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The NEFI_Lab is the starting point and ongoing interface for cooperation between Austrian industry, renowned research institutions and the general public to implement innovative research projects for the decarbonisation of industry.

The focus is on an open innovation process characterised by the strong involvement of relevant stakeholder groups, employees of the participating industry and local actors, creating a platform that allows active participation in the industrial transformation of energy systems.

The close cooperation makes it possible to identify future challenges (white spots) with regard to decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures through a monitoring process and to identify the need for innovation and research.

White Spots and Open Circles

The White Spots are processed in “Project & Open Cycles” and projects are developed with the aim of demonstrating new technologies “Made in Austria” and innovative solution concepts. Here, the active involvement of industry, trade, the public, politics, science as well as users and consumers is a decisive factor in creating project innovations and new project ideas.

In “Open Cycles”, broad thematic white spots on the NEFI innovation fields with high potential for future projects are dealt with in various formats such as thematic workshops, discussion rounds, events, etc. If specific research questions are clearly defined, the “Open Cycles” can lead to “Project Cycles”, which aim to develop project proposals for the further submission phases of the “Energy Showcase Region” programme in the form of a three-page project outline.

Development of scenarios for decarbonising industry

The declared objective of NEFI – New Energy for Industry is to show the way to decarbonisation of the Austrian industry and thus make an important contribution to achieving the climate targets. To this end, three scenarios are being developed in the NEFI_Lab to describe the path to complete decarbonisation of the industrial energy system.

In the „NEFI Industry Dialogue Sessions“ the NEFI_Lab offers the appropriate framework to integrate stakeholders from all Austrian industrial sectors into this process. Representatives of leading Austrian companies discuss with experts from the AIT – Austrian Institute of Technology and the Chair of Energy Compound Technology at the University of Leoben which technologies could be used in the future in a targeted and economically realistic way in the respective sector.

To remove barriers to the introduction of new technologies identified in the NEFI subprojects, the NEFI_Lab is working on a structured preparation of the necessary political framework conditions. For the political decision-makers, this has the advantage that this information is prepared in close cooperation with industry representatives and thus provides a first-hand picture of the economic and technological reality in Austria. Under the leadership of the Energiesparverband Oberösterreichs the NEFI_Lab will support the shaping of the political framework for a successful energy transformation in Austrian industry. The resulting solid legal basis in Austria, which is geared to the needs of an economically viable energy system transformation, enables innovative decarbonisation technologies “Made in Austria” to gain a foothold beyond national and European borders and thus guarantee the sustainable success of domestic companies. Further information to the NEFI_Lab

Decarbonisation in industry is a significant pillar in reaching our climate goals. It will only succeed if Austria can secure its position as a location for industry and maintain its pioneering role as an exporter of cutting-edge technologies for the conversion of industrial processes to renewable energy. With NEFI, we want to show that this can be realised.


Manager of the NEFI_Lab,
Chair of Energy Network Technology,
Montanuniversität Leoben

Project manager

Thomas Kienberger
Montanuniversität Leoben


Key facts

Running time: 05/2018 – 05/2026
Project volume: 6,14 Millionen


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