Frank Waeltring

Main fields of expertise

Promotion of innovation and living spaces in rural and urban areas
Local and regional economic development
Local innovation system promotion
Cluster and value chain promotion (see e.g. case studies from Germany)
Co-working and Innovation Lab Design

Further information about my work and thought can be found in my personal blog or on other event blogs or product websites I created. See:

Working experience

Since 2004: partner in Mesopartner
2016 & 2017: Lecturer at Jacobs-University Bremen on Development Economics and Innovation Economics
2007-present: Lecturer at SEPT Master Course from the University of Leipzig in Leipzig, Hanoi and Ho-Chi-Minh-City on the topic of Regional Competitiveness
2003-2004 Private sector development specialist at GTZ headquarters, special focus on Latin America and South-eastern Europe
2001-2003 Junior professional in GTZ private sector development programme in Honduras
1999-2001 Researcher in joint INEF/IDS local cluster and global value chain project, Institute for Development and Peace, University of Duisburg

I am a founder and board member of the Structural Policy Foundation NRW, a network of economic promotion experts from the German Region of Northrhine-Westfalia who are interested in exchanging their experiences and organizing interesting events.


More detailed information can be found in my attached English CV or German CV.

Mobile: +49-173-520-65-40 (Skype out)

Personal background

Born 1968. MA in social science with a specialisation in economics (Duisburg 1999)

Based in Bremen and Elte, Germany

  • I was born in 1968 in Elte, a lovely village in West Germany located in the Region of Muensterland 
    (see innovative economic development initiatives in the Region)
  • I always wanted to understand the driving forces of economic and social development in different regions, and the creative factors and pitfalls behind them
  • I wanted to get to know other realities outside my village. It provided me with different insights and new perspectives on how to see the world and my work
  • It became clear to me that sustainable economic and social growth is the basis for individual and societal satisfaction, creativity, and progress
  • After my scientific career, it became clear to me that I wanted to work with and learn from people with different and international experience
  • I realized that the experiences of private sector promotion in less-developed regions in the world are very rich. Many donor organisations active in this field face the challenge of promoting economic initiatives in weaker markets under the constraints of low budgets and high political justification. Constraints can lead to innovation. They have led in many cases to a treasure trove of impact-oriented business development experience, market-driven network initiatives, didactical tools and participatory monitoring procedures. Some of these learning experiences can contribute to innovative ways of promoting local economies also in industrialized countries
  • I love to experiment with, develop and implement new initiatives for economic development in conjunction with German and international colleagues
  • "Think global, act local" is quite a superficial phrase, but for me it became a way of life and work
  • I like my way of working, and will localize it further within Germany and the EU in the near future
  • That’s why I am also looking forward to living in the countryside again: to be well grounded in a root-based social and working environment!

Work place

  • From 2005 until October 2009 I was based in a Business Park in Dortmund, Germany. It is an industrial heritage building and a former laboratory of the former multinational steel production company Hoesch.
  • Since November 2009 I have had my office in the Technology Transfer Centre in Rheine, Germany. Created in 1990, the Centre has a background in international technology transfer and product development. It especially focuses on the application of alternative high tech-technologies like wind power, solar energy and low energy house construction. With complete event facilities like Conference halls, modern equipped workshop rooms and a large Guest house, the Centre provides an ideal place for the extension of further Mesopartner events.
  • In cooperation with the Technology Centre and with other German and international partners, we will extend our work in the field of innovative sustainable economic development in urban and rural areas.

Often asked questions

Why are you working in this field and travelling so much?

  • I like to be part of the driving elements in human and economic development
  • I like to understand and learn more about how systems and human beings work and interact
  • I like to encourage change processes and to search for new perspectives for myself and within an LED process

Why are you working as Mesopartner?

  • It is a small innovative team that always looks for new ways of doing things differently
  • The different characters and professional backgrounds of the partners provide creative synergies and motivation
  • It provides the opportunity of specialisation on interesting and dynamic topics within a group of committed colleagues and network partners
  • It is a learning team eager to exchange experiences, take new perspectives and pressure each other to move out of comfort zones
  • We take the risk of developing and testing new formats, tools and approaches
  • The firm philosophy of Mesopartner is special, approaching territorial economic development from a more holistic human and professional perspective, involving elements of systemic, lateral and creative thinking, and communication- and action-orientation. Such a working environment provides the opportunity for learning with the clients, within the team and individually.

What are your 3 wishes for your future work?

  1. to be able to support our German and international colleagues even better during changing organisational and economic circumstances
  2. to increase our own learning process, our creativity and engagement
  3. to work more intensively in Germany through
    • transferring innovative German and international good practice experiences in LED to local and international partners
    • initiating with local people and organisational representatives concrete economic initiatives that lead to a creative and dynamic social environment, where people like to live and get involved in new ways of doing things.