100 years green innovations from Styria 

With the invention of the hydropower turbine with adjustable rotor blades in the year 1913, Viktor Kaplan from Mürzzuschlag started the story of success in the field of Styrian environment-innovations. Since then, Styria has been exporting and producing innovative technologies in the field renewable energy and recycling and it has gained an international reputation as Green Tech Valley.
Exactly 100 years ago, on the 7th of August 1913, the Styrian Viktor Kaplan applied for a patent for his famous water turbine with adjustable rotor blades. The further developed Kaplan-turbine is still one of the three worldwide applied types, it is produced in Styria by ANDRITZ HYDRO, and it recently was also used by Energie Steiermark in the power station Gössendorf near Graz.

Lots of inventors and researchers related to Styria operated as pioneers for today’s environment- and energy engineering, amongst others such famous names like Nikola Tesla, Viktor Hess, Ludwig Boltzmann, Franz Pichler or Hans List. Today, more than 170 companies and research facilities do research, develop and produce innovative, clean technologies and products in the green heart of Europe, the Green Tech Valley. They are part of the Environment Engineering Cluster ECO WORLD STYRIA, which once more internationally ranked as no. 1.

„We specifically rely on knowledge-based production and support innovations and growth by the intensified collaboration of industry, research and services. The Styrian energy- and environment engineering industry significantly contributes to the fact that we were chosen as European Entrepreneurial Region 2013, and that we are one of the most innovative European regions with anR & D quota of 4.3 %”, says the Member of the Styrian Provincial Government for Economy, Christian Buchmann.

Energy- and environment technologies from the Green Tech Valley are being used worldwide and are highly esteemed. Patent analyses, for instance, also showed a strong, approximately six times increased inventive talent of Styrian innovators, be it clean power, heat and fuel from biomass, buildings as power stations with see-through photovoltaics, recycling of waste products like glass or Li-ion batteries, water purification with diamonds as well as the integration of the technologies in holistic solutions.

“In cooperation with the Cluster ECO WORDL STYRIA, the awareness regarding the importance of the issue energy efficiency and the demand for a qualified energy consulting could be increased in the past years, and significant savings of approximately 11,500 t

CO2-emissions and 2,500 t waste products could be achieved”, underlines the Member of the Styrian Provincial Government for Sustainability, Johann Seitinger. Furthermore, the recycling of landfill sites is promoted in the course of the Styrian pioneer project “Landfill Mining” and innovations are developed with 18 companies.

Future Styrian added value and jobs also promise white-green environment innovations like the flexibly applied heating paint of qpunkt villinger, the mobile diesel-fuel cells-current generator of AVL, the new building-integrated wind turbine of wind2power or the Bio-Crack technology for fuels made of biogenic residues of BDI BioEnergy International. These innovations are compiled in a compact way in the new Green Tech Valley Guide of ECO WORLD STYRIA.

„ECO opens the space towards new innovations of companies and research facilities. This year alone, ECO could already co-initiate new R&D projects amounting to 26 million euros, the innovation pipeline for the next years is filled well”, reports ECO Cluster manager Bernhard Puttinger.

For 2013, the Styrian ECO-Cluster companies expect a growth of approximately 7 %. The total turnover 2012 in the amount of 10,17 billion € comprises 3,58 billion € pure environment engineering turnover. In the year 2012, it grew with 4.6 %, companies with research activities above average could even increase the turnover of 2012 by 15.7 %. The number of environment engineering employees in the Cluster companies amounts to 17,870.