Spin-Off Austria Initiative Honours Us with 1st Place
The Spin-Off Austria Initiative, which aims at promoting entrepreneurship in higher education, ranked the St. Pölten UAS first in the category “Universities of Applied Sciences”. The award ceremony was part of the Spin-Off Austria Conference on 23 November.
Extensive Entrepreneurship Programme
Lead by successful entrepreneurs, internationally renowned experts, and experienced higher education managers, the Austrian Spin-Off Initiative aims to raise awareness for the great potential of knowledge transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship as a third mission of universities.
For the first time, a survey on activities and successes of Austrian universities, universities of applied sciences and research institutions has been made over the past four years based on a quantitative collection of relevant data, which was subsequently compared with the Spin-Off Austria Dashboard and evaluated by a jury made up of prominent members. The St. Pölten UAS as a “Top Leading Institution” was ranked first in the category “Universities of Applied Sciences”. The jury explained their decision as follows:
“The St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences offers a comprehensive strategic entrepreneurship programme which was designed in a very precise and targeted manner. What convinced the jury as well was the broad offer of intra- and extracurricular offers on the topic of entrepreneurship and numerous, wide-ranging cooperations at the national and European levels. The jury sees an even bigger potential for a further increase in the number of spin-offs in the future.”
“We are proud of having received this award as it honours our long-standing commitment to knowledge transfer and innovation and, of course, to start-ups and entrepreneurial thinking in particular”, emphasises Hannes Raffaseder, member of the St. Pölten UAS’ Executive Board.
Promoting Entrepreneurial Thinking
The St. Pölten UAS aims to be a platform for collaborative innovation and sets great store by its “7 Steps to Start-Ups”. This is also highlighted by numerous strategically anchored activities such as the Creative Pre Incubator which was successfully established in partnership with the Lower Austrian Tech Incubator to support students’ entrepreneurial activities, the initiative SMARTUP St. Pölten, several Digital Innovation Hubs, the regular membership in the association N’Cyan - Innovation für Menschen, and the coordination of the European University E³UDRES².
“In addition, entrepreneurial thinking and, most importantly, the reasonable use of digitalisation have a prominent position in our curricula. We make a conscious effort to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration – also beyond our disciplines – and thereby offer students an ideal environment, not only for learning but also for experimenting with their ideas.
Strategically Anchoring Knowledge and Technology Transfer
Knowledge and technology transfer has been strategically anchored in the St. Pölten UAS for many years. This is also why the UAS maintains close partnerships with companies in the area of research and innovation such as the Austrian Blockchain Center Research GmbH or the DIH Arbeitswelt KMU GmbH, and successful start-ups by students, alumni and staff members such as Circly, quickspeech or apocrat.
“We are an agile platform that connects creative and innovative minds on and off campus”, says Gabriele Permoser, Head of the Service Unit Research and Knowledge Transfer.
“Therefore, we constantly expand and deepen our partnerships. Among other things, we participate in three of currently six national Digital Innovation Hubs as well as in one hub at the House of Digitalisation, and we are an active partner of the Wissenstransferzentrum Ost and other initiatives. The intensive knowledge transfer with our numerous partners that comes with these activities substantially contributes to the constant growth and expansion of our competences and practical experiences that we apply to further develop our study programmes, strengthen our research activities, and promote innovation and entrepreneurship”, elaborates Permoser.
The recognition as “Top Leading Institution” was awarded during the Spin-Off Austria Conference on 23 November 2021, which hosted around 1,000 online participants. Among the prominent keynote speakers was Özlem Türeci of BioNTech SE. The relevance of the topic was clearly reflected in the conference’s prominent speakers: three Federal Ministers Margarethe Schramböck, Leonore Gewessler and Heinz Fassmann were represented with a video message each and Harald Mahrer, President of the Austrian Economic Chamber, held a keynote speech.
About the Austrian Spin-Off Initiative
The Spin-Off Austria Initiative was launched by Hermann Hauser and Herbert Gartner. The initiative pursues the long-term objective of raising awareness for the necessity of establishing entrepreneurship as a third mission of Austrian universities, universities of applied sciences and research institutions in addition to research and teaching. The St. Pölten UAS was awarded by a jury made up of Prof. Dr. Carolin Häussler, MBR (University of Passau), Dipl-Ing. Dr. Sabine Herlitschka, MBA (Infineon Technologies Austria), Dr. Hermann Hauser (Amadeus Capital Partners), and DI Herbert Gartner (eQventure).