2 - Knowledge transfer between Universities and Business

2.6 - Promoting the creation of regional centres of applied research

Introduction

The technological and applied research requirements of the various agents involved in the knowledge economy tend to be better addressed from a regional point of view. Therefore, we recommend the creation of regional applied research institutes, which operate in accordance with industrial policy in the region and can form a close bond with local businesses. The focus on more localised activity should not however compromise the pursuit of international excellence and collaboration with entities outside the region.

Example

Joanneum Research (Styria, Austria)

Joaenneum Research is a limited company which was created over 30 years ago, and plays a key role in the process of Innovation of the Austrian region of Styria. Its institutes are providers of technological advancement and innovation which is based on applied research with an international perspective. Its success lies in the commitment of its researchers and the involvement of the TNO Dutch Innovation Agency, which owns a 10% stake. Its main objective is to satisfy the short and medium term needs of the business sector and promote the attractive qualities of Styria as an investment destination, by creating skilled employment opportunities. Over the years, it has contributed to the generation of activities for innovation, the development of networks and contacts, and the transfer of knowledge throughout Austria.

The Institutes collaborate actively with both the public and private sectors, in areas such as the Science of Materials (the Institute of Surface Technology and Photonics), Health (Institute of Health Sciences and Biomedicine), Telecommunications (Institute of Information Technology and Communication), Natural Resources (Institute for Water, Energy and Sustainability) and Policies (Economic Research and Innovation Centre). Approximately 30% of its research contracts come from companies, 50% comes from the Austrian Civil Service and the remaining 20% from international organisations, the latter accounting for 28% of its operating income.

Joanneum Research has five research units in Graz and Vienna. The organisation is characterised by: a high level of efficiency and scientific quality; comprehensive selection of research subjects, extensive participation in international Innovation networks; and a pioneering role in terms of ethics in R&D and technology.

Implementation process

Agents required for implementation

This recommendation should be implemented in collaboration with several Companies and Universities, and it would be advisable to seek support from the Public Administration for help with coordination.

View explanatory caption

Sources

  1. http://www.ffg.at/content.php?cid=62- Agency for the Promotion of Investigation, Austria.
  2. http://www.joanneum.at/en/jr.html - Joanneum Research, Austria.