Business Upper Austria (BizUp) is a business agency of the Upper Austrian government. It is an innovation driver and partner for location development and settlement of companies, cooperation and public funding advisory services. In AlpBioEco, BizUp provides knowledge exchange, accelerates innovations, strengthens cross-border and cross-sectoral cooperation, supports diversification of product ranges and builds new business models. Here is our Interview with Kristina Eder (project manager of BizUp’s food cluster), Heidrun Hochreiter (cluster manager) and Daniel Rogl (project manager)!
Know you better as a project partner
AlpBioEco: How many people in your organization are working on the AlpBioEco project and what are their roles?
Kristina Eder: Currently we are three people working in the project. I am a project manager in the Food Cluster and responsible for the implementation of the tasks in the project. My colleagues Heidrun Hochreiter (cluster manager) and Daniel Rogl (project manager) are supporting me in the project.
AlpBioEco: Walnuts, apples or herbs? Which team do you belong to and why?
Daniel Rogl: The region Upper Austria concentrates primarily on the development of new business models in the apple and herb sectors. The cultivation of fruits and herbs play a relatively important role in Upper Austria, so the availability of raw materials is given. This also means that more stakeholders can be reached.
AlpBioEco: What are you currently doing as work for the project?
Kristina Eder: we are currently working on the organization of a focus group workshop and a business visit. These steps are required for the implementation of the business models, which will be developed in frame of AlpBioEco. Additionally, we are already preparing the next project steps, because we will be responsible for the last nine-month phase of AlpBioEco from August 2020 till January 2021.
AlpBioEco: Why did you choose to work for AlpBioEco?
Heidrun Hochreiter: we have been dealing with bioeconomy for a long time, as we consider it to be a very powerful and promising topic. Therefore, it is important for us to actively participate in AlpBioEco.
Kristina Eder: it is a major concern for us to strengthen the economy in Upper Austria and this can be implemented through AlpBioEco, for example when new business areas are created.
AlpBioEco: In your opinion, how can AlpBioEco help to develop bioeconomy?
Daniel Rogl: At the end of the project, new technologies are to be developed and regional value chains established. In further consequence, the deeper processing of by-products of apple and herb production, even supposed waste products, can be given an economic value. Processors can also assert themselves as technology leaders and build up local know-how. (Rural) companies can thus be economically strengthened and have better prospects. This can strengthen the bioeconomy in the Alpine Space regions.
Kristina Eder: Additionally, the project will create a large network of important stakeholders who will be enabled to work together in the future to foster the bioeconomy.
AlpBioEco: Why do you think the bioeconomy is so important for the Alps?
Heidrun Hochreiter: The Alpine region is an important and diverse area in Europe and the bioeconomy offers the opportunity to strengthen the Alpine region economically and ecologically. The Alpine region can thus become a pioneer in the development of innovative and sustainable products and services.
AlpBioEco: If you just had to choose a symbolic word or expression representing the AlpBioEco project, which one would it be?
Kristina Eder: Innovation
Heidrun Hochreiter: Resource efficiency
Daniel Rogl: Economy through sustainability
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(photo: © BizUp, left: Heidrun Hochreiter, middle: Daniel Rogl, right: Kristina Eder)