central challenge  - not only, but especially - in rural areas. We consult our clients in the fields of housing stock management, basic goods and services provision as well as intermunicipal coordination of infrastructure measures. Communication platforms (e.g. actor networks) help us in finding practical solutions adapted to specific local needs. 

Renewable energies and climate change

Renewable energies are not only an interesting perspective for agriculture. The development of a decentralized energy supply and the promotion of climate protection can offer central strategies for the sustainable development of rural areas. We offer our consulting services not only on strategy formulation but also on public relations and communications. 

Project list

Geo-Nature Park Bergstrasse-OdenwaldPreparation of the management and nature park plan for the Bergstraße-Odenwald Geo-Nature Park2018-2019Dr. Ulrich Gehrlein, Britta Düsterhaus, Christiane SteilOngoingInfos »
Biosphere Association BliesgauPeriodic review recording the Biosphere Bliesgau2018 - 2019Dr. Ulrich Gehrlein, Christoph MathiasongoingInfos »
Association of the Taunus Nature Park Preparation of a nature park plan for the Taunus Nature Park 2018Dr. Ulrich Gehrlein, Britta Düsterhaus, Christiane SteilongoingInfos »
Regional Development Ortenau Interim evaluation of the LEADER process of the LEADER region Ortenau2018Dr. Ulrich GehrleincompletedInfos »
European CommissionSEMA II – Sustainable Entrepreneurship based on Multifunctional Agriculture II2017-2019Dr. Ulrich Gehrlein, Christoph MathiasongoingInfos »
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), GermanyQuality management and improvement of the German UNESCO biosphere reserves – Operationalization of National Recognition and Assessment Criteria for Sustainable Management2017-2018Dr. Ulrich Gehrlein, Christoph Mathias ongoing Infos »
Saxon State Ministry of the Environment and AgricultureAssessment for the evaluation of the performance of the landscape management associations in Saxony2017 - 2018Dr. Ulrich Gehrlein, Christoph Mathiasongoing Infos »
Rhine-Taunus Nature ParkPreparation of a nature park concept for the Rhine-Taunus Nature Park 2017Dr. Ulrich Gehrlein, Christiane Steil, Britta Düsterhaus ongoingInfos »
German Networking Agency for Rural Areas (DVS) Preparation of a handbook containing information about funding programmes of the European Union and the German Federal Republic2016 - 2017Ulrich Gehrlein, Nicola von KutzlebenongoingInfos »
Ministry for Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection Baden-WurttembergEvaluation of the nature parks in Baden-Wurttemberg2016 - 2017Dr. Ulrich Gehrlein, Christiane SteilcompletedInfos »
Administrative District GießenAnalysis of the demand potential for regional meat and sausage products2016Dr. Ulrich Gehrlein, Cordula RutzcompletedInfos »
Federal Environment Agency (UBA), Germany Local manual for supporting a sustainable development 2015 - 2016Ulrich GehrleincompletedInfos »
Administrative Districts Gießen and Marburg-BiedenkopfRegional Processing and Marketing of Meat in the Districts Gießen and Marburg-Biedenkopf2015Ulrich Gehrlein, Cordula RutzcompletedInfos »
The Hessian Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection, Agriculture and Consumer ProtectionSupporting agricultural Innovation (EIP-Agri) and Cooperation in the Federal State Hesse2014 - 2020Ulrich Gehrlein, Nicola von Kutzleben ongoingInfos »
Ministry for Environment and Consumer Protection of the Federal State of SaarlandCoordinated framework concept for the Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve2013 - 2015Christiane Steil, Ulrich GehrleincompletedInfos »
Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW) and the Association of Austrian National ParksEvaluation of the management of Austrian National Parks2013 - 2014Eva Milz, Ulrich GehrleincompletedInfos »
Ministry for Rural Area and Consumer Protection Baden-WurttembergSelection procedure of LEADER regions in Baden-Wurttemberg 2014-20202013 - 2014Ulrich Gehrlein, Jörg SchramekcompletedInfos »
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), GermanySeries of conferences on current challenges faced by German protected areas2012-2014Ulrich Gehrlein, Christiane Steil, Eva Milz, Nicola von KutzlebencompletedInfos »
Lahn-Taunus ILE region, SPESSARTregional LEADER regionNeeds assessments related to demographic change2012-2013Nicola von Kutzleben completedInfos »
Federal Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR)Bioenergy Region Central Hesse - BERM 2.02012 - 2015Ulrich Gehrlein, Eva Milz and Nicola von KutzlebencompletedInfos »
Administrative districts of Trier-Saarburg and Coburg, SPESSARTregional LEADER regionAction programme for securing regional services for the public2012 - 2013Ulrich Gehrlein, Nicola von Kutzleben, Christiane SteilcompletedInfos »
Rheingau association of communes (Zweckverband Rheingau)Integrated climate protection concept for the Rheingau association of communes2012 - 2013Ulrich Gehrlein, Christiane Steil, Nicola von KutzlebencompletedInfos »
Landesanstalt für Umwelt, Messungen und Naturschutz (LUBW)Final evaluation PLENUM Schwäbische Alb2012 - 2013Ulrich Gehrlein, Christiane SteilcompletedInfos »
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), GermanyIntegrative monitoring systems in major nature reserves2011 - 2013Ulrich Gehrlein, Peter SüßcompletedInfos »
