On the occasion of Austria's participation at this year's Solar Decathlon competition, the Office of Science & Technology Austria - Washington (OSTA Washington) hosted the Austrian Research and Innovation Week in California from October 9 – 13, 2013.
On October 10, 2013, an Austrian delegation led by Austrian Ambassador to the U.S. Hans Peter Manz visited the University of California Irvine’s National Fuel Cell Research Center, the Smart Grid Demonstration Program and was hosted for lunch by Dr. John Hemminger, Vice Chancellor for Research of UC Irvine. In the afternoon, the delegation met Team Austria, the future winners of the Solar Decathlon, in Orange County Great Park.
Together with the City of Los Angeles, the City of Vienna, the Austrian Institute of Technology, the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund and the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation, and Technology, OSTA Washington also hosted the conference “Meeting the Urbanization Challenge – Smart City Solutions from Austria and California” in the Los Angeles City Hall on October 11, 2013. Experts discussed the opportunities and challenges of urbanization and shared their experiences and ideas on how to create an urban habitat that caters to the diverse needs of its dwellers while being resource-efficient and protective of the environment. Michael LoGrande, Planning Director of the City of Los Angeles and his counterpart from the City of Vienna, Thomas Madreiter, Theresia Vogel from the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund, Brigitte Bach from AIT, and Kyle Konis from USC were among the featured speakers.
Another highlight of the Austrian Research & Innovation Week 2013 was the 10th annual Austrian Science Talk in Santa Monica on October 12, hosted by the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation, and Technology and OSTA Washington. More than 120 participants gathered at the Annenberg Community Beach House located at the beach of Santa Monica.
The annual Austrian Science Talk is an important event for North America-based Austrian scientists and scholars. The conference provided participants with the opportunity to learn about recent R&D policy developments in Austria, career and funding opportunities, and facilitated the establishment of research collaborations. The conference also provided a platform for discussion, interaction and networking.
This year’s special guest of honor, Prof. Walter Kohn, Noble Laureate in Chemistry of 1998, held the keynote speech focusing on the “Prospects for a World Powered Predominately by Solar and Wind Energy”. Other participants included Ambassador Hans Peter Manz, Hannes Androsch, Walter Munk, Ingolf Schädler, Wolfgang Knoll, Friedrich Faulhammer, Barbara Weitgruber, Edeltraud Stiftinger as well as Pascal Ehrenfreund, the new president of the Austrian Science Fund,
In the evening, a reception hosted by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science and Research, represented by Director General Barbara Weitgruber, took place at the Schindler House in West Hollywood. Schindler House proved to be a perfect location for the ASCINA-Award ceremony. The 2013 winners of the EUR 10,000-endowed ASCINA-Prize were Harald Ott (Junior PI Award) and Michael Grünwald (Young Scientist Award).
More information about the Austrian Research and Innovation Week 2013: