Photo credit: Ina Ciobanu

published 27 May 2013 by Anna Potanina in Austria 2 minutes 24 seconds to read

Fostering Innovation-Based Entrepreneurship in Austria

For many companies that are running a business in the field of technology, there seems to be a demand for information on the latest scientific research developments that could give insight into how to reduce costs, improve efficiency and/or provide CEOs with fresh ideas.

MIT Europe conference 2013 Vienna Austria scientific research technology startups innovation WKO

For many companies that are running a business in the field of technology, there seems to be a demand for information on the latest scientific research developments that could give insight into how to reduce costs, improve efficiency and/or provide CEOs with fresh ideas.

Last week, Vienna hosted a number of leading researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who presented their findings and the latest news from the field of technology research. It turns out the latter promises a new era in manufacturing. But first things first: “Austrian companies must enhance innovative capacity to produce and commercialise goods, services and platforms with global impact,” Professor Scott Stern from MIT Sloan School and NBER set the tone of the conference.

Around 20 prominent international speakers participated in keynotes and panels. Research scientists discussed the recent trends in Big Data, Collaborative Innovation Networks, Additive Manufacturing, Robotic Assistance and Virtual Factories. Alongside the American experts, Austrian leading companies TRIUMPF and Andritz AG shared their experience on innovative manufacturing. During the breaks, the programme was complemented by exhibits of Austrian GAMED Gesellschaft für Angewandte Mathematik und EDV mbH and  FerRobotics Compliant Robot Technology GmbH .

Delivering inspiration to entrepreneurs

The event was organised with the goal to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Austria and provide them with information on new technologies and ideas. Visitors learned how to extract innovation through human capital, reduce manufacturing costs through miniaturisation, robotics and 3D-printing, and were faced with the question: Is it possible to "print” electronics?  Some of the conference talks whirled around some rather theoretical issues of doing business today: how to gain competitive advantage within the ecosystem, what opportunities will integration bring to the industry and how important is it to build an effective network and communicate efficiently in it.  

The conference, however, did not focus purely on the ways and means of improving communications, operations, and the like. Participants were also given a few words of wisdom on how to treat downfalls and failure. MIT’s Steven Spear said: “OK, let’s assume that the wrong answer is the best you can do now. Yet, it is [probably] also the best that everybody in the world can do at the moment. Success will mean learning faster than anybody else in the sector, and getting a better response. You need to fail 100 times in order to succeed on the 101st. So just create enough safety to fail things, and continue trying.”

His advice comes shortly after the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) indicated that 43,5% of Austrians are scared of failing. This finding placed Austria in the middle range among other innovation-based companies. (For more information, see our coverage here).

The MIT Vienna conference was a part of a global MIT industrial Liaison Program, and welcomed over 400 participants - entrepreneurs, investors, press, future clients, mentors and speakers.

For more information, visit the event’s website 

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