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Meetings Calendar 2006
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Business Enterprises with Innovative Momentum

 

In 2005 business enterprises operating in Austria spent approximately EUR 3.6 billion on research and development, some 60 percent more than five years earlier. It is above all due to the R&D dynamism of its companies that Austria is now well on the way to achieving the three percent research quota. Today, the corporate sector accounts for a good 63 percent of all R&D spending in Austria. Of course, this figure also includes the 20 percent of research investments that are made by foreign corporations in Austria – one of the highest figures in Europe. As a result, Austria has a realistic chance of achieving the second objective of the Lisbon process, namely a financing ratio for research investments in which industry provides two thirds and the public purse one third.

This development is all the more remarkable given the predominance of small and medium-sized enterprises in Austria’s economic structure. Their innovative strength was for a long time underestimated. It was only the EU-wide Community Innovation Survey that put the innovation performance of SMEs into proper perspective.

According to this report almost half of Austrian small and medium-sized enterprises have an innovation rate that clearly exceeds the EU average. Moreover, Austrian SMEs are also far ahead of the EU average when it comes to the percentage of turnover generated by new products and market innovations. Austria also performs well in an EU-wide comparison of general patent statistics, scoring better than the EU average. However, it continues to lag behind with regard to the number of high-tech patent applications. Although their number has increased rapidly in the last decade, Austria still has some way to go before it closes the gap on the European front-runners, especially in the fields of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and biotechnology.

 

Date: 30.12.2005