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Science advisory board




Peter Granig

Founder, Institute Director and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board


Innovation is his calling


Peter Granig, born in 1969, is a Professor for Innovation Management and Business Administration at The University of Applied Sciences Carinthia since 2005, its Vice-Rector since the Spring of 2014, and the Rector of The University of Applied Sciences Carinthia since April 2016.

After completing his in-company electrical apprenticeship, he attended a professional Higher Technical Academy for Electrical Engineering, and then he studied Business Adminstration and Group Dynamics at the Alpe-Adria University, as well as Management and Accounting in the United States. Professor Granig also holds a Doctorate from The Institute for Controlling and Strategic Management of the Alpe-Adria University, in the field of appraisal of innovations with the help of risk simulations.

Peter Granig has more than 20 years of professional experience in the fields of innovation management and business development in domestic, as well as international companies.

Also, Peter Granig is the writer of numerous professional publications in the fields of innovation and innovation management.

At the moment, his research focus is on strategic innovation management, business model innovations and strategy development.






Oliver Gassmann

Congress Academic Advisor

Oliver Gassmann is the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Institute of Technology Management at The University of St. Gallen, as well as the Professor for Innovation Management at The University of St. Gallen.

Oliver Gassmann is one of the most renowned Innovation Professors in the world. In 2010, he was one of the most-quoted Management Professors worldwide, in 2009 he received the award Top 50 Researcher worldwide from the International Association of Management and Technology, and in 1998 he received the RADMA Prize.

He is active on the Editorial Boards of R&D Management, Creativity & Innovation Management, International Journal of Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management, the main Lecturer in numerous Executive MBA Programmes, Author and Publisher of 14 books and more than 230 Professional Publications, is on the Editorial Boards of numerous international magazines and is also a Consultant for a number of Fortune 500 Companies.






Erich Hartlieb

Congress Academic Advisor

The Upper Carinthia Native, born in 1969, is Professor for Innovation and Technology Management at The University of Applied Sciences Carinthia in the study field of Geo Information.

He graduated from The Technical University of Graz as an Industrial Engineer, where he also worked for 4 years as University Assistant at the Institute for Industrial Business Administration and Innovation Research. Erich Hartlieb is a Founding Member and Advisor of The Knowledge Management Forum Graz. Then, he was a Strategy and Innovation Consultant for corporations and medium-sized companies.

He is also the author of numerous professional publications from the field of his professional specialization, and he also gave numerous lectures.






Kurt Matzler

Congress Academic Advisor

Since 2007 he is Professor for Strategic Management at The University of Innsbruck, Visiting Professor at The University of Bozen and Academic Director of the Executive MBA Programme at The MCI University of Applied Sciences in Innsbruck. His research work is focused on the areas of Innovation and Strategy Co-Creation, Crowd Sourcing and Business Model Innovation.

He studied Business Administration at The University of Innsbruck, received a Doctorate in 1997 and his Habilitation in 2001. He was Marketing Professor at The University of Klagenfurt from 2003 until 2005. He was the Director of the Institute for International Management at The University of Linz from 2005 to 2007.

Visiting Professor and Research Projects at the Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania, Fairfield University in Connecticut, Southeast Missouri State University and at The Bocconi University in Milan.

At the time of his appointment as a Professor at The University of Klagenfurt in 2003, at the age of 34, he was the third-youngest Business Administration Professor in all of the German-speaking countries.

He is the author, respectively the publisher of more than 20 books, as well as the author of more than 200 scientific articles, among others, in magazines such as MIS Quarterly, Journal of Product Innovation Management, MIT Sloan Management Review, California Management Review, Information Systems Journal, Technovation, Creativity and Innovation Management, Journal of Economic Psychology, Marketing Letters, Industrial Marketing Management, etc..

Kurt Matzler is the Co-Author of the German Edition of the book Innovator’s Dilemma, along with Professor Clayton Christensen of The Harvard Business School (the most influential Management Thinker worldwide and Number One in the ranking of the Top 50 Thinkers), the book is one of the 100 best business books ever published (Covert et al. 2011).

In 2009, he was ranked by the German Handelsblatt Newspaper among the Top 20 up-and-coming Business Administration Experts in the German-speaking countries. In 2010, he received the Emerald Citation of Excellence Award for a paper about Avatar-based Innovation and in 2012 he received the Best Paper Award of the Creativity & Innovation Management Magazine.

Kurt Matzler is regarded as (based on his research output), according to a recent study of the Schmalenbach Business Review, as one of the three best Marketing Professors of the German-speaking countries.

As a Partner of IMP, an International Consulting Firm with offices in six countries, he is also closely connected to the business world as a Consultant.






