bahnbrechend. ÖBB TS and E&I discuss the impact of the Corona crisis

21/04/2021

In the new discussion format "bahnbrechend", ÖBB-Technische Services (ÖBB TS) and the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at WU Vienna reflect on current topics from different perspectives.

ÖBB TS is a long-standing partner of our institute and also this semester, a group of our students is working with the company in solving innovation-related challenges.

The first bahnbrechend talk revolved around the impact of the Corona crisis with a focus on the rail vehicle maintenance industry. Andreas Mandl (director of LTE), Sandra Gott-Karlbauer (director of ÖBB TS), Arnulf Wolfram (CEO of Siemens mobility Austria) and Klaus Marhold (Assistant Professor at E&I) shared their experiences on how the crisis affects companies and the lessons learnt for a post-Corona future. The chief executives highlighted the agility with which new processes and organizational changes were adopted to respond to various challenges such as disruptions of supply chains and reduced customer demand. As Klaus Marhold pointed out, the danger of the crisis is that in many companies it affects the investment in innovation, leading to negative long-term effects. Studies of former crises have shown that companies with strong innovation activities were more resilient and experienced faster recoveries.

All panelists agreed that major trends that will remain once we return to “daily business” are agility as a firm and on the level of employees new ways of communication and digital learning.

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