Christian Reiner, Senior Researcher at the Lauder Business School, is participating in two recent contract research projects and has published a new paper.  The first research project, a project with the centre for Social Innovation (ZSI), is financed by the Austrian Wirtschaftsservice (AWS). The aim is to evaluate and provide suggestions for improving the ex-ante project evaluation scheme of AWS. The project deals with the allocation of public subsidies for private companies, especially but not exclusively start-ups. Higher education institutions and their entrepreneurial orientation are at the centre of the second undertaking, a cooperative project together with WPZ  Research GmbH funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research. The main task is to draft a background report for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which is organizing a study visit to Austria this year to interview key stakeholders at universities and ministries about higher education, entrepreneurship and innovation. Both research projects are associated with a stream of third-party research funding for the Lauder Business School and is conducted by Christian Reiner.

The publication pertains to a policy brief on the Austrian innovation performance, entitled “Raus aus der Middle Innovation Trap zum Innovation Leader Handlungsoptionen für Österreich”. The policy brief is co-authored by Brigitte Ecker, director of WPZ Research GmbH. The authors argue that Austria was quite successful in catching up with Western European countries in terms of innovation activities in the 1990s and the 2000s. Yet since then Austria’s innovation system has failed to develop into a system that is on an equal footing with the top European innovation nations. In other words, the catching-up process slowed down despite further increases in innovation inputs. This empirical evidence leads to the questions whether Austria is experiencing a “middle-innovation trap” comparable to the fate of several emerging economies which seem to be stuck in a so-called “middle-income trap”. Inferior business dynamics, a slow digital transformation and an underdeveloped focus on research excellence in the university sector are discussed as critical aspects that may have to be addressed in order to overcome the middle-innovation trap.

The main results and suggested policy options of the policy brief have been summarised and published by the Austrian Press Agentur (APA). Several statements of the LBS senior researcher are quoted verbatim in this article.

Taken together, the two research projects and the policy brief demonstrate how research with its applied economic research approach at the Lauder Business School contributes to relevant economic policy discussions in Austria. The focus on innovation in the business sector is also a highly relevant topic in all three study programs at LBS.

Vienna, January 15, 2018

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Congratulations to the Class of 2019

On June 28 we were pleased to welcome numerous families and friends to the Lauder Business School campus for a graduation celebration. In his welcome address our Executive Director Alexander Zirkler congratulated the graduates and introduced our Guest of Honor, the US Ambassador to Austria – his Excellency Trevor D. Traina.

Fireplace Talk with the CEO of Austrian Airlines

On June 19 we were delighted to host the CEO of Austrian Airlines, Dr. Alexis von Hoensbroech, in the Lauder Business School ball room. He delivered an inspiring fireplace talk about his career path, the aviation industry in general, and the Austrian Airlines company structure and strategy.

Cooperation Agreement with the City of Vienna

Lauder Business School signed a cooperation agreement with the City of Vienna together with 22 other Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences located in Vienna. On May 14, 2019, Mayor Michael Ludwig signed a cooperation agreement with the Viennese higher education institutions in the City Hall, together with rectors, directors and board members of 23 universities, colleges and universities of applied sciences.

Researching Innovation in Austria

Christian Reiner, senior researcher at LBS, has co-authored the “Austrian Research and Technology Report 2019”. This annual report has been published by three Austrian ministries and written by external experts from applied research institutes and universities. Given the importance of the report for the wider public, it is an honour to contribute to this official publication.