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01: Key Technologies – a Future for Europe’s Youth

Breakout / Working Group
english language

Key technologies such as micro- and nanoelectronics are thought to be of high importance for Europe’s future as a global economic player. By focusing on these technologies Europe is expected to gain competitiveness and create future opportunities for its youth. Which demands are connected with this? What can young people contribute, and under what conditions? These topics will be discussed with representatives from business as well as young high potentials from Europe, India and Asia.


Chief Executive Officer, Infineon Technologies Austria AG, Villach Introduction
President, Nankai University, Tianjin Abstract
In January 2006, China initiated its 15 years "Medium and Long Term Plan for development of Science and Technology" aiming to become an "innovation oriented society" by 2020 and one of the world leading country in science and technology by 2050. In this plan, China proclaimed 5 Strategic priorities:
- Energy, water resources, and environmental protection related technologies
- Information technology, advanced materials and manufacturing techniques
- Biotechnology and life sciences
- Aerospace and marine technologies.
- Basic research and frontier technology development, particularly interdisciplinary research
Supported by various national R&D programs and increasing investment, China has made significant progresses in these areas since then.
Projectmanager, KAI - Kompetenzzentrum Automobil- und Industrie-Elektronik GmbH, Villach Abstract
Fundamental research and technological development constitutes the core part of economic growth. Much of the focus and priorities such as in water, food security, healthcare, energy and climate change remains common for European Union and India. However, there is contrast in some of the key demands required by both. Major issues that needs to be addressed through technology in the near future as listed by EU and CSIR (Centre for Science and Industrial Research), India will be briefly discussed. It is well known that the primary factors which contribute or determine the quality of scientific research are available resources, infrastructure, funding and talent for research and innovation. My personal experience on these topics over the years of my time in Europe will be shared with the group.

