Business | Research | Partnerships | Fundings | SciPiL | Apr 26, 2018

The Austrian Province of Burgenland Invests in Joanneum Research

At today’s press conference in Weiz, Austria, the provinces of Styria, Carinthia and Burgenland emphasised their prospective closer cooperation in the area of research. Burgenland holds an interest of five percent in Joanneum Research and will be active in the promising research area of “Smart Connected Lighting”. Thus, the research axis south of Carinthia through Styria into Burgenland is to be further reinforced, and international visibility of domestic research is to be increased.

The province of Burgenland, located in the east of Austria, wants to bundle its research activities and reinforce its position as a science location and has therefore approached Joanneum Research in order to gain an experienced and strategic partner in this regard. The new distribution of the ownership structure will then be as follows: 80.75 percent province of Styria, 14.25 percent BABEG (province of Carinthia) and 5 percent Landesholding Burgenland. The purchase price is incorporated into Joanneum Research and will be used for the build-up and development of the new Joanneum Research location in Pinkafeld.

The new research group “Smart Connected Lighting” will be established in the third quarter of 2018 within the context of the new ownership structure and will be integrated into MATERIALS, the Institute for Surface Technologies and Photonics at Joanneum Research. MATERIALS is headed by experienced LED expert Dr. Paul Hartmann and performs research at the locations Weiz, Niklasdorf and Leoben. However, a new JR location will be established in Pinkafeld for the new research group. The team is expected to grow to a number of 15 employees within the coming five years, dedicated to perform research in the area of “Smart Connected Lighting” in coordination with key regional players. “Lighting technology is currently undergoing a paradigm shift from a pure light source to comprehensive, smart lighting concepts that work with sensors, controls and feedback control, networks and communication. We want to establish a research unit 'Smart Connected Lighting' that will take on a leading role on a national and international level both in research and in technology transfer to companies,” explained Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Pribyl, MBA, chief executive officer at Joanneum Research.

First and foremost, the paradigm shift can be attributed to cost pressure resulting from competition with products from Asia, in particular in the low-price segment. Functionalisation will make it possible to produce more intelligent products that represent an added value for users and can thus generate greater value. A strong trend towards “networked and functional lighting” is discernible, which can be used in building controls (smart buildings) or industrial environments as for example in production lines. Many of the necessary sensors and communication components are increasingly being integrated directly within the lighting infrastructure. Thus, this field is becoming an artery for networked living and production worlds and the language centre of the “Internet of Everything” that connects people, objects and data and makes communication possible between these participants. Dr. Franz-Peter Wenzl, LED expert and previous manager of the research group “Light and Optical Technologies” at MATERIALS, will take over management of the new research group.

About Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH:

Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH is a leading international research organisation that develops solutions and technologies for businesses and industry covering a wide range of sectors. As an innovation company focused on applied research and technology development, it plays a key role in facilitating the transfer of technology and knowledge in Styria, Burgenland and Carinthia.