Vanessa Hellwig

Postdoctoral Researcher
Urban, regional and international economics at TU Dortmund

urban economics | digital transformation | knowledge economy



About me

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the chair for urban, regional and international economics at TU Dortmund University. My research on digital firms and the dissimination of knowledge is located at the interface between spatial planning and economics.

I received my MSc and BSc in Spatial Planning from TU Dortmund.

I successfully defended my PhD Thesis on „Transformation, Digitisation and the Geography of Knowledge – Essays on the Spatial Distribution of the Digital Economy in Germany“ in October 2022. The members of my
PhD committee are Prof. Christiane Hellmanzik, Prof. Tessa Flatten and Prof. Stefan Siedentop.

!! New Publication !! I’m happy to announce that my paper „Shoulders and shadows of giants: intra-regional distribution of the digtial industry in Germany“ was published in Regional Studies, Regional Science.

Research Interests

Digitisation and

Knowlege Economy and Entrepreneurship


My research provides  empirical analysis on patterns of the spatial
development of the digital industry in Germany over time. This allows to
draw conclusions on the spatial dimension and channels of agglomeration
economies and the dissemination of knowledge captured by
entrepreneurship in a spatial context.


I am working with spatial panel datasets,
which includes geocoded firm data and various regional statistics.
My favorite software applications are RStudio and QGIS,
but I am also familiar working with SPSS, STATA and


Working Papers

Tech Hubs within Cities – Determinants and Dynamics. (Submitted)
Does Community Social Capital Influence How Companies View the Risks Associated with Biodiversity Loss?  | Joint work with Gerrit Köchling and Daniel Neukirchen
Social connectedness, FDI and Trade | work in progess with Maren Kaliske and Felix Dornseifer
Money can buy you cleverness. Public funding for software firms and it’s effects on innovation outputs | work in progress with Christiane Hellmanzik
Beyond the Dreamhouse: Analyzing Microgeographical Patterns of Female CEOs in Berlin’s Startup Scene


I have been teaching seminars, projects and workshops in the Depatment for Spatial Planning and in the Economics Department of TU Dortmund at both the undergraduate and graduate level. These are listed here:

Spatial and Urban Economics |Tutorial | BSc Economics

Empirical Spatial Economics | Seminar | BSc Spatial Planning Globalisation | Seminar | MSc Economics

Globalisation | MSc group project | Spatial Planning

Wie wird man gescheit smart? Empirische Untersuchung von Smart City Strategien | BSc third year group project) | Sc Spatial Planning}}

Economics of Digitization | Seminar | BSc Spatial Planning, BSc Economics

Economics of Migration | Seminar | BSc Spatial Planning, BSc Economics

Academic Writing | Seminar | SPRING (Master Spatial Planning), BSc Economics

Bachelor Dissertation Supervision and Examination (16 Students)
Spatial Planning and Economics

Master Dissertation Supervision (11 Students)
Spatial Planning and Economics


I am Research Associate at the IFWI – Institut für Wissensökonomie – the institute for knowledge economics. We offer economic consultancy and expertise at the intersection of economics, business and regional development.

How do we work?

What intrigues us is how individuals, businesses and cities as well as regions thrive using knowledge resources more efficiently. To this end, we provide strategic, on-point advise using a mix of state-of-the art research findings, modern data analysis tools as well as in-depth qualitative research to provide evidence-based advice to our clients.

For further information please contact IFWI – Institut für Wissensökonomie. 

Where to find me:


Vogelpothsweg 87
D-44227 Dortmund



+ (49) 231 755 6821