2nd Project Phase of the WTZ West –
Knowledge and technology transfer centre West

Knowledge Transfer: (Third) Mission Possible!

Research, teaching and the provision of knowledge, these are the main missions of universities. The Knowledge Transfer Center West (WTZ West), a network of eleven West-Austrian universities, also takes care of this third task, so-called "Third Mission".

In science, research and training of young scientists have always been the core tasks of every university. However, as the provision of knowledge can be professionalized and above all, who dedicates themselves to this task raises challenging questions. Especially as the provision and transfer of knowledge and technology becomes more complex and time-consuming.

It is therefore important to push the topic of knowledge transfer high in the academic to-do list and to offer support to the scientific world. In 2014, the University of Salzburg teamed up with five universities, including associated partners in Upper Austria, Salzburg and Tyrol, to form the Knowledge Transfer Center West. After a highly productive and successful first phase of the project until 2018, the continuation of the center was given the green light by the funding agencies aws, funded by the Austrian National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development (Austria Fund).

In this second phase the WTZ West's partnership has even grown

The six universities were joined by five universities for applied sciences. At Dornbirn, Innsbruck, Kufstein, Salzburg, Linz, Hagenberg, Wels and Steyr, the team is working intensively on the numerous challenges of the Third Mission.

Main focus in the second phase is on the further networking of science, industry and industry. The aim is to lure the results of outstanding research even more from the academic field and to make it accessible to as many people as possible. The WTZ West also continues to deal with copyrights and other so-called "IPR" (Intellectual Property Rights). The fields of effective science communication as well as art and science are not neglected. A new form of science communication aims to teach toddlers scientific topics (MINT) in an age-appropriate way by means of elementary educationally examined picture books. As the name WTZ West suggests, there are also other centers, namely the WTZ Ost and the WTZ Süd. The general goal of the centers is to focus more on the subject of knowledge and technology transfer and thus to increase the attractiveness of Austria as a research and business location.





  • University of Innsbruck (project coordination)
  • Medical University Innsbruck
  • Paris Lodron University of Salzburg
  • Mozarteum University Salzburg
  • University of Arts and Industrial Design Linz
  • Johannes Kepler University Linz
  • University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg
  • MCI – Management Center Innsbruck
  • University of Applied Sciences Kufstein
  • Salzburg University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria

    Core areas of the WTZ West:
  • Communikation.Hub.West
  • Economic and industrial cooperation
  • New ways in knowledge and technology transfer
  • Power plant | generator
  • MINT West Region

The University of Salzburg focuses primarily on the sub-project Communication.Hub.West with the eye on science communication but also participates in other sub-projects. Since the participants of the WTZ West are distributed over several locations, the common external appearance is strengthened by a virtual platform, which is created and hosted by the University of Salzburg. The activities are mainly carried out by the staff of the research services.

This was the 1st Phase of the WTZ West

A pioneering funding project

Until recently, the Austrian universities have only been poorly connected when it comes to the field of knowledge and technology transfer. To change this situation, a new federal funding programme is now working on improving the cooperation between the individual universities. Bundling the universities into local consortia, the three regional “Wissenstransferzentren” (Knowledge Tranfer Centres) WTZ East, South and West were established.    

Together with the universities of Linz and Innsbruck, the University of Salzburg is one of the WTZ West’s six project partners. The centre is focused on five core areas:

  • Development and exploitation of the arts, humanities and social and cultural sciences
  • Information technology
  • Biomedical science
  • Physical science
  • Support activities & awareness

As the responsible partner for “support activities & awareness”, the University of Salzburg takes care of the overall project coordination and also regularly contributes to some of the other core areas. As the WTZ West’s project partners are spread across three different university locations, it was an important step to establish a common virtual platform, which was developed and implemented by the University of Salzburg. Another of the project’s objectives is to optimize internal administrative procedures and encourage scientific endeavours through targeted incentive schemes. Primarily, these tasks will be carried out by the staff of the Research Service Department.  

Key facts:

  • Funding: max. € 650,000 per Knowledge Transfer Centre and year
  • Duration: August 01, 2014 through July 31, 2015; annual project extension planned until presumably 2019
  • Funding quota: 100%
  • Funding department: Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy
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