Regional innovation coaches

SFG's Regional Innovation Coaching (RIC) strengthens economic power and value creation in the regions outside the central Graz area. Three innovation coaches in Auerbach, Lebring and Zeltweg support SMEs in particular in the start-up phase of their innovation and investment projects.

We trade goods, services and knowledge increasingly globally. Nevertheless, or precisely because of this, the geographical location of a company is important. Metropolitan areas are growing and tying up more and more resources. Styrian regions are called upon to cultivate their strengths and position themselves stably in niche markets.

In 2018, the Ministry of Economic Affairs therefore launched the Regional Innovation Coaching. The goal is to compensate for the structural disadvantages of rural areas compared to urban areas and to realise more innovations in regional companies. This increases value creation and creates high-calibre jobs in the region. In addition to start-ups, hidden champions or companies with key regional competencies, the target group includes “mid-tech players” in particular.

Balance by the end of July 2019: The Regional Innovation Coaches have supervised a total of 165 projects, 45 of which have already been completed. A total of 277 advisory meetings (mainly on-site appointments directly at the companies) took place. The projects supported have a total investment volume of almost 230 million euros.

Portrait Michael Schickhofer
Michael Schickhofer

authorised signatory, responsible for regional innovation coaching and innovation coach Upper Styria East and Weiz

michael.schickhofer@sfg.at

+43 316 7093 308

+43 664 80793 308

Portrait Martin Buchsbaum
Martin Buchsbaum

Innovation Coach West and Southwest Styria

martin.buchsbaum@sfg.at

+43 316 7093 202

+43 664 80793 202

Portrait Wilhelm Kaufmann
Wilhelm Kaufmann

Innovation Coach East and Southeast Styria

wilhelm.kaufmann@sfg.at

+43 316 7093 310

+43 664 80793 310

Portrait Andreas Lackner
Andreas Lackner

Innovation Coach Upper Styria West and Liezen

andreas.lackner@sfg.at

+43 316 7093 328

+43 664 80793 328

Book your regional innovation coach with me!

Elisabeth Wagner email +43 316 7093 223

“Midwife” for your business project

Starting from the Impulse Centres in Auersbach and Lebring and the Wood Innovation Centre in Zeltweg, the SFG Innovation Coaches come personally to your business. They locate the growth and innovation potential and support you in thinking, daring and implementing new things: The coaches are, in the broadest sense, “midwives” of your innovation and accompany you in its implementation.

Your local contact

What you can expect from the regional innovation coaches:

  • know-how on relevant public funding, financing and service offers at regional, national and European level
  • expertise in entrepreneurial innovation processes
  • practical experience regarding relevant success factors for innovation projects
  • an excellent personal network with regional players from business, science, public authorities and existing intermediary institutions
  • intensive communication and cooperation and an understanding of the diverse entrepreneurial contexts and challenges.

What your company will concretely benefit from:

  • coaching on funding and financing programmes for research and technology projects
  • feedback on project concepts and business plans
  • support in the search for project locations
  • initiation of low-threshold cooperation with scientific institutions
  • advice on the acquisition, protection and exploitation of intellectual property
  • identifying dormant potential in internal innovation management
  • support in the marketing of project successes