Sustainability that pays off: the world’s largest polymer research initiative, “SolPol”, was presented with the 2018 Sustainability Award.
First place in the category of “Regional Cooperation (Cross-University Projects)” was presented by the Ministry of Science and the Ministry of Sustainability in Vienna.
Ten academic partners (including the Linz University of Art & Design, the University of Innsbruck, AEE – Institute for Sustainable Technologies, WIFO) and 19 companies (Borealis, Greiner, AGRU Kunststofftechnik, GREENoneTEC Solarindustrie etc.) have worked together constructively since 2010 at the JKU SolPol research platform. The platform, funded annually by the Climate and Energy Fund at the Austrian Research Promotion Agency with over 14 million euros, focuses on the potential of networking solar and polymer technologies – two sectors of high-level expertise in Austria.
The goals are ambitious and include improving the functionality, lifespan, and weight of solar components by polymers used in solar thermal and photovoltaic applications while also reducing costs and striving for global applications. Positive aspects include positioning Austrian companies in the industry better through polymer-based innovative developments as well as sustainable contributions to renewable energies and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.
Awards and Motivation
Univ. Prof. Reinhold W. Lang, head of the Institute of Polymeric Materials and Testing at the JKU, remarked, “The award underscores the excellent cooperation between the industrial sector and academia in Austria to transform the energy system in an economically and socially way.” JKU Rector Meinhard Lukas added, “We consider the award to serve as motivation to consistently expand the new cross-faculty focus on ‘Sustainable Development – Responsible Technologies and Management’.” The Linz Institute of Technology (LIT) at the Kepler University aims to combine innovative technologies with sustainability factors.