Crises in the Ruhr Valley mining industry, in the iron and steel industries, and in other branches, such as the textile industry, led the government of North Rhine-Westphalia to address structural change with structural policy. At first, support programs were primarily geared toward the coal and steel industry; at the beginning of the 1980s emphasis was placed on developing new technologies. On October 3, 1984, Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia Johannes Rau went to the city of Oberhausen, where he presented union and employer representatives, as well as representatives from the fields of science and research, with the “State Initiative for Future-Oriented Technologies.” The program had four leading goals: 1) to develop future technologies; 2) to make sure that technology assumed socially responsible forms; 3) to support technology transfer; 4) to promote top-notch research in the field of technology. In addition to the technology promotion initiative that was already underway, the new program made funds totaling 400 million marks available for the years 1985-1988. The photograph features Johannes Rau (left) during a visit to the Ruhr Valley.

“State Initiative for Future-Oriented Technologies” (1984)


Source: Original caption: Ruhr region trying to project new image. North Rhine-Westphalian state government wants more future-oriented industries. Photo: IN-Press/dpa.

Courtesy of the German Information Center