MISSION - Higher Education

“Becoming an Innovation Leader”
Austrian Strategy for research, technology and innovation
Dr. Anneliese STOKLASKA
Deputy Director General
Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research
• 2007-2008 – Austrian Research Dialogue, consultation with
Austrian stakeholders
• 2008-2009 – “System Evaluation”, evaluation of public funding
• 2009 – “Strategy 2020”, proposals and recommendations made
by the Austrian Council for Research and Technology
Taking on challenges, finding answers
Getting ready to become an Innovation Leader
• On one hand successful development of the Austrian research and
innovation system in recent decades
• Austria being ranked at the forefront of the group of “Innovation
• R&D ratio of 2.79 % (2011), which is among the highest in Europe
• On the other hand, new
• short-term (consequences of the global financial and economic
crisis) and
• long-term challenges (“Grand Challenges” such as global scarcity
of energy and natural resources, climate change, demographic
set the framework in which the strategy must operate and for which
science, research and technology must come up with adaptation of
strategies and development options
• In 2020, Austria will be an Innovation Leader
• Human potential and skills will be optimally
developed and used
• Excellent situation for universities, universities of
applied sciences, and non-university research
institutes will form the basis of the innovation system
• Innovative firms will ensure the prosperity of a
modern knowledge-based society
• A customised funding policy will support the
performance of the innovation system
• Special focus on young academics and female
researchers (gender budgeting)
Strategic Framework
• Within this vision, the strategic framework defines five
interrelated areas in which – building on specific structures,
development trends and challenges – the strategy is to be
implemented and operationalised using appropriate measures:
Education system
Basic research
Innovation and corporate research
Governance of the research and innovation system
Funding system
Developing talent, awakening passion
Implementing sustainable reforms in the education system
• A quantitatively and qualitatively well-equipped education system is
an essential prerequisite for innovative thought and action
• Access to and the permeability of the system should be
fundamentally improved, providing performance fairness and equal
• Broad structural reform of the education system at all levels (from
early childhood education to models of life-long learning)
• Increasing the mobility of students and graduates
• Ensure that academic careers become more attractive by improving
framework conditions
• Gender imbalances must be levelled out
Creating knowledge, promoting excellence
The foundation of a knowledge-based society
• Basic research in Austria must be strengthened by
improvement of infrastructure,
reform of university financing
further development of performance agreements
the continued expansion of third-party financing via
competitively evaluated projects while simultaneously
covering overhead
• the implementation of an Austrian excellence initiative
(Clusters of Excellence)
• Knowledge transfer from university to businesses should be
further expanded and strengthened, e.g. by establishing
Knowledge Transfer Centres.
• Better support for institutions for applied non-university (public)
Utilising knowledge, increasing added value
Activating innovation potential
• Innovations are a key element for companies to gain
technological or market-oriented competitive advantages,
thereby also assuring economic growth and new jobs
• Measures:
– the targeted expansion of direct funding
– encouraging the foundation of innovative companies
– improving access to private equity and venture capital
– demand-side innovation measures (as in the area of public
procurement or in setting norms and standards)
– further intensification of the links between science and
– encouraging start-ups by eliminating administrative barriers
Providing guidance, establishing frameworks
Efficiently organising political governance (1)
In the face of new challenges, political governance can only be
effective in mutual coordination and cooperation with other policy
areas, in particular education policy, competition policy and a
general policy of international openness and mobility. Adequate
mechanisms for defining focal points, a clear and transparent
structuring of the funding system, and coherence in the distribution
of responsibilities in a multi-level political system, from regional
coordination to internationalisation are needed.
Providing guidance, establishing frameworks
Efficiently organising political governance (2)
This means
– The new challenges (“Grand Challenges”) are addressed in RTI policy
by the establishment of new “inter-ministerial research, technology
and innovation focal points”. The focal points in question will be
subject to accompanying evaluation and monitoring and will have
short term impacts.
– The funding agencies in the area of RTI policy, working through
performance agreements on the basis of output and impact goals, are
essential pillars of the RTI strategy implementation.
– The international and European networking of Austrian RTI players is
actively supported, and cooperation with key countries is being
strategically expanded.
Providing incentives, creating options
Broadening the financial base
• The specific formulation and further development of the funding
system plays a central role in the Austrian federal government’s
RTI strategy.
• Emphasis here is placed on maximum efficiency and
effectiveness of funding (high leverage), as well as the principle
of competition-based funding allocation, which will take into
consideration the specific requirements of basic research.
• This should make it possible by 2020 to achieve a distribution of
public and private financing in which one-third is public and the
other two-thirds are private.
Thank you for your attention
Anneliese Stoklaska
Deputy Director General
Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research
Rosengasse 2-6
A-1014 Wien
Tel.: +43/1/531 20 - 7150
Fax: +43/1/531 20 - 99 7150
e-mail: [email protected]

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