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masters/phd opps @ softwarepark hagenberg, austria

Wednesday 29 April, 2009

I saw a presentation which might be of interest to informatics phd students & budding entrepreneurs.  Dr. Bruno Buchberger of Softwarepark-Hagenberg made this presentation:  softwareparkhagenberg.

Kepler was a medieval scientist who specialized in the motion of planetary bodies in space.

Buchberger founded the park 20 years ago. Buchberger raised 4M euros in equity funds, but with no venture capital.  40 credit hours are earned in 2 credit hour classes, while some are 4 credit hours.

The English-only graduate programs started 2 years ago with 8 international students.  Now they’re up to 25 students from Egypt, Romania, Indonesia, & none from Austria.

Austria is suffering from the same lack of interest in technical disciplines as many other major economies.  They all want to study economics & marketing & not mathematics & science.

My take:  if you’re considering a degree in this area & interested in broadening your horizons in Europe, this looks like a good option.  In Austria, not being in Vienna or Salzburg might be a bit constricting, but if you’re focused on your studies, distractions in those cities shouldn’t matter.  The costs of 8500 Euros tuition/year seems very competitive.

I’m not aware of many business-technology parks in Europe dedicated exclusively to software firms, which makes SoftwarePark Hagenberg quite an exception.  Encouraging entrepreneurship to the degree they do is pretty novel as well.  Hosting 40 software firms is pretty impressive.  Matching up high-level students with specific firms for their studies I would think would be a big advantage too.  This eliminates the problem of academics researching topics that have no relationship to the real world.  Working with growing companies makes the research grad students do grounded in reality.

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