Valorisation of innovative bio-economical potentials along bio-based food & botanical extract value chains in the Alpine Space

Austrian project partners of AlpBioEco

AlpBioEco has three project partners in Austria. 




Business Upper Austria

Head of work package T4

Business Upper Austria (Biz-Up) is a business agency of the Upper Austrian government. It is an innovation driver and partner for location development and settlement of companies, cooperation and public funding advisory services. In AlpBioEco, Biz-Up provides knowledge exchange, accelerates innovations, strengthens cross-border and cross-sectoral cooperation, supports diversification of product ranges and builds new business models.

The region of Upper Austria concentrated mainly on the development of the business models in the apple and herbs sectors. Biz-Up contributed to all work packages and held for instance in October 2019 a workshop about innovation in the apple and herb value chains in Linz, Austria. However, Biz-Up had a particularly important role in the final part of the AlpBioEco project, as it was responsible for work package 4, which deals with the preparations for the final policy transfer and the setting up of guidelines.  

As a start of the fourth work package, AlpBioEco’s project partner were supposed to meet in Linz – however, because of the COVID-19 situation, the meeting was taking place online. For the set up of final transfer and implementation guidelines, Biz-Up for instance supervised the creation and implementation of the so-called regional advisory boards, which were working on each business model in different regions. One method to improve the business models was for example the use of the interactive creative design thinking tool Lego® serious play®

"The Alpine region is an important and diverse area in Europe and the bioeconomy offers the opportunity to strengthen the Alpine region economically and ecologically." Heidrun Hochreiter, Biz-Up’s food cluster manager.

Read the interview with the project partner. 

Business Upper Austria - OÖ Wirtschaftsagentur GmbH (Biz-Up)
Hafenstraße 47-51
A-4020 Linz


Kristina Eder
Project manager, food cluster
Telephone: +43 (0) 732 79810 5324

MCI | The Entrepreneurial School®

Head of work package T2

The MCI, is a privately organised business school located in Innsbruck, Austria. The Entrepreneurial School® has more than 3,400 students and 27 study programs in the areas of Management & Society and Technology & Life Sciences. The main focus of research in MCI’s food & bioresource department is placed on product development driven by innovative and sustainable ideas. For AlpBioEco, the MCI links together the best out of science, economy and consulting to the unique concept of an international Entrepreneurial School.

The MCI was mainly involved in two work packages of the AlpBioEco project: In the first work package, the focus was on exploring the potentials of apple pomace, apple wax extract, and polyphenol extract from apple pomace in the biotech laboratory. The results of work package 1 are available here.

In the second package, the MCI worked on the development of eco-innovative business models for value chains identified in the first work package. The MCI was the responsible project partner for this project phase and thus contributed in this phase to a large extent. The main activity of the second work package consisted of designing and conducting open innovation workshops, which took place in all five project countries. The main goal of these workshops was to develop eco-innovative business models with higher valorisation for the apple, herbs / alpine hay and walnut value chain in the Alpine Space. The workshops were conducted and moderated by the MCI in cooperation with the other AlpBioEco project partners at 9 different locations in Austria, Germany, France, Italy, and Slovenia. Next to the workshops in other locations, the MCI also hosted workshops in Innsbruck, for instance on innovation in the apple and herb value chains.

Thus, from May to November 2019, a total of 22 AlpBioEco open innovation workshops took place, which resulted in more than 440 ideas for new products and services. In the end, 26 business models for all three value chains were selected, of which seven business models were further developed into comprehensive business model blueprints (more information on the results of the work package T2: work package T2 -  Eco-innovative business models). 

The MCI promoted AlpBioEco at many interdisciplinary events, such as for example at the kick-off meeting of the Life & Health Science Cluster Tirol in Innsbruck, Austria, in December 2018, or at the 3rd Bioeconomy Congress Baden-Württemberg, Germany, in September 2020. The MCI also presented the method of open innovation workshops at the International Society for Professional Innovation Management Conference in June 2020. The ISPIM is a community of members from research, industry, consulting, and the public sector interested in innovation management. 

"Bioeconomy allows local farmers to go beyond harvesting their produce and move from the primary sector to second and tertiary sectors, where they can capture more value and sustainably use their by-products. The positive feedback we have received so far from local stakeholders has been rewarding and shows that the AlpBioEco project is right on point.Oliver Som, head of the MCI team responsible for the AlpBioEco T2 work package. 

Read the interview with the project partner. 

MCI | The Entrepreneurial School®
Universitätsstraße 15
A-6020 Innsbruck


Katrin Bach
Project manager, science of nutrition & quality management
Telephone: +43 (0) 512 2070 3811

Oliver Som
Professor for Innovation Management and Innovation Economics
Telephone: +43 (0) 512 2070 3132

Regio Im Walgau

RIW is an association of 14 local communities to conjointly work on different issues of local development. The cooperation is responsible for projects funded by the EU-programmes INTERREG & LEADER. Central issues of the collaboration are the making of regional agricultural products and the improvement of the Alpine landscape. Especially the cultivation of the steep mountain meadows with is rich biodiversity as rough pastures is an ongoing concern of the region. RIW as a project partner introduces an added value to the Alpine landscape by utilising bioeconomical resources, e.g. hay and herbage. Therefore, within AlpBioEco, RIW has specialised on the business model of revegetation services with alpine hay seeds.

In the first two work packages of the AlpBioEco project, extensive research and brainstorming with experts took place. For instance, RIW contributed to the first work package with an in-depth market analysis and SWOT analysis of Alpine hay, as well as with a general research about Alpine hay – you can have a look at the summaries here.

Even though RIW was a smaller partner of the AlpBioEco project, it conducted many workshops and events within AlpBioEco. For example, in March 2019, a workshop about the utilisation and application of hay from extensive mountain pastures took place in Nenzing, Austria. In autumn the same year a workshop about innovation in the apple and herb value chains was conducted in Nenzing, or in spring 2020, focus group workshops on the revegetation services with Alpine hay seeds took place in Vorarlberg, Austria. Thus, RIW contributed throughout all the project phases of AlpBioEco, and built up a large network in the course of the project – read for example the interview with Alexander Heller from HELFE, a company producing natural cosmetics and care products in Vorarlberg, Austria. He worked with RIW and AlpBioEco to develop a sustainable way to harvest the Alpine hay meadows and to use the hay flower extract.

"Harvesting flowers of regional meadows, drying the seeds and then sowing them again as seeds makes perfect sense, as the plants are then perfectly adapted to the environmental conditions in the region. The seeds can then be used for the greening of roadside areas, roofs and facades or for large-scale renaturation after construction work. Why import expensive seeds from abroad when they can also be grown in large quantities directly in our country?Marina Fischer, RIW project manager.

Read the interview with the project partner. 

Regio Im Walgau (RIW)
Bazulstraße 2
A-6710 Nenzing


Marina Fischer
Project manager
Telephone: +43 (0) 664 8063 615 905