"Energy innovations create new jobs and are the basis for an intelligent economic growth. By means of the special prize, we are creating an additional incentive for companies to develop their competitiveness," stressed Reinhold Mitterlehner, Federal Minister of Economy, Family and Youth. "We are thus simultaneously accelerating the further implementation of Austria’s energy strategy."
An Incentive for Researchers and Entrepreneurs
In its capacity as Austria’s leading electricity company focusing on hydropower, VERBUND is creating forward-looking energy solutions that call for top economic and ecological performances. "Until now our research prize has been aimed at scientists, but there are many Austrian companies and research institutions working together on innovations for the energy system of the future. It is this practice-oriented research that we want to promote and award with this special prize," declared VERBUND CEO Wolfgang Anzengruber.
The competition criteria for the special prize are the same as those for the State Prize for Innovation. Appropriate projects, which are submitted in 2011 to the organisational bodies of the federal provinces, may be honoured as part of the awarding of the State Prize for Innovation 2012. In addition to the projects for the State Prize for Innovation, it is intended that one company per federal province be nominated for the "VERENA" award. The national winner will receive prize money in the amount of 12,000 Euro.
The Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth has commissioned Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (aws) with the development and organisation of the State Prize for Innovation. As has been the case to-date, aws will accept all projects sent in by the federal provinces. Furthermore, VERBUND is available to the organisers of the provincial innovation prizes for any advice, expertise and assistance related to the new special prize "VERENA".
All details concerning the criteria and submission centres for the federal provinces are available on the websites www.staatspreis.at and www.bmwfj.gv.at.