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Foresight and trend monitoring – a strategic task of clusters

On 2nd October 2018, the working group “cluster practice”organised a workshop with clusters on foresight and trend monitoring. The early identification and evaluation of long-term global trends with relevance for the Austrian cluster companies is an important task of the cluster management in order to provide impulses for the strategic orientation of industry networks and the development of new business models and innovation.

Dr. Petra Schaper-Rinkel of the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) gave an overview about methods of foresight and trend monitoring including explorative and normative approaches as well as the technique of horizon scanning. Furthermore, Gerald Schatz, CEO of the Linz Research Center of Mechatronics (LCM), presented their developed innovation radar called “Human-Time-Machine (HTM2030)”. Based on this innovation radar, he highlighted their motivation for the development and its procedure, including insights into the preparation phase of the project, analysis of existing information, interpretation, projection of the future and transformation (derivation of strategies).

In the third part of the workshop, Dr. Michael Jäger and Klaus Meyer of the Standortagentur Tyrol talked about their trend monitoring project, which is going to be developed at this moment. The project team is facing some challenges such as the distinction to other providers of trend monitors or how clients should be addressed. A main discussion point during the workshop was the necessity of encouraging the “innovation thinking”, which should be cross-sectoral and of relevance to the region. Moreover, it was being highlighted that companies that are less innovative can benefit from corporations, which focus on innovation and can provide best practices on how new technologies could be implemented.

The National Austrian Cluster Platform was launched in 2008 by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs and is the information and cooperation platform for national and federal cluster stakeholders in Austria. The platform organises six working groups (“national innovation system”, “cluster praxis”, “EU policy”, “internationalisation”, “digitisation” and “environmental and energy research”) thatare addressing technological and innovation issues. Each of these working groups addresses regularly specific, innovative and relevant topics.

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