Innovation Award Styria 2022

There were a proud 100 applications for the Innovation Award Styria 2022 (Innovationspreis Steiermark 2022) – and VIRTUAL VEHICLE was nominated twice for the top 3! The Innovation Award Styria 2022 rewards the best projects of Styrian companies and research institutions. For the first time, the business award has introduced two content categories: The innovations must focus on either the topic of digitalisation or the area of sustainability.

In the category “Digitalisation“, the “ARG – Autonomous Racing Graz” team from VIRTUAL VEHICHLE and the Graz University of Technology “literally” enters the race and thus not only convinces in the international Roborace. The team has been participating in the international Roborace racing series since 2019. Algorithms and software stacks form a so-called self-driving AI that replaces the human (racing) driver. They undergo real-life tests in autonomous racing, at high speeds and in a wide variety of (weather) conditions, at the limit. The results flow into industrial applications of fully electric and autonomous driving as an essential component of the mobility of the future.

The BATTLAB laboratory for safety tests on Li-ion cells for electric vehicles wins in the sustainability category and plans further steps towards innovation, safety and performance. This offers developers the opportunity to examine the behaviour of the cells in the event of overcharging, overtemperature or mechanical deformation. For this purpose, the cells are exposed to extreme conditions under which the protective mechanisms fail. This provides insights into the type, course and “severity” of the processes (which are undesirable in operation). The main users of the BATTLAB are the development departments of the automotive industry and battery manufacturers.

“By focusing on digitalisation and sustainability, we are putting the two major issues of our time centre stage,” emphasises Barbara Eibinger-Miedl, Regional Minister for Economic Affairs. It is also about showing the opportunities that go hand in hand with these two areas by “bringing successes before the curtain”. A jury of experts will now select a total of six winners from this shortlist of nominees (one per category or focus) as well as the proposals for the candidates for the State Prize for Innovation and the special prizes Econovius and “Verena 2022”. The Styrian Innovation Award will be presented at the end of March. More information here.