Knowledge transfer centres (Wissenstransferzentrum, WTZ)
The establishment of three regional knowledge transfer centres (WTZ Ost, WTZ Süd, WTZ West), as well as a specialist knowledge transfer centre in the life sciences field (www.wings4innovation.at), represent the contribution of Austrian universities to intensifying the knowledge transfer from science to business and society. Financed by the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW) under its knowledge transfer centres and IPR exploitation funding programme, these centres are an association of universities and affiliated partners that began their project-related work on 1 August 2014.
Cooperation projects of the regional knowledge transfer centres
The regional knowledge transfer centres will optimise and further extend the management of intellectual property by means of inter-university and multi-centre cooperation projects. The intention is for networking to provide business and industry with targeted information in order to improve and accelerate their access to new discoveries, technologies, expertise and knowledge bases. In particular, the aim is to simplify searching for university-based cooperation partners and rapid launching projects. The resulting value added for all Austrian partner universities will bolster knowledge-based fields and their competitiveness both nationally and internationally, and serve as a means of achieving the objective of becoming an innovation leader.
Furthermore, the transfer of knowledge in areas extending beyond pure commercialisation will also become a defined priority. Particular attention will be paid here to knowledge transfer in the area of the humanities, social and cultural sciences as well as art. The fields of art, arts-based research as well as the humanities, social and cultural sciences are characterised by fundamental cultural and social knowledge as well as multi-disciplinary methods and practices which form a basis for social innovations. It is for exactly this reason that the potential and experience derived from creative knowledge production processes are such an important component of knowledge transfer.
The knowledge transfer centres have been established with funding from the BMWFW and Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH.