Ars Electronica initiates STARTS Center Upper Austria

Ars Electronica
STARTS Center Upper Austria
STARTS Regional Centers

(Linz, 19.10.2021) Starting in February 2022, 21 fellowships in 11 European countries will build bridges between an international community at the intersection of science, technology and art – S+T+ARTS for short – and local challenges and opportunities. “Within the framework of an open call and subsequent fellowships, we invite international experts from the fields of art, design, technology and science to develop concepts that are specifically geared to the conditions and resulting opportunities in and for the regions of Europe,” says Veronika Liebl, Director of European Cooperation at Ars Electronica. “For Upper Austria, we are looking for concrete concepts that make forms of circular economy possible.”

The Open Call runs up to and including November 21, and in mid-December a jury will select three submissions that will make it to a final round. In January 2022, the decision will finally be made as to who will be invited to Upper Austria and work here as part of a six-month fellowship endowed with 40,000 euros. The Greiner Innoventures GmbH, Johannes Kepler University and the Innovation Office of the City of Linz, the initiative is led and coordinated by Ars Electronica.

Regional STARTS Centers in eleven EU countries
The new STARTS initiative is part of the European Commission’s large-scale “Green Deal”, its goal and motto nothing less than “repairing the present”. Twelve leading cultural and arts institutions as well as innovation and cleantech centers from 11 countries are participating in the establishment of regional branches of S+T+ARTS. All “Regional S+T+ARTS Centers” always bring together a group of local experts who work together to define how they can contribute to the Green Deal as well as the EU Commission’s New European Bauhaus, and thus promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals at the same time.

S+T+ARTS Center in Upper Austria pushes circular economy …
In view of the increasingly threatening dynamics of climate change, resource scarcity and the loss of biodiversity, a rapid and drastic rethinking of our modes of production and consumption is needed. The “Regional S+T+ARTS Center” in Upper Austria is therefore dedicated to the topic of the circular economy and, in addition to very concrete concepts, aims not least to raise awareness of the fact that innovation in the 21st century no longer has to satisfy merely economic demands, but above all social and ecological ones as well. In addition to Ars Electronica, the Greiner Innoventures GmbH, Johannes Kepler University, the Innovation Office of the City of Linz, and many other local players are also involved.

… and puts the focus on the plastics industry
Like no other region in Europe, the Upper Austrian central region bundles the entire value chain of the plastics industry. This has already prompted local industry, research institutions and decision-makers to establish cross-industry research and learning networks, such as the LIT Factory at Johannes Kepler University, and to work on sustainable and environmentally friendly systems for plastics production. In order to successfully develop and establish such systems, however, not only experts from business and science are needed, but also the creative input of artists and designers, the visions of activists and, last but not least, the acceptance and support of the broadest possible public. This is exactly what the new S+T+ARTS Center in Upper Austria aims to achieve, which is why a wide range of actors will work together here and gain access to infrastructure, expertise and networks.

Repairing the Present — Regional STARTS Centers has received funding from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology under grant agreement LC01641664

Material Lab Ars Electronica Center / Credit: Ars Electronica – Robert Bauernhansl / Print version