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Upper Austrian Achievement Award 2017 (OÖ. Leistungspreis 2017) for Prof. Dr. Erik Hansen – 2.10.17

This year’s Upper Austrian Achievement Awards (OÖ. Leistungspreis 2017) ceremony took place at the headquarters of voestalpine in Linz under the motto: "Stärken stärken reloaded". In the category of science and academia (up to age 40) Deputy Governor Michael Strugl awarded the highest price to Prof. Dr. Erik G. Hansen. Prof. Hansen is head of the Institute for Integrated Quality Design (IQD) at the Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU). IQD holds courses and conducts research in the areas sustainability-oriented innovation, integrated quality management (systems) and design for circularity. The IQD takes a holistic perspective on quality, considering a company’s economic, ecological and social aspects into account. Prof. Hansen has led many research projects and has authored numerous journal articles.

For more information click here


IQD research at the 4. qualityaustria Environment and Energy Forum – 29.9.17

More than 120 representatives of the Austrian business community attended the 4. qualityaustria Environment and Energy Forum (titled "Wir müssen die Zukunft smart gestalten") to discuss upcoming environmental challenges. This years forum was organized in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and was focused on innovative energy projects and on how management systems can contribute to greater sustainability within companies.

The Institute for Integrated Quality Design (IQD) was represented at the forum by Andres Alcayaga and Melanie Wiener who provided insights into the current research agenda of the institute. A special focus of the key note was placed on the research project "Business Models for Extending Industry 4.0 towards the entire Product Life Cycle - I4L" that analyses the Internet of Things and the amplified capabilities of smart products for the development of new service business models throughout the entire product life cycle.

For more information about the forum click here


State Award for IQD (Oberösterreichischer Landespreis für Umwelt und Nachhaltigkeit 2017) – 27.9.17

The IQD team attended the annual environmental congress of Upper Austria on September 26th, 2017. The congress took place in the city center of Linz and was focused on sustainable textiles. The environmental congress comprised workshops, key notes and panel discussions of experts from various organizations. The highlight of the congress was the award ceremony at the end of the event. Numerous organizations, communities and individuals received an award for their commitment to a sustainable development. Among them, the Institute for Integrated Quality Design (IQD) received the “State award for environment and sustainability” (Oberösterreichischer Landespreis für Umwelt und Nachhaltigkeit 2017) in the category school and adult education.

For more information click here


IQD team attends the opening of gugler*s Sinnreich – 9.9.17

On September 8th, the IQD team visited the company gugler* in Melk for a big celebration. The reason for the celebration was the opening of the first recyclable Cradle to Cradle™ building in Austria, “gugler*s Sinnreich”, a symbol for environmental standards. The celebration included a varied program with a guided tour through the whole company and different key notes and workshops about modern communication and sustainability. As a special guest, Prof. Dr. Erik G. Hansen, held a workshop about the Circular Economy.
gugler* is a family-owned business with the aim to provide sustainable printing solutions. One of their core values is to be a leader in the development of a sustainable future. They are one of the first companies in the printing sector to engage with the cradle-to-cradle approach.

For more information click here


Featured Video: Impressions of IQD Project

Award for head of IQD Prof. Dr. Erik G. Hansen – 7.7.17

Prof. Dr. Erik G. Hansen (co-author: Dr. Johanna Klewitz) received for his paper “Sustainability-oriented innovation of SMEs: A systematic review” the Emerald Citations of Excellence Award. The paper was published in February 2014 in the Journal of Cleaner Production and the jury emphasized the novelty, importance, and interdisciplinary nature of the paper. Every year, the Emerald Group Publishing honours highly quoted scientific paper in the areas of Business Management, Finance or Accounting, Economics and Marketing that have an important influence on the respective research field.

For more information click here


ÖVQ-Benchmark-Meeting at Miba AG headquarters – 30.6.17

Prof. Dr. Erik Hansen (IQD) with Ing. Viktor Seitschek (General Manager and CEO of Austrian Association for Quality, ÖVQ) and Andres Alcayaga (IQD) at ÖVQ-Benchmark-Meeting at Miba AG headquarters in Laakirchen, Austria.

ÖVQ-Benchmark-Meetings are regularly organised meetings and follow a short but intensive programme with practitioners from different top companies. The host company presents latest developments and insights about special topic related to management systems. The ÖVQ-Benchmark-Meeting “Digitalisation on the Shop Floor” at Miba AG focused on topics as Industry 4.0, digitalisation and smart factory in the context of the automotive industry.


