According to a recent study looking at the economic potential of the “Internet of Services”, a new service sector with the potential to become a billion-dollar industry has established itself online. This will benefit not only the German ICT sector, but the national economy as a whole. However, it is essential that companies and lawmakers quickly recognise and systematically exploit this growth potential.
On 22 November 2010, ZEW held a workshop on “The Economics of Green IT”. The term “green IT” refers to energy-saving strategies in production and use of information technology as well as IT-based innovations which aim to reduce the energy consumption of other devices and production processes, improve power supply systems and make energy markets more efficient. While green IT has been widely debated in the industry, economic researchers are yet to develop a systematic research approach in this area. The goal of the workshop, therefore, was to encourage scientific debate over green IT in economics and other related disciplines. The workshop was organised jointly by the ZEW Research Departments “Information and Communication Technologies” and “Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Management”.
Prof. Dr. Andreas Löschel, head of the ZEW research department "Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Management" was appointed professor for economics with focus on environmental and resource economics at Heidelberg University. Löschel now holds this professorship at the Alfred-Weber-Institute at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
Van Anh Vuong was a visiting researcher at ZEW's Research Department “Industrial Economics and International Management” from 18 November to 17 December 2010. At the time of this visit, Ms Anh Vuong was working on her PhD at Pennsylvania State University. Her primary research focus is in the area of applied microeconomics and industrial economics. During her time at ZEW she looked at the relationship between exports, innovation and productivity in German firms as part of a joint research project.
Proponents of the introduction of a broad-based minimum wage in Germany have slowly begun to view minimum wage law as a miracle cure-all, a veritable wonder drug for all ailments suffered by the body of the state. Yet as with all drugs, patients are advised to inquire as to risks and possible side effects.
The closing conference for the research project seco@home was held at the end of September 2010 at the Evangelical Academy Loccum. The seco@home project spent two years looking at the consumer decisions made by private households in terms of energy usage in residential buildings.
On 23 and 24 September 2010, the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) and the European Business School hosted the “Third Conference on Financial Integration and Stability: Systemic Risk and Incentives”. The conference was sponsored by the Stiftung für Geld und Währung. About 31 researchers from Germany and abroad attended the event.
On 27 September 2010 the first round of project allocation concluded with a total of 23 project proposals from ZEW researchers in cooperation with renowned international researchers having been submitted for consideration. The proposals were subject to an external evaluation conducted by the Scientific Board of the SEEK Research Programme.
From 1 September 2010 to 1 June 2011, Dr. Virginia Hernanz is a visiting researcher at the ZEW Research Department Labour Markets, Human Resources and Social Policy. Hernanz is Associate Professor at the University of Alcalá (Madrid). Her research focuses on the formation and evaluation of labour market policy measures. During her research stay at ZEW, Hernanz will analyse the transition to and from unemployment in a comparison between Spain and Germany.
In cooperation with the Central Institute of Mental Health (ZI), ZEW hosted a symposium on “Autonomy and Flexibility in Scientific Administration – Best Practice” on 18 October 2010. The event was attended by over 85 business executives and company directors, experts and decision-makers from universities, research institutions and university hospitals as well as representatives from funding bodies, who discussed a number of issues, such as what adjustments research institutions in Germany can make in order to continue to compete in the international arena.