Successful Conclusion of the Research Project on Fostering Academic and Corporate Spinoffs
On October 13th, E&I faculty Klaus Marhold presented the results of the joint research with Rudolf Doemoetoer (WU Entrepreneurship Centre) and Jan Fell (E&I) on “Fostering Academic and Corporate Spinoffs”. The presentation of the project, which was funded by the City of Vienna Jubilee Fund for the WU, was attended by municipal officials and WU’s Vice Rector for Research and Human Resources.
Over the last year, the three researchers have investigated the characteristics of spinoffs that set them apart from other kinds of startups and looked into how they can be best supported. Special focus was placed on academic spinoffs, an area of great importance for universities, but also one where Austria still has untapped potential. The research highlighted both barriers to founding academic spinoffs as well as addressed national, local and institutional measures to overcome these barriers and increase the number of founded academic spinoffs in Austria.
In September, initial results of the project were presented at the ECN meeting organized by WU’s Entrepreneurship Centre, which brought together startup and technology transfer managers of Austrian higher education institutions. WU, and especially the E&I Institute, play an important role in fostering spinoffs through the research on e.g. Technological Competence Leveraging, but also through a variety of courses and events that bring together engineers and scientists with great ideas as well as business-skilled WU students. Further, the WU Entrepreneurship Center helps to develop the full potential of university-affiliated start-ups in Vienna and strengthens WU’s position as a modern educational institution strongly involved in the process of innovation.
A special emphasis in the project was placed on including students in the research. Over the last year, 9 students wrote their bachelor or master thesis on topics related to spinoffs and thanks to the grant by the City of Vienna, 9 students were employed as part time research assistants and had a chance to get a first-hand experience of how research works behind the scenes.