Factors for the Emergence and Growth of Environmental Technology Industries in Upper Austria

Franz Tödtling, Christoph Höglinger, Tanja Sinozic, Alexander Auer

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

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Environmental technologies are considered a growing industry driven by urging climate, energy and waste problems and related regulations, among others. However, not all locations have the same preconditions for its emergence and growth. Based on regional economic, geographic and cluster theories it can be argued that particular factor and demand conditions, regional industry structures and institutional configurations play a role, but so far this has not been sufficiently explored. This paper focuses on the region of Upper Austria [Oberösterreich] that has a highly developed environmental technology industry. The sector has evolved since the beginning of the 1970s with roots in engineering, machinery, and instruments firms and has experienced fast growth and transformation. The paper explores the development of this sector in Upper Austria and the factors and conditions affecting it. Characteristics and performance of the regional industry are compared to the national level. Empirical findings are based on national survey data covering the period 1993-2007, exploratory interviews with local industry experts and stakeholders and recent materials. Findings suggest that the region is one of the dominant locations for environmental technologies in Austria in terms of number of firms and employees and that it has been characterised by high growth and expanding export markets. The sector seems to benefit from pre-existing industries and engineering competences and is supported by two cluster initiatives in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-140
Number of pages26
JournalMitteilungen der Österreichischen Geographischen Gesellschaft
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 507
  • 507026 Economic geography
  • 502039 Structural policy
  • 507023 Location development

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