Austria is Not Yet a Leader in Innovation

RTI Monitor 2024 Published
In the key performance areas of its research, technology, and innovation system (RTI), Austria still has room for improvement. This is shown by the recently published RTI Monitor 2024, which the WIFO has interactively and web-based visualised on behalf of the Austrian Council for Research, Science, Innovation, and Technology Development.

Using the numerous data presented in the RTI Monitor, central areas for innovation performance and policy can be analysed over time in an international comparison. These include framework conditions such as education and regulation, the core FTI system with universities and companies, as well as cross-cutting themes such as environment and climate, circular economy, equality, and efficiency. Overall, Austria is significantly above the EU average, just below the leading innovation countries in the EU, but clearly below the level of the global top 3.

Particularly strong is the financing and promotion of RTI, with the biggest problem areas being digitalisation and start-ups. "In the last two decades, Austria has managed to significantly intensify the use of research and development in fundamentally low-technology sectors, thus contributing to international competitiveness. Now it is also important to focus on tackling major societal challenges such as climate change, digitalisation, and technological sovereignty," says WIFO economist Jürgen Janger. The RTI Monitor enables customised information on innovation performance as well as relevant studies and recommendations from the Council to be called up at a glance.

The RTI-Monitor also shows the degree of goal achievement and the chances of the RTI Strategy 2030 and Circular Economy Strategy of the Austrian Government, as well as which areas of the RTI system are relevant for achieving the goals. The RTI Monitor can thus be the starting point for efforts to advance into the circle of leading innovation countries in the EU. However, the top of the EU should not remain the only reference point. Globally leading innovation countries such as the USA, Japan, or South Korea achieve even significantly higher performances. China is developing rapidly and has already overtaken the EU average.