Society, industry, and public agencies/government are facing challenges of the digital transformation mankind has not experienced so far. This offers the potential to orchestrate challenges instead of suffering from them in order to identify the potential of innovation in time to maximise the profitability.
University is the germ cell of innovation and thus societal change through innovation and elucidation. University is the place in society, where the pursuit of awareness and knowledge represents an end in itself, where tradition is appreciated but traditional paradigms gets challenged in order to identify potential future worlds. Innovation enabling realizations often occur at interfaces to traditional disciplines. Technical disciplines, especially informatics, have a leading role since the societal transformation is characterized by digitalisation and automation. TU Wien not only contributes but leads through outstanding research, qualified graduates and multitudinous cross disciplinary transfer projects.
While scientific research builds the foundation for sustainable innovation, research alone is not enough. It is a prerequisite to transform the scientific feasible into products, processes, modes of working and living. Thus, a new type of qualified academic personality is required who are ready and featured to proactively shape change, found and design companies, who are capable executives that can lead institutional/organizational change while bearing their societal responsibility in mind. Concurrently, outstanding technical qualification is not sufficient in order to succeed as chief executive or founder. In fact, next to economically and juridical competence, knowledge of societal and political framework requirements as well as access to the relevant network is of main significance.
Against the background, the TU Wien Innovation Incubation Center (i²c) originates from an initiative of the faculty of informatics (formerly Informatics Innovation Center, launched 2012). In order to emphasize the importance of cross-disciplinary collaboration to develop sustainable innovation, the i²c is now officially a cross-faculty organisation under the umbrella of the vice rector’s office (research and innovation, since January 1st, 2016). It highlights the relevance of innovative technologies and cross-disciplinary collaboration as driving forces of profitable progress. Digital technologies, as mainly developed in informatics and adapted in all technical disciplines, are of main relevance. In this regard, the i²c represents the strategic development plan for TU Wien. Part of this development plan is the ongoing implementation of an Entrepreneurial University with its own ecosystem that allows tapping the full entrepreneurial potential at TU Wien:
Foster innovative thinking: we foster innovative thinking and educate an entrepreneurial skill set in order to provide research and industry with alumni who will either become entrepreneurs themselves or innovative employees, and thus position TU Wien internationally amongst well-known, top ranked universities providing top quality education on innovation.
Empower business potential: we unlock the business potential in disruptive research conducted at TU Wien by providing a versatile service-portfolio including all the support and advice needed for an entrepreneurial future: from education via incubation to market entry
Provide inter-/national network: we provide access to an inter-/national network in science, industry, funding as well as venture related institutions offering support and/or collaboration.