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Research strategy provides for more cooperation

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10.07.2024 07:55

The Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences will be at the heart of more national and international cooperation. This is already regarded as a very research-intensive UAS. In addition, the aim is to attract more funding from the federal government and Brussels.  

Together with Governor Markus Wallner, State Councillor for Education Barbara Schöbi-Fink and State Councillor for Economic Affairs Marco Tittler, Thomas Wiesinger from the consulting firm "Pöchhacker Innovation Consulting" presented the Science and Research Strategy 2030+ on Tuesday. The focus is on three goals: Firstly, a research offensive is to be launched and local skills are to be strengthened - for example through the STEM offensive among children and young people. The second is to expand research and development cooperation at national and international level.

The latter is already going quite well with regard to the cooperation between Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences and the Universities of Innsbruck and St. Gallen - there are various projects with both. Nevertheless, there seems to be room for improvement. "The University of Applied Sciences is already considered to be very research-intensive. However, we still see potential in establishing further research collaborations beyond Vorarlberg," attests Wallner.

Markus Wallner wants to continually adapt and further develop the research strategy. (Bild: STIPLOVSEK DIETMAR / APA / picturedesk.com)
Markus Wallner wants to continually adapt and further develop the research strategy.

As far as the expansion of local expertise is concerned, Barbara Schöbi-Fink praised the current STEM projects in particular. 21,000 children and young people have already been reached with the aim of awakening an interest in mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology. The provincial governor criticized the funding. The majority of Vorarlberg's research projects are funded by companies (351 million euros per year). The state contributes 16.5 million euros annually, the federal government only three million euros. "We have a massive shortfall in federal funding. This is also due to the fact that Vorarlberg does not have a university," explains Schöbi-Fink.

Another disadvantage for the research location is that the Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences - in contrast to those in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg - does not have the right to award doctorates. This naturally leads to scientists and researchers turning to other locations.

The State Councillor for Economic Affairs believes that Vorarlberg's companies are well positioned. (Bild: Mathis Fotografie)
The State Councillor for Economic Affairs believes that Vorarlberg's companies are well positioned.

Marco Tittler believes that Vorarlberg's companies are still well positioned in terms of research and development in an international comparison, but warns against missing the boat: "In order to keep up, we need to go into depth technologically and further expand our structures." At the same time, the breadth of technology development must also be kept in mind: "Small and medium-sized enterprises should be able to get involved."

"More of an interim report than a finished strategy"
Although Governor Markus Wallner emphasized that the research strategy is a process that is to be continuously developed, the NEOS are not satisfied with the result. "The contents are more reminiscent of an interim report on the way to a strategy," criticizes Garry Thür, spokesperson for science and research. For example, it lacks a prioritization of fields of action and measures, a timetable and clearly defined target groups.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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