As part of the Initial Training Network RegPol² Martin Graffenberger will be seconded to Geomedia during March and April 2016. Martin holds a degree in Economic Geography and is usually based at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) in Leipzig, Germany. His project investigates innovation activities of businesses that are located outside larger agglomerations in regions affected by demographic challenges and economic stagnation – both within Estonia and Eastern Germany. The main interest of the research project is to explore specific development processes of businesses and to shed light on the interactions, knowledge dynamics and evolutionary aspects that shape these development processes. A particular objective is to investigate the different and changing spatial scales and relational contexts influencing firm internal development processes.

While being seconded to Geomedia, Martin’s activities will be mainly connected to his fieldwork in Estonia. Hence, Martin will continue to conduct interviews with firms, mainly in the South Estonian counties Põlvamaa, Võrumaa, Viljandimaa and Valgamaa. His Estonian case study will investigate innovation activities of businesses active in low- and medium low-tech industries, focussing in particular on wood-related industries and the food sector.