Investment in research and development is much higher in the EU compared to India. Given the number of industry funded doctoral research in Universities, public-private partnership is one of the strong strength for research and development in Europe. This industry partnership has many advantages as I have experienced during my PhD and also with our current research activities at KAI. Moreover, several ongoing collaborative works between research institutions is another positive side of international joint research programmes within the EU. The quality and quantity of research output is often measured by the number of peer reviewed publications, and is quite high in number in Europe. EU policy on research funding and grants coupled with excellent infrastructure for scientific research and technological advancement attracts bright minds from across the world.
PhD Student, SBA Research GmbH, Wien Abstract
Since competitive advantage is the buzzword of today's economic strategies, economies all around the world have to act and react on movements of competing markets. While some political economics focus on cheap work force to gain transaction volume - which often is correlated with a poor democratic status - Europe has to develop visions and strategies that fortify competitive advantage from the base. This approach promises to ensure wealth and independence - similarly adhering to the values and standards that Europe is proud of. The key aspect is to offer the young opportunities that allow them to build their own profile in professional meanings, instead of promoting the regulation of careers. Freedom is the order of the day. Free markets demand free people, free people demand free personal development. This means not only freedom of education, but also financial independence which has to be provided to every young individual that is willing to develop her/his professional profile.
Innovation benefits from diversity. Diversity benefits from freedom. Freedom benefits from the youth. As the youth can provide a neutral, unbiased view on how things could be done, new ways and practices can arise from a free, encouraged, young generation of professionals. If they are equipped with profound and adequate skills, that have not been dictated to them, the youth will autonomously develop new approaches to both old and new problems that will differ from the known.
This talk will outline some ideas on how the young can be provided with a fertile environment which encourages them to contribute to the competitiveness of Europe. In addition, the return on such an investment - i.e., how the youth can contribute to a fertile, prospering Europe - will be investigated.
Graduate, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna Abstract
Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) are defined by the European Commission as 'knowledge intensive and associated with high R&D intensity, rapid innovation cycles, high capital expenditure and highly skilled employment ... multidisciplinary, cutting across many technology areas with a trend towards convergence and integration' . This definition implies a set of qualities young scientists and engineers must possess in order to successfully promote KETs and thus contribute to the European development as a global economic player. These qualities in combination with the basic conditions necessary for the youth to acquire them are summarised below.
The rapid innovation cycles of KETs require high creativity and inventiveness. Young scientists and engineers have many ideas, but lacking time for research often prevents those ideas to be pursued. Workshops, in which students can discuss and develop innovation concepts with senior scientists and experts in different fields, could therefore entail fruitful and promising topics of research.
Multidisciplinarity was greatly intensified with the introduction of interdisciplinary degree programmes (e.g. chemical engineering). Also, several science and engineering contests help the youth to think outside the box and should be stronger promoted at universities. The cooperation of different European research groups has been supported by the growing number of international conferences as well as by the ERASMUS programme. The latter, together with the Bologna Process, has enabled the mobility of students and university staff throughout the European Union, even though many students still have to face some barriers in formality when applying for studying abroad. Also, the quality of a stay abroad often suffers from insufficient English knowledge of both students and lecturers.
The demand for highly skilled personnel is currently not met within Europe . In order to close this gap, the cooperation between industry, universities and schools has to be greatly intensified. Efforts have to be made to stronger integrate KET-related issues in the curriculum of secondary schools and to inspire more teenagers to choose a scientific or engineering field of study. Also, a clear commitment to performance in both education and research is necessary for the European youth to compete with non-European graduates in the long term. The European Commission addresses this issue in the latest communication1, calling for a more effective use of public resources regarding research funding.
The above-mentioned challenges will be presented in detail. Strengths and weaknesses of the current European system as well as ideas for improvement shall be discussed.
Application Marketing, Infineon Technologies Austria AG, Villach Abstract
European and Chinese youth face the same challenge and also opportunities just as the rest of the world. However there's one rising topic fits especially these two regions: the innovation in energy sector, in terms of renewable energy and smart grid infrastructure. This is significant for both EU which has aggressive renewable energy target and calls for cooperation among nations, and for China as the highest growth in energy consumption.
The last great innovation was on information technology. Today information technology is in a more mature phase both academically and commercially, it frees humans with great communication efficiency. However the progress in energy sector, after the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, is rather slow. Luckily, with the fast adoption of renewable energies, technology innovation in energy sector begins to make commercial sense, and this will significantly accelerate innovation. In fact, VCs in Silicon Valley is less looking for the next twitter but more energy start up offers a great example.
So, what would be the realistic goal and how we get there? The future of energy innovation is yet to be shaped. But one thing is for sure, seeing the coming interest, EU and China need to put their core competencies together.EU is known for depth of research and forward looking, both academically and also in industry. China's competency is the end market, financial support and talents pool, however lacking what is needed in between.
The market needs to be adopted to crave for innovation, hence forward thinking regulation, flexible financing support scheme, innovative business model, etc. Then young talents would naturally be drawn to this sector. The next step would be an encouraging environment and global collaboration platform to foster the growth and ultimately let these talent contribute. This calls action from both multinational companies and start ups, as well as academic research. Today we're moving in this direction but a lot still can be improved.
Rector, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna Abstract
In the last decade different opportunities in education and research are offered for people in Europe and all over the world. Starting with the Bologna process, a big challenge with a big chance for the European youth, up to the European research area basics are created that offer the possibility for innovation processes following research lines. The European wide innovation processes are also supported by the framework programme (current FP 7 and much more in the future with Horizon 2020) and by the European Institute of Technology with the KIC call(s). All these activities in research and innovation are strong correlated to education for example in terms of master and PhD thesis.
But the other side are a comparatively low number of Austrian students in Erasmus programs, discussions about the quality of bachelor and master programs, about the employability of bachelors especially in the German speaking countries. Austria has a very sophisticated educational system but is it fit for Europe? Chances and challenges in this field will be discussed.
Chief Technology Officer, Berndorf AG, Berndorf Abstract
Which key technologies could serve as basis for Europe's future? This question will be answered in three different but related ways. To give a concrete start the key technologies for a well established industry are explained by an example firm, the Berndorf AG. Especially as the metal-working industry is often called as mature it will be shown how key technologies can contribute to a prosper future of these industry sectors and how Europe can keep its competitiveness even there.
In the next step key technologies will be discussed, that have a potential influence on us as society and our youth. Examples to mention are the ICT - Information and Communication Technology, Life Sciences, renewable Energy and Environmental Technology as well as Health in general. It will be showed which next steps are necessary to develop these technologies further for a favorable future and how to adjust them to the needs of our youth.
In the last section several influences will be shown that affect Europe's development. This part will be focused on demographic changes, diversity topics and education. Regarding diversity the new role of women will be discussed in particular. Education will be debated in respect of new challenges that should be considered when discussing our educational system. Examples to mention are an emphasis on problem solving competencies, the exposure to the growing amount of information and the fast judging of the relevant data as well as social and cultural competencies.
To sum up the speech will show the chances of Europe's future, the role of our youth and necessary premises for a positive development of both our youth and Europe.
Attaché for Science and Technology; Director, Office of Science & Technology, Austrian Embassy, Washington, D.C. Chair
Assistant to the Board, Infineon Technologies Austria AG, Villach Coordination


