DUO**Stars platform boosts entrepreneurship and training in the high-tech sector

An innovative networking and business support programme which operates on either side of the Austrian and Slovak border aims to make the region more attractive for enterprising companies.

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A summer school organised as part of the project, saw young people visiting engineering and high technology companies so that they could find out more about careers in those fields. A summer school organised as part of the project, saw young people visiting engineering and high technology companies so that they could find out more about careers in those fields.

" Both public institutions and private companies hope to make the cross-border region more attractive and set up a real “brain belt” which will create new job opportunities in the future. "

Dr. Ewald Kloser, Project manager

For several decades the regions of Lower Austria and Trnava in Slovakia were separated by the Iron Curtain and this led to substantial differences in terms of economic development between the two regions. Stereotypes and prejudices still prevail today on either side of the border and one of the aims of the DUO**STARS project is to change attitudes that some people feel about their closest neighbours.

The project particularly focused on the development of high-technology industries, particularly in the automotive, aerospace and electronics sectors. This was done by fostering networking and training, the development of cross-border human resources and the marketing of the regions.

Promoting e-training

Examples of the project’s work include promoting new communication techniques, such as the setting up of e-training and video conferences between workers in the automotive and aerospace industries. This allowed companies to receive training on the design and production of carbon-fibre / epoxy components using a technique called resin transfer moulding. These new lightweight composites are intended to reduce weight and thus save energy. The courses were held by world-leading experts for experienced engineers from small, medium-sized and large firms through a web-based learning platform. To complement the theoretical training, practical hands-on sessions were organised at a composite manufacturing plant in Slovakia.

The project also included an e-procurement initiative which gave participating companies the opportunity to raise their exposure to international markets through increased sales and the improving of their competitive position as a result of cost-efficient access to supplier networks.

Investing in the next generation

The project also saw over one hundred pupils and university students taking part in summer schools and summer academies. These activities provided potential young apprentices with the opportunity to find out and learn about career opportunities in the technical professions. They also led to a valuable cross-border partnership being forged between schools in St Pölten and Trnava that will continue beyond the duration of the project.


Total investment and EU funding

The “DUO**Stars Zentraleuropäische Plattforminitiative für Hochtechnologiebranchen” project had a total budget of EUR 2 399 419, to which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 2 039 506 from the cross-border Operational Programme Austria-Slovakia for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.


Draft date

15/10/2014

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