Graz has it: ideas from invisible bird protection films to hot water treatment for emerging countries
Graz is a hotspot of green technology startups. The fresh ideas range from self-consumption optimization of photovoltaic systems, sensor technology for wind power to bird protection films that are invisible to the human eye. More than 40 start-ups are developing projects for a future worth living in the Green Tech Cluster. This makes the Styrian cluster the largest network of green start-ups in Austria.
We must all work together to leave behind a livable environment for future generations. But while many are still planning and debating, Styrian startups are already implementing a variety of clever green ideas. Martin Schnitzer from suntap has developed the world’s cheapest solar water heater. The roll-up device can be easily installed on the roof and is aimed especially at emerging countries. These often face the problem that electricity and gas are prohibitively expensive, which is why meals and hot water are cooked behind the house by the open fire. This contributes to air pollution and threatens the forests near the settlements.
The founders Bettina Kain and Dominique Waddoup of “BirdShades” developed a cost-effective bird protection film that is invisible to the human eye. The secret lies in special UV strips, which are only perceived by birds. The explosive nature of the product shows a glance at the statistics: In Vienna alone, around 50,000 birds per year die from clashes with windows and facades.
Networking of start-ups and companies
Graz is the ideal breeding ground for green startups. The Green Tech Cluster with its 200 companies offers numerous initiatives that give young companies a boost in growth. The symbol of this joint growth is the Green Tech Hub Graz, in which the city of Graz and the Green Tech Cluster network startups with established companies. For each start-up, the right growth partner is sought out of the pool of environmental technology leaders. He is a mentor with his time, as well as a client for a joint project. This is how innovative ideas are brought to maturity faster to marketable products or services. These initiatives in the Green Tech Hub have now also been awarded the recognition award in the area of ”Co-Creation and Cooperation” at the Austrian Administrative Prize.
At the start-up events of the cluster, companies from all over Austria are invited to Graz. There they receive input from experts, such as B. Ken Singer, the “start-up maker” of the University of Berkeley, and then can then pitch their ideas in front of companies. This creates the opportunity to win partners for green projects directly on site.