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The Lower Austria Technopol Program – technology-oriented location development


Centers of technology and business established in direct proximity to recognized educational and research facilities, Lower Austria region, Austria

Contact person:



Mr. Claus Zeppelzauer
Ecoplus. The Business Agency of Lower Austria
c.zeppelzauer@ecoplus.at

 

URL:  http://www.ecoplus.at/en/ecoplus/technology-research/technopols


Link of the GP to the RIS3 steps:


Step 1. Analysis of the regional context and potential for innovation
Step 4. Selection of a limited number of priorities for regional development
Step 5. Establishment of suitable policy mixes

Location: 



Country: Austria    Name of the region: Lower Austria    NUTS Level: AT 12



Description of the GP:


Numerous technology-oriented companies already enjoy the advantages offered by Lower Austria as an innovative European high-tech location. In order to position itself even more attractively as a top resettlement location for future industries, Lower Austria is banking on its Technopol strategy, which itself is oriented to international benchmarks.

Technopols are centers of technology and business which are purposefully established in direct proximity to recognized educational and research facilities. The Lower Austria Technopol program is leading the way through its pioneering bundling of education, research and business. Internationally acclaimed research activities are being carried out and new economic initiatives have come about at each of the four Technopols which are spread over Lower Austria:

Technopol Krems for medical biotechnology
with the research fields blood purification systems, tissue engineering, cell therapy, cell biology and physiology


Technopol Tulln for agrobiotechnology and environmental biotechnology
with the research fields bioanalytics, environmental biotechnology, crop breeding, natural resources management and pharmaceutics


Technopol Wiener Neustadt for medical and materials technology
with the research fields materials, tribology, medical technology, sensors and actuators, surfaces

Technopol Wieselburg for bioenergy, agricultural and food technology
with the research fields bioenergy, biomass, energy systems, agricultural sciences and food technology, water resources management

Technopol managers are the first point of contact for inquiries and assistance. They are available at offices at the technology centres on site at all Technopols in order to respond personally to client needs and queries and to encourage networking among all Technopol and center partners. Technopol managers connect when it comes to training and continuing education, research & development and high-tech industries.


Challenges addressed by the GP:


   
- Fact-based selection
- Tackling influence and focusing priorities
- How to link the different policy levels and different time horizons?



Impact and beneficiaries:



Every Technopol is enhancing regional value creation chains and networks. The Technopol Program is supporting the structural transformation of the Lower Austrian economy and is promoting the creation of a knowledge-intensive economy. A macroeconomic analysis of the Technopol Program from 2010 confirms high impact of Technopols on the regional economy documented in a better performance of those districts with Technopol locations in comparison to other districts in Lower Austria without a Technopol.


Based on statistics from 2009 the three oldest Technopols Krems, Tulln and Wiener Neustadt have generated about € 190 mio Gross Value Added since their establishment in 2004.


As example the Technopol in Wiener Neustadt has enlarged the size of its space in the technology- and research centres since 2004 from 7,100 to 16,100 m² space in 2012. At the end of 2012 2.6 times more (480) researcher worked in the Technopol compared to 2004. In the same period, the number of research fields was reduced from 22 to 5 which has led to the existence of substantial research capacities in the 5 remaining research fields. The number of patents increased from zero (2004) to 97 (20129. 216 new jobs have been created in the 12 companies which settled down on the Technopol site between 2004 and 2012.



Requirements and limitations:


For setting up a Technopol in a specific technology field five key prerequisites must be fulfilled in immediate spatial vicinity

  • R&D competence with clear focus on certain technology fields (so-called defined Technopol topics) – even in small niches: the existence of substantial R&D activities at the Technopol location is required.
  • Higher education in the Technopol relevant technology fields in order to link R&D to education.
  • Professional, innovative and technology oriented firms – both as a source of demand for and exploiters of the Technopol technology fields – with expertise in national and international markets. Companies with headquarter in the region, in Austria or abroad.
  • Area for company settlement in the immediate vicinity of the Technopol and space for a tailor-made technology centre, which fulfils the demands of technological orientated companies and research institutes.
  • In order to develop the critical R&D mass, to gain relevant R&D results for business and to exploit these R&D results in a profitable way a long-term perspective of at least 10 years in terms of financial budget and HR issue is a crucial necessity in order to ensure dependability of a Technopol.
  • Installation of a Technopol manager on sight to support the development of the Technopol

 


Funding source:


The Technopol Program is financed by ERDF with 50 % and by the Government of Lower Austria with 50 %.

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