Circular economy in the energy industry


We are looking for innovative solutions and technologies as well as potential cooperation in the field of circular economy.

The Next-Incubator is the innovation hub for sustainability at Energie Steiermark AG, one of the largest service providers in Austria. 1,800 employees contribute their experience and expertise to creating a fair partnership with approximately 600,000 customers in Austria and abroad.

We are looking for companies, start-ups and innovators to jointly develop products and services for sustainable solutions and business models. Have you developed an innovative solution or an innovative approach in the field of recyclable energy industry? Then apply now!

Based in Graz, Energie Steiermark is Austria’s fourth-largest energy and service provider. The Styrian company with subsidiaries in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Germany places high value on innovative strength and subsidiaries, exclusively investing in renewables such as water, wind, solar and biomass for its energy generation.

Framework conditions

In order to lead the way to recyclable energy systems, existing system limits (producer, distributor, retail) are to be overcome and rethought. Recyclable design, production, use and continued or further use in the field of renewable energy production facilities and systems (hydropower, wind, solar, storage, heat etc.) significantly contribute to this.

That’s why we’re looking for pioneering technologies and solutions, innovative business models as well as new ways of cooperation with potential partners in the field of circular economy.

  • Solutions and technologies to increase resource efficiency in energy systems.

  • Solutions, technologies and concepts for continued and further use of production systems (solar, wind etc.).

  • Solutions and technologies aimed at avoiding packaging and other materials as well as waste.

  • Technologies and concepts within the energy value creation chain aimed at allowing sustainable use and securing prolonged use / continued use (e.g. alternative medium-voltage switchgear (20 and 30 kV) – SF6-free).

  • Concepts and ideas for potentially suitable cooperation (regardless of the industry) to establish a recyclable energy system.


  • The solution must be near-marketable (minimum requirements: a testable prototype must exist).

  • The solution must meet the sustainability criteria of the Next-Incubator (socially, ecologically and economically)

  • Innovative solutions, technologies, methods and business models

Partial solutions are possible and welcome!

What we offer:

Access to an extensive partner network and the chance to implement your concept

  • Feedback & expertise: A pool of internal and external experts with years of experience in the energy industry is on hand to offer its consulting expertise and support.

  • Access to lead users: We facilitate access to lead users to allow for rapid product testing (product‑market fit).

  • Market access: Benefit from the reach and trust that Energie Steiermark enjoys in the further development of your concept.

  • Implementation: Chance for temporary pilot projects.

  • Network: Become part of our international sustainability community!

Our Next Co-Creation Approach

We are looking for highly motivated innovative teams to further develop their business model in the form of experience sharing, pilot projects and feedback sessions.

Together with the selected team, we intend to implement innovative and sustainable concepts in the field of circular economy.

We want to go through the following process together with you: