While industrial enterprises promote product developments in their in-house research departments, taking the innovation route often means considerable challenges for SMEs. But with support from a suitable research partner SMEs can be innovative too!
The ACR institutes see themselves as development partners for SMEs - as “outsourced research departments” they provide the necessary know-how and consultancy services.
Year after year the ACR Cooperation Award underlines how successfully and efficiently SMEs can work together with research institutes – and how new products which are successful on the market can develop from an initial idea if there is commitment on the part of the business and the research institute.
The award was already presented for the 7th time in 2012. On average, awards are presented to three to five projects, and the ceremony is held during the ACR Enquete.
The submitted projects of the ACR institutes are judged based on cost effectiveness, sustainability and innovative content. It is also assessed if the innovation has led to the acquisition of new customers and also whether jobs were able to be created and follow-up projects initiated. The innovation itself is judged according to its technological standards and its complexity.
In 2012 the jury consisted of representatives from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG, the Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development RFTE, the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber WKÖ, the Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth BMWFJ, the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology BMVIT and the Federal Ministry of Science and Research BMWF as well as the Austrian Institute for SME Research (KMU Forschung Austria), which is an ACR institute.
The ACR Cooperation Award is presented in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth. The winners will receive prize money of EUR 2,000.