Reducing the dependence on fossil-based production is the herculean task of our time. However, many examples exist which show that an economy can move towards a more renewable base of production. On the 23rd and 24th of January 2020, the gallery walk of the Austrian and German Hub offered a vivid opportunity to get in touch with real examples of bioeconomic action. In an interactive format, participants got in touch with real showcases – provided by pioneers of bioeconomy – followed by a discussion with leading experts and company representatives.
The gallery walk took place at the 6th Central European Biomass Conference in Graz, Austria. In an area near the conference, a fair for homebuilders was conducted in parallel. Therefore, the participants of the gallery walk ranged from visitors of the fair to conference-attendees. Following the motto “bioeconomy to touch” over hundred participants – ranging from civil society, to public administration, industry, research and politics – could experience a great variety of innovative products.
Whether clothes, sinks and bathtubs, bio-plastic bags, soundproofing or wooden-bricks for solid construction – the potentialities of bioeconomy are manifold. The participants were able to experience the following innovations:
Practiced sustainability in the ideal biorefinery: Agrana
Insulation & soundproofing made from hemp: Capatect
Wooden textiles – from raw material to end product: Lenzing (TencelTM)
An innovative wood brick for solid buildings: Luxhome
Sinks & bathtubs made of 100% waterproof solid wood composite: Woodio (Finland)
In addition, a science espresso with the title “building with wood” took place on the second day of the gallery walk. The expert Markus Stangl (Institute for Architectural Technology, Graz University of Technology), engaged with 18 participants within a vivid discussion.
We were especially honored by the visit of two Federal Ministers of Austria: Elisabeth Köstinger, Federal Minister for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism as well as Leonore Gewessler, Federal Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology. These visits indicate the great importance of the bioeconomy for future sustainable development in Austria.
In addition to the experts and company representatives – some of whom were even personally on site – we would like to thank the organizer of the 6th Central European Biomass Conference, the Austrian Biomass Association, for the possibility to conduct the gallery walk at the conference.