May 22nd 2017

Innovation for family businesses

The first Family Business FORUM presents the joint innovation platform initiated by MCI, Economic Chamber, and businesses, as well as the admission to the Family Business Network run by the Federal Ministry of Families and Youth

As part of the first Family Business FORUM, the Family Business Center – a joint initiative of Management Center Innsbruck and the Tyrolean Economic Chamber – organized the “Paths of Innovation” event for family businesses.

With an annual turnover of almost 19 million euro, Tyrolean family businesses have a significant impact on the local economic structure. Family-owned businesses are deeply rooted in the region and, thus, held in high esteem. Nevertheless, also family businesses are faced with numerous challenges. One of these challenges was the main focus of the first Family Business FORUM, namely the businesses’ ability to adapt to the spirit of the time, the market, and technological change as well as the consequent maintenance of their competitiveness.

The opening address by Dr. Bernhard Baumgartner, counselor to the MCI Family Business Center, focused on the issue of new market dynamics and trends as well as associated challenges for family-run businesses; it was followed by an inspiring panel discussion hosted by the head of the MCI Family Business Center, Dr. Anita Zehrer. The high-class speakers in the panel, which included Dr. Sophie Karmasin, Federal Minister of Families and Youth, Dr. Jürgen Bodenseer, President of the Tyrolean Economic Chamber, Dr. Bernhard Baumgartner, and entrepreneur Andrea Speckbacher from Speckbacher Handels GmbH, discussed the conflict between tradition and innovation, which particularly family businesses are faced with.

Within the framework of the forum, Dr. Sophie Karmasin also introduced the federal Family Business Network. Founded by the Federal Ministry of Families and Youth and the Styrian Economic Chamber, the network serves “to link the links”. So far, the members of the network include the Styrian Economic Chamber as well as four family business platforms: Alphazirkel Austria, the Federation of Austrian Industries Platform for Family Businesses, the Family Business Network Austria, and the Land&Forst Betriebe (agriculture and forestry businesses) of Austria. Head of the MCI Family Business Center, Anita Zehrer, is proud that the Family Business Center is now included in the national network as well: “We see ourselves as a local companion and supporter of Tyrolean family businesses. We provide the foundation on which science and business can meet, and offer our know-how. Being part of this national network is also important for us, because it allows us to profit from the exchange of experiences with other renowned institutions. Therefore, we are especially delighted with our admission to the Family Business Network.”

Press contact
Dr. Peter Schwazer
+43 512 2070-1510