Posts filed under 'Politics'
An event organised within the FEMTECH initiative to discuss about women in technological domains/businesses.
- Opening by Landeshauptfrau Gabriele Burgstaller and Forschungsstaatssekretärin Christa Kranzl
- Best Practices Dialogue: Siegfried Reich, Salzburg Research; Silvia Buchinger, Hewlett-Packard
- Vocational training as chance: Alexandra Kreuzeder, Projektleiterin ditact_women´s IT summer studies, ICT&S Center
- Best Practices Dialogue: Dorly Holzer-Harringer, Skidata AG; Sophie Poppenreiter, Liebherr;
- Recruiting of experts: Irma Brazda, IVENTA
moderated by Anita Zieher, Theatre Works
Some key findings:
- Flexibility in working hours is key to success
- During maternity/paternity leave you should try and aim to stay connected with your employer
- Role models are important (especially for the younger ones when choosing their career paths)
- There was a good argument by HP for diversity: creativity is important as it helps fostering new ideas. If there is diversity in people (women/men, different cultures, etc.) this creates creativity and therefore supports innovation which helps staying competetive (says at least HP but I would personally by into this argument).
June 1st, 2007
The ICT&S Centre at the University of Salzburg hosted a lecture on “eParticipation” (slides and the study available in German at www.icts.sbg.ac.at).
The study was presented by Ursula Maier-Rabler; it was motivated by the three aspects “Lowering of the voting age”, “disenchantment with politics” and the (technological) development of “Web 2.0″.
The study presents some interesting details, see e.g. the list of themes that generally is of interest to young people (page 19 of a 213 pages document at http://www.icts.sbg.ac.at/media/pdf/pdf1316.pdf): love, your (own) body, job, mobility, lifestyle, money, environment, events, school (yes! It is on the list), politics, Europe, immigrants and residents, religion. An interesting study!
During the discussion I learned about the term “digital provide”: “Das Handy macht den Sardinenpreis: Einfluss von Handynetzen auf die MikroÃ¶konomie” (see Der Spiegel). A long term study of local fisher markets in southern India investigated the economical effects of the use of mobile phones. Fishermen benefit from mobile phones the following way: before approaching a harbour with their ship load they phone and ask about the (local) need there. If there are too many (other) fishermen already there, they approach another harbour. Overall this results a better distribution of demand and supply, i.e., prices are more average overall (which helps the fishermen).
May 25th, 2007
Day 2, EARTO Annual Conference.
Opening remarks, chaired by Christopher John (Chris) Hull (BTW: an excellent session chair!)
- Erkki KM Leppävuori (President of EARTO and President of VTT, Finland). He argues, that Europe’s problem is not its science but the pathways to innovation and products.
- Hans-Jörg Bullinger (President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Germany) on the “Role of RTOs”. Fraunhofer goes abroad because its customers go abroad, e.g. to Japan, the US, Singapore, Indonesia, South Korea, etc.Fraunhofer transfers money into knowledge. Bullinger argues for innovations as drivers for success and growth. We need technological innovations, structure and process innovations as well as innovations in society and politics (e.g. via laws/regulations), etc.
Germany (and Europe) is falling behind because others are doing so well, not because Germany is doing badly. So in order to keep our level of living standards, we have to produce goods that can be sold at high(er) prices. That is in his opinion the driver behind the discussion on innovation.
Germany is not a small country but too small to invest in all high-tech areas. Therefore, alliances need to be built, a dialogue with other nations/institutions established.
Bullinger argues for the following four main contributions of RTOs:
- contract research;
- knowledge transfer through “heads”;
- spin-offs and IPs;
- training and education for industry;
He mentions Fraunhofer’s Signposts to tomorrows markets
- Janez Potocnik (Commissioner for Science and Research). Influenced by the championsleague games the last days, Potocnik argues for an analogy between football and the knowledge triangle research/science/innovation. The triangle defense, midfield, attack translates to the triangle research, education and innovation as: defense->education/universities; midfield->RTOs; attack->industry ∓ innovation. RTOs therefore see both sides.He mentions the Green paper (i.e., a discussion document) for ERA (see http://ec.europa.eu/research/era) launched at in April 2007.
- Edelgard Bulmahn (Member of the German Bundestag, Chairwoman of the Committee on Economics and Technology of the German Bundestag, Germany). She basically argues that the 3% Lissabon target is only a first step and that one was aiming at 4% by 2020. And: we’ll all need to work hard(er).
- John Hill (from Pera Group, U.K.) made an excellent overview of the working group session on “Structural Funds and R&D Innovation”. He made the point that structural funds are for increasing the GVA (gross value added) and/or the number of jobs (as opposed to the Framework Programme RTD-research that aims at generating new knowledge and innovation).
May 4th, 2007
EARTO Annual Conference in Munich. EARTO is the European Association for RTO (Research Technology Organisations).
