Today, the 10th Future Conference went on the screens. Last year the event had to be cancelled at short notice due to the pandemic, this year it is being presented in a completely new format. The focus this year was on "production", presenting research achievements that make production fit for the future. Around 800 visitors took part in the virtual congress.
Host and JOANNEUM RESEARCH CEO Prof. Dr Wolfgang Pribyl:
"This year, too, we do not want to do without it and bring our research achievements before the curtain. To do this, we are using the new digital possibilities to continue our conference in an experience-oriented way and make it accessible to an even wider audience. Especially now, it is important to stay in touch with our partners and to use the discussion results profitably for both sides. We are aware that personal contact cannot be replaced, but we are very pleased that many of our customers and partners have accepted the invitation to exchange knowledge virtually and that we can show that we are at the forefront of applied research and close to business and industry."
The Styrian Minister for Economic Affairs and Research, Barbara Eibinger-Miedl, emphasised the importance of research results for production in domestic companies:
"Styrian production companies have so far coped well with the Corona crisis and have done outstanding work in recent months to keep the Styrian economy running. In the process, the pandemic has led to a veritable digitalisation push. The digital transformation is leading to far-reaching changes in production processes, which requires new technologies and corresponding applied research. Styria, as the number one innovation and research region in Austria, has the best prerequisites here. With JOANNEUM RESEARCH, the local companies have a competent partner with great expertise."
Carinthia's Deputy Governor and Technology Officer Dr Gaby Schaunig:
"I am very pleased that the Future Conference can take place again this year - in a completely new, exciting setting and with an important thematic focus. The rapid changes we are currently experiencing affect almost all areas. Politics can create the framework conditions for this and we in Carinthia are trying to do this in the best possible way - often and gladly in cooperation with Styria and Burgenland. Among other things, we invest in education and training especially in the area of digitalisation and set up networks such as the Digital Innovation Hub South. Because networked thinking will be the thinking of the future - and this conference offers an excellent platform for this, for which I warmly congratulate the initiators."
Provincial Economic Councillor of Burgenland Dr Leonhard Schneemann:
"Research and development are the most central issues for maintaining prosperity in our country in the future. Growth and employment, economic advancement and economic prosperity in all parts of our country is inextricably linked to research and development. This is why the province of Burgenland also took a five percent stake in JOANNEUM RESEARCH in April 2018. Many Burgenland companies have already benefited from the participation and the research centre in Pinkafeld, which has triggered many successful cooperations - and thus secured jobs and created new ones. The good cooperation with JOANNEUM RESEARCH is indispensable for increasing the research quota in Burgenland. I therefore wish all the best for the Future Conference 2021 and look forward to continued good cooperation in the interests of research and development."
Outstanding keynote speakers: Georg Knill and Prof. Dr Thomas Krautzer
Georg Knill, President of the Federation of Austrian Industries, and Thomas Krautzer from the Institute for Economic, Social and Business History at the University of Graz were invited as keynote speakers. Both economic and industrial experts gave an exciting outlook on the future of Austria as an industrial location, especially against the background of the digital transformation.
Top-class sessions on explosive topics
The research units of JOANNEUM RESEARCH invited to eight interdisciplinary sessions with top-class speakers and discussants. One of the highlights of the conference each year is the presentation of the "best projects" by the company's researchers at the "Best Performance Award" ceremony. Here, the best projects are presented in a short and concise way. These short presentations reflect the enormous range of existing expertise and innovative strength.