1 min

European Innovation Action Plan

Hannes Raffaseder Joins European Group of Experts for Innovation

Hannes Raffaseder
Copyright: Peter Rauchecker

In April 2021, the European Commission asked the network of European universities of applied sciences UAS4EUROPE for suggestions and recommendations concerning a future European innovation area.

To prepare this, a group of experts made up of representatives from all over Europe was convened, in which the Austrian Association of Universities of Applied Sciences (FHK) is represented by Roswitha Wiedenhofer-Bornemann of FH JOANNEUM and Hannes Raffaseder, Chief Research and Innovation Officer of the St. Pölten UAS.

Compared to the rest of the world and despite substantial funding, the European Union is facing the challenge of failing to transfer the results of its research into innovative products and services “Made in Europe” to a sufficient extent and at the desired pace, which would generate a major added value for the economy and society.

The new strategies and funding programmes of the European Higher Education, Innovation and Research Area are therefore aimed particularly at strengthening capacities for innovation and, even more so, at the intensified and efficient knowledge and technology transfer of universities and research institutions to society and economy.

The dialogue between the European Commission and the innovation experts of UAS4EUROPE makes it clear that universities of applied sciences in Europe have the power to play a very important role in this context.

UAS4EUROPE Innovation Action Plan

At a meeting in October with Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, UAS4EUROPE had the opportunity to personally present the European Innovation Action Plan developed by its group of experts.

The twelve recommendations brought forward by the European universities of applied sciences concerning future research, innovation and higher education policies in Europe met with a lot of approval at the highest levels of the EU administration.

The Strengths of Universities of Applied Sciences – and Support for Them

A top-level meeting of the group of experts with Fabienne Gautier, Head of the Unit for EU & Place-Based Innovation Ecosystems in the DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission took place on Friday, 17 December 2021.

Discussion topics included the capacities of universities of applied sciences for pooling scattered innovation activities, as well as challenges that UAS are facing in the European funding system and how they can be overcome.

In this context, the promotion of talents, the empowerment of European regions, and the Europe-wide connection of regional innovation ecosystems were highlighted as being of particular importance.

The European University Alliance E³UDRES² coordinated by the St. Pölten UAS and the new E³UDRES² Entrepreneurship & Innovation Network are activities that serve as good examples of the manifold potentials of European universities of applied sciences.

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FH-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Raffaseder Hannes

FH-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Hannes Raffaseder

Chief Research and Innovation Officer (CRO and CINO)