Weekly Spotlight: Eco World Styria

9. Januar 2013


Europe´s Green Tech Valley


Since the 1970s, the Austrian province of Styria has coupled the spirit of inventiveness with environmentally-friendly technologies, allowing it to have the highest concentrations of cleantech companies within Europe.

This region has become known as Europe’s Green Tech Valley, and is home to the cleantech cluster ECO World Styria.

ECO stands for:
Employment: increase in the number of employees in Styrian environmental engineering companies to 20,000 until 2015

Competence: roughly doubling of the number of Styrian technology leaders to 20 until 2015

On top: increase in the international presentations in the media and at trade fairs to around 20 per year until 2015.

ECO World Styria houses over 150 green and cleantech companies focused among the fields of biomass/biogas/biodiesel, solar energy/photovoltaics, waste and material flows, water/wastewater, and energy efficiency.

As a member of the ECO cluster, companies have access to a range of services, including:

  • Participation in the design of the location of the future with new research topics, technological model projects, and cooperation with the ECO companies;

  • Strategy support: consulting on the subjects of national and international markets, technologies, and cooperation partners tailored to the needs of the company;

  • Innovation support: patent analysis for defined areas of technology, innovation potential evaluation, technology and development partner identification, project development;

  • Funding support: appropriate funding as well as the exclusive funding map (Förderungslandkarte©), selective investors for environmental engineering innovations.

Other services include the Future Radar and events for free, your news in the NEWsletter, the ECO WORLD Magazine and on eco.at, 50% cost advantages for WIN consultants, knowledge edge due to active interlinking, as well as further services according to the current annual schedule…

In addition to these specialized member services, ECO World Styria has created the ECO InfoCenter for all companies, local authorities, or public facilities at home and abroad showing interest in collaboration, business connections, products and services, or are simply looking for information regarding renewable energy and environmental technology in the province of Styria.

Areas of Focus
One of the most heavily forested regions in Europe, Styria has increased potential for the creation and utilization of raw biogenic materials, including pellets and wood pieces.

Among Styria´s leading bio-based member companies are the ANDRITZ GROUP, a leading supplier of plants and services for the hydropower, pulp and paper, metals, and other specialized industries, and Komptech— an innovative supplier of technology for machines and systems for the mechanical and biological treatment of solid wastes and biomass.

In the field of solar energy, ECO World Styria has long been seen as a breeding ground for intelligent solutions for the utilization of solar energy, especially in the fields of hot water preparation, refrigeration, and heating. The largest solar plant (located in Central Europe) came out of Graz, the provincial capital of Styria.

The plant´s 5,900 square meter surface area allows it to supply 2,500 MWh of heat annually for approximately 3,000 households. ECO world member company S.O.L.I.D. received the Solar Pioneer Award from Singapore for its work in creating this solar plant in 2010.

ECO World Styria has also been a leader in solar exports; it acted as the primary exporter of solar heating and refrigeration for the Beijing 2008 Olympics and equipped the EU “Renewable Energy House” in Brussels with Styrian biomass and solar solutions.

With the highest recycling and composting rates (65%) amongst all EU states and industrialized nations, Styria has been known as a model area for material flow management that is translated into new, valuable products.

The conversion of waste or sewage sludge to high-quality and simultaneously low-emission fuel in Styria is one of the world’s most modern facilities, and attracts more than a thousand specialist visitors from around the world each year.

The cluster is also a global pioneer for developing facilities and systems for the treatment of residual waste in a number of thermal and biological processes, a leader in extracting fuel from waste, a market leader throughout Southeast Europe for turnkey waste solutions, a leader in bio-waste composition, and a leader in the recycling of glass.

With success in these areas, Eco World Styria was recognized as the world’s best Green Tech Cluster by the international Cleantech Group in early 2010. The award recognizes the impressive work of the cluster over the last few years, including its large turnover rate, increased growth rate, and global market growth.

Managing Director of Eco World Styria Bernhard Puttinger stated that this increases the vision of becoming the primary “clean technologies” location in the world, and also assists in the organization´s 2015 objective to double the number of cleantech companies.

A few of ECO´s members are also nominated for the GCCA Later Stage Award:

By Angela Guss

Greenchipstocks, July 25th, 2011


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