Highlights in 2019
Highlights in 2019


Impact of your national clean energy innovation activity

Since the beginning of the Austrian MI membership in 2018, activities of the energy research and innovation community were bundled, and collaborations were intensified. The highlight of the MI Austria activities is the annual Mission Innovation Austria week, the platform for all drivers and shapers of innovation in the energy system of the future.

In the first edition in 2019, 400 participants from 16 countries met in Stegersbach and Oberwart, (south of Vienna) in May 2019 to discuss current developments with stakeholder from industry, policy and research in a series of parallel events. The Mission Innovation Week 2020/21 takes place in Hall & Innsbruck.

Update on clean energy innovation policies and strategies

In 2020, the Austrian government has committed itself in the framework of the new government agreement (2020 – 2024) to a fast track to decarbonisation with the overall goal to reach climate neutrality by 2040. A corresponding reduction path of CO2 emissions will be elaborated in the near future. Energy research and technology development will be key elements of this roadmap.

The current framework of the clean energy innovation policies in Austria are the Climate and Energy Strategy #mission2030 (published in 2018) and its implementation plan (National Climate- and Energy Plan; submitted to the European Commission in 2019). By 2030, Austria pursues ambitious goals including:

  • reduction of CO2 emissions by 36% compared to 2005.
  • providing 100% of its total electricity consumption (national balance) from renewable energy sources.
  • increase in the share of renewable energy in the gross final energy demand to 45-50%.

Major innovation initiatives and programmes in 2019/20

Flagship Region Energy (national)

In 2018 the programme launched three 8-year pilot regions for the testing, demonstration and implementation of integral energy solutions in real time. In the context of the first call for projects, in 2018 a first tranche of 20 R&D projects of the regions NEFI – New Energy for Industry, GreenEnergyLab and WIVA P&G– Hydrogen Initiative Flagship Region Austria Power & Gas received funding of €30 million, making a total investment of almost €55 million. In 2019, a second tranche of 7 demonstration projects received funding of €11.5 million making a total investment of more than €34 million.

In 2019, the second call for projects opened with an additional budget of €15 million. The objective is to provide €40 million funding with additional funds from the 2020 budget. Decision on the new research and innovation projects is expected in Q4 2020.



IEA research cooperation – Austria is a member of 21 TCPs and one expert Group (EGRD) and currently runs 80 national projects (tasks, annexes and Exco projects).

MICall19 on storage solutions – at MI-4 the first multilateral MI call for projects was launched with a total budget of €22.5 million. 16 countries participated and are involved in 58 projects. The funding decision was made in May; 13 projects received a share of €14.2 million (Austrian funding: €2.7 million for 4 projects). The MICall series was initiated by Austria and Sweden and was built upon the existing funding mechanisms of the Joint Programming Platform ERA-NET Smart Energy Systems and JPI Urban Europe.

Private sector engagement in 2019/20

The engagement of the private sector in clean energy innovation and research policies and projects has a long tradition in Austria. For more than ten years, the Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (former Ministry for Mobility, Innovation and Technology) as well as the Climate and Energy Fund of the Austrian Federal Government focused on collaborations between industry and the research community in their programmes. This led to a significant private sector contribution to new programmes such as the Flagship Regions Energy where more than doubling of public money by the private sector is expected. As a consequence, leading industries were involved in Austrian Mission Innovation activities from the very beginning. This was manifested in the cooperation with an industrial advisory board of CEOs and a cooperation between the Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, the Climate and Energy Fund and the Austrian Chamber of Commerce who are joint promotors of prominent MI activities such as the Mission Innovation Austria Week 2019 & 2020/21.

Major activities in support of the Innovation Challenges in 2019/20

Initiation of the MICall series for cooperative RDI projects. The scope of the MICalls was designed in a co-creation process with IC1, IC6, IC7 and IC8 during the Mission Innovation Austria Week 2019 and a side event at the MI-4 Ministerial.

Collaboration with the ICs

Austria participates in IC1, IC7 & IC8. The main activities were the participation in workshops of all challenges:

  • IC1: public and deep-dive workshop at MI-4 and in Paris in autumn 2019. Austria enhanced its activities in this area due to the improved cooperation between IC1 and IEA (ISGAN TCP and annexes).
  • IC7: participation in the combined workshop for IC6 and IC7 in Germany.
  • IC8: participation in a workshop on IC8 in Antwerp (Netherlands) in March 2019 and presentation of WIVA P&G – Hydrogen Initiative Flagship Region Austria Power & Gas.
    Participation in and contribution to IC8 Platform for exchange between worldwide initiatives of hydrogen valleys coordinated by the European Commission.

Other Mission Innovation related activity in 2019/20

Mission Innovation Austria – Energy Research Initiative: Stakeholder dialogue in focus groups

The Austrian Energy Innovation Initiative is based on three main pillars.

  • Plus Energy Quarters focus on districts of cities that are able to cover all their energy needs from renewable sources. This will be enabled by the optimization of the building infrastructure, measures for highest efficiency in all areas of energy end-use as well as integrated business models and optimisation of local energy consumption and storage.
  • Smart Systems and Grids are a prerequisite in order to reach a 100% renewable energy system.  
  • Breakthrough Technologies for Industry are necessary to enable decarbonisation of industrial processes especially in energy intensive industries.

The content was developed in a stakeholder dialogue between participants from policy, industry, funding agencies and research institutions.

National plans and priorities for clean energy innovation

Impact Assessment on Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The new governmental programme foresees an advanced impact assessment. For RDI policy this means that the impact on greenhouse gas emissions reduction need to be estimated ex-ante for R&D calls.

New Collaborations

IEA Research Cooperation Call 2019
Approx. 40 IEA and partner countries
Funding of collaborations in Tasks and Annexes and Executive Committees of IEA Technology Collaborations Programmes, research & development, dissemination and networking.
Sectors: public-public
Type of Collaboration: Research
Start date: 2018
End date: 2021
Funding amount: 3M€
Find out more

ERA-NET Smart Energy Systems Call 2019 – Integrated regional Energy Systems
23 European Countries including MI members: Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden
A Transnational Joint Programming Platform to Initiate Co-Creation and Promote Energy System Innovation
Type of Collaboration: Research, development and demonstration
Start date: 2018
End date: 2021
Funding amount: 6M€
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JPI Urban Europe Call 2019 – Sustainable and Liveable Cities and Urban Areas
14 European Countries including MI members: Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK
JPI Urban Europe was created in 2010 to address the global urban challenges of today with the ambition to develop a European research and innovation hub on urban matters and create European solutions by means of coordinated research.
Type of Collaboration: Research, development and demonstration
Start date: 2018
End date: 2021
Funding amount: 2.5M€
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ERA-NET Bioenergy
7 European Countries including MI members: Austria, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden
A transnational cooperation of programme owners and programme managers in the area of bioenergy R&D.
Type of Collaboration: Research and development
Start date: 2018
End date: 2022
Funding amount: 1M€
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18 European Countries and Regions including MI members: Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, UK
A European network of national and regional funding organisations in the field of solar electricity generational.
Type of Collaboration: Research and development
Start date: 2018
End date: 2022
Funding amount: 1.3M€
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