Guangzhou – Upper Austria

Cooperation on Regional Innovation

Upper Austria is one of the wealthiest regions of Europe and has an unemployment rate of 4.7%. The region has highly qualified and motivated personnel, a strong industrial base (it is the leading Austrian region regarding technological export and patents), well balanced economic structure (mix branches & sizes). It is also a leading innovation region in Europe and its geographic position (In the heart of Europe) allows for efficient transport infrastructure. The region is also deeply integrated with Central and Eastern Europe.  The regional innovation strategy concentrates resources on six focus areas: mechatronics, information and communications technology, life sciences, innovative materials, logistics and energy. The strategic economic and research programme INNOVATIVE UPPER AUSTRIA 2020 provides annually more than 50 Mio € regional investments on innovation projects. This and the Horizon 2020 programme offer great cooperation chances on innovation with China.

Guangdong has been the industrial backbone of China’s economic catch-up since the opening-up and reform policy. Special favourable conditions for (and growth strategy the richest non-urban province in China, and, until today, remains among the main drivers of national economic performance. Located in the provincial capital, the Guangzhou Development District (GDD) is one of the first group state-level economic and technological development districts set up in China. With a total planned area of 78.92 square kilometres, GDD has the unique “four-in-one” administration system consisting of national Economic and Technological Development District, High-tech Industrial Development District, Free Trade Zone and Export Processing Zone. There are over 6000 companies from more than 60 countries and regions investing in GDD, among which over 2.900 are foreign-invested projects. GDD is a state-level innovative science-tech area, attracting 1.258 companies and 386 R&D institutes. In 2012, the R&D investment volume accounted for 3.85% of GDP.

As result of CETREGIO activities during 2013, both partners launched a cooperation scheme that comprises a twinning scheme for regional innovation experts and innovative SMEs in Upper Austria and Guangzhou. Pilot projects will be identified, especially in biotechnology (Guangzhou International Biotech Island) and triple-helix-cooperation.

A first twinning activity took take place in Austria from 30 June to 02 July 2014.

A follow-up activity in China took place in Guangzhou from 22 to 24 September 2014.