A spatial perspective is the starting point for many ongoing projects at the Institute for Work and Technology. Functional and social spaces provide the analytical framework for the analysis of actor constellations, networks and clusters, as well as of spatial perceptions and cultures, which cannot be found in politically or administratively defined regions. In projects dealing with structural change, regional and urban development it is all about strategic orientation and the question of how to improve quality of life. In projects concerning local economy and civil engagement it is examined how to activate the resources of a neighbourhood, to prevent circuits of crisis and to enable participation.
Innovation research at the IAT analyses innovations in distinct sectors and spatial contexts. Following a broad understanding of innovation, subject of research are social, organisation as well as technological innovations, which are frequently also integral part of all innovation processes. The spectrum of methods applied ranges from secondary data analysis, for example, in form of patent analysis, to process-oriented, quantitative and qualitative survey (e.g. Innovation Biographies). Innovation stakeholders, networks and innovation systems, drivers and barriers of innovation (diffusion) processes, the role of sectorial and spatial contexts are of central interest, just as governance structures and new business models.