GießenerLand LEADER region , SPESSARTregional LEADER region, BioEnergieDialog Rhein-Erft bio-energy region, Rheingau LEADER region, Lahn-Dill-Wetzlar LEADER region, Hersfeld-Rotenburg LEADER regionSelf-evaluation of regional development processes2011 - 2012Ulrich Gehrlein, Nicola von KutzlebencompletedInfos »
Kreis Hersfeld-Rotenburg SPESSARTregional Schwalm-Eder-Kreis Region Wittgenstein LEADER-Region Flechtinger HöheProgramme to secure regional public services2011Ulrich Gehrlein, Nicola von KutzlebencompletedInfos »
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)Territorial development programs in Germany and their portability to developing countries2010 - 2011Ulrich Gehrlein, Simone Schiller, Peter SüßcompletedInfos »
Regional office for the environment (LUBW)Final PLENUM evaluation of the model regions Westlicher Bodensee and Allgäu-Oberschwaben2010 - 2011Ulrich Gehrlein, Peter SüßcompletedInfos »
Municipality WartenbergRural development in the municipality Wartenberg2010 - 2011Ulrich Gehrlein, Kerstin HuelemeyercompletedInfos »
Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe (FNR)Network management for the ‘Mittelhessen Bioenergy Region’2009 - 2012Ulrich Gehrlein, Nicola von KutzlebencompletedInfos »
Regional Management Upper HesseSupporting LEADER management2009 - 2012Ulrich Gehrlein, Nicola von KutzlebencompletedInfos »
Federal Agency of Agriculture and Food (BLE)SynPro – Synergy or profile loss? Potentials and problems of a joint regional marketing of organic and conventional products2009 - 2011Armin KullmanncompletedInfos »
Schotten MunicipalityValue creation concept Schotten-Eschenrod2009 - 2010Ulrich GehrleincompletedInfos »
Associated Municipalities of Bad Ems, Katzenelnbogen and NassauIntegrated Rural Development Concept (ILE): Regional management in the Lahn-Taunus region2008 - 2012Ulrich Gehrlein, Nicola von KutzlebencompletedInfos »
Regionalmanagement OberhessenDemographic change in rural areas2008 - 2012Ulrich GehrleincompletedInfos »
Municipality HinterzartenSustainable development of cultural landscapes using integrative landscape concept2008 - 2011Kerstin HuelemeyercompletedInfos »
Agricultural Marketing Corporations of the Federal States of Hesse and Baden-Wuerttemberg; Federal States of Baden-Wuerttemberg and BavariaTopRegioKMU – Role and benefit of medium-sized enterprises in sustainable regional value added chains2008 - 2010Armin KullmanncompletedInfos »
Mittelhessen Climate Protection and Energy Agency (Klimaschutz- und Energieagentur Mittelhessen – KEM)Mittelhessen Bioenergy Region’ development concept2008Ulrich GehrleincompletedInfos »
Oberlausitz Heath and Lake Landscape’ Biosphere ReserveConsulting related to the market launch of the OLBK (Organic carp from the Oberlausitz region)2008Armin KullmanncompletedInfos »
Giessen County, Department of Economic Development, Hersfeld-Rotenburg County, Economic Development Corporation, Odenwald Community of Interests (IGO), Oberhessen Association, Siegen-Wittgenstein County, Kusel CountyRegional Development Concepts (REK) for participation in LEADER-related competitions for the regions of Giessen, Hersfeld-Rothenburg, Odenwald, Oberhessen, Siegen-Wittgenstein, Pfälzer Bergland2007 - 2008Ulrich GehrleincompletedInfos »
Regional Office for the Environment, Measurements and Nature Conservation, KarlsruheMid-term evaluation of the PLENUM programme2007Ulrich GehrleincompletedInfos »
Municipalities of Lennestadt, Kirchhundem, Hennef, Windeck, Eitorf, Drolshagen, Olpe, Wenden, Finnentrop, Attendorn, Sundern, Katzenelnbogen, Nassau, Barnim County, Region WittgensteinIntegrated rural development concept for Hundem-Lenne Region, Wittgenstein Region, Siegtal Region, Barnim County, Bigge Region, Bigge-Lenne-Sorpe Region, the municipalities of Katzenelnbogen and Nassau2006 - 2007Ulrich GehrleincompletedInfos »
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), GermanyStrategies for a sustainable economy in biosphere reserves2005 - 2008Ulrich GehrleincompletedInfos »
Federal Agency of Agriculture and Food (BLE)FrankFOOD – regional products for quality food procurement in all-day schools2005 - 2007Ulrich Gehrlein, Armin KullmanncompletedInfos »
Municipality of Gedern, Office for District DevelopmentTown marketing and urban development concept for the Gedern municipality and the Gedern lake2005Ulrich GehrleincompletedInfos »
Landesanstalt für Umwelt (LfU) Baden-Württemberg, Karlsruhe (Regional Office for the Environment)Evaluation of the PLENUM Programme: Statistical analysis, identification of success factors and assessment of socio-economic effects2003 - 2004Armin KullmanncompletedInfos »
Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (BRSC), AngermündeConsultancy services related to regional food marketing in the Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve2003Armin KullmanncompletedInfos »
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), GermanyRegional marketing in biosphere reserves2001 - 2003Armin KullmanncompletedInfos »
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), GermanyPresent situation and prospects for the integration of nature conservation aspects into the marketing of agricultural products2000 - 2001Armin KullmanncompletedInfos »
Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V. (NABU) (Association for Nature Conservation)Biodiversity conservation through extensive grazing: Requirements for beef production and grazing systems in terms of their compatibility with conservation goals2000Armin KullmanncompletedInfos »