NEWSLETTER ISSUE 3 September/October 2013

Green Tech Research:

Styrian research pools expertise in environmental technology


Green Tech Research, Styria’s new research network, was presented to the public at the Forum Alpbach on 21st August 2013 by Federal Minister Karlheinz Töchterle and Styria’s Regional Minister Kristina Edlinger-Ploder. It brings together five Styrian research institutions and partners in business, ECO WORLD STYRIA, FH JOANNEUM, Styria’s Federation of Austrian Industry, JOANNEUM Research, the University of Graz, the University of Leoben, Graz University of Technology and Styria’s Economic Chamber, pooling their expertise in the field of energy and environmental technologies. With its 8 partners, the network makes a significant impact on the international world of environmental technologies research. More than 1,200 researchers are now working on the primary topic of “smart living environments” with the focus of the research network’s activities lying in the fields of intelligent buildings, green mobility, decentralized renewable energy i.e. power and electricity supplies, as well as cross-cutting topics in materials, resources and recycling, climate change and services. Styria’s Regional Minister Kristina Edlinger-Ploder, emphasizes that, “It is Styria’s goal to raise the region’s already high research and development intensity to a record European level of 5%. Research and business are both counting on Styria’s strength in Green Tech. The new research network continues the strategy of establishing Styria as a leading research location.”

Both Karl Peter Pfeiffer, Rector of FH JOANNEUM, and Christa Neuper, Rector of the University of Graz, agree that “Innovative technologies and ideas will serve to make human living environments both more sustainable and environmentally-friendly in the future.

In addition to the research institutions, the network also includes representatives from industry: Styria’s Federation of Austrian Industry, the Economic Chamber for Styria and the environmental technology cluster ECO WORLD STYRIA. “The truly ‘green jobs’ are to be found in the expertise of our engineers and its technological implementation. Styria is the top engineering region, with 53% of all scientific personnel working in engineering and technology sciences”, as declared by Jochen Pildner-Steinburg, president of Styria’s Federation of Austrian Industry.

Karlheinz Töchterle, Austria’s Federal Minister for Science and Research, also stressed that, “With the network ‘Green Tech Research Styria’, the region is not only boosting its profile as a research location but will also be able to make a greater contribution to solving the major challenges of our time, such as resource scarcity and climate change, a task for which strong networking at regional, national and international level is vital. Styria’s tradition of cooperation is being actively extended and strengthened in several research fields of importance for the future.”

Preliminary GADGET findings presented at ICTT 2013

ICTT 2013 is an international forum devoted to the role of knowledge triangle in modern society. The conference can be seen as a flagship of the project 158881-TEMPUS-1-2009-1-RS-TEMPUS-JPHES “National Platform for Knowledge Triangle in Serbia”, which links education, research and innovation together, as three crucial drivers for sustainable development.
The purpose of the conference was to serve as catalyst for exchange of ideas.

Topics of interest interest at the conference included

Track 1: Research, Education and Innovation

Track 2: University-Industry Cooperation

Track 3: Quality Assurance in Education and Research

Track 4: The Role of Technology Transfer Offices

Track 5: Students in Technology Transfer and Research

Track 6: EU projects as a Chance for Development

Michelle Grindle from the GADGET project used this platform to present the Preliminary Findings of the GADGET Identification Phase. This consisted in results of initial surveys carried out in Spain and Austria.

The questionnaires presented at the event examined the existing linkages between university and industry and its cooperation mode, training needs for current working adults, desirable quality of future graduates, research and technical needs exist within industry and the focus of HEIs. The target audience of the analysis was 50 SMEs, 4 universities and 4 intermediaries in each participating country. Questionnaires were sent out through targeted mailing to the environment and energy sectors, intermediaries and departments in universities.

According to the preliminary results, enterprises in the two countries had a slightly different focus on graduate skills. For instance, the driving force to establish collaborative relationships in Spain valued so-called “hard” skills, whilst in Austria, the emphasis was placed on entrepreneurial competence. The similarities and differences found in the survey will assist to largely improve the mismatch and lack of communication in the university-industry cooperation. The final results become a base for the second phase for implementation of GADGET.

GADGET CAFÉ EVENTS - SCOTLAND

GADGET CAFÉ EVENTS - SCOTLAND The Scottish Chambers of Commerce, the Scottish intermediary project partner, has been delivering the GADGET message nationally to businesses interested in the sphere of environment and energy. SCC's Operations Director Fiona McCann joined members of the Bright Green Business Network at a number of events during the month of October to explain the objectives of the GADGET programme and highlight how these objectives link with the successful industry - university collaborations in existence within the network. The events ranged from an evening session co-hosted by Hydrasun and One Stop Waste in Aberdeen where participants learned of the successful internship programme delivering a substantial improvement to Hydrasun's waste management programme, to a session hosted by Edinburgh College where a 5 acre site has been transformed into Scotland's first solar meadow. Both programmes were cited as fine examples of industry and education working well together. Fiona put into context the structure of the GADGET programme and the potential for interested businesses to participate in the upcoming collaborative work package stages.

 

Café: ‘The new jobs of Energy Sector in Spain’

Soon after the opening ofthe new academic year, GADGET was introduced to students, teachers and professionals in a workshop on energy efficiency at the University of Alicante on 9th September 2013.

Serving as a bridging organisation between the industry and academic world, FUNDEUN gathered GADGET’s main target audience in town to discuss the education, industry and employment.

The professionals attending this workshop discussed and analysed the last changes introduced by the Spanish government on energy and how this will affect the generation of job positions in the near future.

For more information about this workshop results, please contact FUNDEUN.

 


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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views
only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.