OeAD Research Project: SAFECORNER

Value creation processes in companies along the supply chains of heavy machinery in the construction, mining, and quarrying industries are recognised as major sources of environmental pollution and occupational health and safety risks (e.g. accidents or injuries in the workplace). This project (located in the Danube region respectively between Austria and Serbia) aims to develop sustainable supply chains in the heavy machinery industry. It addresses the challenges managers and workers in their sphere of influence must face adapting their workplaces to a socially, economically, and environmentally organised living environment. Further information can be found here.

EU Projekt: „HEICE"

The EU, once a technological power, has fallen behind in terms of investing in R&D and innovation. The EU spends less on research and development compared to the US, China, Japan and Korea, and the difference is particularly marked among countries within the EU. Only a minority of EU Member States achieve the target research ratio of 3% of the nominal GDP. The problem is not only about spending, but also culture and regulations.
European entrepreneurs are more risk-averse and have less access to capital compared to their counterparts in the US and China. The EU also struggles with fragmentation, with different regulations, taxes, and industry standards that hinder cross-border investments.
To regain its place as a technological leader, the EU needs to increase R&D spending, challenge cultural attitudes towards risk, reform regulatory frameworks, and offer financial incentives to those who invest in R&D. In this sense, entrepreneurship education in HEIs is essential for fostering innovation in today’s knowledge-based economy. HEIs are well positioned to unlock the entrepreneurial potential of deep tech talents due to their proximity to factors of production, such as knowledge and access to promising entrepreneurs. More Information can be found here:

EU Projekt: „EE4M"

Bernd M. Zunk, Manuel Woschank, Erwin Rauch, Jabier Retegi & Corina Pacher et al. have received a funding commitment for the establishment of a “Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE)" that will focus on the future training of engineers in operations management in the mobility sector – “”. This CoVE will be established in a consortium across four countries (Austria, Italy, Spain and Greece) and will address the growing need for education and training in the mobility value chain - from raw materials to recycling. With a budget of 3.5 million Euros, empirically based engineering competence profiles will be developed and the professionalization of engineering education will be advanced. The CoVE will collaborate with more than 30 international partners from industry and education. Further information can be found here and here.

EU Projekt: „SME 5.0“

Das Institut für Betriebswirtschaftslehre und Betriebssoziologie der Technischen Universität Graz war mit dem Forschungsprojekt „SME 5.0“ bei der Einwerbung von Drittmitteln im Rahmen des Calls aus dem EU HORIZON-MSCA-SE-2021 (MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE ACTIONS/Staff Exchanges) - Programm erneut erfolgreich (Gesamtfördersumme 1,17 Mio. EUR.). Unter der Koordination von Prof. Dr. Bernd Markus Zunk sowie unter der Konsortialführung der Freien Universität Bozen/Bolzano durch Herrn Prof. Dr.-Ing. Erwin Rauch und Herrn Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dominik Matt wird im EU geförderten Forschungsprojekt „SME 5.0“ in den nächsten 48 Monaten gemeinsam mit 16 Unternehmen und Universitäten bzw. Forschungseinrichtungen weltweit ein strategischer Leitfaden entwickelt, der kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen in Europa intelligentes, nachhaltiges und humanressourcen-zentriertes Agieren in einer von starker Veränderung geprägten Welt ermöglichen soll. Weitere Informationen finden Sie hier.

EU Projekt: „Design4SusMan"

This EU funded project (ERASMUS-EDU-2022-EMJM-DESIGN) “Designing an Erasmus Mundus Master on Digital and Sustainable Manufacturing” (01082529/Design4SusMan) aims to develop a 2-year joint MSc on Digital and Sustainable Manufacturing. Within this joint MSc, students will be trained in the fields of mechanical, manufacturing & industrial engineering and management. Furthermore, their intercultural competencies will be fostered. This project also targets the acquisition of further necessary competencies, in order to prepare students to address major challenges that EU is currently facing. These encompass especially the megatrends of digitalisation in manufacturing companies as well as the social/ethical and climate/environmental sustainability challenges that are central in current and future EU policies. The project consortium consists of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (IT), represented by Prof. Guido Orzes and Prof. Renato Vidoni (Course Director Master in Industrial Mechanical Engineering), Graz University of Technology (AUT), represented by Prof. Bernd Markus Zunk (Dean for Studies of the Master Programme Production Science and Management), Polytechnic of Porto / School of Engineering (PT), represented by Prof. Manuel Lopes (Coordinator of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of ISEP-IPP and Director of the MSc in Engineering and Industrial Management) as well as the Politehnica of Bucharest (ROM), represented by Prof. Cristian Mustata (Vice-Dean and Program manager for the Master in Sustainable Business Excellency and Leadership).

EU Projekt: „CustMas"

The European economy has shifted to a network-based model where firms rely on differentiated supply chains. Managing the buyer-supplier interface is crucial and requires a skilled workforce. This project aims to develop a skills model and curriculum for B2B customer management in a digitalized world, with a focus on virtual sales and customer needs diagnosis. Objectives include creating a validated skills model, post-graduate curriculum, and self-assessment tool for customer management skills. The project will also offer an introductory MOOC to promote interest in professional sales careers. Additional information can be found here.

EU Projekt: „CARBAFIN"

CARBAFIN is a research project co-financed by the EU with 5.3 million Euros, running from 2018 to 2021. Its goal is to establish a phosphorylase based platform for producing functional glucosides from sucrose, creating a new value chain for surplus sugar beet biomass. The project aims to find and develop applications for glycosylated products in various sectors and for fructose as a precursor for 5-hydroxymethylfurfural. Additional information can be found here.


In the modern network economy, European firms spend 60% of their turnover on purchased components. Managing the buyer-supplier interface through professional Purchasing and Supply Management (PSM) is crucial for European competitiveness. The PERISCOPE project developed a curriculum and Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for teaching the skills characteristic of successful purchasers. However, sustainability is now obligatory for businesses. PERISCOPE aims to prepare students for the future of PSM by identifying necessary skills, developing a course-set, and creating open student-centered digital learning with simulation games. PERISCOPE will also focus on teaching global mindset, critical thinking, and entrepreneurial skills. Additional information can be found here.