12. February 2021

Wood K plus: “Digital Centre” for Agriculture, Timber and Energy

Fresh impetus for innovation at SMEs in Austria! Following the second FFG call for digital innovation hubs (DIHs) three new digital centres will start operations. One of these is innov:ATE, Austria’s digital innovation hub for agriculture, timber and energy in which Wood K plus is also involved. 

In the innov:ATE DIH, SMEs receive support from experts with the topics of robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, smart industry & infrastructure (cybersecurity, blockchain), big data, forecasting & simulation. Studies show that SMEs in the agriculture, timber and energy sectors have so far achieved only a low level of digitalization. Globally, it is chiefly the large high-tech concerns that are setting the pace when it comes to the use of data or intelligent services. The great potential offered by digital technologies must also be available to SMEs, without their being subject to too much outside influence or even being steamrollered. The digital innovation hub innov:ATE will provide these SMEs with practical support as they continue their process of digitalization.

The services provided in the innovation laboratory will help small and medium-sized enterprises in the agriculture, timber and energy sectors to identify areas in which digital technologies can improve their operations, to develop their sustainable innovation measures to prototype status, to hold courses for employees to increase their digital skills, and to promote understanding of digital technologies and their potential by means of easy-access links to established research institutions.

The hub serves companies in the provinces of Styria, Carinthia, Salzburg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria and Vienna. The eleven organizations participating in the innov:ATE hub are THI TECHHOUSE (project coordinator), Wood K plus, Kuchl University of Applied Sciences, the Furniture and Timber Construction Cluster, the Institute of Agricultural Engineering at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Josephinum Research, the Chair of Energy Network Technology at Montanuniversität Leoben, the University of Klagenfurt, the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS), Know-Center and Blue Minds Solution. Contributions also come from twelve network partners. The Institute of Wood Technology and Renewable Materials at the BOKU is represented on the advisory board by Prof. Wolfgang Gindl-Altmutter: The hub begins operations in May 2021. Those interested can already register for a newsletter: dih-innovate.at.

(c) iStock