April 24, 2023

Make Good Things Happen: The University of Klagenfurt promotes innovative social business ideas

Integrating older people more fully into society, supporting care by means of digital tools or establishing a generation circle – these are just a few of the ideas that were promoted in last year’s training programme. The “Social Innovation Lab Carinthia (SILC)”, run jointly by the University of Klagenfurt and the Province of Carinthia, is currently calling for proposals.

“Ideas regarding socially relevant entrepreneurship or socio-ecological innovations frequently arise in the university setting,” Erich Schwarz, project leader and professor at the Department of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, explains. It is precisely because we need new and fresh ideas from people who – with the proper support – are willing to develop and implement them, that the “Social Innovation Lab Carinthia” was founded. The brightest ideas will have the opportunity to be included in the Social Innovation Training Programme worth 2,000 euros. So, what are the specific fields on which the initiators have set their focus? Erich Schwarz responds: “We are searching for inspiring ideas and concepts that offer potential solutions to challenges in the areas of society and/or the environment.”

The project targets students and pupils aged 16 and over, but individuals of all ages, companies, NGOs, associations and representatives of public authorities are also welcome to participate. The Department of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship can draw on decades of experience in guiding “fresh ideas all the way to their realization”. Erich Schwarz elaborates: “In view of the many challenges we face as a society today, we cannot afford to let good ideas remain untapped. We recognise that many creative thinkers need a push at the outset in order to get started. This is the support we can offer in our initiatives by providing professional know-how and networks. Everything we develop and offer is always based on state-of-the-art research findings from the fields of innovation management and business start-ups.” In addition, supporting structures for creative business ideas are continuously being refined in cooperation with build!-Gründerzentrum, the Carinthian centre for innovative start-ups, most recently with the 90sec project, which is mainly aimed at young people. “Become a part of something great” – that’s the slogan with which they hope to inspire new ways of thinking and implementing.

More details are available at https://silc.aau.at/ (German only).

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