The AER Working Groups on Mental Health and the Bioeconomy will gather on 29 November, on the occasion of the Winter Dialogues. This event brings together the policy and knowledge transfer activities of the AER Working Groups with the advocacy work carried out in the Task Forces and the Bureau.
A study visit on the Bioeconomy
Discover a major bioeconomy activity in Lower Austria, with the visit of the AGRANA Plant:
One of the objectives of the Working Group on the Bioeconomy, is to learn more about regional policies and practices on the bioeconomy, learn about challenges and enablers and exchange in order to identify elements of transferability. In this context, the region of Lower Austria, a founding member of the working group is offering a visit to this major stakeholder of the Austrian Bioeconomy.
About the company
AGRANA is the leading sugar producer in Central and Eastern Europe. AGRANA is also the global leader in the production of fruit preparations and the leading producer of fruit juice concentrates in Europe and a major manufacturer of customer-specific starch products and bioethanol in Europe.
The company maintains a global presence with around 9,000 employees based at 55 production facilities located on five continents. In Austria AGRANA Sugar Division operates two production sites, in Tulln and Leopoldsdorf. Seven more production sites are being conducted in five Central and Eastern European countries and the company runs a packaging and distribution centre in Bulgaria.
Regional production is one of the main focuses at AGRANA Sugar. Regional production indeed ensures security of supply, conserves resources, and contributes to a sustainable society. That is why they are strengthening production in their existing locations. The company is supporting farmers and businesses in the regions, while ensuring efficient production operations that enable us to provide quality sugar and services in a sustainable way.
Planning upcoming AER activities on the Bioeconomy
The study visit on the Bioeconomy will be followed by a brief meeting of the working group, to:
- share experiences
- define upcoming activities
- nominate a new Chair for the Working Group
Indeed the current Chair of the Working Group, Aud Hove (Innlandet, NO) finished her political mandate and the Innlandet region suggested a new Chair be appointed by the group.
The Chair of a working group needs to be a politician from an AER member region, and needs to have a seconded officer (a civil servant) to support the organisation of activities. Interested regions can contact AER Coordinator for Policy & Knowledge Transfer Johanna Pacevicius.
Workshop of the Working Group on Mental Health
The AER Working Group on Mental Health, which kicked off activities last month, is chaired by Daniel Schützer (Värmland, SE). The working group is collaborating closely with the AER Youth Regional Network. On the occasion of the Winter Dialogues in Lower Austria, the group will hold its first in-person workshop.
“Fostering resilience, making health a priority”
The first workshop of the AER Working Group on mental health will examine the following questions:
- why are we seeing such an increase in the need for mental health support
- how to create more resilience and what would it mean to be strong nowadays?
- how can this be used for prevention?
- how to make health and wellbeing a priority across policies
Regions will share the policies and practices they are implementing to address mental health challenges they identified on the occasion of the kick-off meeting.
The workshop will also lead to the definition of upcoming activities for 2024.
Members interested in joining this workshop who may not yet have registered, can contact AER Coordinator for Policy & Knowledge Transfer Johanna Pacevicius.
Discovering Lower Austria’s House of Digitalization
Finally, AER members will also visit the “House of Digitalization” in Tulln, which opened in December 2022, and is Lower Austria’s central contact point for companies and experts in the field of digitalization.
AER events in the regions aim to showcase remarkable practices, for regions to better know each other, set the grounds for future collaborations, and facilitate knowledge transfer between regions in wider Europe.
The Lower Austrian House of Digitalization covers a total area of 4,200 m2 and brings together:
- a showroom and event area
- lecture halls of the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt
- a gastronomy area with a guest garden
- office units
- a science laboratory “FabLab” of the province of Lower Austria.
The focus of the “House of Digitalization” services is to support domestic small and medium-sized enterprises on their way into the digital future and to make the topic of digitalization easy to communicate to young and old.
With an annually changing multimedia thematic staging for digitalization, visitors across all age groups are to be inspired. The spectacular production “Man + Machine” is the first. This exhibition explores how man + machine interactions and technological, economic and ethical questions.