The Smart City Wien Framework Strategy sees research and innovation as key to developing solutions for conserving resources and enhancing quality of life – and, at the same time, as an opportunity for Vienna’s enterprises and research institutions. Vienna can only compete on the international stage if it has strong enterprises and top-level research (including in the fields of climate and energy). The initial monitoring results show that for numerous RTI indicators Vienna is already well on the way to attaining its self-defined objectives. The essential subsequent step for a Smart City is, first and foremost, to extend this perspective to the wider region.

According to an evaluation by the European Commission, Vienna (like all of Austria) is not yet one of the European “innovation leaders”, but is classified as a “strong innovator”. The Vienna R&D quota, i.e. the share of research and development expenditure in the entire gross regional product, is steadily rising. A share of 1.37% in the higher education sector and 1.88% in the corporate sector was recently ranked 1st and 11th respectively among the European regions. In 2013, 146 research units of international companies were active in Vienna. Two years earlier, this number only amounted to 135.

The location of Vienna is increasingly attractive to international students and researchers: With around 200,000 students, Vienna is now the largest university location in the German-speaking world, with a quarter coming from abroad (mostly from EU countries). Between 2012 and 2016, 73 ERC grants (top research grants from the European Research Council) went to Vienna, 44 to the rest of the Austrian provinces.

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