Styria is Europe’s green growth star 

With innovative cluster services and double-digit growth rates in the industry, the Styrian green-tech cluster ECO WORLD STYRIA wins the prestigious “RegioStars Award 2012” for intelligent growth for Austria for the first time.

With the “RegioStars Award 2012”, the European Commission awards the highest prize for excellent regional projects. For the first time since the prize was established, an Austrian project was now awarded the coveted prize. From the huge pool of all 50,000 to 100,000 projects co-financed with EU regional funding per year, the 272 European regions were allowed to submit one project each. The province of Styria nominated the activities of ECO WORLD STYRIA from the programme “Regional Competitiveness Styria 2007-2013” for the award. Of 107 submissions, one winner each was chosen in 5 categories. EU Regional Commissioner Johannes Hahn handed over the “RegioStars Award 2012” in the category “Smart Growth” to the province of Styria and ECO WORLD STYRIA.

“The RegioStars Award 2012 is a further confirmation that Styria is internationally among the top regions for the further development of the trendsetting green technologies. Domestic companies are among the market leaders on an international scale, and ECO WORLD STYRIA was chosen the best cleantech cluster of the world. Therefore, in the future, too, we will attach importance to energy and environmental engineering as the essential area of strength of the Styrian economy”, says the Styrian Provincial Minister of Economy Christian Buchmann.

Excellent ECO services
Decisive for the European award is the dynamism, with which ECO WORLD STYRIA is developing, and therewith also manages to give the region new impulses in the area of green technologies. The RegioStars jury above all considered the innovative services of ECO excellent: processing the market trends and business prospects, for example with the “ECO FUTURE RADAR”, supported better corporate strategies. The Technology Round Tables initiated by the cluster and the Cleantech Innovators Club resulted in innovation projects of industry and research, e.g. for new generators, building technologies, ash briquetting, or landfill mining. With the targeted cooperation with global technology scouts and companies in growth markets, the export quota was further reinforced.

Environmental engineering turnover doubled over 5 years
In the green-tech cluster ECO, founded in 2005, more than 180 companies and research institutions work on tomorrow’s products already. In that, in particular product and service innovations and their export are pushed forward. Until 2015, ECO is aiming at more technology leaders within one hour’s drive in Styria, the worldwide renowned “Green Tech Valley”, than anywhere else. Accordingly, the number of green-tech employees is to increase by a further 4,000 to 20,000 until 2015.

On average, the cluster companies have created more than 1,000 “Green Tech Jobs” each year since its establishment, which in total are more than 6,000 jobs in Styrian companies, which constitutes a plus of 10 % per year. In terms of turnover, too, the green-tech companies have nominally grown with an average 18 % per year (around 16 % per year actual) since the establishment of the cluster, which is substantially faster than the respective world markets with an average of around 10 % per year.

The new figures for the year of 2011 in detail: 32,000 employees are already working in the cluster companies, of which 16,600 are attributed to green-tech (+12.7 % compared to 2010). The overall turnover of the cluster companies amounts to 7.7 billion €, the net turnover with green-tech products and services therein are 3.2 billion € (+13,0 % nominal or +9.4 % actual, respectively). Therewith, the environmental engineering turnover has doubled over the past 5 years. The foreign markets dominate the business with an export quota of around 90 %. With 4.3 %, the research effort of the companies points towards further innovations “made in Styria”.

The companies grade their satisfaction with the work of the cluster ECO WORLD STYRIA according to the school grading system with “Very Good”. And 95 % of the cluster companies are convinced to have technologically developed better than (42 %) or equal to (53 %) the global competition in 2011.

Free download of press photos:  /wp-content/uploads/eco-old/downloads/img/29857_pressefotobuchmannputtinger.jpg
Winners RegioStars Award 2012 Styrian Provincial Minister of Economy, Christian Buchmann (left) and Bernhard Puttinger, ECO WORLD STYRIA (2,3 MB) © ECO WORLD STYRIA

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Dr. Gerd Gratzer – Land Steiermark A14, DI Sabine Seiler – ECO WORLD STYRIA, Luc Van den Brande – Jury President, EU-Commissioner Johannes Hahn (3,3 MB) © Alexander Louvet

New Video – Winner of RegioStars 2012 ECO WORLD STYRIA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCVyTSDei44
Video ECO WORLD STYRIA

For enquiries, please contact:
Dr. Sabine Marx, ECO WORLD STYRIA, +43 316 40 77 44-15, marx@eco.at

Winners RegioStars Award 2012 Styrian Provincial Minister of Economy, Christian Buchmann (left) and Bernhard Puttinger, ECO WORLD STYRIA

Dr. Gerd Gratzer – Land Steiermark A14, DI Sabine Seiler – ECO WORLD STYRIA, Luc Van den Brande – Jury President, EU-Commissioner Johannes Hahn

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