[ Editor: Institute for Industrial Research  23th August, 2023 ]

4th August 2023   Conference
"Regional Economies and Industries after the Covid Pandemic : Challenges for Europe and Japan"

Date: August 4, 2023 (Friday)
Location: Kwansei Gakuin University, Nishinomiya Campus, Library Hall
Number of Participants:21

On August 4, 2023, we held a commemorative conference as a presentation of the results from the joint research project " Regional Economies and Industries after the Covid Pandemic:Challenges for Europe and Japan" which was conducted from 2021 to 2022. Seven faculty members, including Professor Holger Bungsche, the project leader, delivered lectures on different themes related to the project. Below are the summaries of each presentation.

Presentation 1:
Speaker:Takehiko Okamoto (Associate Professor, Faculty of Business Administration, Takamatsu University)
Theme: Sustainable Action from a "Can Do" Perspective: Focusing on the Freedom of Actors, Conditions for Action, and Leeway
Summary: Dr. Okamoto discussed the importance of individual free will and conditions for action, as well as the importance of extra capacity to promote sustainable behavior. He focused on what individuals can do and how they can have a positive impact on the local economy and industry.

Presentation 2:
Speaker: Bungshe Holger (Professor, School of International Studies, Kwansei Gakuin University / Project Leader)
Theme: Renewable Energy - A Chance for New Regional Industries and Economic Development? - The Case of "Living Lab Energy Avantgarde Anhalt"
Summary: Professor Bungshe introduced the case of "Living Lab Energy Avantgarde Anhalt," a study on the potential impact of introducing renewable energy on regional economies and industries. He explored the effects and opportunities that renewable energy offers for regional economic development.

Presentation 3:
Speaker: Rawlinson Francis (Fellow, Kwansei Gakuin University)
Theme: The "Levelling Up" Plan to Address Regional Disparities in the UK – The Conditions and Chances of Success
Summary:  Dr. Rawlinson argued that the extreme regional disparities in the UK required ambitious policies in order to unlock the latent economic potential of its regions outside London and the South East of England. He considered the Government’s “Levelling Up” plan was a promising start but questioned whether it was realistic given the huge financial cost involved and the sustained long-term strategies required for such policies to succeed.

Presentation 4:
Speaker: Takeshi Fujisawa (Professor, School of Business Administration, Kwansei Gakuin University)
Theme: Analysis of current state and Future prospects for the Food Service Industry in Major European Countries
Summary: Professor Fujisawa presented a report on the current state and future prospects of the food service industry in major European countries. He analyzed the impact of the changes in post-COVID-19 era and in consumer behavior on the regional economy.

Presentation 5:
Speaker: Naoki Fujiwara (Professor, Faculty of Regional Development Studies, Otemon Gakuin University)
Theme: Global Production Networks and Municipal Regional Industrial Policies
Summary: Professor Fujiwara conducted research on the interrelation between global production networks and municipal regional industrial policies. He focused on how regional industrial policies affect global production.

Presentation 6:
Speaker:Motoko Yoshida (Professor, Faculty of Law and Politcs, Kwansei Gakuin University)
Theme: EU's Legal Efforts Towards Climate Neutrality - From the Establishment of European Climate Law to "Fit for 55"
Summary: Professor Yoshida spoke about the EU's legal efforts towards climate neutrality. She explained the establishment of European Climate Law and the subsequent policy outlook "Fit for 55," while considering its impact on regional economies.

Presentation 7:
Speaker:Anna Schrade (Former Associate Professor, Institute of Industry Research, Kwansei Gakuin University)
Theme: Foreign Caregivers in Elderly Care in Rural Southern Germany
Summary: Dr. Schrade spoke about the role of foreign caregivers in elderly care in rural southern Germany. She discussed the labor demand in the region and the employment of foreign caregivers.

The conference featured interesting presentations on various themes.  It was shown that research on regional economies and industries plays an important role in understanding the challenges of the post-COVID 19 era and in promoting initiatives for sustainable development. The research findings of each presenter are expected to contribute to academia and practice.
In addition, Sanken Sosho 48, 48th issue of the "Industry and Research Series" will be published in late August as a culmination of research results. Through thisbook, we aim to share the outcomes of the joint research project widely and facilitate further discussions on addressing challenges in regional economies and industries.

Poster "Regional Economies and Industries after the Covid Pandemic"