Secure technological sovereignty and Austria as a business location with applied research!

"We are very pleased that the WKO has given applied research such a prominent setting with its event "Strong Research Strong Location" (22 April 2024, WKO Vienna). It became abundantly clear that entrepreneurs are now concerned about location security and that they see an urgent need for action when it comes to funding research and development," said Ulrike Prommer, President of the Austrian University of Applied Sciences Conference (FHK), following her panel discussion with Iris Filzwieser (Mettop GmbH and ACR), Christoph Neumayer (IV) and Bernhard Sagmeister (AWS), which was moderated by Henrietta Egert-Stadlhuber (FFG).

With around 2,000 cooperative research projects per year, universities of applied sciences are strong partners for industry and can therefore understand their needs very well. Cooperative research in particular needs more planning security, sustainability and less bureaucracy in accessing research funding. This was clearly expressed during the discussion.

Universities of Applied Sciences are coming under increasing pressure when it comes to financing application-oriented cooperation projects with their business partners, as they lack sustainable funding for research. Due to a lack of sustainable funding for research, universities of applied sciences are having to refrain from submitting applications with business partners because they do not have the funds to cover the costs. This is a worrying development, as companies generate added value and productivity from application-orientated research, thereby securing their location. This development is also regrettable insofar as universities of applied sciences in particular have a high level of expertise in acquiring competitive research funding. This is another reason why they are particularly attractive research partners for companies and enter into a perfect synergy with them.

"We support companies from the research results through to the market maturity of products and services. This is our unique selling point as an application-orientated research university and the reason for the high demand for our research services from companies. We consistently pursue this application-orientation in both teaching and research. Sustainable funding for research is therefore also a basic prerequisite for ensuring the quality of our teaching. In order to be able to offer both in a sustainable and high-quality manner, we also need accredited doctoral programmes for the career development of our researchers," says Prommer.

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