Newsletter 10/2016

Newsletter | October 2017
Newsletter | October 2017
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Submission Process Closed
We have received a huge number of really interesting and promising submissions for this year's award. We want to thank every single entrepreneur, inventor or company for talking part at the SEA 2017. It´s your great enthusiasm and restless engagement which leads our planet into a liveable future and you are a good example for the next generation of business leader.
Adapted Organisational Procedure

The evaluation process is already running and it will take some days to select all finalists who will be presented to our prestigious jury. Due to the fact that some of our finalists are not able to come to Vienna to the originally planned event on November 28 in Vienna the jury will meet on that day to identify the SEA Awardee of 2017. The winner of the 10,000 euro price money will be invited to the cheque handover ceremony in Vienna with our main partners.
Greenhouse gas concentrations surge to new record
Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surged at a record-breaking speed in 2016 to the highest level in 800 000 years, according to the World Meteorological Organization's Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. The abrupt changes in the atmosphere witnessed in the past 70 years are without precedent.

Globally averaged concentrations of CO2 reached 403.3 parts per million in 2016, up from 400.00 ppm in 2015 because of a combination of human activities and a strong El Niño event. Concentrations of CO2 are now 145% of pre-industrial (before 1750) levels, according to the Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.

Rapidly increasing atmospheric levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases have the potential to initiate unprecedented changes in climate systems, leading to “severe ecological and economic disruptions,” said the report.

The annual bulletin is based on observations from the WMO Global Atmosphere Watch Programme. These observations help to track the changing levels of greenhouse gases and serve as an early warning system for changes in these key atmospheric drivers of climate change.

Population growth, intensified agricultural practices, increases in land use and deforestation, industrialization and associated energy use from fossil fuel sources have all contributed to increases in concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere since the industrial era, beginning in 1750.

Since 1990, there has been a 40% increase in total radiative forcing – the warming effect on our climate - by all long-lived greenhouse gases, and a 2.5% increase from 2015 to 2016 alone, according to figures from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration quoted in the bulletin.

“Without rapid cuts in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, we will be heading for dangerous temperature increases by the end of this century, well above the target set by the Paris climate change agreement,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. “Future generations will inherit a much more inhospitable planet“, he said.

>>> Read more
City of Tomorrow
The Austrian Research, Technology and Development (RTD) programme "City of Tomorrow" contributes to the research and development of new technologies, technological systems as well as urban services for future cities. In particular City of Tomorrow puts emphasis on the built infrastructure in connection with urban energy systems, both on a district-level and within the wider agglomeration and suburban areas. The programme is owned by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit) and was built on the success of the previous RTD programme “Building of Tomorrow” where the technological basis for the building of tomorrow, especially the plus-energy house, was created.

Technology and process oriented goals

The central focus is on energy solutions. Therefore the decisive factors are whether we succeed in developing new energy services, improve energy efficiency and increase the share of renewables. With its objective to create and empower intelligent energy solutions on a building- as well as a district-level, “City of Tomorrow” aims to:
  • Support resilient cities and districts with high resource and energy efficiency, an increased use of renewable energy production and a high quality of life
  • Optimize and adapt urban infrastructures in light of ongoing urbanization and the associated increase in resources and energy
  • Develop and secure both the technological leadership and the international competitiveness of Austrian companies and research institutions
However besides the focus on technological solutions, development processes should be systematically launched leading to visionary projects and case-studies which can be transferred to other cities and urban areas.

Wide thematic portfolio with specific focus

Besides basic research topics, e.g. renovation, development of building technologies, energy-oriented city planning and intelligent energy systems emphasis is put on new topics in calls, e.g. green buildings or digitalisation of planning, construction and operation.

Open Access and Open Innovation for a new culture of innovation

From the beginning on all projects and reports are being published on the programme platform following the Open Access approach. The fifth call for tenders "City of Tomorrow" has allocated a budget of € 6 million and is open for proposals until February 27th, 2018.

