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Overview: Qualification Initiative

Networking research and science

Within the framework of funded projects, we support companies in upgrading the qualifications of their employees. In doing so, we draw on the entire range of topics of applied research and expertise of Graz University of Technology in order to identify needs together with corporate partners and to develop scientifically sound, application-oriented and customized programs. In this way, very concrete subject-specific courses and training courses are created, which convey current know-how and help to close competency gaps.

In addition, we work with other educational institutions to devise and develop packages of measures and centers of excellence that promote and create sustainable education and training programs at regional, national and EU-wide level.


Overview ongoing projects

Greenovet, 2020 – 2024
DIH Süd – Digital Innovation Hub Süd, 2021 – 2024
InnovationsCamp – DeCarb, 2022 – 2024 
ReBUsk – Reboot BUILD UP Skills Austria, 2022 – 2024
Design4SusMan, 2023 – 2025
SME5.0, 2023 – 2026
HEICE, 2023 – 2024
UNITE European University Alliance

Successfully completed projects

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TU Graz Life Long Learning
Münzgrabenstraße 36/I
8010 Graz


GREENOVET is an international project with 18 project partners from 4 European countries, co-funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union.

One of the project's objectives is to promote the development of Vocational Education and Training (VET) competencies to enable green innovation across Europe. To this end, Centers of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) will be established that focus on an innovative, inclusive and sustainable economy.

The first center in Austria to emerge from the Greenovet project was established in 2022 at Graz University of Technology under the name Green Tech Academy Austria (GRETA).

Quick facts

  • Period: 1 November 1 2020 to 31 October 2024
  • Funding body: Erasmus+ Program of the European Union- Erasmus+ KA3 Support for Policy Reform/Centers of Vocational Excellene.
  • Goal: To establish four fully functional and interconnected CoVEs (Centers of Vocational Excellence) for green innovation, embedded in the local innovation and competence ecosystems.
  • Scientific project partners: 18 (4 European countries).
  • Contact person: Corina Pacher



The EU's Green Deal, with its goal of climate neutrality, also places an obligation on companies. In order to be able to perceive the associated "change" challenges as opportunities in the direction of competitive advantage, the innovative strength of employees and their technological know-how in this area is in great demand.

As part of the DeCarb project (Empowering enterprises towards zero carbon - from science to action), the need for holistic, implementation-oriented training is being addressed and company representatives are being given higher qualifications in the areas of "Energy & Green Production", "Sustainable Buildings", "Corporate Mobility" and "Sustainability and Change Management".

Quick facts

Period: 01 September 2022 - 31 August 2024
Sponsor: Qualification offensive of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Economy (BMAW) , Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).
Goal: Implementation of an innovative, implementation-oriented learning format to qualify employees from 10 partner companies and build a best practice community in the field of decarbonization and climate neutrality.

Scientific partners: 

TU Graz

Montanuniversität Leoben


"Reboot BUILD UP Skills" ties in with the national processes of the "BUILD UP Skills" initiative (2011-2013) in terms of content and pursues the goal of revising these against the backdrop of the European and national energy and climate targets in the building sector for 2030. In this context, all future necessary competencies in the relevant education and training from "blue collar" to "white collar" professionals should be considered. In cooperation with the most important Austrian steakholders, a current status quo analysis and a national qualification roadmap until 2030 will be developed within the framework of a revitalized qualification platform adjusted to the new requirements.

Quick facts

  • Period: November 01, 2022 - March 31, 2024
  • Funding body: EU / LIFE track
  • Goal: Roadmap for competence development in the construction sector
  • Scientific partners: 
    • Energieagentur Österreich / Austrian Energy Agency (Lead)
    • Energieagentur Steiermark / Energy Agency of Styria
    • University for Continuing Education Krems / The University for Continuing Education
    • Österreichisches Institut für Berufsbildungsforschung / Austrian Institute for Research on Vocational Training
  • Contact person: Katharina Rieger


The Des4SusMan project aims to develop a 2-year joint master's degree program on the topic of "Digital and Sustainable Manufacturing" to train students in the fields of mechanical engineering, manufacturing and management and also to provide them with intercultural skills. Graduates of the master's program should be able to master the major challenges facing the EU. These include, in particular, the megatrends of digitalization in manufacturing companies as well as the social/ethical and climatic/ecological challenges of sustainability, which play or will play a central role in current and future EU policy. Both the theme and the dual-track structure are new to the European Higher Education Area and will support the EU's move towards a smart and sustainable future-oriented curriculum.

