Hannes Richter

Austrian Information

Hannes Richter

Dear Readers,

The European Union and its member states strive to create a sustainable economic environment and a society low in emissions, resource-efficient and ecologically sound. Reflecting its commitment to these goals, Austria has been constantly increasing its funding for the Research & Development (R&D) and innovation sectors (2.8% of its GDP in 2014). This way, Austrian companies have been able to establish a remarkable lead in green technologies and positioned the country as one of the world leaders in ecological construction in general and in the technology of passive house building in particular.

To provide a better understanding of the matter, this issue of Austrian Information will give an inside look into the futuristic smart city projects taking place all over Austria, the country’s efforts in the fields of passive housing, including a reflection on Austria’s last year win of the Solar Decathlon, and will present 21st Austria, a successful venture that promotes and encourages constant dialogue with political, business and academic opinion leaders to strengthen the awareness of Austria and Europe as a business location, especially in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

In addition, we will feature exclusive interviews with and statements by experts in the above-mentioned fields, including Boyd Cohen, a respected urban & climate strategist, and Claus Raidl, president of the Austrian Central Bank and spokesperson of 21st Austria. For our Meet the Chef series we spoke to Michael Mikusch, owner of the Chicago-based Austrian bakery Cafe Vienna, and we also feature an interview with the Austrian Honorary Consul in Utah, Franz Kolb. We also would like to take this opportunity to say goodbye to Ms. Alice Irvin, former Editor in Chief of this publication, who has returned to Vienna, and to thank her for her guidance, her dedication and excellent work. Succeeding Ms. Irvin will be Mr.Thorsten Eisingerich, the new director of the Austrian Press & Information Service at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C. We are very much looking forward to continue publishing Austrian Information, now in its 67th year. Thank you for your loyalty and dedication to this publication.

With kind regards,

Austrian Press and Information Service