Erich Schwarz

Congress Academic Advisor

In 1998, Schwarz was appointed as a Professor at The Alpe-Adria University of Klagenfurt.

Since 1999, he is the Department Director of the Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship Department of The Alpe-Adria University of Klagenfurt. In 2009, he became the Faculty Director of the Business Administration and Economics Faculty of The Alpe-Adria University of Klagenfurt.

In 2002, he played a major role in the founding of the Business Start-Up Centre build!, and is also a Member of the Centre Advisory Committee since its foundation.

Since 2010, he is also the Director of the Sports, Health and Entrepreneurship Master’s Programme at The Alpe-Adria University of Klagenfurt.

His research focus is on the fields of innovation, entrepreneurship, technology management and environmental management.

Prof Schwarz graduated with a Master’s Degree in Metallurgy at The University of Mining Leoben in 1990. He received his Doctorate in Industrial Engineering in 1994 at The Technical University of Graz.

Erich Schwarz received his Habilitation in Business Administration in 1998 at The University of Graz.

He was a Visiting Professor and a Research Professor at The Polytechnic Institute and The State University of Virginia, Clemson University in South Carolina, The Arizona State University in Phoenix, The University of Essen, The International University Institute in Zittau, The University of Maribor, as well as at The University of Mining Leoben.

In 2010, he was appointed as a Management and Organisation Professor at The Technical University of Graz.

He is the Author or the Co-Author of nine books, as well as the Writer or the Co-Writer of more than 140 scientific articles, that were published in leading international periodicals.

Erich Schwarz received numerous awards for his lectures, as well as his research.

As a Board Member of the Innovation Management Platform, as a Lecturer of various post-graduate MBA Programmes (at The Alpe-Adria University of Klagenfurt and at The Management Center Innsbruck), as well as a Consultant for, in particular, new and innovative firms, he is in constant touch with, and cooperates with, the business world.





Frank Piller

Congress Academic Advisor

Since many years, Frank Piller is researching the design of customer-centered innovation and added value processes, the successful management of radical innovations and the use of external knowledge for the innovation process. He is a Professor for Technology and Innovation Management at RWTH Aachen and Co-Director of the Smart Customization Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he worked from the end of 2004 until the beginning of 2007 at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

He is one of the leading German experts for innovation management, and is often quoted in business magazines, in particular regarding open innovation, customer co-creation and product individualisation. His research got numerous awards, such as the Co-Creation Award 2012 of the PDMA, and was nominated for the Innovation Award 2013 of the Harvard Business Review and McKinsey. At the moment, he is doing research at RWTH regarding the integration of external knowledge into new product development (open innovation), the modelling of situation-based oganisational action spaces (innovation culture), as well as technology transfer in innovation clusters, economic consequences of additive production processes (3D printing), Open Hardware models, and strategic possibilities for successful product and services individualization (mass customization).

His newsletter and blog about mass customization and open innovation reaches more than 6000 decision-makers and leading thinkers. The Executive MBA Students at The Technical University of Munich voted for him as the Professor of the Year 2006. In 2010, he received the RWTH President's Award for excellence in teaching, and in the context of the initiative for excellence in 2012 at RWTH, he also got an ETS grant for his innovative flipping the classrom teaching concept.

Franzk Piller is also an academic partner of the management consulting firm Competivation, as well as an advisory board member of companies such as Think Consult, Hyve, Dialego and Corpus.e, where he supports the organisations regarding the establishment of customer-centered and sustainable innovation management, such as in the fields of open innovation, business model innovation, co-creation, mass customization and product configuration.

His clients include DAX and Fortune 500 companies, as well as many new technology firms in Europe and the United States.



Kurt Gaubinger

Congress Academic Advisor

Kurt Gaubinger is a Professor of Innovation Management & Industrial Marketing at University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. He is Head of the Master’s

Degree Programme Mechatronics and Business Management and Vice Dean of the School of Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in social and economic science from the Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.

After teaching at the Universities of Applied Sciences Burgenland and Salzburg, Kurt Gaubinger became a full-time professor at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria in 2005 and was named Head of Department for Innovation, Design and Industrial Marketing in 2009. In 2013 he developed the Master’s Degree Programme Mechatronics and Business Management and in 2015 the Master’s Degree Programme Automoitve Mechatronics and Management . Prior to his career in academia he worked as a medical engineer for Siemens AG Austria and afterwards for an Austrian IT service provider as business unit manager. He presented his research at numerous conferences and has published several books and articles. His research interests include strategic innovation, front end of innovation, as well as commercialization of innovations.