Giving and taking in research
Apparently, Austria offers a productive business environment, which international companies require to successfully implement their R&D agenda. This includes an educational system producing highly qualified research personnel, along with competent local cooperation partners and last but not least, a modern and open funding system which takes account of the increasing internationalization of research and development.
A prime example of an open research promotion offering with a broad range of possibilities for international partners to get involved is COMET, the competence center program of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG. International cooperation is a key factor underlying the success of the funded COMET K2 centers, the largest type of center within the COMET initiative. 68% of the scientific partners and 43% of the corporate partners come from abroad, bringing their know-how as well as financial contributions. For example, the Vienna University of Technology and three other international partners from Belarus, Spain and Hungary work together on a sensor-supported early warning system for industrial facilities within the context of a project at the “X-Tribology” center of excellence.
Work is being carried out in all conceivable constellations on future issues of vehicle technology at the Virtual Vehicle competence center “K2 Mobility”. BMW is working with the Graz University of Technology on the further development of integral safety systems. In yet another project, the Graz University of Technology is cooperating with six corporate partners and a scientific partner from Germany to develop a new testing system for passenger safety.
Support provided by federal funding should benefit Austria as both a research and business location. However, it is understood that the commercial realization of project findings will not necessarily take place only in Austria. In return, Austria is being successfully positioned as an international hub in which companies, regardless of where they are based, can take advantage of ideal pre-requisites to practically implement their R&D strategies.