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Innovation System in centrope

The study (in cooperation with europaforum wien) analyzed the position of Vienna within a crossborder regional innovation system, centrope. The study compared Vienna region with other European crossborder regional innovation systems (Upper Rhine region (CH, DE, FR), the Lake Constance region (AT, CH, DE, LI), the Eindhoven-Leuven-Aachen triangle (BE, DE, NL) and the Øresundregion (DK, SE).



Executive Summary: 

Science region Vienna in international perspective. The position of Vienna as a supraregional science location and of Vienna’s nodal functions for research, technology and innovation in the centrope region is the focus of the study. Results are based on a comprehensive assessment of strengths and weaknesses, in combination with a comparative analysis of four European cross-border innovation systems: the Upper Rhine region (CH, DE, FR), the Lake Constance region (AT, CH, DE, LI), the Eindhoven-Leuven-Aachen triangle (BE, DE, NL) and the Øresundregion (DK, SE).

Lead principles for future cooperation efforts. Taking into account the SWOT analysis of centrope and the lessons learnt from the experiences in the peer regions, future cooperation efforts of Vienna in its region should be based on nine lead principles. Among them, taking Vienna’s existing strengths as a starting point for cross-border measures – and here in scientific basic research in particular – ranks among the most important. Cooperation is most likely to succeed along functional axes between complementary partners and by strengthening the primary institutions in the RTI field. A strong motivation “beyond” the region, like a joint internationalisation strategy, can propel the cooperation. On the other hand, top-down definition of a cross-border region without regard for actual accessibility as well as over-ambitious governance, strategy and marketing efforts can be detrimental.

Recommendations for Vienna. Four modular recommendations for action follow from this.

  1. Opportunity-driven activities can capitalise from possibilities emerging on short notice, while based on clear criteria for cross-border engagement derived from Vienna’s RTI strategy.
  2. Selective measures have a focused impact, like networking/matchmaking events for scientists or support for cross-border student mobility.
  3. Structural measures aim for sustainable results over the medium term, like cross-border dual career initiatives, research funding or the institutionalisation of networking/matchmaking and student mobility. Joint creation and use of middle-sized research infrastructures in the applied field (e.g. KIC-bid in the EIT framework) would also represent such a structural measure.
  4. Strategic cross-border initiatives are to be launched in the post-2020 period, but require essential preparatory activities starting now. In particular, a strategic measure could be the joint acquisition of an EU co-funded Large Research Infrastructure.


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