Vienna, October 28th, 2020 – Additive Manufacturing Austria (AM-Austria) supported the Austrian platforms’ and cluster organisation’s initiative for increased R&D financing to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. After positive signals from the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation, and Technology, an R&D working group was created to further support the process.
The Austrian federal government reacted to the COVID-19 crisis successfully, with many sensible and quickly implemented measures. For example, R&D programs that specifically target the development of innovative technologies to combat and contain the virus have been set up. To ensure the continued benefits of these initial measures, AM Austria recently supported a petition advocating increased R&D funds to cope with the COVID-19 crisis and ensure that these are not reduced despite other challenges.
Petition from Austrian business and research institutions
The petition was initiated by the technology platform Photonics Austria (www.photonics-austria.at) and addressed to the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation, and Technology (BMK). It was signed by 12 platforms and cluster organisations. The supporters represent most Austrian industry and research institutions and expressed that R&D funds are seen as essential for overcoming the current economic challenges and allowing Austria to become more competitive. Countries with a faster economic recovery can increase their market shares, whereas a slow recovery could result in a long-lasting competitive disadvantage. Also, existing programs such as the “Production of the Future” have already impressively shown their ability to strengthen not only the Austrian economy but also to support green technologies and the resilience of the domestic economic system. Therefore, R&D programs’ medium- and long-term effects must not be overlooked while operating other necessary emergency measures.
Positive signals from the federal government
The Federal Minister for Innovation and Technology, Leonore Gewessler, reacted promptly and positively to this initiative. She broadly shared the industry’s view and arguments in a detailed statement. Consequently, AM-Austria has set up an R&D working group to provide the best possible support for furthering the process.
“We see the establishment of this working group as very positive. It enables us to discuss possible topics from additive manufacturing with experts from research and industry to address these under certain circumstances via our research programs,” says Mag. Alexander Pogány, Coordinator of the FTI initiative “Production of the Future” and responsible speaker at the BMK for production, materials, and nanotechnology.