The Institute of Innovation and Industrial Management opened the new “Schumpeter Laboratory for Innovation” in the Inffeldgasse on 25th of April 2019. From now on, the IIM offers state-of-the-art infrastructure and the latest technologies on more than 800 m² in order to support stronger cooperation between the maker community, established industrial companies, young start-ups and university research. Rector Prof. Dr. Harald Kainz and Dean Prof. Dr. Franz Heitmeir welcomed the guests. Andreas Jäger led through the event for this evening. In his opening speech, Prof. Dr. Christian Ramsauer outlined the central mission of the newly created infrastructure - the combination of creative potentials and professional competences from different fields.
One of the main goals of his initiative is to create new products and thus to found new companies (start-ups).
Representatives of three start-ups of different maturity levels subsequently enthused the guests. Dr. Stefan Hauswiesner and Arjun Thomke showed a live demo of the virtual dress fitting of the successful TU Graz spin-off Reactive Reality GmbH.
The question "How does innovation work?" was the central topic of the following panel discussion with Dr. Martin Bartenstein (G.L. Pharma GmbH), Prof. Dr. Karin Schaupp (TU Graz), Prof. Stefan Thomke (Harvard Business School) and Dr. Michael Doberer (durchblicker.at). New possibilities due to the advancing digitalization as well as appropriate qualification of employees were highlighted. The benefits of academic makerspaces for society, industry and research were discussed with representatives of leading US universities via a live broadcast to the USA. Marlo Kohn (Stanford University), Dean Vincent Wilczynski (Yale University), Prof. Björn Hartmann (University of California, Berkeley) and Prof. Malcolm Cooke (Case Western Reserve University) discussed how the dismantling of inhibitions for the realization of new, innovative products works better through makerspaces.
Spain's entrepreneur of the year 2018, the Styrian Meinrad Spenger, who founded his start-up MASMOVIL in Madrid in 2006, also gave insights into the company's development and mentioned the importance of the new makerspace for young entrepreneurs. His company serves eight million customers and has a market capitalization of two billion euros.
Around the 150 invited guests including representatives of the Austrian universities and society as well as many owners, managing directors and board members of well-known industrial companies such as Günter Knapp (Knapp AG), Heinz Moitzi (AT&S AG), Prof. Dr. Helmut List (AVL GmbH), Hans Höllwart (SFL Technologies GmbH), Dr. Manfred Gutternigg (Hilti GmbH), Andreas Schuster (Hirtenberger Holding GmbH) and Dr. Heinz Leitner (Komptech GmbH) were following this unique event.