Austrian Business Association (Österreichischer Wirtschaftsbund)


  • Innovating Public Policy: Development of strategic objectives and policy measures
  • Connecting to Lead Users & Lead Experts: Expertise Search
  • Idea Generation & Concept Development: Organizing innovation workshops


Economic policy: Which incentives and framework requirements are necessary in order to make Austria much more innovative?


Although Austria is among the wealthiest countries in the world, it has fallen further and further behind in international business location rankings since the year 2010. The pressure to reform various systems such as education, pensions and public administration is mounting:

What can policymakers do to prevent continued stagnation and to develop new solutions that target the problems of the country and its citizens more effectively? With this challenging question, the Austrian Business Association – the country’s largest political interest group with more than 100,000 members – turned to winnovation for help in 2011.

Solutiony by winnovation

winnovation designed a two-stage open innovation policymaking process which breaks common patterns of thought, incorporates international knowledge and still achieves clear objectives:

Stage 1 – Developing a Vision: Where do we expect the business location to be in 20 years? In order to design new measures for the future, it is necessary to establish a destination for the journey. For this purpose, winnovation analyzed the needs that would become increasingly important to players in the Austrian business landscape. On that basis, we then launched an international search in order to identify advanced experts and users who could develop a vision for Austria as a business location.

Stage 2 – Developing New Measures: How can we increase the innovative power of a society – especially that of its businesses? How can Austria make itself one of the most attractive places in the world for new businesses? Questions like these formed the basis for another international search, this time for experts in the development of new, specific policy measures which have the potential to  increase Austria’s competitiveness substantially.


Two international workshops with 48 renowned participants from 15 countries, from Canada to Singapore, a comprehensive vision of what the Austrian business landscape should look like in terms of innovation, entrepreneurship, education, labor and sustainability in 20 years, as well as 40 new and concrete policy proposals to support innovation and entrepreneurship in particular: These were the fruits of a pioneering two-year project for the application of open innovation principles in policymaking. The results of those workshops are scheduled for publication by the Austrian Business Association in early 2014.