The Spin-off Austria Initiative has been initiated by Hermann Hauser and Herbert Gartner – two renowned Austrian investors – and their respective companies Hermann Hauser Investment GmbH, I.E.C.T. – Hermann Hauser and eQventure GmbH. The long-term goal of the initiative is to raise the awareness that entrepreneurship must be a third mission of Austrian universities, universities of applied sciences and research institutions next to research and teaching. The direction of the Spin-off Austria Initiative is set by its committee which is composed of internationally successful entrepreneurs as well as university leaders and experts.
The number of students in the academic year 2020/2021 in Austria (reference date February 2021). In 2017, Austria invested 45% more per student from primary to tertiary education than the OECD average.
The volume that the Austrian government and Austrian companies have invested in research and development in 2020. This corresponds to 3.23% of the GDP. In 2019 only Sweden has invested a higher proportion of its GDP in R&D within the EU.
According to the annual reports, this is the number of newly founded university spin-offs at public universities (without universities of applied sciences and non-university research institutions) in Austria in 2020. The output seems rather low when compared to the investment in students and R&D.
The Spin-off Austria Conference which builds the culmination of its activities in each calendar year by highlighting the developments in Austria and connecting the Austrian ecosystem with international best-practice.
The Spin-off Austria Dashboard which will create transparency about the yearly figures in the Austrian spin-off ecosystem by recording the efforts of the higher education institutions in a standardized manner.
A combination of training, networking and lobbying activities to ensure the embedment of the accurate incentive systems and procedures within the spin-off community in accordance with relevant stakeholders and institutions.
The Spin-off Austria Initiative wants to create a flourishing spin-off ecosystem with a significant number of additional university spin-offs and academic start-ups – at least 1.000 newly founded companies – by 2030. This goal shall be reflected by future performance agreements between the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and individual higher education institutions. The Spin-off Austria Initiative and its supporters will facilitate the establishment of the third mission as a sparring partner with role models, know-how and international benchmarking.
of the Republic of Austria
"I welcome the Spin-off Austria Initiative and its efforts to promote the “Third Mission” in addition to Teaching and Research at Austrian Universities and Technical Colleges. The Third Mission deals with the Translation of Research to the benefit of society. This should not end with the publication of great research papers but must include the application of the findings to real world problems like climate change, electrification of transport, and making our industry more efficient and producing less waste. A key part of the translation process are Spin-offs and I hope this initiative can contribute to a rapid acceleration of the formation of Spin-off Companies from Austrian research institutions."
Van der Bellen
"As a medical doctor, it has always been central for me to transfer the knowledge from science to business. This is the only way to create new treatments and medications. Since 1990, I have been working at the University of Mainz, where I found an excellent environment that enabled me to found several spin-offs. The most well-known is BioNTech, which launched the first vaccine against Covid-19 in cooperation with Pfizer. I joined the Spin-off Austria Initiative committee because I am convinced that Austria needs sustainable structures to provide founders with the opportunity to create interesting companies. In this context, I am happy to offer my international expertise."
Spin-off Austria Committee
"Austria’s universities, research institutions and enterprises are investing 12.1 billion euros in the field of research and development each year. This shows that Austria is amongst the most innovative countries with thousands of scientists, researchers and engineers. Therefore it is surprising that our country does not have more university spin-offs and startups dealing with science and deep tech. All we need is political will and business drive to launch these socially and economically beneficial companies."
Initiator & Spin-off Austria Committee
"We wanted to achieve breakthroughs in drug development that would make a tangible difference for patients. And we both have seen several times that this can't be done without becoming entrepreneurs."
Co-Founder & CMO of BioNTech SE