Talk Gate: Vienna’s Future Of Innovation In IT And ICT

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Vienna is definitely on the rise of being a european hotspot for the information-communication-technology industry. Check out our event report of the latest Talk Gate event at Tech gate!

Leading companies from ICT discussed the future of innovation and research at the ICT location Vienna.

A Talk Gate event on top research from Austria as a basis for global innovation competence in the information-communication-technology industry (ICT) took place at Tech Gate Vienna in cooperation with the AIT – Austrian Institute of Technology, the Telecommunication Research Centre Vienna (FTW), the VRVis competence centre and Zumtobel. Not only in Vienna but all around the world ICT is among the key industries required for sustainable economic growth. Innovation and research are critical success factors influenced by location policy.

Following the presentation of a study by Giuditta de Prate, economic secretary to the European Commission, at the science and technology park Tech Gate Vienna, high-ranking representatives from extremely successful research and ICT companies discussed “The Future of IT, Science and Research at the Business Location Vienna”.

Difficult situation despite strong business performance

“Following education and training in Austria, employees, entrepreneurs and founders in particular, go abroad to find better conditions. “And it is not just financially strong, flexible and cool Silicon Valley that they opt for”, says Carola Lindenbauer, managing director of Tech Gate Vienna GmbH and organiser of Talk Gates.

Professor Hannes Werthner from Vienna University of Technology stressed that despite the dire financial situation of the University it is considered one of the top 10 universities in Europe. Compared to Vienna, the technical universities in Zurich and Munich have double or even four times the number of teachers per student, but qualitywise Vienna University of Technology is ranks third in the German speaking countries. “What could we achieve if we had the same conditions?” asked Prof. Werthner not without anticipating the answer already.

The ICT sector in Vienna consists of approx. 5,700 companies with more than 50,000 employees and a gross value added of approx. 5,6 billion euros. “We have to make this economic factor and its significance for Vienna more visible and to this end we have launched the initiative Digitalcity”, states Ulrike Huemer, CIO for the City of Vienna. .

Call for more awareness

ICT companies need to be perceived more and to achieve this marketing must play a more prominent role, said Roman Biller, managing director of the IT service provider Unisys. “Creating a positive image for IT/ICT companies should not be a problem, because the innovative technologies these companies provide improve people’s quality of life in many ways”, explained Geaorg Niklfeld, MSc, head of the “ICT of the Future” promotion programme.

Subsidies continue to be important

IT expert Josef Broukal also deems funding and subsidies critical factors for the Vienna location. Research needs a lot more public relations activities. Ski racers should not be the only ones to take a medal for their achievements but women and men who make it to the top with their economy-focused research too. Yet quite often there is no budget for this , said Broukal, because: “During my time as science spokesman for the Austrian Social Democrats I had to turn down three quarters of all projects worthy of support due to lack of funds.”

Mag. Eva Czernohorsky, Technology Services Department at Vienna Business Agency is aware of these problems and draws a comparison: “ICT companies in Vienna not only generate a turnover of 19 billion Euros annually, four times as much as tourism, by the way, but courtesy to research and development these companies represent a clear asset for Vienna in international competition.”

Vienna as a location is a competitive advantage

Helmut Leopold, head of the Safety & Security Department, AIT, Georg Stonawski, managing director of VRVis and Norbert Skoulas, head of Research Cooperations and Project Management, FTW are confident that “Vienna has become an important centre of international R&D competence, as proven by many examples of cooperation with well-known companies”.

Following an interesting panel discussion the audience actively continued the deliberations and dealt with remaining open issues in smaller groups. The numerous participants were pleased with the interesting Gate Talk in Vienna’s Tech Gate, one of the leading science and technology locations in Vienna.

Tech Gate is Vienna’s largest science and technology park. It is located in the 22nd district next to the Vienna International Center. Its first building was completed and opened in 2001 (the conspicuous tower next to it was opened in 2005). Tech Gate Vienna wants to provide synergies for companies settled there and intensify networking through the high concentration of successful and innovative technology companies and research facilities. Thus Tech Gate Vienna offers a perfect platform for cooperation and contacts, both of which are significant mechanisms for strengthening competitiveness and adding dynamics to the innovation processes – it is Vienna’s ICT gate to the world.



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