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OST Scientist Network and ASciNA Activities

bridges vol. 29. April 2011 / News from the Network: Austrian Researchers Abroad

The OST network of Austrian scientists & scholars abroad was established by the Office of Science & Technology (OST) at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC, and focuses on the outreach of government-related agencies to Austrian scientists in North America. Its main objective has been to support the scientific community with information and specific advice wherever necessary and requested.

Encouraged by the OST, an independent association - ASciNA (AustrianScientists and Scholars in North America) - was founded in 2002 with local chapters being established throughout the US and Canada. For further information about ASciNA please visit: www.ascina.at

Start Your R&D Business in Austria – Workshop Series Held for Austrian Scientists in the US

Having tapped trusting family members and friends for funding, and having seen the numbers in their bank accounts dwindle, scientists-turning-entrepreneurs are often confronted with one of the most challenging aspects yet: securing funding – a necessity for the journey from developing the first great idea, proudly scribbled on a scrap of paper, to a flourishing successful and profitable business.

With that challenge in mind, the Austrian Business Agency (ABA) and the Office of Science & Technology (OST) at the Embassy of Austria deployed to California in February and to Washington, DC, Chicago, and Pittsburgh in April. In their luggage was the workshop “Start your R&D Business in Austria.” The event series was designed to provide an insight into Austria's advantages as a business location for R&D start-ups, as well as to offer scientists, entrepreneurs, and company founders an overview of the government support, competitive incentive systems, and funding opportunities available in Austria.

{access view=guest}Access to the full article is free, but requires you to register. Registration is simple and quick – all we need is your name and a valid e-mail address. We appreciate your interest in bridges.{/access} {access view=!guest} Part of the team setting out on the road trip were Austrian entrepreneur Alexander Krajete and funding experts Markus Costabiei and Michael Moll. Krajete is the founder of a biotech start-up that focuses on biological electricity storage as natural gas. He might be considered a poster child of the “how-tos” by the more than 120 attendees of the workshops – an international medley comprised of researchers, entrepreneurs, and business people.

Krajete shares his story: from the unsuccessful attempts to raise funding for his pioneering idea in both Norway and Austria, to establishing contact with Markus Costabiei, CEO of the Upper Austrian Business High-tech Incubator “Tech2b,” and Michael Moll, cofounder of the consulting platform “Entrance.” Working with them changed the game for him. With expert support, Krajete was able to obtain funding within three months, leading to a total of €400,000 from various Austrian funding sources in the next two years. Having bypassed formal business education, and acknowledging that he feels more comfortable in the lab than behind a desk, Krajete was also able to tap into coaching services, expert support, and professional infrastructure to create a solid business plan and strategy and to forecast financial information.

During the workshop, Costabiei and Moll also address the advantages of setting up shop in Austria compared to start-up Meccas such as the San Francisco Bay Area. They introduce some of the most attractive incentive systems for R&D activities in Europe, featuring substantial pre-seed and seed financing options for start-ups along with up to 80 percent cash grants for later-stage companies, and also provide an outlook for new equity instruments to be introduced in the near future.

For further information on how you can start your R&D business in Austria, please visit http://aba.gv.at/ or get in touch with ABA’s North American office in New York City:

ABA-Invest in Austria
120 West 45th Street,
9th floor
New York, N.Y. 10036, USA
Tel: +1-212-398 1221
Fax: +1-212 398 1511


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Moves & Milestones

bridges vol. 29, April 2011 / News from the Network: Austrian Researchers Abroad

In its "moves & milestones" section, bridges presents career steps and other outstanding events in the professional lives of Austrian scientists and scholars in the US and Canada.

leube_small.jpg Kurt R. Leube

is organizing the 7th International Gottfried von Haberler Conference, which will take place in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, on May 20, 2011. The conference is hosted by ECAEF, The European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation, in cooperation with Hochschule Liechtenstein and with the support of multiple local and international sponsors.

Kurt R. Leube is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and is internationally recognized as a leading authority on the tradition of the Austrian School of Economics.

Leube is guest professor at a number of European and Latin American universities. He is the director and founder of the Friedrich A. von Hayek Institute, Vienna (Austria), and editor-in-chief of The International Library of Austrian Economics.

For further information on Leube, please see:

To learn more about the 3rd International Gottfried von Haberler Conference, please visit:


junger_small.jpgWolfgang Junger

was appointed full professor of surgery at Harvard University.

He also published a paper in Nature Reviews Immunology in March 2011 called "Immune cell regulation by autocrine purinergic signaling."

For further information on Wolfgang Junger, and to learn more about the Junger Lab at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, please visit: http://www.bidmc.org/Research/Departments/Surgery/TraumaSurgery/



kupnik_small.jpgMario Kupnik

was appointed full professor of electrical engineering and measurement techniques at the Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus, Germany.

Kupnik received his Ph.D. at the University of Leoben, Austria, in 2001, and afterwards was an Erwin Schrödinger Fellow at Stanford University for two years. Following completion of his postdoc, he continued research at Stanford for four more years. Most recently, he has held the position of senior research scientist. His research focuses on the area of fabrication and modeling of micro-machined transducers for various applications such as high temperature ultrasound in gases, flow metering, and biochemical sensors.

