Conditions for Institutional and Cultural Innovation in German and Greek cities (CICI)

CICI is an ongoing research project (from April 2018 to March 2021) at Technische Universität Darmstadt carried out in collaboration with the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. You can find further Information about the project on this website.

Aim and scope of the project

Some cities manage to mobilize innovation potentials and respond to challenges like demographic change and immigration as well as economic restructuring, while others do not. The research project address the problem of lacking innovation and how it can be solved by asking the following question:

What are the conditions for the development of cultural and institutional innovation in local government and local civil society?

To answer this question, i.e. to identify these conditions, a comparison of five German and five Greek cities is carried out. These cities are selected because they are perceived by the respective local community as well as in the German resp. Greek debate as success cases of innovation in local government and local civil society.

From this perspective it is also reasonable to define innovation not in an abstract and general way but to contextualise the definition of innovation, i.e. to take the notion (meaning) of innovation seriously into account which has emerged in the context of a given case (the city or the particular country). Such an approach requires a qualitative research.

Research findings will be concrete outcomes (like reflections about the formation, functioning and effects of networks, as for example ‘Innovathens’ or ‘Impact Hub’ in Greece). These findings will be discussed and disseminated in both countries with partners who have strong links to possible end-users (municipalities and other local actors). Furthermore, dissemination is also planned across a wider international context – such as countries in the Black Sea region and China.  

Project staff

The project is jointly led by Hubert Heinelt and Björn Egner. Field Researchers are Max A. Kayser and Melina Lehning. The project team is supported by Nils Bruch as student assistant.


Due the course of the project, we are cooperating with:

  • Prof. Dr. Nikolaos Hlepas (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)
  • Georgios Terizakis (University of Police, Rhineland-Palatinate)
  • Alexander Rudnick Consultants, Hannover
  • Executive Options, Athens


The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). 


Methoden der Politikwissenschaft
Institut für Politikwissenschaft
Technische Universität Darmstadt
Landwehrstraße 48a-50a
64293 Darmstadt


apl. Prof. Dr. Björn Egner
Tel: +49 (0)6151/ 16-57339
Fax: +49 (0)6151/ 16-57472
Raum: S4|23/218

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