Information on individual educational components (ECTS-Course descriptions) per semester

Degree programme: Master Sustainable Energy Systems
Type of degree: FH Master´s Degree Programme
Winter Semester 2023

Course unit title Innovation Ecosystem Explorers
Course unit code 800101021700
Language of instruction
Type of course unit (compulsory, optional) Elective
Semester when the course unit is delivered Winter Semester 2023
Teaching hours per week 2
Year of study 2023
Level of the course / module according to the curriculum Second Cycle (Master)
Number of ECTS credits allocated 3
Name of lecturer(s) Thomas METZLER

Prerequisites and co-requisites

The 2023 study trip will take us to Tallinn and Helsinki. However, we reserve the right to make changes with regard to the destination. If a trip to Tallinn or Helsinki is not possible due to local Covid regulations, the destination will change to another relevant innovation hotspot (e.g. Berlin, London, Lissabon). In this respect, participation in this course requires a general willingness to travel to an innovation hotspot. If changes in the Covid situation occur on short notice or if travel is generally not possible, a substitute program will be organized at FHV. 

Program costs for the trip (on-site organization and transportation costs; Tallinn-Helsinki ferry) are approx. 700-900 EUR per person. Hotel costs for 5 nights are about 600-700 EUR (single room basis, depending on booking situation and accommodation, without meals). The actual program costs will be announced separately, as they depend on the number of participants.

The other costs for flight, meals, insurances and personal expenses have to be paid additionally and have to be organized individually. Please book hotel reservations only with cancellation option and flight reservations ideally also with cancellation option. In any case, before making any bookings, please wait for communication from the course instructor (e.g. with regard to the proposed course hotel or the start / end of the course units on site, as these are made with regard to flight schedules, etc.).

Good English language skills are required for the trip. Current Covid regulations (e.g. regarding vaccination) must be observed.

The ÖH insurance will provide accident and liability insurance coverage on a small scale. We kindly ask you to take care of an adequate insurance coverage (liability, accident, health and possibly a return insurance) yourself.

Course content

In this course, students deal with innovation ecosystems and the stakeholders operating within them. In doing so, they explore the needs and challenges that different stakeholders perceive and consider these in the context of intercultural differences.

Learning outcomes

As part of the study trip "Innovation Ecosystem Explorers", students examine innovation ecosystems and explore how different stakeholders (e.g. startups, government, funding agencies) think and act. To broaden their horizons and gain intercultural experience, students travel to Tallinn and Helsinki, impulsive, future-shaping hotspots. During the study trip, students discuss with managers, founders and experts.


- Students can outline key stakeholders in innovation ecosystems.


- Students understand cultural differences between Estonia, Finland and Austria. 


- Students can compare different innovation ecosystems and distinguish the ways of thinking and doing of the stakeholders operating in them.


- Students can combine and reflect on their theoretical considerations and the practical insights gained during their study trip.

- Students can derive recommendations for action on practical problems.


- Students can evaluate innovation ecosystems and reason relevant recommendations for action.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods
  • Exchange on various innovation-related topics in an interdisciplinary context
  • Journey to thematic hotspots
  • Access to and insight into innovative companies
  • Intercultural exchange of thoughts
  • Multiple guest lectures
  • Discussions in the group, with lecturers and stakeholders

Assessment methods and criteria
  • Reflection paper on theoretical concepts (50%; to be handed in before the trip)
  • Reflection paper on experiences from the study trip (50%, to be handed in after the trip)


Alumni participation welcome.

More information about the trip to Tallinn and Helsinki can be found here:

Recommended or required reading

Recommended reading:

_Osterwalder, Alexander; Pigneur, Yves (2010): Business Model Generation. A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. Hoboken, New Jersey: Jon Wiley & Sons, Inc.

_Dodgson, Mark; Gann, David M; Phillips, Nelson (2013): The Oxford Handbook of Innovation Management. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

_Current scientific papers on the topic

Mode of delivery (face-to-face, distance learning)

Face-to-face course with attendance expected.

During the study trip to Tallinn and Helsinki, students will intensively deal with the innovation ecosystems in Estonia and Finland. They will engage in an exchange of ideas with innovative startups and relevant stakeholders. In doing so, you will explore the role of ecosystems in the formation of innovative startups and gain an understanding of how local entrepreneurs think and act.