Technologies for Sustainable Development
Only an economy based on the principles of sustainability will be able to secure our prosperity and quality of life in the long run. This, however, requires a radically reduced consumption of resources, which, in turn, can be achieved only by a fundamental change in our way of life and our economy. In addition to an appropriate political framework and increased awareness in consumer behavior the economy itself will be an important factor in sustainable development. The Austrian Programme on Technologies for Sustainable Development aims at supporting the economy with future-oriented innovations and developments.
It is a well known fact that an orientation towards sustainability not only contributes to a relief of the environment, it also opens up completely new opportunities for the economy. For, saving on energy and raw materials also means developing considerably smarter and more efficient solutions and products to meet our needs.
Austrian Programme on Technologies for Sustainable Development
This five-year research and technology programme has been developed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT). It initiates and supports trendsetting research and development projects and the implementation of exemplary pilot projects. The programme pursues clearly defined emphases, selects projects by means of tendering procedures and is characterized by networking between individual research projects and by accompanying project management.
- New opportunities for the economy,
- Economical use of natural resources,
- Consolidation of Austria's position in the field of technology,
- Positive effects on the economy and on employment.
- Strengthening of research and development (R&D) competence,
- Interdisciplinarity and networking,
- Diffusion and application of R&D results,
- Guiding principles of sustainability,
- Orientation towards benefit and need,
- Efficient use of resources,
- Use of renewable resources,
- Multiple use and recycling,
- Flexibility and adaptability,
- Fault tolerance and risk precaution,
- Securing employment, income and quality of life.
Why "Sustainable Development"
A linear continuation of the present development of industrialized nations would cause growing global inequality at the expense of future generations (for example greenhouse effect). Therefore, fundamental changes in our way of life and economic system are imperative. On an international scale, there is general agreement that the concept of sustainability is a constituent element of future-oriented research and development and that research will play a key role in this area. In addition to innovation in the field of technology, structural and social innovation will be of great importance.
What activities will be supported by the programme
- Generation of innovative approaches and project definitions
- Activities focusing on fundamental research
- Applied research and development
- Networking and cooperation between individual projects
- Support for implementation (promotion, trainings, etc.)
- Pilot and demonstration projects
Building of Tomorrow
"Building of Tomorrow" refers to residential and office buildings that feature the following improvements as compared to the present practice in Austria:
- Improved energy efficiency over the whole life cycle,
- Pronounced use of renewable sources of energy, in particular solar energy,
- Increased use of renewable raw materials and efficient use thereof,
- Increased consideration of service and use aspects for the benefit of users of residential and office buildings,
- Costs comparable to those of conventional building designs.
Energy Systems of Tomorrow
The "Energy Systems of Tomorrow" subprogramme focuses on research and development questions pertaining to renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, paying special attention to aspects of an efficient overall system. Crucial to this is the exploration of innovations on the following three levels:
- Structural innovations: changes in structure and systems, system behaviour, basic conditions,
- Social innovations: changes in user behaviour dependent on knowledge, attitudes and lifestyle,
- Technological innovations: developments in key areas of the entire spectrum from primary energy sources to energy services,
- An important quality criterion applicable to all projects to be financed is their potential to make significant contributions to an intelligent overall system solution.
Factory of Tomorrow
The subprogramme "Factory of Tomorrow" addresses the trade and industry as well as service enterprises that produce and provide products of tomorrow using materials of tomorrow to meet tomorrow's needs. The following aspects have to be taken into consideration:
- Aiming at zero-waste and zero-emission technologies and methods of production,
- Increased use of renewable raw materials for materials and products,
- Increased use of renewable sources of energy in the production process and in the enterprise as a whole,
- Development of new partnerships and co-operations as well as in-house models for further training and participation of employees in order to achieve these objectives.