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Fostering (Transatlantic) Excellence: 2nd High Performance Trip to Styria

26 June 2024

The Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation promotes student exchange and scientific cooperation between the USA and Austria. To date, the Foundation has 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝟏,𝟐𝟎𝟎 𝐬𝐜𝐑𝐨π₯𝐚𝐫𝐬𝐑𝐒𝐩𝐬 to students and fellows from Austrian and U.S. universities.

Last year the Foundation installed a new interaction format to increase the networking between students and fellows, opinion leaders, decision-makers and leading companies as well: the so called High Performance Trips. On June 13-14, 2024, the Foundation organized its second trip for high potentials, this time the delegation went to Styria.

"Styria is a strong research and economic center with focus on high-tech, pharmaceuticals and automotive. It is home to a number of leading companies that are internationally recognized as benchmarks and maintain close economic relations with the U.S.," outlines our Executive Director Markus Schweiger.

The first stop on the trip was the Landhaus in Graz. There, Styrian Minister of Economic Affairs ππšπ«π›πšπ«πš π„π’π›π’π§π πžπ«-𝐌𝐒𝐞𝐝π₯ welcomed the delegation, presented the latest scholarships to 20 students and discussed Styria as a business location and the challenges and opportunities facing the economy in the coming months with the delegation. One interesting detail: With an R&D rate of around five percent, Styria is one of the most highly developed regions in Europe.

"Networking young talents with companies and politicians provides everyone involved with valuable insights and access to different experiences. The Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation is an important link between Austria and the United States. This is particularly important for Styria as an internationally networked business and science center," says Barbara Eibinger-Miedl.

Christoph Robinson from the Industriellenvereinigung Steiermark takes a similar view in a trenchant impulse on the importance of industry for Styria. He is convinced that being part of a strong network and ecosystem is essential for sustainable success. And especially innovation is, according to Christoph Robinson, a key factor for the strong Styrian economic landscape: 75% of R&D expenditure is provided by Styrian industry, making it the largest contributor to the 5.17% R&D rate.

"Interest in our second High Performance Trip was once again very high, with numerous applicants vying for one of the limited trip places," says Karin Emprechtinger, Director of the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation, referring to the high demand among students.