- Jan Vogel (TNO, the Netherlands) “Collaboration with industry â€“ impact for
an RTO”. He outlines a three-box model: one for society, one for the market, one for science & technology.
- Sonja Sheikh (Austrian Institute for SME Research) “How RTOs can support SMEs”. Some data: 99,6% of Austria’s 270.000 companies are SMEs, of which 87% have less than 10 employees.
- Helene Ulmer from CEA talked about “RTO from Research to Innovation”. She mentioned a model with four “P”s: Publications, Patents, Prototypes and Products. The DRT that Helene mainly reported on, focuses on patents in order to bridge the gap between publications and products. Her conclusions are: RTOs should help the transition from basic research to technological research.
- Ram Mohan (inBAC, USA) “Technology commercialization in the new global paradigm”. Some facts: Only 15-20% of R&D derive value; innovation must be done where it is done the best, it must be commercialised where it can be done so most effectively; startups fail to 70% due to lack of money. Key problem is the disconnection between R&D and market: the incubation gap. Thinking big/global is amongst the excellent messages he packaged in his talk. Even when starting an SME you need to think global. Finally: Silicon Valley is the place on earth to start a company.
- Frank M. Salzgeber (ESA, the Netherlands), “The space you need to get your business off the ground”. He started by quoting Nasa: “A society that stops exploring is a society that stops progressing”. Then mainly argues for thinking innovative and cross-sector (undermind with several examples from Apple, etc.).
For a background paper on the role of RTOs in ERA see also ec.europa.eu.
May 3rd, 2007
Opening of the CD-Laboratory on “Embedded Software Systems” lead by Wolfgang Pree, at the University of Salzburg. This is CD-Lab No. 3 in Salzburg (No. 4 to be opened early June); overall there are 44 Christian Doppler Laboratories in Austria, the network is to be extended to 70 by 2010.
For the polytechnic universities, a similar scheme is proposed: the so-called “Ressel-Zentren” (see also the news article at salzburg.com).
May 2nd, 2007
Forschung Austria organised a workshop on assessment and monitoring of RTD programmes in Salzburg, with a focus on “smaller scale programmes”. Participants were from Joanneum Research, Salzburg Research and partly ARC.
What I personally learned at the workshop: Germany invests substantial amounts of resources into non-University R&D, even when size-wise compared to Austria; it is a clever idea to think of exploitation even after the end of a project (DLR does so, for instance, two years later. Great idea!); indicators are truly difficult: even if they have agreed semantics and similar values, the structures behind may still not be comparable.
April 27th, 2007
See the paper Berlin Declaration on open access to scientific knowledge (in German). I heard about it in a panel discussion on sharing knowledge.
The declaration argues that the Internet has changed the way science is communicated and that the new medium is the Internet. To support the principle of open access is therefore one of the goals of the declaration. This principle implies that
- You grant access to others (given that credits are maintained)
- You guarantee longterm availability of the contents
BTW: In preparation for the panel discussion (which was on sharing of knowledge) I came across an interesting article available at wissenskapital.de (“Erfolg durch Kommunikation”) that mentioned a German biotech-company whose (new) boss argued that withholding of knowledge was equivalent to mobbying. Obviously, he was talking about intra-company sharing of knowledge and not about giving away knowledge to competitors .
April 18th, 2007
AARIT (Austrian Association for Research in IT, see www.aarit.at) is Austria’s platform for IT-related research. AARIT’s member include universities, research institutes, industrial research labs as well as single researchers. AARIT represents Austria’s IT-related research in ERCIM, the European Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics.
AARIT supports information technology and related disciplines through strengthening cooperation within Austria and between Austria and Europe. AARIT was founded in May 2001 and officially joined ERCIM in October 2001. Legally, AARIT is a non-profit association which is institutionally linked to the Austrian Computer Society (OCG – Ã–sterreichische Computergesellschaft).
Amongst the founding members of AARIT are ARC-Seibersdorf, IFS at TU-Vienna, the European Centre for Parallel Computing, OCG and Salzburg Research.
March 22nd, 2007
… an excellent (quaterly) magazine on Europe and politics; editor-in-chief is Paul Lendvai. See www.europaeische-rundschau.at.
February 20th, 2007
This evening there was a panel discussion organised by APA, Austria’s Press Agency, on the theme of “research needs more than money”. What that more could be was discussed by
- Josef Penninger (Director of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology)
- Peter Skalicky (TU Wien)
- Andreas Reichhardt (BMVIT)
- Siegfried Reich (Salzburg Research)
- Klaus Pseiner (FFG)
- Helmut-Peter Kowalski (BMBWK)
The discussion was moderated by Christian Müller. There was high interest by people; an excellent networking event. It is also available online as http://www.ots.at/presseaussendung.php?ch=medien&schluessel=OTS_20070131_OTS0125&ex=1
January 30th, 2007