Chief Executive Officer, Infineon Technologies Austria AG, Villach

1990 Forscherin, Dissertantin und Post Doctoral Research bei Immuno AG
1996 Referatsleiterin und stv. Direktorin des BIT-Büros für Internationale Forschungs- und Technologiekooperation
2003 Praktika bei der U.S. National Science Foundation, American Association for the Advancement of Science und Kooperation mit dem Wissenschaftsberater im U.S. Department of State, Washington DC
2003 Vizerektorin für Forschungsmanagement und Internationale Kooperationen an der Medizinischen Universität Graz
2006 Bereichsleiterin Europäische und Internationale Programme der FFG Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft, Wien
2010 Fulbright Scholar an der George Washington University und Johns Hopkins University/School of Advanced International Studies, Washington DC
2011 Vorstandsmitglied der Infineon Technologies Austria AG
seit 2012 Vorstand für Technik und Innovation der Infineon Technologies Austria AG
seit 2014 Vorstandsvorsitzende der Infineon Technologies Austria AG


President, Nankai University, Tianjin

1987 He started his academic career in Tsinghua University
1994 Full professor
1997 Headed the Department of Electronic Engineering
1998 Headed the Chinese National Key Laboratory on Microwave & Digital Communications
1998 Headed Tsinghua Aerospace Technology Research Center
1999 Became the Vice President of Tsinghua University
2004 Elected as the Dean of the School of Information
2005 Director of Tsinghua National Laboratory for Information Science and Technology


Projectmanager, KAI - Kompetenzzentrum Automobil- und Industrie-Elektronik GmbH, Villach

2001 B.E, Madurai Kamaraj University, India
2004 M.Phil, Newcastle University, United Kingdom
2007 Doctoral Researcher (PhD), Bournemouth Univesity, United Kingdom
2007-2010 Simulation Expert, KAI, Austria
since 2011 Project Manager, KAI, Austria

Dipl.-Ing. Jutta KRISCHAN

Graduate, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna

1996-2004 Allgemeinbildende Höhere Schule
2004-2008 Bachelorstudium Technische Chemie, TU Graz
2008-2010 Masterstudium Technische Chemie - Chemische Prozesstechnik, TU Wien
2010-2012 Projektassistentin, Institut für Verfahrenstechnik, Umwelttechnik und Technik Biowissenschaften, TU Wien

Min LI

Application Marketing, Infineon Technologies Austria AG, Villach

2003-2007 Bachelor, Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University
2007-2010 Master, Telecommunication, Tsinghua University
2008 Hardware Developer, Ericsson, Beijing
2009 Intern in Business Strategy Department, Infineon Technologies, Munich
2009 Intern in Strategy Department Asia Pacific, Infineon Technologies, Singapore
since 2010 Segment Marketing Solar, Infineon technologies, Villach

Dipl.-Ing. Dr. techn. Sabine SEIDLER

Rector, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna

1984-1989 Scientific Employee, Institute of Material Engineering, TU Merseburg
1989 Doctorate
1989-1996 Postdoc, Institute of Materials Science, Martin-Luther-University Halle Wittenberg
1991-1994 Visiting Scientist at Ruhr-University Bochum, Institute of Experimental Mechanics
1993-1994 DFG, Habilitation scholarship
since 1996 o.Univ.Prof. for Non-metallic Materials, TU Vienna
1997 Habilitation in Materials Science
2000-2007 Head of the Institute of Materials Science and Technology, TU Vienna
2007-2011 Vice President TU Vienna
since 2011 Rector Vienna University of Technology
since 2012 First female member of the board of directors, AMAG
since 2014 Member of the board of directors, Helmholtz-Zentrums Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH
since 2016 Member of the Board of Management, Österreichischer Gewerbeverein