Successful student presentation (“IQD Project”) at Quality Austria headquarters in Vienna - 24.6.17

Groups of international master level students presented the results of IQD’s newest praxis-oriented course: IQD Project. The course included the attendance to Quality Austria’s customer event “Quality Austria Forum” in Salzburg and several meetings with members of the Quality Austria management board. Students gained deep practical insights into latest innovation trends and service development and benefited from direct contact with Quality Austria’s experienced practitioners.
During the semester, students analysed hot topics at the intersection of quality, sustainability and innovation management like materials circularity and product-service systems and developed a new audit service for our corporate partner Quality Austria. The final presentation of the project’s results was at the headquarters of Quality Austria in Vienna followed by a dinner to celebrate the achievement.


IQD researchers at the ISPIM Innovation Conference 2017 in Vienna - 22.6.17

Doctoral students of IQD presented their preliminary research results on “Circular Innovation Processes from ACAP Perspective: the Case of Cradle-to-Cradle” (Julia Schmitt) and “Internet of Things-enabled circular product innovation: a Product-Service System perspective” (Andres Alcayaga) (Projects “Cradle to Cradle Innovation Processes” and “Business Models for Extending Industry 4.0 towards the entire Product Life Cycle”) at the International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM) innovation Conference in Vienna on June 18th-21th.

The conference attracted more than 470 researchers and innovation professional from 41 countries and was held at the Austrian Economic Chamber. IQD researchers also participated at the ISPIM junior researcher LAB where they met senior researchers and practitioners working within innovation management.


Second Circular Economy in Practice site visit to O.Ö. LAVU AG and TRODAT GmbH - 2.6.17

For second year in a row an interdisciplinary student group (Management Polymer Technologies, General Management etc.) of the JKU and the IQD team (Prof. Dr. Erik G. Hansen, Andres Alcayaga and Julia Schmitt) visited the O.Ö. Landes-Abfallverwertungsunternehmen AG (O.Ö. LAVU AG) and Trodat GmbH. The event was organised by the Cleantech-Cluster under the motto: “from primary to secondary raw materials”.

DI Christian Ehrengruber (director at O.Ö. LAVU AG) emphasized the challenges of the recycling process and the reuse of waste materials to foster circular economy as a success factor for companies. The presentation at Trodat GmbH included a detailed insight into the organizations’ sustainable stamp production.

Ing. Roman Mittermayr (Head of Quality, Environment and Security at Trodat GmbH) explained the crucial role of sustainability for organizational success: “Recycling und clean technologies are becoming the norm – without sustainable products we risk losing customers, especially in the European market”

For more information and pictures click here


IQD team and students visit Voestalpine: How does Voestalpine cooperate with stakeholders in the context of sustainability? - 12.5.17

Together with students from the course Sustainability Cooperation & Networking" (Master General Management), the IQD team visited Voestalpine AG headquarters on 11.05.17 to learn about stakeholder dialogue and cooperation from the perspective of the world's leading speciality and quality steel producer. The meeting took place at the visitor centre "Voestalpine Stahlwelt" in Linz, Austria. The centre includes a science and technology museum that gives interesting insights into the industry. The corporate presentations were delivered by Dr. Christoph Angermayer (Deputy Head of Strategic Environmental Management), Matthias Pastl (Head of Corporate Communication), and Claus Geiger (Strategic Environmental Management). The presentations provided the students with a rich understanding about corporate practices on how to develop close ties with internal and external stakeholders as a basis for environmental and sustainability improvements in the production processes and product portfolio.


Guest Lecture from University of Cambridge at IQD on 4th of May - 8.5.17

Dr. Frank Tietze, lecturer for technology and innovation management and lead of the Intellectual Property Management (IIPM) research group at the Centre for Technology Management and Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) at the University of Cambridge, hosted a guest lecture on "Open and closed intellectual property models for accelerating sustainability transitions" at the IQD on the 4th of May.

Dr. Tietze's research focuses on innovation at the intersection of management sciences and business (micro) economics. He contributes mainly to two areas: Innovation and Intellectual Property (IP) Management as well as Innovation processes for Product-Service System (PSS). With his research he also aims to contribute to a sustainable living.

For further information visit IIPM Research Group


Students of IQD attend 23. Quality Austria Forum in Salzburg - 20.3.17

A group of students attending the course Integrated Quality Design: Project (590006) participated at the "23. Quality Austria Forum: Future in focus - Leading the future" in Salzburg on 15th of March 2017. More than 750 visitors came together at the forum and watched attentively presentations of leading experts on topics like the challenges of digitalization, quality management in an uncertain world, global megatrends, the digital enterprise, and the relevance of circular thinking and agile decision making.

