Every year the World Capital Institute recognizes the world’s best centers of knowledge with the “Most Admired Knowledge Cities Award”. In 2015 Vienna took first place in the category “Knowledge City Region”. The city’s educational establishments, its cultural offering, its high quality of life, its cosmopolitanism and central geopolitical location were the decisive factors for Vienna’s “pole position”, which is also of central importance in the competition for international meetings.
Commenting on Vienna’s victory as a “knowledge city”, Christian Mutschlechner, Director of the Vienna Convention Bureau, said: “Once again, Vienna has stood out as a university city with the highest number of students in the German-speaking region and as an internationally sought-after center of knowledge.” Ever since the year 2007, the World Capital Institute based in Monterrey in Mexico singles out cities that stand out from their competitors in the generation and management of knowledge for the “Most Admired Knowledge Cities Award 2015”. Vienna was nominated this year for the first time, winning out against Copenhagen in second place.
The submission was made at the instigation of Andreas Brandner and Günter Koch of Knowledge Management Austria (KM-A), who attribute Vienna’s success among other things to the strategic embedding of its knowledge agendas in Viennese institutions. Vienna has also achieved success by means of its social capital, internationality and financial resources, its geopolitical position between East and West, its environmental awareness, and due to its transport and telecommunications systems. However, Vienna’s top ranking was also thanksworthy to factors such as equality of opportunity, a functional health system and not least its innovation and knowledge-based services. Besides, the strategy of “Innovative Vienna 2020” – approved by Vienna City Council in September 2015 – has as its objective the continued promotion of the city’s innovative potential.
Vienna: Successful meeting metropolis model
“Not least of the reasons why meeting destinations like Vienna, which offer the additional bonus of being a capital city as well as having a high degree of intellectual capital, are attractive is because visitors hungry for knowledge can get together with brilliant minds from science and research,” Günter Koch summed up. “Vienna’s good accessibility by air, the cleanliness and safety in the city, an extensive public transport network and outstanding meeting infrastructure all contribute a great deal to Vienna’s success as one of the world’s finest meeting destinations. The fact that Vienna has once again received an ‘accolade’ as a center of knowledge is a no less valuable argument in the acquisition of international meetings and congresses. A knowledge-based economy, intellectual capital as well as research and innovation are benchmarks for every meeting organizer and a driving force behind further investments in the destination,” explained Christian Mutschlechner. According to the latest statistics published by the International Congress and Convention Association for the year 2014, as a congress destination Vienna ranked in second place worldwide behind Paris and Madrid.