Tyrol becomes leading region for Alpine technologies

New Alpine Tech Innovation Hub at Werkstätte Wattens

Tyrol as a leading centre for Alpine technologies: The Alpine Tech Innovation Hub will play an integral role in turning this vision into reality. The new platform for networking, exchange and innovation was launched on 16 October at Werkstätte Wattens.

How can Tyrol become a pioneer for sustainable Alpine solutions with an international standing? How can existing regional strengths in Alpine Building, Alpine Mobility, Alpine Safety and Alpine Sports & Outdoor Recreation [EE1] be effectively utilized? These were some of the highly interesting questions and future perspectives discussed at last night’s opening of the Alpine Tech Innovation Hub at Werkstätte Wattens.

Andreas Ambrosi, spokesman of BBT SE, presented the development and innovative power of the Brenner Base Tunnel. His talk was followed by a panel discussion on “Tirol as a leading region for clean Alpine technologies”, which outlined some of the challenges, opportunities and potentials of the region and discussed the role of the Alpine Tech Innovation Hub.

Alpine Tech Innovation Hub provides competitive advantage

“With the Alpine Tech Innovation Hub, we are creating a place that connects ‘rising stars’ with established members of the Alpine tech industry,” explains Alexander Koll, COO at Werkstätte Wattens in a conversation with Lisa Spöck from Standortagentur Tirol. “This is where the next grand solutions for Alpine living will be conceived.”

The hub draws on four years’ experience from Werkstätte Wattens. It is an initiative by Werkstätte Wattens, I.E.C.T. Hermann Hauser and Standortagentur Tirol. “Geographically, Tyrol is a small region. So the question is: How can we compete internationally and promote the finest talents along with the most promising technological solutions? We believe that the unique combination of Alpine living space, existing regional strengths and top companies provides an ideal starting point. The Alpine Tech Innovation Hub unites interdisciplinary knowledge, years of business experience and fresh ideas in an open, productive space. This gives the entire region a competitive edge on the international markets,” explains Koll.

Josef Margreiter, CEO of Lebensraum Tirol Holding emphasizes the added value for Tyrol as a business location and as a brand: “Alpine technologies are already strong in Tyrol. The Alpine Tech Innovation Hub is the perfect step at the perfect time: Focusing on the development of Alpine technologies by combining regional competencies with international pioneers will considerably promote Tyrol as a centre for Alpine technologies. “Young companies will especially benefit from the hub,” says Margreiter. “Startups are always more successful when competencies are shared.”

Win-win situation for Startups & Grownups

A total of 63 companies from various industries have already moved into Werkstätte Wattens since it was founded in 2015. This variety is used for interdisciplinary cooperation and will continue to be promoted. By setting a special focus on Alpine technologies, additional top companies and startups shall be brought to Tyrol. Apart from providing infrastructure and office spaces, the hub also generates a diverse network, hosts various programmes and events, and promotes an interdisciplinary approach and technology transfer. Both Startups and Grownups from the field of Alpine technologies benefit from this portfolio.

Young businesses trying to access the market can establish an excellent network with cooperation partners and experts. Tyrol is also an ideal test market when it comes to customers and topography. Established companies will benefit from the hub by receiving fresh impetus for innovations as well as access to the latest technologies.

The hub is open to companies from five core industries – Alpine Building, Alpine Mobility, Alpine Safety, Alpine Tourism and Alpine Sports & Outdoor Recreation – but also from other fields. Companies working at the interface of any of these industries as well as researchers and economists are welcome too.

“We need a place for active exchange.”

One of the companies taking a strong interest in the hub is MICADO, a specialist for product development, toolmaking, fixture construction and automation. “Above all, we expect to gain access to an interesting network in Tyrol, which creates synergies and an active exchange,” says CEO Edwin Meindl. “We need a central hub where people from the industry can meet and connect.” Meindl wants to share his knowledge from 20 years of working with large companies in the sporting goods industry with young startups as well as established companies.

ABS Avalanche Airbags has also just joined the hub: “We are looking forward to an active exchange with other product developers and service providers from the mountain sports industry. We like the idea of having a permanent office space in a dynamic co-working environment,” explains Michael Vogt from ABS.

Elisabeth Frey and Michele Stinco, founders of polychromelab, are pioneers for Alpine technologies and new high-alpine research methods, who have predominantly been working solo: “That’s why we are especially excited about this ground-breaking project by Werkstätte Wattens.” What do entrepreneurs and developers expect from the Alpine Tech Innovation Hub? “To learn from each other and to share ideas without worrying about being taken advantage of. Here we can bundle knowledge and transform ideas into first-class products for the global markets. We’ve got what it takes to do that in Tyrol.”

Outlook Innovation Sprint & Accelerator

Directly after the opening, the Alpine Tech Innovation Hub will run its first Innovation Sprint. Six selected startups will work on specific challenges of the local tourism industry from 17 to 19 October 2019. The aim isn’t to come up with a full-fledged product but to start a lasting cooperation. A long-term collaboration, along with an interdisciplinary exchange, is also the goal of the Alpine Tech Accelerator that will take place in early February 2020. International and regional startups will be working with companies from the Alpine industry for three months to develop solutions for specific problems the companies present.

There are also plans to launch an innovation lab for Alpine gear and mountain sports in 2020.

Alpine Tech Innovation Hub
Werkstätte Wattens | Weissstraße 9 | 6112 Wattens
0043 664 88784466

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