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The Province of Styria, an example of innovative and sustainable growth based on clean technologies

In the framework of the European Entrepreneurial Region Award initiative, launched by the Committee of the Regions, the Province of Styria (Austria) was elected in 2013 as one of the three European Entrepreneurial Regions.

The European Entrepreneurial Region Award is an initiative of the Committee of the Regions identifying and rewarding EU regions with outstanding, future-oriented entrepreneurial strategies; regardless of their size, wealth or specific competences. The regions with the most visible, credible, forward-looking and promising political vision are granted the label “European Entrepreneurial Region” (EER) for a specific year.

In 2013, the Province of Styria, in Austria, was elected with Southern Denmark and Nord-Pas de Calais, in France, as one of the three European Entrepreneurial Regions. Mainly, two projects led Styria to achieve this award. One of this is TASTBAR which is a tactile information and orientation system for blind and visually impaired people. The other one is Eco World Styria, which is a cluster initiative committed to clean technologies. Indeed, the Province of Styria is one of the densest cleantech know-how areas with a long history in this field.

This cluster initiative connects more than 170 cleantech companies, service providers and scientific organisations to enable eco-innovation through cooperation. The cluster organisation and its strategic partners secure sustainable growth for the cluster clients through the entire service and product value chain in the areas of biomass, solar energy, waste as a resource and water.

As for the acronym ECO we find that “E” stands for “Employment” because the cluster has increased the number of employees in Styrian environmental engineering companies to 20,000 until 2015. “C” stands for “Competence” which is roughly doubling of the number of Styrian technology leaders to 20 until 2015; And finally, “O” stands for “on the top” which represents the increasing trend in the international presentations in the media and at trade fairs to around 20 per year until 2015.

As it is expressed in Euromontana’s energy position document (2009) we believe that local, regional, national and European authorities should introduce incentives to rethink the production processes of business in mountainous regions, especially small and medium-sized enterprises in terms of clean technologies and attracting enterprises to mountain areas for sustainable growth. This is the reason why, we believe that the Eco World initiative in Styria could inspire other rural territories in mountain areas.

For further information about Eco World Styria, please click here

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13 March 2015

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