For further information visit 23. qualityaustria Forum Zukunft 4.0 – Wie Unternehmen dynamische Veränderungen managen


IQD team visits Entrepreneur.Base new lab “Open.Base” - 13.2.17

Entrepreneur.Base has set up a new open space “Open.Base” for idea generation and creativity at the Johannes Kepler University Linz. The space is available for students, workers and alumni of the university and offers a wide set of materials like lego, markers, magnetic and writeable surfaces, coloured papers, plasticine and more, for effective and creative team work and idea generation.

For further information visit Entrepreneur.Base


Open Postdoctoral Research Position (100%) in Sustainability, Innovation & Quality Management - 1.2.17

The Institute for Integrated Quality Design (IQD) at Johannes Kepler University (JKU) Linz, Austria is looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to join our team.The IQD conducts interdisciplinary research and teaching at the interface of Sustainability, Innovation and Quality Management for developing knowledge for the management of (closed) product life cycles – using concepts such as Sustainability-Oriented Innovation, Circular/Cradle to Cradle Design, Product-Service Systems, Business Models und Management Systems. IQD has recently joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Circular Economy initiative.

Read the full description in ENGLISH here and GERMAN here


Business simulation course “NaPuro” (Sustainable Cleaning Robots) takes place for second time - 16.12.16

The business simulation course “NaPuro Planspiel”, led by Prof. Dr. Erik G. Hansen, took place for second time during the winter term 2016/17 (13 to 14.12.2016) at the facilities of the Institute for Integrated Quality Design (IQD). The simulation was facilitated by Dr. Markus Ulrich (UCS Ulrich Creative Solutions) and Dr. Daniela Schrack (Institute for Environment in Companies and Regions, JKU).

Master and PhD students from different disciplines participated in pair teams and engaged in the management of a fictitious company in the “cleaning robots” industry during five rounds. Teams applied their management knowledge and personal skills to develop and implement a strategy that involved decisions about production, marketing, finance, stakeholders, the environment, product quality and social requirements.

The focus of the business simulation is to help students gain insights about the complexities of market and business dynamics and to experience the potential of an effective quality and sustainability management system. Specifically, students were able to identify and understand the implications of particular measures for product and company improvement in terms of sustainable and quality performance.


Gastvorlesung: "Product-Service System Development Method in the Context of Sustainable Development" - 7.12.16

Susanne Heinz ist Advanced Track Design Thinking Facilitator der School of Design Thinking am Hasso-Plattner-Institut, Potsdam. Sie betreut Projekte bei Unternehmen und Organisationen. Aufbauend auf der Coachingtätigkeit und qualitativer Forschung im Rahmen der Masterarbeit entwickelte sie im Team Design Thinking weiter, um die Verbreitung von Circular Economy durch nutzerzentrierte Produkt-Service-Systems-Entwicklung voranzutreiben.

Susanne bot in einem Workshop im IQD in Linz eine Live-Anwendung ihrer Design Thinking Methodik an: Durch ein konkretes Beispiel entwickelten die Teilnehmer ein innovatives Produkt-Service-System.


IQD organises 11th Research Colloquium on Innovation & Value Creation at the JKU - 27.11.16

More than 50 researchers from Germany and Austria attended the 11th Colloquium on Innovation & Value Creation 2016 organised by the Institute for Integrated Quality Design on 24, 25 and 26 November 2016 at two locations: the Tabakfabrik Linz and the Johannes Kepler University Linz. 36 PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers presented their research in topics as Open Innovation, Sustainability Innovation, Industry 4.0, Business Model Innovation, Co-creation and value creation, and others.


Prof. Dr. Erik G. Hansen präsentiert im Zukunftslabor 2016 in Linz: "Produkt- und Geschäftsmodellinnovation in der Circular Economy" - 17.11.16

Image: Minarik

ExpertInnen aus Politik und Wissenschaft und führende ManagerInnen aus internationalen Unternehmen wie Fairphone, Bellaflora, Zipcar, Telekom Austria Rosenbauer International, voestalpine und ALPLA beschäftigten sich in Vorträgen und Workshops mit Themen wie die zunehmende Knappheit von Ressourcen, verändertes Konsumverhalten und höherer Kostendruck im Rahmen der Circular Economy Veranstaltung Zukunftslabor 2016.

Die Veranstaltung ist eine Initiative vom Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft (BMLFUW) und Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Innovation und Technologie (BMVIT) in Kooperation mit dem Umwelttechnik-Cluster Oberösterreich.

Prof. Dr. Erik G. Hansen präsentierte das "Thema Nachhaltiges Produktdesign: Luxus oder Pflicht?" und erklärte zentrale Konzepte rund um das Thema Kreislaufwirtschaft wie Lebenzyklusorientierung, Produktinnovation und neue Geschäftsmodelle.

