The support program AplusB is a promotional act of the Austrian Research Support Corporation - and of the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT)- which support the setup and business of the AplusB centres. AplusB centres support the start-up of enterprises from universities, colleges of applied sciences, and research facilities. In doing so they offer not only concrete advice and support in the start-up process, but also try and firmly anchor entrepreneurship as an option in the academic thought process. Five years after the opening of the first AplusB centres, the second evaluation of the first centres is taking place.The results of the centre evaluations serve on one hand, as an assessment of the centre itself and as the basis for the decision whether to continue running the centres for the next 5 years. On the other hand the results of the centre evaluations flow into the AplusB Systemevaluation which takes place in the beginning of 2007.

The project that has been suggested and drafted here discusses several elements of the evaluation and should provide a quantitative contribution to the overall concept of the evaluation of the centres and the programmes. In the context of this analysis the following questions should be answered.

  • How has the start-up procedure of the High-Tech companies changed in the region of the centres to be evaluated?

In order to have substantiated statements in this regard, the foundation process of the centres to be evaluated are analysed in detail; two years before the establishment of the High-Tech companies in the region, two years where they are being developed and two years after the initial development phase. The analysis of the establishments is based on the ZEW Foundation Panel Panel in Austria, which also forms the basis for regular reports on foundation practices sent to the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT).

  • How do the new companies that are supported by AplusB develop in contrast to other companies that don’t take part in the programme?

The analysis of the relative performance of the companies supported by AplusB takes place by comparing the companies with a suitable control group..(Matching Principle). The necessary information needed to carry out such an analysis is provided by the data from the monitoring of companies carried out in line with the AplusB programmes on one hand, and on the other hand, the data of 5000 companies collected by ZEW for two studies for Spinoff-Establishments from public research bodies in 2003 and 2006 is used. The interviews for the AplusB company monitorings were coordinated with the data collection for the Spinoff-studies forming a good basis for a match promising success. The answers to these questions have then to be classified in the context of the overall evaluation and assessed with respect to their consequences for the centres and the programme.