Working tables have been organized on May 16-17, 2018 in Linz, the region capital of Upper Austria with the title “Invitation: European Mechatronics Alliance Kick-Off Meeting”. 

Europe is experiencing an era of exponential technical change, because there are many societal challenges arising from the transition to Industry 4.0, and all this is happening in the context of an uncertain global political climate. Mechatronics-related companies are starting to provide solutions for some of these big challenges, mostly regions with a large industrial base. 

There are several existing initiatives across Europe encouraging collaboration at the academic level, but there is no alliance encouraging the development of mechatronics at the level where it has the largest impact, namely at a regional cluster level.

Today, European funding mechanisms work on several levels, but when the current framework programs finish in 2020, the next program will be set up differently. In the next framework program interregional funding will establish to stimulate collaboration between clusters within different countries. It will not be bound to specific border regions but, instead, to a specific technological goal.

The Mechatronics-Cluster Upper Austria and the Province of Noord-Brabant propose to set up an European Alliance of regional clusters with significant activities in mechatronics. In its initial phase, the goal will be to optimize the use of existing infrastructure and knowhow in these regional clusters. The alliance can serve as a platform to make optimal use of existing programs such as Interreg Europe and the cross border interregional programs.



Day 1 - Wednesday, 16th May 2018

09:00 Registration at voestalpine Stahlwelt – Panorama Café voestalpine-Str. 4 , 4020 Linz, Austria.

09:15  – Welcome and introduction - The Broad Vision of the Alliance. Why is it Needed and what will it do? Bert Pauli, Vice Governor Economics of Noord-Brabant and Christian Altmann, Head of Clusterland

09:30 Cluster Introductions Presentation per partner (about 20 minutes each)

12:30 Lunch break

14:00 Joint discussion – Kick-off of the 1st European Mechatronics Alliance

- Presentation about EC Joint Research Centre support for scoping paper, Fatime Barbara Heygi PhD

- Opportunities & Synergies between existing regions. Finding relevant partners

- Needs & Goals

15:30 Coffee-Break

16:00 Thematic workshops - Identification of common topics to foster innovation in mechatronics/advanced manufacturing

- Mechanical / Electrical engineering

- Production – Industry 4.0

- Service and Maintenance

17:30 Wrap-Up Day 1 and discussion of Next Steps

19:00 Ars Electronica Center Linz incl. guided tour of the building and dinner at the restaurant Cubus (in the same building)


Day 2 - Thursday, 17th May 2018

09:00 Pick up at the hotel, transfer and visit to the

- Mechatronics Institutes of the Johannes Kepler University

- LCM - Linz Center of Mechatronics

12:30 Lunch Break

14:00 Transfer to Wels and visit to the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria

- Center of Excellence for Smart Production

We hope both visits will enable an intensive exchange of experiences with the research community representatives of Upper Austria!

17:00 Transfer back to the hotel in Linz / Departure



Attending organizations: 

Elmar Paireder, Manager Mechatronics-Cluster – Upper Austria

Onno Huiskamp, Technology & International Cooperation Advisor – Province Noord Brabant

The goal of the Working Table Mechatronics Alliance was foster innovation in the field of Advanced Manufacturing with building a European-wide alliance, where specific topics are hosted by regional representatives. These hosts are responsible for setting up new projects 

From 17.06.2018 to 18.06.2018, 18 mechatronics initiatives from 10 countries, including Slovakia, Romania, Great Britain, Italy, Belgium, Hungary, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Germany and Austria have met in Austria in Linz. The meeting was organized by the “Mechatronic Cluster OÖ” (Upper Austria) together with the Dutch mechatronics network to widen the impact out of NUCLEI. The aim of this meeting was to explore innovative technologies across borders and to promote cooperation. 


In the beginning of the event, Elmar Paireder, the manager of the Upper Austrian mechatronics cluster and Christian Altmann, the Clusterland manager, welcomed the guests. Furthermore, Christian Altmann talked about the high importance of innovative mechatronic technologies for the whole European industry as well as about their influence on the entire competitiveness in Europe. 

In the first part of the working table, the participating networks and enterprises introduced themselves with a short presentation. Every network reported about their current topics, priorities and expectations. On the basis of the presentations of the individual representatives, concrete topics were identified in the areas of research and development, production and management support, to which the participants have assigned themselves accordingly. 


After lunch, pre-existing initiatives such as the LCM's Symspace platform were presented and an exchange of experiences of a sustainable collaboration took place. Another important point was the cooperative development and implementation of innovation projects involving scientific institutions and enterprises. Subsequently, the identified organizational expectations and goals for a Europe-wide mechatronics alliance were concretized in a workshop. An important point for the participants was, above all, the establishment of technology-oriented platforms for transnational knowledge transfer in order to be able to make use of synergy potential. In addition, an attempt has been made to create a thematic map, which focuses on the research priorities of the individual regions. The first day ended with an exciting tour through the Ars Electronica Center, where they demonstrated where the technological journey could be in the future.


On the second day of the working table the major activity was the visit of the Upper Austrian research institutes in the field of mechatronics. The approximately 30 participants were able to gain a good impression of the local mechatronics competence in the Linz Center of Mechatronics, at the Johannes-Kepler-University and in the Excellence Center for Smart Production of the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. Specific examples were the robotics department of the LCM, the metal 3D-printing research at the University of Applied Sciences Wels as well as the developments of the JKU in the field of digital hydraulic valves and non-destructive digital material testing.


All in all a format like an alliance could ensure to foster innovation on an transnational level as well as to establish a sustainable platform within Advanced Manufacturing.


The participants were able to get in contact with representatives of other networks and branche-related institutions. In detail on following expectations/aspects will be focused:

-          Foster Cooperation ( R&D-projects / international cooperation / Matchmaking / partnerships along the value-chain)   HOST: Hightech NL

-          -Technology & Exchange Platform (Symspace Platform / development of an Digital Innovation

-          Hub / Access2Knowledge / crossboarder activities /

-          development of new R&R-infrastructure)  HOST:

LCM/MC Upper Austria

-          Business Opportunities (integration of industry, research and education / sustainable development / market-pull) HOST: SWHEC

Identified common topis (in line with NUCLEI-topics)

-          Engineering (prototyping, systems engineering, product development, digital twins, vocational training)

-          Production (additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, robotics, IoT, Industry4.0, sensors/actuators, smart mobility)

-          Management/Suppert (digital company, big data, new business models, self optimization, sales/services)

All participants agreed to cooperate more closely on these topics in the future