>>> Read more
SEA Partner Greiner Group opens Site Expansion in Kremsmünster
The expansion to Greiner Bio-One’s headquarters was officially opened on the 20th of October following a construction period of just 16 months. With an investment amount of 10 million euros, the expansion at the Kremsmünster site in Austria represents a clear commitment to the region. The new laboratory facilities have nearly tripled the available office space and optimized workflows within the organization.

Greiner Bio-One is on course for success and is continually growing. The opening also coincided with the 25th anniversary celebration of the Greiner Bio-One Group’s headquarters in Kremsmünster. During the ceremony, Deputy State Governor Dr. Michael Strugl underscored the importance of flagship companies for Upper Austria as a business location. “I’m delighted that a leading international company such as Greiner Bio-One is continuing to expand its company headquarters here in Upper Austria. The medical technology sector is a promising growth market for the future with great investment potential. The investment by Greiner Bio-One is strengthening Upper Austria’s position as a destination location for medical technology. It will also create jobs and boost the competitiveness of our state.”

Sustainable investment

The new company building stands out not just for its modern design, but also for its highly efficient use of resources. “We see taking active responsibility for people and the environment as one of our most important duties. If we want to continue to be successful in the future, we need to focus on sustainability in everything we do. This conviction is also reflected in the design and implementation of our site expansion,” noted Axel Kühner, CEO of the Greiner Group.

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Product tip of an SEA Awardee 2016
100% Natural One‐Way Dishes from leaves by Leaf Republic
>>> To the product
Leaf republic develops, produces and markets product innovations on the basis of leaves for the sector of food and non‐food packaging as well as the sector of paper & pulp. They aim to set new standards for the development of innovative, sustainable packaging. The problem which leaf republic is trying to mitigate are the damages caused by plastic waste as well as by cutting down trees for the production of paper and pulp. One‐way dishes based on leaves have been already used in Asia for centuries. While being in Asia, Pedram Zolgadri developed the idea to modify the traditional leaf plates and adjust them to the European market. Leaf republic is tackling the worldwide problem of plastics´ waste and destruction caused by the use of large amounts of plastics each single day. Besides, we aim to offer a sustainable solution apart from using wood by having developed first prototypes of leaf‐based paper and pulp (LEAF‐paper).

>>> Read more
Event tip
Zero Emission Cities

When: November 06, 2017
Where: Vienna, Austria

The international energy and environmental symposium "Zero Emission Cities" was developed in 2010 on the initiative of the specialist group of Wiener Ingenieurbüros. It is carried out together with the Industrial Division. The two offices of the Vienna Economic Chamber are supported by the City of Vienna through their Smart City Agency, which is located at TINA Vienna GmbH.

The aim is to bring together all stakeholders to promote innovative urban technologies. Every year, there is a generic theme for which international experts hold key notes, state-of-the-art smart city concepts, scientific projects and insights, as well as political approaches are also presented. The program is rounded off by panel discussions on current, controversial topics as well as the best practices of the sponsors. The conference languages are German and English.

With free admission there are about 400 to 500 guests annually in the festival hall of the Viennese town hall. The audience consists mainly of representatives from business, science and politics.

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Recommended reading list
Sustainability in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

By Leal-Millan, Antonio, Peris-Ortiz, Marta, Leal-Rodríguez, Antonio L. (Eds.)

This book provides a richly illustrated study of sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship. Specifically, it examines the ways in which governmental policies and practices modify the social conditions necessary to promote innovation in businesses and by so doing impact economic development. Exploring topics such as green innovation, green customer capital, smart cities, green entrepreneurship and environmental responsibility, this book presents some of the most current research and best practices in the field.

In today’s global economy, strategies, policies and practices that address the negative effects of human activity on the environment need to be incorporated into the business framework in order for companies to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Around the world, such changes have already resulted in a broad range of products, production methods and technical features that ensure environmental protection. At the same time, the mass media’s communication of a deteriorating earth have motivated a growing number of citizens in both developed and developing nations to modify their consumption habits towards more ecological products. Consequently, an increasing number of companies are reacting to these changes in business and legal frameworks and consumer preferences by investing in new forms of green innovation or “eco-innovation” designed to promote both environmental and corporate sustainability.

>>> Read more

Thanks to our partners:

Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award (SEA)
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