September 14th 2020

Research funding and cooperation between MCI and Caritas Tyrol

Cooperation between the Center for Social and Health Innovation (CSHI) of the Entrepreneurial School® and the Caritas of the Diocese of Innsbruck supports students.

Following the basic mission of Caritas to address existential social challenges, to contribute to educational work and to promote the networking and cooperation of relevant partners in all social functions, the Center for Social and Health Innovation (CSHI) of the Entrepreneurial School® and Caritas of the Diocese of Innsbruck have agreed to cooperate. The aim is to support students who want to actively address problems of the daily Caritas work in the context of their master thesis.

"We have to be prepared for the future and in this context it is important for me and Caritas to link practice and science and offer young people the chance to actively participate in shaping social life", emphasizes director Georg Schärmer.

"Research at the MCI is designed not only to gain knowledge, but should also bring added value and produce solutions. The two MCI students Julia Ganner and Christina Tanzer have successfully demonstrated this and showed what great practical cooperation can be created with Tyrol-based organizations," emphasizes Rector Andreas Altmann.

First studies

Julia Ganner and Christina Tanzer, two students from the master program international health & social management at Management Center Innsbruck, prevailed in a two-stage selection process and tackled the topic of voluntary work in retirement. Their focus was on formal voluntary work and highlighted the obstacles and opportunities to make voluntary work, which is already strongly developed and intensively practiced in Tyrol, more accessible and better known. Companies were also involved in the survey in order to include their commitment to support voluntary work. A total of almost 30 interviews were conducted, evaluated and converted into a 170-page master's thesis.

Perfectly implemented

Last week the two students defended their work at the MCI, which they managed perfectly. Georg Schärmer personally attended to take over the work and congratulated the students. Even if in Tyrol voluntary work shows an enormous and outstanding contribution, there is still potential, that can be used. One of the key findings was the advice to approach companies more actively and to point out possibilities to support voluntary workforce activities. Many companies have a positive attitude towards enabling voluntary work, but do not have the capacity to organize it without support. Enabling volunteering in the workplace increases the chances of continuing it in old age. "Volunteering is changing. In addition to the traditional voluntary work, new forms of project-oriented volunteering are being established in Tyrol. These can also be very attractive for people at the beginning of their retirement. The diverse motivations for volunteering of Tyrol's retirees range from personal development, self-realization, to the maintenance of social networks," explained the students Christina Tanzer and Julia Ganner.


Under the influence of the Corona measures, the last few months have shown that a further pillar of voluntary work should be offered or expanded. E-volunteering, offering advice, support, communication and information via online applications, can provide rapid assistance and is not tied to a specific location. It can therefore be offered by a broad mass of volunteers with little effort and be accepted by a large number of people.

For more information, please contact:

Prof. Dr. Siegfried Walch

Head of Department & Studies

Bachelor Nonprofit, Social & Health Care Management

Master International Health & Social Management

Master European Health Economics & Management (Eu-HEM)

Center for Social and Health Innovation (CSHI)

+43 512 2070 - 3700

Lukas Kerschbaumer, BA MA

Teaching & Research Assistant


Nonprofit, Social & Health Care Management

Center for Social and Health Innovation (CSHI)

+43 512 2070 – 7421