The COMET (Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies) funding scheme is a highly efficient instrument for strengthening long-term research cooperation between science and companies and is of strategic significance to Upper Austria as an innovation region. In Upper Austria, Upper Austrian Research GmbH (UAR), in its role as the leading company for research of the federal province of Upper Austria, represents the province in the national programme and is responsible for coordinating COMET activities in Upper Austria.
Now, as the COMET programme marks its 10th anniversary in 2018, the Upper Austrian government is able to present its very successful results. In the last four years (2014–2017) approximately EUR 41 million in national subsidies were granted to Upper Austria under the COMET funding programme; that is an average of EUR 10.2 million every year. The Upper Austrian government contributes an average of EUR 3 million per year to co-finance the scheme.
Upper Austria currently has a substantial interest in nine COMET centres (of the 22 that exist in Austria overall as of Nov. 2018) – five of them have their head offices in Upper Austria. The new centres Symbiotic Mechatronics – under the roof of Linz Center of Mechatronics – and Pro2Future have begun their research work at Science Park in Linz where they are developing technologies of the future for tomorrow’s production.
The foundation of the K1 centre FFoQSI (Austrian Competence Centre for Feed and Food Quality Safety and Innovation) represents an important milestone in food research.
Following the fifth call for K1 centres, another new centre was successfully brought to Upper Austria in November 2018: starting in 2019, CHASE (Chemical Systems Engineering) will concentrate on the digitalization of production processes in the chemical process industry.