Developing smart and sustainable approaches to innovation for expanding digital transformation opportunities in Central Europe (CE0100198)

Technologies that are both smart and green (i.e., sustainable) will play a crucial role for businesses in the future. It is therefore essential that manufacturers know about the great solutions that are offered by SMEs and start-up companies. This key fact is the starting point of the INTERREG Project GREENE 4.0.

The manufacturing sector in Central Europe is facing major challenges, among them climate change, labor shortages, and digitization. To overcome the resulting problems, businesses can either attempt to build up internal know-how, or they can draw on the professional expertise offered by established small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups. Regardless of these options, one essential question remains unanswered: How can these competent SMEs and start-ups be brought together with the manufacturing sector, and how can they support the sector in making their supply and value chains smarter and more sustainable?

The international project GREENE 4.0 is designed to address this key challenge in greater detail. Within the scope of coordinated work packages, the practical requirements of the manufacturing sector are identified, training programs are developed, and an international (digital) network is being established through which companies can connect with each other.

Based on this work, GREENE 4.0 will create an innovation map that makes clear where the companies are located that offer exciting solutions to the challenges of climate change and digitization. This map will not just cover Bavaria and Tyrol, but regions throughout Central Europe. Furthermore, GREENE plans to implement pilot projects for the cooperative development of products and business models, covering all the stages from studies on user acceptance to proof-of-concept, market validation, and business scaling in a cross-border context.

In sum, nine project partners from seven countries (Germany, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary) are collaborating in the project.

Project Objectives

The manufacturing sector will be given better access to solutions related to smart and sustainable technologies developed SMEs and start-ups. All these businesses will be able to connect more quickly and efficiently. Over the project’s duration of three years, innovative products and services will be developed. This will be achieved, among other things, through the creation of novel and sustainable value creation models as well as supra-regional knowledge transfer.


Desired Outcomes

The project partners will develop regional action plans. These outline how value and supply chains can become smarter and more sustainable through cooperation between manufacturers and SMEs. Pilot projects will demonstrate how, on a practical level, cooperation can create added value for all participants. For example, a manufacturer located in Tyrol can access innovations from the network from companies all over Central Europe in order to make its own value chain smarter and more sustainable.


Project Partners

Associated Partners

Corporate partners



Project Manager

Prof. (FH) PD Dr. Mario Döller
Prof. (FH) DDr. Mario Situm, MBA
Director of Studies Bachelor Business Management, Master Corporate Restructuring, Master Corporate Transformation Management

Project Members

Dipl.-Kfm. Karin Steiner
Lecturer for Business Management, Entrepreneurship & Controlling
Lukas Hartleif, MA
Junior Lecturer for Marketing
Prof. (FH) Dr. Christian Schmid
Professor (FH) for Product Development