March 13, 2006

TU Wien and WU Wien cooperate in postgraduate education

The Professional MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation was presented during a press conference with Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch

H. Kaiser, H. Breitenstein, F. Piëch, M. Landertshammer, N. Franke and A. Stepan

On March 9, 2006 a new cooperation in postgraduate education of the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) and the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (WU Wien) was presented during a press conference. In October 2006 the two largest Austrian universities in their respective fields will jointly offer a Professional MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The MBA program aims at tackling a pivotal European weakness because here – contrary to the USA – economic thinking is often isolated from technological thinking. But innovation always comprises both: a good idea on the one hand and its entrepreneurial implementation on the other. It is particularly at the interface between economics and technology that there lies a great deal of unexploited potential.

This was also emphasized by Dr. Horst Breitenstein, Vice Rector for Infrastructure and New Business Activities at WU Wien. He said that he was convinced that the combination of technological excellence and managerial competence will ensure the best possible education for high potentials.

Univ.Prof. Dr. Hans Kaiser, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs at TU Wien added that innovation has been a focal topic at his university for years. TU Wien is not only champion in external fundraising among Austrian universities; also numerous spin-offs are evidence of successful research, practical applicability of research results and the employability of graduates.

“Conducting business in an entrepreneurial way and having the capacity for innovation are the most important competitive factors in many sectors today. They are crucial for future success” said Univ.Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke, Academic Director of the MBA program at WU Wien.

This statement was also confirmed by Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, who is also a member of the high-profile Advisory Board of the Professional MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation: "Innovation is an extremely burning issue. Today, a company’s innovative strength is a decisive competitive factor – especially in the car industry. The Professional MBA Program offered by TU Wien and WU Wien has set itself the goal of meeting this challenge during the training of our future managers."

The Professional MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation is a so called „Schumpeter Program“ and is financially supported by the Austrian Economic Chambers (WKO). The Austrian economist Prof. Joseph Schumpeter was the first one who realized the importance of „creative destruction“ for the development of an economy. Dr. Michael Landertshammer, Head of the Department for Educational Policy at WKO, said that with this MBA program a new type of postgraduate education had been created. It offers the right mix of profound scientific knowledge, interdisciplinarity and practice orientation that is much sought-after in many companies today.

The Director of the Continuing Education Center at TU Wien, o.Univ.Prof. Dr. Adolf Stepan, pointed out that much emphasis had been put on recruiting a top-class faculty for the MBA program. The lecturers are renowned academics of TU Wien and WU Wien but also professors from international universities and experts with practical experience. Prof. Stepan added that the overall high quality standards make the Professional MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation an important step in the transfer of cutting-edge knowledge and management skills at highest international level.

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