ECSEL-funded projects and their impact: Case studies of Austrian companies

ECSEL-funded projects and their impact

In 2007/2008 industry –led technology programmes were launched with the Joint Technology Initiatives (JTI) at the European level. They were implemented together with industry associations, the European Commission and member states. In this context, the ARTEMIS and ENIAC programmes and the current successor programme ECSEL, implemented as Joint Undertaking (JU), have been of great importance for the development of new technologies focused on information and communication technologies (ICT) and electronics.

Overview of Projects in Austria
Austria has been extensively involved in the programmes from the start, with substantial public funding provided by the Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK, former BMVIT).
In the last 10 years, a large number of projects involving Austrian organisations have been acquired successfully, with a total volume of between 60 and 100 million euros per project.

Evaluations and Impact of ECSEL-funded projects

Although evaluations at the general and sectoral levels have provided findings on the impact of the programmes, there is little evidence of the specific impact of participation in ENIAC/ARTEMIS/ECSEL at the enterprise level.

Therefore, this report aims to answer following questions:

• Which projects have been carried out under the ECSEL/ARTEMIS/ENIAC JU and how are they characterised?

• What was the role of the ECSEL/ARTEMIS/ENIAC JU projects for technological development and innovation, and how can they be located within the company's development and technology roadmap?

• What were the specific motives for participating or applying in the ARTEMIS/ENIAC/ECSEL JU?

• Which specific R&D questions were addressed by the funded projects? What barriers were overcome?

• What are the specifics of ECSEL/ARTEMIS/ENIAC JU projects compared to other funded research projects (e.g. Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG, H2020)?

• In which phases of the innovation process (e.g. Technology Readiness Levels - TRL) can the funded ECSEL/ARTEMIS/ENIAC projects be located?

• What direct benefits and outputs have been achieved through the ARTEMIS/ENIAC/ECSEL JU projects (building technological know-how, networking, risk reduction, human capital development, follow-up investments, patents, etc.)?

• What indirect effects can be identified (reputation, image, long-term partnerships, etc.)?

• How have the R&D activities been commercialised?

• What effects arise with regard to securing the location in Austria?


Conduct of the Study

In the framework of the present project, case studies were conducted in selected enterprises to investigate the specific impact of ENIAC/ARTEMIS/ECSEL projects on technological development and innovation. In the context of the case studies, the direct and indirect effects were identified and the contribution to economic development (growth, employment, securing the location, opening up markets, etc.) was captured. The case studies should together demonstrate the challenges and complexity of implementing technological innovations in the high-tech sector.

Four companies (Infineon Technologies Austria, ams, AVL and TTTECH) have been selected.
These are top industrial firms concerning the number and volume of successfully acquired ARTEMIS/ENIAC/ECSEL projects. The firms can be seen as outstanding high-tech-firms regarding R&D ratio and innovation output. The organisations are also densely embedded in R&D networks on the European level and have the positions 8, 45, 15, and 35 among all European participants in all funded ARTEMIS/ENIAC/ESCEL projects until 2014.

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