The Lower Austrian Business Agency ecoplus is a non-profit organization, 100% owned by the Regional Government of Lower Austria. On behalf of the regional government, the ecoplus department Clusters is in charge of implementing the Lower Austrian Cluster Programme, which is an integral part of the region’s Smart Specialization Strategy. ecoplus currently manages 4 regional cluster initiatives (involving a total of 563 cluster members), including the Lower Austrian branch of the cross-regional initiatives Plastics-Cluster and the Mechatronics-Cluster awarded with the European Cluster Management Excellence Gold Label (please see: https://www.clustercollaboration.eu/cluster-organisations/ecoplus-business-agency-lower-austria-plastics-cluster, https://www.clustercollaboration.eu/cluster-organisations/ecoplus-business-agency-lower-austria-mechatronics-cluster) .
The ecoplus Mechatronics-Cluster team coordinates regional activities and initiates collaborative innovation projects – e.g. in the field of “Additive Manufacturing”, one of the region’s smart specialization domains. In this function, it interacts with companies and research entities in Lower Austria and neighbouring Austrian regions and fosters open innovation processes.
As an outcome of this stakeholder coordination process the region recently invested in a LMI (lab of manufacturing innovation) for Additive Manufacturing at the Technology and Research Centre in Wiener Neustadt. The goal is to provide regional companies, an economically viable infrastructure for the development, training and production of 3D printed metal parts.
With its long-term experience, ecoplus will contribute to the mapping of existing stakeholders and networks in the region, enable exchange of experience in regional workshops and provide feedback to the policy recommendations in close collaboration with the regional government department for economy.