Factory of Tomorrow
Applying the principles of sustainability will contribute to securing our prosperity and quality of life in the long run. The orientation towards sustainability not only contributes to relieving the environment, it also opens up completely new opportunities for the economy. It helps to develop more intelligent and more efficient solutions and products to meet our needs and, at the same time, to save on energy and raw materials.
What is the "Factory of Tomorrow"?
The "Factory of Tomorrow" aims at zero-waste, zero-emission production, and produces and provides products and services of tomorrow using materials of tomorrow to meet tomorrow's needs. Thus, the "Factory of Tomorrow" will aspire to generate maximum benefit with minimum consumption of resources and minimum environmental impact. The subprogram "Factory of Tomorrow" focuses on innovative development in the following fields:
- Sustainable technologies and innovations in production processes
- Use of renewable raw materials
- Products and services
Call for Proposals 2000 - 2009
The subprogram "Factory of Tomorrow" was initiated in the year 2000. The first call for proposal was based on a rather broad definition of the range of topics covered by the subprogram. This stage resulted in 20 projects from various thematic fields, which received funds amounting to a total of some EUR 2.54 million. More than 100 institutions participated as partners in these 20 projects. Information on the contents and objectives of the research projects currently under way as well as contact persons can be found at FABRIKderZukunft.at.
The second call for proposal was open from April 25th to August 30th 2002 and concentrated on topics in the fields "Material Use of Renewable Raw Materials" and "Technologies and Innovative Developments in Production Processes". 36 project were funded with EUR 4 millions within this call.
The third call for proposal aimed to further pursue topics of the second call and advance them towards technology development projects. The international jury nominated 35 projects for funding with the total amount of EUR 4,3 millions.
The fourth call focussed mainly on the industrial use of raw materials. The outcome of this call were 81 funded projects which were fundes with an amount of EUR 7,7 millions.
The SUSPRISE Joint Call was launched in March 2007 and open until 1 June 2007. The call was designed for transnational projects in the fields of industrial and pre-competitive research and dedicated to the thematic fields of "water technologies" (sub-call A) and "efficient use of raw materials" (sub-call B). An international jury nominated 10 projects for funding.
Besides the thematic focus of the industrial use of raw materials the 5th call put the emphasis on the transfer of the research results of the funded projects. The international jury selected 30 projects to be worth financing. The Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology fundes this projects with EUR 4 millions.
Since its launch in October 2000 "Factory of Tomorrow" has supported 200 projects selected from five calls for proposals with funds amounting to a total of Euro 20 million.
The results from these projects show that the targets formulated at the beginning of the program have been successfully implemented. Following the program strategy, the individual thematic areas have been continually developed on the basis of a sequence of calls for proposals and individual projects.
The "Factory of Tomorrow" subprogram is firmly embedded in international networks. This permits to present successful Austrian research at an international level and enables Austrian enterprises and R&D institutions to get a foothold in European consortiums. One example of an early successful international program cooperation consisted in the ERA-Net project entitled SUSPRISE (SUStainable EnterPRISE), which Austria initiated jointly with other countries. The ERA-Net started 2004 with duration of 4 years. This program network focused on corporate production technologies and strategies towards sustainability.
The "Factory of Tomorrow" subprogram is Austria's input to this network, in which Austria participates together with program coordinators in ten other European countries (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain). Activities within the program cooperation include, apart from a comprehensive exchange of experience regarding promotion instruments, project evaluation, and program management, transnational calls for proposals as well.