The maps below illustrate several key science and technology areas where Austrian regions have real strengths in a European perspective. The maps are based on the number of scientific publications and patents produced by authors and inventors based in the regions.
As shown by the maps above, in terms of scientific production, only a few Austrian regions perform at high output levels and the number of high performance sectors, specifically environment, food and agriculture and information and communication technologies (the latter two not illustrated on the maps), is limited. This is partly due to the relatively small size of Austrian regions – the average population of an Austrian NUTS 2 region is less than half the EU NUTS 2 average. Leading regions (Länder) in Austria in terms of scientific production in these fields are Steiermark (Styria) and Vienna. In terms of technology patenting, which is more closely linked to business innovation, the relative position of Austria is much better than in scientific production, with many Austrian regions among the top quarter in Europe, notably in the fields of energy, construction and construction technologies, environment, automobiles and other transport technologies and in new production technology.
This reflects economic structures and the areas where Austrian enterprises are innovative and have a strong market position. The comparison between scientific output in terms of publications and patenting thus shows a certain imbalance, since the strong fields for the Austrian science base are not necessarily the same as the sectors where Austrian firms have the strongest technology development. Moreover, Austria’s performance in terms of scientific output is relatively low compared to the EU average and is concentrated in specific fields and regions, whereas in relation to patenting there is good performance over many fields and regions. It will be a challenge for the future to bring scientific output in Austria to the same level as patenting, and also to ensure the long term sustainability of innovation.