Research & development in ICT
Deliberations about possible uses of the plot of land to the south of Klagenfurt University where the Lakeside Science & Technology Park is located today began in the early 1990s. When the idea was taken up again in the year 2000, framework conditions were analysed, best-practice examples investigated, all the various stakeholders (companies, Alpen-Adria University, University of Applied Sciences, politicians and residents) were consulted, a feasibility study was conducted and an implementation concept developed.
Three construction stages
The Park was planned in several construction stages – keeping step with capacity utilisation four buildings had been erected by 2015. The first construction stage included six buildings with a floor area of approx. 14,000 m² opened in April 2005; the second construction phase followed with the opening of two additional buildings of some 7,000 m² in 2006, and two further buildings were completed by summer 2010. The fourth construction stage was completed in 2015 with the opening of additional floor space of 8,000 m². The total area of Lakeside Science & Technology Park is now some 34,000 m², and capacity utilisation of the buildings is over 90%. 66 companies, 17 of them start-ups in the Build! Gründerzentrum Kärnten, with approximately 1,100 employees are located here. Lakeside Park was entirely financed by public funds (Republic of Austria, State of Carinthia and capital city Klagenfurt am Wörthersee) and total investment amounted to 75.5 million euros. The operating costs of the Park are covered by its revenue.
Lakeside Park is a cooperation platform for companies, university institutes and university of applied sciences departments working in the field of information and communication technologies. With Alpen-Adria University being its immediate neighbour, the idea of the science park has always been to establish targeted, strategic neighbourhood conditions to offer an excellent setting for research and development cooperation. The focus group includes research-intensive, innovative, growth-oriented companies working in the field of IT, telematcis/intelligent transportation systems, complementary and advanced technologies.
Lakeside Park thrives on its thoughtful planning – starting from the architectural design of the buildings, to landscape architecture, modern and flexible office space and tailored support for companies in special matters or even in the everyday running of the business. In addition to a restaurant and café-bistro, outstanding infrastructure has been established, including the Lakeside Spitz event centre (rooms and hall for conferences, seminars and meetings) or Kunstraum Lakeside (the venue of advanced international art production, context-related in its functions, structure and operation of Lakeside Park) plus five child-care facilities (from a crèche to an English-language nursery school). Three extra-mural research institutions have settled at the campus: Lakeside Labs (with a focus on self-organising, connected systems), the Robotics Institute of JOANNEUM RESEARCH (focusing on man-robot collaboration) and the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (specialising in digital safety & security). Start-up companies receive support and find the right environment in Build! Gründerzentrum Kärnten. Lakeside Park reached international model character when it established the Educational Lab, an open lab where cooperative organisations, initiatives and projects meet to develop, test and implement new forms of teaching and learning in the MINT subjects.
Organisation and status quo
The companies at Lakeside Park include multinational, small and medium-sized companies and start-ups working in the research-related disciplines of the focal sectors. The usual rent is between € 10 and € 11.60 per square metre (net excl. operating costs) and capacity utilisation is excellent at over 90%.
The CEO, Mag. Hans Schönegger, leads a team of 15 people who are in charge of the operational agenda and further development of Lakeside Park.
Further expansion and development of the park is planned in the framework of a public-private partnership models. The team and model of Lakeside Park stand out from other Austrian science and research parks and represent a systemic, regional innovation strategy.