The Technology Report of 1999 takes stock of current technological performance in Austria. The Report includes evaluations of the Community Innovation Survey (CIS) on research, development and innovation in business, as well as several supplementary analyses on the formation of new companies, co-operations, industrial specialisation rates and the scientific system. Recent studies of R&D activities show that the funding assigned to R&D continues to be stagnant and is lower than the country's economic power would warrant. An above-average share of financing for research comes from the public sector. The lagging expenditure on R&D is largely the result of the structure of Austrian industries. External sources of technological knowledge such as purchased materials and services and capital goods contribute much of the total R&D content of products and services. In terms of innovation, Austria has an above-average number of innovators but spends less on innovation in general. Austrian companies typically pursue a strategy of incremental innovation, i.e., continuous improvement of products and processes. An analysis of the industrial structure based on the new WIFO classification confirms the findings of former studies – a technology gap as the consequence of the prevailing industrial structure. Austrian manufacturing operates mainly in traditional sectors of average to low technological level. Newly formed companies currently fail to trigger any sustained drive towards a greater technological focus. Austria is moving towards a knowledge-based economy. Evidence for this comes from a growing diffusion of information and communication technologies, greater internationalisation of research, and more readiness of universities and companies to join European co-operative ventures. Future technology policies will find it necessary to concentrate more on existing structural faults (e.g., the specialisation patterns in industry) and develop an institutional framework for implementing long-term strategies.
tip-related publications; Technologie und Innovation in der wissensbasierten Ökonomie. Der Österreichische Technologiebericht 1999; The Austrian Technology Report
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