1200 Green Tech researchers pooled 

With the new research association Green Tech Research, five Styrian research facilities and their economic partners pool their competence in the field of energy- and environment engineering. Thus, an internationally visible constant in the field of environment engineering-research consisting of 1,200 researchers is created. The focus is on smart living environments with intelligent buildings, decentralised renewable energy, green mobility as well as recycling and air conditioning services.

Within the framework of this year’s Form Alpbach, the new research association Green Tech Research Styria was presented to the public for the first time together with Federal Minister Dr. Karlheinz Töchterle and the Member of the Styrian Provincial Government, Mag. Kristina Edlinger-Ploder. The eight partners ECO WORLD STYRIA, University of Applied Sciences Joanneum, the Federation of Austrian Industries in Styria (“IV-Styria”), Joanneum Research, Karl-Franzens-University Graz, Montan University Leoben, Graz University of Technology and the Styrian Chamber of Commerce pool their competencies in the field of energy- and environment engineering in it. Hence, more than 1,200 researchers are working on the core theme “smart living environments”.

Federal Minister of Science and Research, Dr. Karlheinz Töchterle, points out: “By means of the research association “Green Tech Research Styria”, Styria not only wins research profile, but it also will be able to make a more substantial contribution in order to solve the great challenges of our time, like for instance resource scarcity and climate change – because for that, a strong network on a regional, national and international level is indispensable. The traditionally performed cooperation at the site Styria is specifically broadened and strengthened by several future-oriented issues.”

Member of the Provincial Government, Mag. Kristina Edlinger-Ploder, adds: „Styria has the aim to expand the already high Styrian research- and development rate to the European record of 5 %. In this respect, research and development rely on the Styrian area of strength Green Tech. The new research association is consequently implementing the research strategy towards the top location Styria”.

In particular, the research association treats the topics intelligent buildings, green mobility, decentralised energy- and power supply with the cross-cutting issues materials, resources and recycling as well as climate change and services. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Pribyl, manager of JOANNEUM RESEARCH, explains: “The research association Green Tech Research Styria comprises essential issues for the future. Sustainability in the field of energy and in using our resources is of great importance for us and mainly for the following generations. I am pleased that JOANNEUM RESEARCH could assume a coordinating role in this important topic area. In the joint projects, the activities in Styria will be coordinated well and the synergies between the involved institutions will be utilised optimally.”

A project with European dimension is promoted under the direction of Montan University Leoben. The EIT European Institute of Innovation and Technology as equivalent to the US-American MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology lays the foundation for a sustainable raw materials supply in Europe in the next years. In this respect, Univ-Prof. DE Dr. Wilfried Eichlseder, principal of Montan University Leoben, explains: “By participating in the EIT, the Montan University Leoben together with partners from research and economy wants to become the international node for research, qualification and innovation in the field of resources and recycling.”

On the initiative of Graz University of Technology, Styrian researchers and innovators travel to the sources of innovation in the USA. Univ.-Prof. DE DDr. Harald Kainz, principal of Graz University of Technology, underlines: „Male and female technicians help creating the environment, but also future living environments in a determining way. For this responsible tasks partners with different prospects pulling together are necessary: Here, the strong Styrian research association offers an important basis. In order to network and to be successful internationally, Graz University of Technology cooperates with well-known institutions around the world – from the USA to Asia.”

With the recently started projects DEZENT and WISSEN (knowledge), the continued focus within “Smarter Lebenswelten” (living environments) is treated on an interdisciplinary level. The aim of DEZENT is to increasingly promote the decentralised energy supply in Styria as well as single technologies in particular. Univ.-Prof. DE Dr. Karl P. Pfeiffer, principal of University of Applied Sciences JOANNEUM and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christa Neuper, principal of Karl-Franzens-University Graz, agree: „By means of innovative technologies and concepts, people’s living environments in the future will be created more sustainably and more environmentally friendly at the same time. In the project WISSEN, those are utilised on an interdisciplinary level.“

Besides the research facilities, also economy is centrally represented In the research association with the Federation of Austrian Industries in Styria, the Styrian Chamber of Commerce and the environment engineering-Cluster ECO WORLD STYRIA. Mag. Jochen Pildner-Steinburg, president of the Federation of Austrian Industries in Styria, underlines: „The real „Green Jobs“ lie in the knowledge of our engineers and the technological implementation. Styria is the engineering country number 1, because 53 % of all the scientific staff works in the field of technical sciences.” Eng. Josef Herk, president of the Styrian Chamber of Commerce, declares: “Research and development are the basis for a positive future of the business location Styria. By means of this new research association, the forces are now pooled. A necessary step which is absolutely supported by economy.” Ing. Bernhard Puttinger, manager of ECO WORLD STYRIA adds: „With this research association, the site develops its reputation as Green Tech Valley and thus as a source of innovation for green technologies further once more.”

Further inquiry note: DI Sabine Seiler, ECO WORLD STYRIA as representative of the research association; seiler@eco.at, +43 316/40 77 44-18