The challenge in Upper Austria lies in the development and implementation of adequate tools and instruments to enable, stimulate and enforce service innovation – both in the service and in the industrial sectors. In the establishment of adequate regional innovation strategies, a range of questions arise:
A recent study, commissioned by TMG and the Upper Austrian Federation of Industry, underlined the importance of service innovation for the resident industrial companies. Technological innovation has to be accompanied by service innovation to offer innovative product-service-combinations to successfully compete with competitors from low-wage countries.
Upper Austria has quite a long tradition of innovation policy, for example, by the implementation of an enterprise-oriented cluster policy, the strengthening of research institutions and the collaboration between research and the economy. These are generally focused on technological innovation and policies to support service innovation have to consider their specific aspects, problems and perspectives.
The elaboration of the next innovation and research policy programme ‘Oberösterreich 2020’ started in autumn 2012 and will be finished by the end of 2013. Service innovation will have a crucial part to play in the new programme. The specific targets, tools and financial resources of this programme should be allocated in the most effective and future-oriented way.
“The global economic environment and the recent crisis makes it clearer and clearer: The future of Upper Austria, and Europe as a whole, lies in technology and production combined with smart and intelligent services. The main issue these days is how to support this transformation. What instruments, activities and platforms can contribute to the development of a smart and efficient set of policies to promote service innovation? We are ready to take the next steps and will warmly welcome the input from the experts of the ESIC and the exchanges with those other regions that are focusing on the same question.”
Dr. Michael Strugl
Minister of Economic and European Affairs, Upper Austria
Regional case: Upper Austria, a Manufacturing Stronghold seeking to renew its Economy through Service Innovatio
The region of Upper Austria provides an example of a driving economy where services and the transformative power of service innovation have yet to realise their full potential. The economy is characterised by a vigorous manufacturing sector with particular strengths in the automotive, mechanical engineering, automation, metal processing, chemicals and plastics sectors.
The total area of the region: 11 982 km²
The size of the population: 1 416 600
Regional GDP: € 47 666 000
Per Capita: € 33.80
Dominant industries: plastics industry, automotive, mechatronics and mechanical engineering
Emerging industries: health (personalised medicine), energy efficiency
Unemployment Rate: 6.6 %
Share of Knowledge Workers in the Economically Active Population: 35.4 %
Gross Expenditure on R&D per GDP: 2.59 %