Irina Bindlechner

Innovation @Upper Austria

Irina Bindlechner
Innovation @Upper Austria

Albeit small in size, Austria, in the heart of Europe, is a country full of diversity and charm. Though it might not first be associated with cutting-edge innovation and technology but rather with classical music and chocolate cake, the Alpine republic has a lot to show for. In 2013, the Australian innovation agency "2thinknow" ranked Vienna as the most innovative city in Europe; on an international level the Austrian capital ranks third behind Boston and New York City.

While Austria as a whole and Vienna in particular are frequently mentioned as business and innovation hubs, one should not forget the regional success in the field. Upper Austria, a state in the northwestern part of Austria, altogether produced 742 new inventions last year and, given the successful output, vowed to double the state budget for research and innovation by 2017.

To showcase what the state has to offer in terms of technology and research, the exhibition Innovation @Upper Austria was put together. In June of this year, the governor of Upper Austria, Dr. Josef Pühringer, traveled to Atlanta, GA, to participate in the 7th Regional Leaders Summit, alongside representatives from Bavaria, Georgia, Québec, São Paulo, Shandong and Western Cape. Altogether, these regions are home to 177 million people and represent a gross domestic product of more than $3,000 billion.

During the summit, the Austrian governor had the opportunity to present Upper Austria as a modern, innovative, and future-oriented state, and highlight its successes in the fields of economy, research, sciences and culture on an international scale. To adequately showcase these aspects, the exhibition is divided into four different categories, "power regions (representing the other regions participating in the summit)," "economy," "sciences," and "culture."

All participating partners, including various companies and academic institutions in Upper Austria, could submit eye-catching photos that were subsequently printed on high-quality acrylic glass. The information accompanying the individual photos also include QR-codes leading back to the websites of the respective companies. That way the exhibition provides a first glimpse into the diverse world of innovation and technology in the Austrian state, and offers the companies to showcase their efforts. Innovation @Upper Austria made its debut at the Landesdienstleistungszentrum in Linz (capital city of Upper Austria), before relocating first to Atlanta and eventually to the Austrian.