For further information on Mario Kupnik and his new research group, please visit: http://www.tu-cottbus.de/electrotechnik-messtechnik/



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Introducing Ingrid Hölzl -

Evolution of Photography

bridges vol. 29, April 2011 / News from the Network: Austrian Researchers Abroad

By Juliet M. Beverly

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"A photograph is usually looked at - seldom looked into."  
                                                    - Ansel Adams, American Photographer, 1902 - 1984

So, why go to Paris?

Dr. Ingrid Hölzl

"Well, because it's Paris," said Ingrid Hölzl with a smile in her voice. The French capital exuded an international attractiveness that Austrian-born Hölzl could not resist. As with many captivated travelers, she discovered the Parisian art scene, studying with artists and becoming fascinated with contemporary art. And, like the click of a shutter, this student with a background in African studies developed her career in photographic theory. Hölzl, an Erwin Schrödinger postdoctoral fellow, began an academic path that jumped from Vienna to Berlin, then to Paris and back again, eventually ending up at her current location in Canada in McGill University's Department of Art History & Communication Studies (AHCS). In her postdoctoral research, Hölzl looks into the digitalization of photography, its implications for contemporary photography, and its relationship to its latest mode, the screen.

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Introducing Markus M. L. Crepaz -

Experiencing the Surplus Value of Labor

bridges vol. 29, April 2011 / News from the Network: Autrian Researchers Abroad

By Thomas Lichtenwoehrer

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Dr. Markus M. L. Crepaz

The 20-plus year career of Austrian Markus Crepaz in the US is an excellent example of an internationally minded scientist with a high achieving academic background who caught the "American Dream." In 1985, while still enrolled at the University of Salzburg, Crepaz decided to move to Ohio and continue his studies in political science in the US. He was accepted at Bowling Green State University where he received his master's degree. His outstanding thesis on US-American politics allowed him to become a PhD student at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), where he met the renowned political scientist Arend Lijphart, who later became "a very good friend and collaborator." Following a short intermezzo as a visiting assistant at the University of Miami, Crepaz has been a faculty member at the University of Georgia (UGA) since 1993. As the head of the Department of International Affairs, he leads a faculty of some 20 researchers from all over the world.

Wanting to understand more about how society works

The surplus value of labor  
German philosopher Karl Marx.
The surplus value of labor is a concept used by Karl Marx to demonstrate the exploitation of the working class by the capitalist. According to Marx, surplus labor is the labor a worker does in addition to the necessary labor he would need to do to produce his means of livelihood. In other words, surplus labor is unpaid labor just for the profit of the capitalist. The example Crepaz gives shows what is called the relative surplus value of labor: If you need to work, e.g., two hours to produce products that will earn your salary, the other six hours you work will be just for the profit of the owner of the factory. If you speed up the process so that you can produce the same amount in one hour instead of in two hours, the hours you work for the profit of your employer will be seven instead of six. Even though the profit the worker produces is obviously higher, the worker's salary doesn't change. 

It's likely that Crepaz didn't envision himself as the future head of a university department in the United States when he was dismissed from school at age 15 with five F's in his report card ... Sometimes life's paths are not as straight as they might initially appear. After being dismissed from the Handelsakademie in Feldkirch, he attended the Handelsschule in Bludenz. The three-year school provided him with a solid professional education, but graduating from a Handelsschule doesn't meet the requirements for enrolling at an Austrian university. A few years later, however, thanks to the encouragement of one of his uncles, Crepaz hit the schoolbooks again at an evening school where he pursued the Matura, the entry exam for attending a university. Evening school turned out to be real hard work, since Crepaz had to work during the day to earn his living. He had all kinds of jobs, such as forklift-truck driver in a warehouse and an assembly-line worker in a cheese factory. These hands-on work life experiences sparked Crepaz' first interest in political science and social studies. He recalls one particular event: "While I worked in the cheese factory at the conveyor belt and operated the machine which wrapped the cheeses, I observed a man stepping out on a balcony from which he oversaw the whole cheese-wrapping process. It seemed like he had some sort of controls in front of him, turning switches and pushing knobs. He was kind of manipulating the whole process," Crepaz remembers. "What happened was that this man sped up the conveyor belts, which forced us workers to work faster and to produce more wrapped cheese in the same time." Crepaz, while still oblivious to political science back then, analyzed the situation correctly by intuition: "I'm suddenly producing more cheese, but I'm not getting paid any more. This had something to do with power - the power this guy had vis-à-vis the power that I had.  It occurred to me that, somehow, power is distributed quite differently in societies. Later, when I started reading political literature, I understood that I had experienced hands-on in the cheese factory what Marx called the surplus value of labor".

After finishing his Matura, Crepaz moved to Salzburg to study political science. While pursuing his studies, he fell in love with an American exchange student. "She was in Salzburg on a student exchange program with Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Once her year in Salzburg came to an end, I realized that I wanted to stay with her and figured that I could go back with her to Ohio to that University and continue my studies there..."

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