25. November 2015

Deputy Governor Stelzer: "Research Spending of 4% Remains our Top Priority"

To establish Upper Austria as the leading industrial region in the European economic and research sector, the province's research and technology policy makes increased expenditure on R&D its principal objective. The R&D rate is the amount a country spends on research as a proportion of gross regional product (GRP). With an R&D rate of 3.17% (Statistik Austria, exhaustive survey 2013), Upper Austria spends more than the Austrian average of 2.97%. Since the rate in 2009 was 2.59%, an upward trend can be observed. The target is clear: To achieve an R&D rate of 4% in Upper Austria by 2020.

"We are not yet where we belong as the leading province for business and industry," said deputy governor Thomas Stelzer at the 21st meeting of the Upper Austrian Council for Research and Technology (RFT OÖ) on 24/11/2015. "For that reason, we want to achieve spending on research of 4% by 2020." To reach this ambitious target, close cooperation between science and business will continue to be of great importance, as Stelzer stressed. He added that an increase of the Upper Austrian research budget of EUR 8.5 million had been obtained.

From an Innovation Follower to an Innovation Leader

At the Council meeting, the recommendation drafted by the RFT OÖ on the subject of achieving an R&D rate of 4% in Upper Austria was submitted to the government member responsible for research, deputy governor Stelzer. Great efforts would be necessary to reach this target. Stelzer and Günter Rübig, chairman of the RFT OÖ, agreed that "To this end, Upper Austria must advance from being an innovation follower to being an innovation leader. Research in Upper Austria covers a wide range of fields. In association with the province's thriving industry, universities, universities of applied sciences and non-university research institutes can cover the entire chain of innovation."

Following the Council meeting, the third RFT OÖ lecture evening was held on the subject of "Research – Strategy – Future?!" in the Landhaus in Linz. Dr. Ludovit Garzik, MBA (CEO of the Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development) and Prof. Dr. Wilfried Eichlseder (chancellor of Montanuniversität Leoben) gave two talks, "The Performance of Austria's Science and Research System in 2015" and "The Technical University's Contribution to the Economy" as a lead-in to the ensuing panel discussion.

© Photo: Province of Upper Austria/Grilnberger Left to right: Deputy Governor Thomas Stelzer, Dr. Ludovit Garzik, MBA, Dr. Gerald Reisinger, Prof. Dr. Margarethe Überwimmer (Dean of Univ. of Appl. Sciences, deputy Council chair), Chancellor Prof. Dr. Wilfried Eichlseder, Chancellor Prof. Dr. Meinhard Lukas, Günter Rübig (Council chair)