Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management - Sources of Innovative Ideas
Coordinator: Nikolaus Franke
Our research area focuses on identifying and studying the sources of innovative business ideas, i.e. the point at which entrepreneurship and innovation management meet. Given the great advances in information technology and communication, this field of research has seen increased attention in recent years.
Many innovations are not actually developed by producers but by the end users of their products, a fact which has given rise to the term "user innovations." New technologies have streamlined organization and expedited communication among these users in the development process, as can be seen in open-source software development and the accompanying virtual user communities. A number of communities have demonstrated that users can indeed bring about significant technological advances, and that this has not only increased the number of innovations but also made them easier to observe and monitor.
The number of new businesses founded is now generally recognized as an important factor in health and growth for national economies. In this context, innovative start-ups which link technology and economy are often considered to be most significant. Enriching our understanding of the sources of new business ideas can be helpful in educating students who are interested in starting their own businesses, in improving public-sector measures to promote new start-ups, and in sustainably increasing the chances of growth and prosperity for start-ups and spin-offs. This research can thus make a significant contribution to Austria's ability to compete in international markets.
User Innovation Research Initiative
Fulbright Hall Chair
The Fulbright-Hall Chair, set up by the former U.S. Ambassador to Austria Kathryn Hall, addresses a wide range of issues related to entrepreneurship.