Chief Technology Officer, Berndorf AG, Berndorf

1986 Universitätsassistent, Institut für Elektronische Messtechnik, Technische Universität Wien
1990 Kosmonauten-Ausbildung am Juri Gagarin Trainingscenter
1991 Raumflug (9-tägig zur Raumstation Mir)
1994 Program Development Manager, Space-Systems-Division, Rockwell
1996 Director for International Business Development, Space Systems Group, Boeing
1999 Europaverantwortlicher, Bereich Space & Communications und Country Manager Boeing Österreich
2000 Technologieverantwortlicher des Landes Niederösterreich zusätzlich zu Boeing
2002 Geschäftsführer, Berndorf Band GmbH
2008 Mitglied des Vorstandes der Berndorf AG


Attaché for Science and Technology; Director, Office of Science & Technology, Austrian Embassy, Washington, D.C.

2001 Master in Political Science, University of Innsbruck
2002 Master in Law, University of Innsbruck
2002 Research Assistant, Department of Public Law, Financial Law and Political Science, University of Innsbruck
2002-2003 Master of Advanced International Studies, Diplomatic Academy of Vienna
2003-2004 Stagiaire, DG Agriculture, European Commission, Brussels
2004 Research Assistant, Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, Brussels
2005-2007 Assistant to the Deputy Director General for Innovation, Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, Vienna
since 2007 Austrian Science Attaché to the US and Canada, Director, Office of Science and Technology, Embassy of Austria, Washington DC

Technology Forum

show timetable


10:00 - 12:30Technology Brunch hosted by Standortagentur TirolSocial
13:00 - 13:10Welcome statementPlenary
13:10 - 13:30Opening of the Alpbach Technology Forum 2012Plenary
13:30 - 14:15Opening SpeechesPlenary
14:15 - 15:05Powering the FuturePlenary
15:25 - 16:55Global Earth Research - Research for the Future of the Globe in cooperation with the Helmholtz Association of German Research CentersPlenary
16:55 - 17:45The Fight against Cancer - Breakthroughs and ExpectationsPlenary
20:00 - 21:30The global Competition for Production and Research - who will determine the Future?Plenary
21:30 - 23:30Career Lounge - Evening event with a buffet dinner for students, graduate scientists and young professionals, hosted by the organisers of the Alpbach Technology Forum and Siemens AG ÖsterreichSocial
21:30 - 23:30Evening Reception hosted by Forschung AustriaSocial


09:00 - 18:00Junior Alpbach - Science and Technology for Young PeopleBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 01: Key Technologies - a Future for Europe's YouthBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 02: Ambient Assisted LivingBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 03: Smart City - Human beings at the Focus of AttentionBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 04: Demographics and Human Resources as an Opportunity for InnovationBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 05: The Location of future Production Sites - Decision Criteria, Opportunities and RisksBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 06: Supporting Careers in ScienceBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 07: Key Elements of successful Innovation CulturesBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 08: Learning through innovative Education NetworksBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 09: Wanted: young, technologically savvy, curiousBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 10: Smart Governance for smart SpecialisationBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 11: Medical technology: challenges and opportunitiesBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 12: Cyber-security as a critical factory of stabilityBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 13: Modern Technologies and their Role in Democratic ProcessesBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Ö1 Children's University Alpbach - Science and Technology for KidsBreakout
09:45 - 15:00Special Event: RTI Internationalisation in Austria and the EUBreakout
16:00 - 17:15Individualisation - the Basis for Education and InnovationPlenary
17:30 - 19:30Pathways to the Nobel Prize - Laureates in Conversation with Austrian Junior Scientists in cooperation with the Foundation Lindau Nobelprizewinners Meetings at Lake ConstancePlenary


09:00 - 10:30Emerging Technologies that will change our Lives - a Selection of EU "Flagship Projects"Plenary
10:45 - 12:00Future Scenarios: how long can we plan ahead?Plenary
12:00 - 13:05The physics of footballPlenary
13:05 - 13:15Closing StatementPlenary
13:20 - 14:00Snack ReceptionSocial