Category: Press Releases

Austerity package! What now? Experts discuss innovation and research funding and the possible consequences of the austerity package.

Vienna, 24th February 2012 – On Tuesday evening the Viennese law firm Fiebinger Polak Leon Attorneys-at-Law, the tax consultancy ITS International Tax-Service and Manz´schen Verlags- und Universitätsbuchhandlung invited interested parties to a po-dium discussion addressing the topic “Counting on success. Supporting, protecting and utilising innovation”.

What does innovation mean from a legal perspective, which prerequisites must a company have in place in order to acquire research funding, and what happens to acquired funding if a company is sold? These questions and more were addressed by an expert panel compris-ing Dr. Wolfgang König, Mag. Alexander Leitgeb (both ITS International Tax-Service), DI Dr. Bruno Hribernik (Manager of Research & Development, voestalpine Edelstahl and Vice President at Christian Doppler Forschungsgesellschaft), Mag. Constantin Kletzer and Mag. Bert Ortner (both Fiebinger Polak Leon Attorneys-at-Law) in front of an interested audience. Over the last few years the sum of research funding that has been granted has generally increased; however a great deal of potential has lain idle, as private companies in particular have failed to take advantage of the support available. Yet with an annual research effort of €150,000 or above, applying for research support is certainly worthwhile for a company, yielding direct access to money. The effort involved in submitting an application in terms of the associated costs is significantly overshadowed by the required use of tight resources, which are necessary to prepare the application and present the innovation within the company.

Yet caution is also advised when companies successfully acquire research funding: when creating employee contracts, for example, with regard to inventor remuneration or when purchasing an innovative company. Even before negotiations commence, a legal advisor should be called in with a view to avoiding nasty surprises later down the line.

Around 40 guests, including industry representatives as well as those from the economy and research formed the audience. Following a brief introduction to the topic by Constantin Kletzer, Wolfgang König and Bruno Hribernik, a podium discussion was moderated by Chris-topher Dietz, which featured contributions from Bert Ortner and Alexander Leitgeb.

“The good news for innovative companies is that the austerity package will change little. Instead it will result in particular in a professionalization of the processes of applying for research funding and acquiring authorisation. Research companies should therefore pursue this opportunity all the more in the future and by doing so secure Austria’s standing as a location for research,” concluded the experts unanimously.