Weitere Informationen: Zukunftslabor 2016


Sustainability-Oriented Innovation Track at the R&D Management Conference at the University of Cambridge - 10.7.16

Prof. Dr. Erik G. Hansen and Dr. Frank Tietze offered the track: Sustainability-Oriented Innovation: Developing Products, Product-Service Systems and Business Models at the R&D Management Conference 2016 - From Science to Society: Innovation and Value Creation.

Further Information:
Sustainability-oriented innovation at the R&D Conference


Site Visit "Circular Economy in Practice: from primary to secondary raw materials" (Circular Economy course) - 9.6.16

An interdisciplinary student group (Management Polymer Technologies, General Management etc.) attending the master's lecture: Innovation, Design and Quality for the Circular Economy participated at the site visit: "Circular Economy in Practice: from primary to secondary raw materials". Prof. Dr. Reinhold Priewasser (Institut für Betriebliche und Regionale Umweltwirtschaft), Dr. David Schönmayr (Umwelttechnikcluster), Prof. Dr. Erik G. Hansen (IQD), and the students visited the O.Ö. Landes-Abfallverwertungsunternehmen AG and Trodat GmbH. One of the inspiring highlights of the visit was Trodat's innovation "Original Printy 4.0", a very lightweight stamp produced with high degree of recycled plastics and with carbon being offset through WWF Gold standard climate certificates.


Neue interdisziplinäre Lehrveranstaltung NaPuro Planspiel am IQD - 5.6.16

Master Studierende (und Doktoranden) aus verschiedenen Fachrichtungen haben durch die interdisziplinäre Lehrveranstaltung Planspiel NaPuro (Business Simulation) die Möglichkeit bekommen, eine realitätsnahe Erfahrung als Entscheidungsträger in einem innovativen Technologie-Unternehmen zu erleben.

Teilnehmer spielen in einem Team von 2 Personen die Rolle der Geschäftsführer eines fiktiven Technologie-Unternehmens in der Zukunftsbranche "Putzroboter". Eine besondere Bedeutung spielten ökologische und soziale Anforderungen aufgrund veränderter Märkte, stärkerer gesetzlicher Auflagen und sich wandelnder gesellschaftlicher Ansprüche. In mehreren aufeinanderfolgenden Spielrunden konnten, im Kontext eines solchen dynamischen Marktumfelds, Entscheidungen über Investitionen für die Ausgestaltung des Unternehmens und die darin entwickelten Produkte und Marketing- und Vertriebsaktivitäten getroffen werden.

Ziel war es, komplexe Zusammenhänge zwischen? Managementsystemen, Organisationsstrukturen und -Prozessen, Produktentwicklung und integrierten Qualitätsanforderungen (technisch-ökonomische, ökologische und soziale Anforderungen) besser zu begreifen.


Qualität setzt sich durch – aber was ist Qualität und wie kann man sie gestalten? - 26.4.2016

Am 25. April 2016 hielt Univ.-Prof. Erik G. Hansen seine Antrittsvorlesung an der JKU. Die Professur und das Institut wurden von Quality Austria als Hauptfördergeber und dem Land OÖ gestiftet.
Laut JKU-Rektor Univ.-Prof. Meinhard Lukas ist das Institut für Integrierte Qualitätsgestaltung (IQD) ein Beispiel für exzellente Forschung und für den Mut, neue Wege zu beschreiten. Es handle sich um ein fakultätsübergreifendes und interdisziplinäres Institut, das sowohl Aspekte der Technisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät als auch der Sozial- und Wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Fakultät behandle. In der Vernetzung von Know-how erkennt Lukas die Zukunft der Wissenschaft. „Komplexe Fragestellungen umfassen heute mehrere Fachrichtungen. Wir müssen Strukturen schaffen, in denen die Fähigkeiten der ExpertInnen verschiedener Bereiche gebündelt werden“.

„Die Stiftungsprofessur ist ein wichtiger Baustein, da sie österreichweit die einzige Forschungsstelle dieser Art ist und einen interdisziplinären Ansatz verfolgt. Interdisziplinarität ist die Voraussetzung für perfekte Produkt- und Produktionsprozesse von morgen“, meint auch Landeshauptmann-Stellvertreter Thomas Stelzer.