Quick facts

  • Period: 01 October 2023 - 31 December 2025
  • Funding body: EU
  • Goal: Application for Erasmus Mundus Degree Program
  • Scientific partners:
    • Italy: Free University of Bozen-Bolzano / Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (Lead).
    • Romania: Polytechnic University of Bucharest
    • Portugal: Polytechnic of Porto - School of Engineering
  • Contact person: Corina Pacher


The future major challenge for SMEs will be the implementation of the double transformation (digital and sustainable). This needs to be accelerated to improve economically, socially and environmentally sustainable processes, factories and value chains. SME5.0 helps SMEs get to this next level by developing a strategic roadmap that makes them not only smart, but also sustainable, resilient and people-centric. This next stage of SME will be data- and intelligence-driven, meaning it will use available data to gain new insights and optimize them in a safe way using artificial intelligence. There will also be a strong focus on how production and value chains in SMEs can become more circular, environmentally friendly and resilient by taking into account ethical, human and societal values for more sociocentric factories. In addition to identifying future work profiles and competencies of SME employees, guidelines are being developed to make SME workplaces in industry more inclusive and diverse.

Quick facts

  • Period: 01 January 2023 - 31 December 2026
  • Funding body: EU / Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)
  • Goal: A strategic roadmap for the next level of smart, sustainable and people-centric SMEs.
  • Scientific partners: 
    • Europe:
      Italy: Free University of Bozen-Bolzano / Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (Lead).
      Germany: Technical University of Munich / Technische Universität München
      Sweden: Royal Institute of Technology / Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan KTH
      Slovakia: Technical University of Kosice / Technická univerzita v Košiciach
      Austria: University of Leoben / Montanuniversität Leoben
    • International:
      Thailand: Chiang Mai University
      Australia: Deakin University
      America: Indiana University - Purdue University of Fort Wayne
      America: Worcester Polytechnic Institute
      Argentina: Salvador University / Universidad del Salvador
      South Africa: University of Stellenbosch
  • Contact person: Corina Pacher


HEICE aims to contribute to Europe's technological innovation and entrepreneurship by unlocking the entrepreneurial potential of Deep Tech Talents in Austria, Portugal, and Serbia. Higher education institutions (HEIs) are seen as key drivers of this innovation, and the project aims to offer comprehensive entrepreneurial education for deep tech talents in the health and manufacturing fields, which fit the consortium's Smart Specialization Strategy (S3). The project also aims to capacity-build HEI teachers, academic staff, and non-academic staff to improve the internal processes of supporting student and academic entrepreneurship. By focusing on these three areas of capacity-building, the HEICE project aims to contribute to the employability of students and the competitiveness of participating partner regions and beyond.

This project aims to develop entrepreneurial skills and mindset, encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, and provide access to resources and networks. It will utilize entrepreneurship education, local clubs, workshops, incubators, accelerators, funding, mentorship programs, and networking events. The project will improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Austria, Portugal, and Serbia and increase the number of successful Deep Tech startups, bringing more business ideas to the market and strengthening Europe's competitiveness.

Quick facts

  • Period: 01. May - 30. November 2023 and 01. February - 31. July 2024
  • Funding body: EU / EIT KIC Health
  • Goal: Establishment and further development of entrepreneurship and innovation competencies for deep tech talents.
  • Scientific partner:
    • Austria: TU Graz (UFO/BWL/LLL)
    • Portugal: Polytechnic of Leiria
    • Serbia: Academy of professional studies Sumadija
  • Accelerators:
    • Austria: Gründungsgarage
    • Portugal: Startup Leiria
  • Qualified persons: 810 Deep Tech Talents (students and alumni) and academic and administrative staff at the respective universities.
  • Contact person: Corina Pacher