E&I continues the cooperation with Festo until 2026


The Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (E&I) is extending its long-standing successful cooperation with Festo, the global market leader in automation technology and technical education.

Festo supports the E&I Institute with additional third-party funding that exceeds the total amount of corporate funds obtained at WU in 2021.

“Especially in times of scarce public funds, such partnerships are important to maintain and expand WU's high level of research and research-based teaching” explains project leader Univ.-Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke.

The E&I Institute has been successfully working with Festo for more than 8 years. The core element of the partnership is the link between technology and management - an interface in which Austria has a chronic need to catch up. The most visible element of the renewed partnership is the “Digital Strategy Lab”, to which WU students will have access. Project team members are Dr. Klaus Marhold, Caroline Fabian and Shtefi Mladenovska.

The Digital Strategy Lab focuses on topics of digital transformation in the context of industrial automation and education. A bridge is built between theory and practice. Together with the curiosity of the students, solutions for real, innovation-related problems are developed. As part of the cooperation, Digital Business and Digital Learning are of particular interest to Festo and the results will directly support product, service and business development. Several groups of students will work on developing novel digital business models and exploring business opportunities arising from the technological developments of digital platforms, AI and virtual reality. Their work links scientific theories with existing research in the field to derive business implications.

“The cooperation with the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is very valuable for us because of the research results and the creativity of the students in our projects. We get many strategic impulses from this, but also very practical improvement potentials for our products.” Dr. Oliver Niese, Chairman of the Management Board at Festo Didactic SE and Head of Digital Business at Festo SE & Co. KG

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