Innovation Award 2023: Six companies awarded for their excellent ideas

HOHENEMS, 15.06.2023

Hohenems, Austria, June 15, 2023 - The state of Vorarlberg and the Vorarlberg Chamber of Commerce honored six companies this evening for the development of innovative products and processes at the Otten Gravour Hohenems.

The impressive number of just over 500 projects submitted in the previous calls for the Vorarlberg Innovation Award since 1989 demonstrates that Vorarlberg's companies are at the forefront of progress. "Innovation means change through new ideas and technology. This is accompanied by further development and progress. Our economy needs innovative companies. Their entrepreneurial success strengthens the economic location of Vorarlberg, creates and secures jobs. Innovations open up new opportunities and ultimately lead to more prosperity for everyone," praised Governor Markus Wallner, Chamber of Commerce President Wilfried Hopfner, and Economic Councilor Marco Tittler, acknowledging the innovative achievements of the domestic economy. Six companies, one of which received the Newcomer Award, were honored for their outstanding achievements with the Innovation Award.


Innovation Award Winners 2023:

  • e.battery systems AG

  • Tridonic GmbH & CoKG

  • Getzner Werkstoffe GmbH

  • Sodex Innovations GmbH


Smart minds and good ideas

Newcomer Award of the Vorarlberg Innovation Award: POP Fender GmbH

The companies Sodex Innovations GmbH, e.battery systems AG, and Getzner Werkstoffe GmbH were also nominated for the State Innovation Award by the jury, and Sodex Innovations GmbH was additionally nominated for the ECONOVIUS, a special award as part of the State Award for the best SME.

The state and the Chamber of Commerce jointly award the Vorarlberg Innovation Award every two years. In the 34 years of the Innovation Award (1989-2023), 107 awards have been presented. Many of the awarded companies are sustainably successful, and their products are internationally leading in the market.

Clever minds and good ideas are more in demand than ever

Especially in times of crisis, it becomes evident that the ability of companies to work solution-oriented and generate future-oriented innovations greatly enhances resilience. "In the past, the Vorarlberg economy has repeatedly impressively demonstrated that exceptional achievements are made in the fields of innovation, research, and development. This ensures our long-term competitiveness as a location, maintains high employment rates, and promotes prosperity in the region. The award aims to showcase our creative minds. It is our clear goal as a state to promote and support this innovative power to the best of our ability in the future," emphasizes Governor Markus Wallner.

Competitive pressure and complexity

Due to the constantly increasing global competitive pressure and the growing complexity of products and services, Vorarlberg's companies are more challenged than ever to be innovative.

"Innovations enable quality of life, social stability, and social peace. With the Innovation Award, we want to honor exceptional development achievements and motivate small and medium-sized enterprises to create new innovations," emphasizes Chamber of Commerce President Hopfner. The key players for innovation power are and remain our companies. Hopfner says, "Their ability to translate research into concrete innovations that are competitive and in demand in the markets creates the basis for progress and growth. For more innovation power in the country, we need more entrepreneurship overall - and more freedom for entrepreneurship."

Innovations as Drivers of Development

The pleasing development of the Vorarlberg economy is partly due to the many innovations of our local companies. They constantly surprise us with new products, processes, procedures, and services. "Research and development take place to a large extent within the companies, which are responsible for almost 90 percent of the research expenditures in the country. The ability to innovate ensures a competitive advantage and sustainable conquest of niche markets. The country actively supports innovation in local companies, among other things, through various inter-company research structures - especially through FH Vorarlberg as a strong impetus," says Marco Tittler, State Councillor for Economic Affairs.

Innovation Award 2023 - Facts

This year, 24 companies submitted their innovative projects, and six of them were awarded the Innovation Prize. The prizes are endowed with €2,000 each. Domestic companies in the commercial sector that have developed and brought innovative products, processes, or services to the market were eligible to apply. The implementation of the innovation should be largely completed, and at least initial experiences regarding the impact should already be available. The winners were determined by an independent panel of nine experts.

Winners of the Innovation Awards 2023
+ Excerpts from the Jury's Justifications:

e.battery systems AG - Project "Energy Storage System"

Energy Storage Systems (ESS) are intelligent battery technologies used for energy storage. e.battery systems has developed such an Energy Storage System based on buffer batteries with matching inverters (67.5kVA) with the aim of utilizing used e-vehicle batteries as energy storage. The company strategically recognized the market potential for 2nd Life Energy Storage solutions for e-vehicle batteries and was able to convince well-known automobile manufacturers with its innovative concept despite often challenging conditions as a start-up company.

Tridonic GmbH & CoKG - Project "Intelligent Wireless Lighting with the 'Matter' Standard"

Matter is a proprietary, royalty-free connectivity standard for home automation. As a standard, Matter aims to reduce fragmentation between different providers and achieve interoperability between smart home devices and Internet of Things platforms from various vendors. For Tridonic, the development of Matter devices opens up access to new market segments, especially the smart home market.

Getzner Werkstoffe GmbH - Project "Innovative Next-Generation Track Soles - Safety against Track Displacements"

Getzner Werkstoffe has found a way to significantly increase safety and thus the availability of railway tracks through a new product innovation. The innovative product is an elastoplastic track sole (SLNG) made of a completely newly developed polyurethane material. The jury acknowledges the high research and development effort, the necessary adaptation of the manufacturing process, and the great potential of an economic solution to the problem of track displacements, which is expected to occur more frequently in the future.

Sodex Innovations GmbH - Project "Mobile Mapping with Construction Machinery"

The innovation from a former technical high school project is a globally unique real-time surveying system for civil engineering. With laser scanners and cameras directly on the construction machinery, a digital twin of the construction site is created in real time and made available to customers in the cloud. This allows construction companies to continuously inspect construction sites, take measurements, and track construction progress from the office.

KECKEX GmbH - Project "Chemical-Free Weed Control on Railway Tracks"

KECKEX has developed a novel method for chemical-free weed control on railway tracks. An up to 130 degrees Celsius hot steam-water mixture causes the weed to be eradicated on the treated surface as well as its root system. The innovation makes an important contribution towards chemical-free railway transportation.

Newcomer Award of the Vorarlberg Innovation

POP Fender GmbH - Project "POP Fender"

The innovation "POP Fender" is a telescopic boat fender. It can be telescoped from its 100 percent size to 40 percent, creating a significant space advantage. The product is entirely manufactured in Vorarlberg using the injection molding process.

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