Österreich ist als Land mit hohen Lohnkosten im globalen Wettbewerb besonderem Druck ausgesetzt. Der einzige Weg, im Konkurrenzkampf mit Billiglohnländern zu bestehen, liegt in Innovation und hoher Qualität. Die Verbindung dieser beiden Themen zu fördern, ist ein wesentliches Anliegen der Quality Austria im Rahmen dieser Stiftungsprofessur. „Qualitätsgestaltung wird in der Zukunft einen noch breiteren Raum einnehmen. Unsere Wirtschaft ist von Komplexität und hoher Dynamik geprägt. Wie in diesem Umfeld Sicherheit für die Kunden hergestellt werden kann, ist für uns ein zentrales Anliegen, das wir gemeinsam mit dem neuen Institut erforschen möchten“, so Anni Koubek, Prokuristin Innovation, Business Development Qualität von Quality Austria.

Univ.-Prof. Erik G. Hansen widmet sich mit seinem Team den Fragen des Innovationsmanagements wie auch der Auswirkung neuer Technologien auf Umwelt, Energie und Nachhaltigkeit. „Wir sehen uns ein potentielles Produkt über seine gesamte Lebensdauer hinweg an und berücksichtigen auch ‚mehrere Leben‘ im Sinne der Kreislaufführung“. Von der Herstellung über den Vertrieb, Rücknahmen und Wiederverwertung spannt sich der Bogen. „Qualität lässt sich nicht erprüfen, sie muss entwickelt werden“, meinte Hansen.

Weitere Informationen:
Einladung zur Antrittsvorlesung
Inaugural Lecture on Integrated Quality Design


Special Issue of Organization & Environment on Business Models for Sustainability published - 31.3.16

The final version of the special issue of Organization & Environment on “Business Models for Sustainability – Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Transformation” (Vol. 29, Issue 1), edited by Prof. Dr. Stefan Schaltegger, Prof. Dr. Erik G. Hansen, and Dr. Florian Lüdeke-Freund has been published in March 2016.

Many contributions of this special issue are already listed among the top most downloaded Organization & Environment articles. The editorial article, which discusses the origins, present research and future avenues of BMfS, is offered with open access.

Special Issue of O&E: Business Models for Sustainability: Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Transformation
Editorial Article:


Prof. Dr. Erik G. Hansen auf dem Quality Austria Forum 2016 - 9.3.16

Experten diskutierten auf dem Quality Austria Forum 2016 in Salzburg über Qualitäts- und Umweltmanagement: Frau Julia Ganglbauer, MSc, (Teamleiterin CSR, Qualität und Umwelt, Biogena Naturprodukte GmbH & Co KG), Prof. Dr. Erik Hansen, Leiter Institut für Integrierte Qualitätsgestaltung (IQD) der Johannes Kepler Universität (JKU) Linz, Frau Corinna Milborn (Moderation) und DI Axel Dick, Prokurist Business Development Umwelt und Energie der Quality Austria.

Discussion on Environmental and Quality Management by Axel Dick, Erik Hansen and Julia Ganglbauer (video)


IQD guest at cradle to cradle pioneering company gugler* print, Austria - 10.12.15

As part of the new Master’s course in “Inovation, Design and Quality for the Circular Economy“ the IQD and its students visited gugler GmbH, located in an award-winning nature-inspired office space situated between Linz and Vienna.

Founded in 1989, gugler* print is a family-owned medium-sized enterprise in the print industry and a quality and environmental management pioneer in Austria as demonstrated by various awards (e.g. Golden Pixel Award, WWF Panda Award, Austrian Sustainability Award, Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award). On site, Managing Director Ernst Gugler and Sustainability Manager Verena Anger gave us insights into the practical challenges and opportunities of their Cradle to Cradle approach to the Circular Economy.

Important steps for the quality pioneer gugler* print were sector specific quality standards (e.g. ISO 12467-2), environmental management systems (EMAS) and paper-related product standards guaranteeing wood from responsible sources (e.g. FSC, PEFC). On this basis gugler* print aimed at a more holistic quality approach addressing all life-cycle phases (covering raw material, production, use and end-of-life) of the product and has therefore become the world's first printing company that is able to produce Cradle to Cradle certified print products (see quality pyramid).

Cradle to Cradle products are characterized by very high eco-toxicological quality (material health) and their potential for circular flows either in the form of biological nutrient (safe biodegradation and composting) or technical nutrients (e.g. toxics-free and safe paper recycling). With this approach they offer a unique solution to many quality and health issues faced by diverse industries (e.g. offgassing of toxic ingredients in print products; toxic residues in recycling paper/packaging and related food contamination).

It took the company a significant investment in research and development (R&D) and intensive collaboration with its partner companies along the supply chain, to offer print products in this highest quality level to its customers. Currently a licensing scheme enables gugler* print to spread this innovative printing product to further European countries.

Further information:
Cradle to Cradle by gugler* print (video)
Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute