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Joint project DEMOCLUST

Regional, demographically-orientated HR management in high-tech industry – a new service of cluster management: to attain experts, secure chances of employment and promote innovation.

Demographic change to society harbours a high potential for growth of the entire economy, which can be instantiated in companies through a demographically orientated human resources development and organisational structure.


The BMBF is therefore promoting development of competences in the scope of the research and development programme “working-learning-developing competencies in the modern world of work” by planning for research and development in the field of “innovation capabilities during demographic change”

Further information is available on the homepage of the executive organisation.

General aim of the joint project:

The capacity for innovation in SMEs in the sensor industry is threatened by the lack of experts.

Chances for employment are not used

The aim is a demographically fixed, sustainable human resource development with the use of the innovative regional network structure known as “cluster”

The project follows the central research question: How can regional and sectorial cluster management be made useful to comprehensively and sustainably overcome demographics challenges in a branch of high-tech industry, and to secure and extend the innovation capacities of the SMEs involved?

The aim of Democlust is a tried and tested, transferable and innovative model (with strategies, instruments and success factors) for demography management as a function of the management of region high tech clusters.

Duration: 2012-2014

Watch the Video "Fachkräfte für die Region Innovative Netzwerke" (Qualified Employees for the Region):

The work programme encompasses the following measures:

  • Installation of the function for demographics managemement and demographics consulting
  • Development and trials of a monitoring system
  • Development of measures, measure coordination and trials
  • Know-how transfer
  • Extension of the regional network and work with regional demographic networks ad initiatives, as well as testing the potential for interregional networking, on the topic of “innovation capacity during demographic change”

Joint project partners and their subprojects:

Strategic partnership Sensorik e.V. (SPS) Regensburg,

Entire coordination and leadership of the association in subproject 1: Regional Demographics management and consulting in the sensors cluster.

Association for socio-scientific consultancy and research e.V. (SoWiBeFo e.V.),

Leadership of the association in subproject 2: Creative accompanying research and communication activities

Hofmann Leiterplatten GmbH,

Leadership of the association in subproject 3: development and trial of a method to secure expert knowledge in SMEs, which can withstand demographic change.

University of Passau, Lehrstuhl für Internationales Management, Prof. Dr. Carola Jungwirth,

Leadership of the association in subproject 4: concepts for sustainable competency enhancement in clusters

Together with companies and network partners, a prototype toolkit will be developed and tested in the scope of the project, in order to meet the demands of the times during demographic change.

In this project, SoWiBeFo e.V is responsible for participative action research.

This form of continuous evaluative research supports the project actors through its scientific methods.

The basic components of this are as follows:
Development – Guidance – Research - Evaluation

Development means making the current research available, analysing and describing the start situation, moderating the dialogue between competency stakeholders and future users, communicating impulses from working with the sponsors and related projects, and aiding the development of the provision of consulting.

Guidance means promoting the dialogue between project actors, awarding authorities and users, causality models, action models and value-driven models and to secure the capability of all actors to make decisions in accordance with the project aims.

Research means securing knowledge attainment, among other things with regard to the constellation of actors and cluster management as a type of network. New spheres of activity are sought after for clusters and useful guidance and network offers. Here, analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the current service supply of the cluster is fundamental. The research focuses on strategies for recruiting and securing staff, as well as identifying the driving forces and obstacles along the way. The aim is an analysis of best practices of use and promotion of diversity.

Evaluation refers to making results of the project transparent and useful to all interested parties, giving practical knowledge attainment  priority, as well as making indicators about the state of the project work transparent, ensuring project quality through reflection of the current situation with the employer and related projects, and finally to emphasise the use for the user groups.

The fundamental aspect of this kind of research is that we research with the actors and not about them.

In the scope of participative action research in the project association, the following issues are pursued:

  • Demographics management (DM) as an intermediary function: how can the development of a support structure be described? Does it have an effect on other actors?
  • Strengths/weaknesses of the current service offers of the cluster management (CM) regarding its effect on demographic competence of SMEs.
  • Attributes of effective demographics management which could be generalised
  • Recommendations for demographics management regarding regions, pools and clusters.
  • Can the monitoring of demographics management promote and secure the strategic alignment of the services provided by cluster management and the sustainable alignment of the activities in  companies with the help of a system orientated around the balanced scorecard principle
  • What is the additional value generated by the interaction between strategic demographics management and demographics guidance, specific to a particular target group?
  • Which driving factors and obstacles exist when recruiting staff from the educational sector and from the employment market, in particular with respect to the integration of so-called “problematic” groups in the sensor industry?
  • Can CM channel new ways of integration and at the same time take the burden off of SMEs?
  • Will a state of equal opportunities for men and women be reached?
  • Driving factors and obstacles of working together with regional employment markets?
  • What is the effect of demographics guidance on the learning culture in companies and regions?
  • Can tendencies of overcoming traditional forms of learning and an opportunity for continual competency development strategies be observed?
  • Can approaches be described which raise the flexibility of human resources strategies by way of transnational cooperation by regions with complementary demographics problem zones?

Recent Publications:



Alexander Krauß, M.A., Project Leader
Tel.: 0049 (0) 941 46562680
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dipl.Päd. Birgit Luger, responsible authority, scientific assistant


Address: SoWiBeFo Regensburg Adolf-Schmetzer-Str. 30, 93055 Regensburg