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Innovation made in Austria

16. June 2017

Nowadays, innovation plays a crucial role in the success of the economy of a country. A recent ranking by Bloomberg shows that Austria is on track to belong to the most innovative countries in Europe.

The 2017 Bloomberg Innovation Index proved that Austria is doing things right when it comes to boosting innovation. Austria managed to improve its ranking from 14 in 2016 to 13 in 2017. In particular, Research & Development intensity (7), Manufacturing added-value (7), and efficiency (6) appear to be core strengths according to Bloomberg’s research

According to the Austrian Business Agency , investments for R&D continue to rise and are expected to reach a record high of EUR 11.3 billion in 2017 (+3.8% compared to 2016). Almost half of the research spending (48.2%, EUR 5.46 billion) stems from the private sector – an increase of 3% compared to 2016. The public sector managed to increase its financing by more than 5% compared to previous year to EUR 4.08 billion (36%).

FOUR Innovation labs

To further boost innovation in all regions, EUR 3 million will be invested to build four innovation centres . The first labs will commence operations in Vienna (Factory Hub Vienna), Linz (CAP.fabricc), Wattens (Innovation Campus) and Klagenfurt (MAKERSPACE Carinthia). The labs are pushing forward innovative products and projects and foster the development of prototypes. The labs will be established as visible, physical rooms with open access, aiming to address and attract new user groups and networking with various regional players. The Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG will supervise the program on behalf of the Ministry of Science, Research and Economy.

More funds than ever

According to Harald Mahrer, Federal Minister of Science, Research and Economy , the National Foundation is funded more than ever before. A total of EUR 420 million is expected to be invested by 2020. The funds will make an important contribution to further push ahead as innovation leaders.

Via the National Foundation, around EUR 140 million will be distributed each year to support and promote the best and most creative minds in Austria. Innovation and creativity are regarded as the crucial key factors to competitiveness. The amount consists of financial resources made available by the National Bank, the Austria Fund (Österreichfond) and interest from the ERP Fund.