Armin Mahr

Armin Mahr
Head of Regional Policies
Austrian Ministry of Science

Armin Mahr is a senior public manager and political advisor. In the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy he is heading the strategy unit, responsible for research locations and regional policies. Armin has an international track record as a science, research and innovation expert involved in strategy projects at national, regional and European level.

He has been Austrian OECD delegate in various commmittees since 2007, and involved in peer reviews of national innovation systems. He was among the initiators of the OECD project on smart specialisation. He believes in a multi-level governance model that connects the European, national and regional with the institutional Level, and encourages HEI to become 'lead institutions', shaping the future of their region. As political scientist (London School of Economics, University of Vienna) he was involved in various international research and technical assistance projects both in the non-profit and business consultancy sector.

Towards negotiated governance models: Austria's Lead Institutions Initiative at HEI and the development of competitive knowledge places. The scope and logics of public policy interventions has been evolving over the last years. The state, its regions, the EU, but also institutions, are directly interacting with each other and need to adopt a more partnered understanding of multi-level governance. When old policy silos crumble, policy-makers still need frameworks for reference and communication. Besides the rise of broader thematic frames (like the knowledge triangle of education, research and innovation), the return of tailored, place-based policies help to communicate policy interventions in a tangible eco-system context. The Austrian 'lead institutions initiative' for HEI is such an attempt.

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