Bernhard Puttinger, Green Tech Cluster Manager
Green Tech Valley, located in Styria, Austria, is home to more than 200 companies and research institutions developing next-generation green technologies. Popularly known as the green heart of Europe, Styria has the world’s highest concentration of green tech companies working in the areas of bioenergy, solar energy, green buildings and waste and resource management. Twenty global technologyleaders such as Andritz, Samsung, and Siemens are located in Styria within an hour’s drive.
The hotspot of innovation, Green Tech Valley was started over 100 years ago by the Styrian inventor Viktor Kaplan know for his development of novel water turbine in 1913, the breakthrough technology for hydroelectric power. Ever since then, the region has always been synonymous with innovative, forward-thinking enterprises that are committed to environmental technology. The AEE Intec, a leading research institute in the field of sustainable technologies, was founded in the 1970s in the region. Its solar self-assembly units furthered the prominence of Green Tech Valley internationally. Similarly, Green Tech Valley’s GREENoneTEC, founded in 1992, became the largest manufacturer of thermal flat-plate collectors in the world. This year GREENoneTEC took over the solar thermal division of the Danish world market leader Arcon-Sunmark. Since 1992, SOLID has been planning and building largescale solar systems for district heating feed, solar cooling and hot water production. Green district heating is generated by using summer heat for heating in winter.
Green Tech Valley, with innovative products, excellent international client management, high reliability, and famous cordial culture, is growing over its original borders. Numerous companies are located in global hotspot. This has lead to the establishment of Green Tech Cluster, a publicprivate partnership firm in 2015 to provide support for R&D project development, assessment of technology trends and market opportunities and establishing global contacts. Tailored ideas, strategy consultancy and communications complete the portfolio of cluster support services.
The turnover of the Green Tech companies corresponds to 11 percent of the regional GDP, which is a leading density in a European-wide comparison
The Green Tech Cluster enables a world with 0 carbon waste with cutting edge solutions like green heat transition, energy quarters, digital circular value chain or battery recycling. “We foster excellent research and demonstration projects.
We support companies in growing climate and circular solutions. We connect the cluster partners with global ecosystems. We transfer climate and circular solutions to global actors,” states Bernhard Puttinger, Green Tech Cluster Manager. The companies in the Green Tech Cluster with their solar and other green tech solutions have doubled employment and tripled turnover within ten years. This is a growth rate faster than the world markets for energy and environmental technology. “The turnover of the Green Tech companies corresponds to 11 percent of the regional GDP, which is a leading density in a European-wide comparison,” adds Puttinger.
Green Tech Cluster is responsible for the settling of exciting start-ups in the Green Tech Valley, such as EET, which developed a power plant for balconies. The smart measuring technology determines whether electricity is currently being used or not and feeds it in otherwise. This prevents the expensive purchase of additional electricity. In Carinthia, Energetica Photovoltaic Industries not only operates the largest production plant for solar modules in Europe but has also put one of the most modern plants in the world into operation there. It’s a 63,000 square metre plant and has 100 employees manufacture solar modules with a capacity of one gigawatt per year. Green high-tech buildings such as the "Science Tower Graz" use a worldwide first unique technology. Large-area energy glasses with Grätzel cells and thin glass were used for the facade. Transparent energy glasses were manufactured for the first time industrially for large-area use in facades by H.Glass in Switzerland and SFL in Styria. The high concentration of companies in the Green Tech Valley makes it a hotspot for climate solutions.
With the Strategy 2015-2020, the cluster is placing the focus for growth on green innovation. The Green Tech Cluster aims to launch 100 innovation projects in the critical strategic areas of Green Energy (biomass, hydro and solar), Green Building and Green Resources (especially recycling) to drive the development of the Green Tech Valley actively.