NEFI is open to new partners and new projects. In the next eight years, new projects will be developed together with industry partners, technology providers and users. In addition to 80 companies, a further 45 companies (associate partners) have already expressed their interest, and other interested parties are continuously involved in the NEFI innovation ecosystem. The innovation laboratory NEFI_Lab is headed by the Chair of Energy Network Technology at the Montanuniversity Leoben, the partners AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, the Energy Saving Association of the State of Upper Austria and the Business Upper Austria bring many years of experience in the internationalization of innovative energy technologies.


The NEFI innovation process enables industry to participate in the energy transition. It creates framework conditions to perceive future challenges (white spots) in the transition process of the industrial energy system and supports industry to consider them as chances.

The white spots are being handled in the framework of the innovation process under „Project & Open Circles“ developing projects for new technologies „Made in Austria“ and innovative solution concepts. The „Project & Open Circles“ are enabling a specific integration of stakeholders from  industry, research, politics and the public.



In the “Open Circles” broad thematic White Spots of the NEFI innovation fields with high potential for future projects are elaborated. In different formats like thematic workshops, events, discussion rounds etc. specific research questions are defined which may lead to form a “Project Circle”.

Ideas for Open Circles can currently be filed in and developed via the  Contactform at our  Website, per E-Mail to or by getting in touch with our contact partners. The participation in the existing Open Circles is possible at any time. Please contact the respective contact person.

Project Circles are developed from the Open Circles and work independently on their specific, clearly defined research questions (e.g. organising thematic workshops, including different partners like Associate Partners, Scientific Community, Industry and the public. Their target is to submit 3-page drafts of project proposals for the upcoming submission phases of the programme “Vorzeigeregion Energie“.


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