JA Austria: EIT Manufacturing Award 2024

JA Austria: Junior Company of the Year 2024

These are the winners of Best Junior Company 2024 and EIT Manufacturing Award 2024!

Vienna, Austria  – On Tuesday, 28 May 2024, Junior Achievement Austria (JA Austria) hosted the national finals of the Junior Company programme and chose the best Junior Company 2024, as well as winners of special prizes. The jury also selected winners of the special EIT Manufacturing Award 2024!

Record participation in the Junior Company programme: This school year, 5,000 pupils founded a total of 470 Junior Companies and were thus able to experience first-hand what it means to develop a product and run their own company. Following the nationwide competitions, 9 winning teams from all regional competitions in Austria took the stage at the Austrian Chamber of Commerce and presented their products for the title of the Best Junior Company Austria 2024.

Education Minister Martin Polaschek opened the Austrian final of the Junior Company Competition 2024 and was joined by the JA Austria and WKÖ Vice President Carmen Goby and JA Austria President Jürgen Roth.

And now it’s clear: the best Junior Company 2024 is Treberei from BG/BRG Stainach in Styria. The team produces certified organic spent grains noodles from spent grains, a residual product of the brewing process. In addition to the sustainable product idea, the expert jury was also impressed by the sophisticated marketing concept with recipes from award-winning chefs, the lovingly designed trade fair stand and a perfect pitch presentation.

Second place went to markess from the Ferrarischule Tirol, which produces multifunctional luggage – from garment bags to rucksacks and bags – from discarded awning fabrics. G!NIAL from HBLA Ursprung in Salzburg came third: the junior company developed an alcohol-free gin and has not only been able to sell it from Burgenland to Vorarlberg via an online shop but has also convinced several catering establishments of the merits of its product.

The winning team Treberei will represent Austria in the European competition “GEN-E 2024” from 2-4 July 2024 in Catania, Italy.

The EIT Manufacturing Award 2024 goes to ecoLUTION!

The winner of the EIT Manufacturing Award 2024 is ecoLUTION! 

The ecoLUTION team has developed a compostable single-use cup made from potato starch, glycerol, and deionate. EcoLUTION aims to revolutionize large events by significantly reducing waste.

The idea behind ecoLUTION was born out of an awareness of the environmental impact of disposable tableware, and to avoid constant waste. The team’s vision was to create an environmentally friendly alternative that is not only functional but also 100% biodegradable.

With this goal in mind and supported by their chemistry teacher, ecoLUTION started to work in the school’s chemistry lab, putting their efforts into developing a material that would fulfil the requirements of sustainability and functionality.

More information about ecoLUTION and their product can be found at on their website: www.ecolution-jc.at.

About Junior Company programme

As part of the Junior Company programme, young people between the ages of 15 and 19 set up real companies for the duration of a school year. Guided by their teachers and backed by business experts, project participants independently collaborate in teams to handle all entrepreneurial tasks. Their creativity knows no bounds, as the Junior Companies provide everything from basic services to patented products. Through this independent work, the young participants gain insight into the challenges of the working world, acquiring fundamental business knowledge and essential social skills for their professional futures. 

Since 1995, more than 60,000 pupils in Austria have completed the Junior Company programme and gained valuable experience with 5,000 start-ups. Since 2022, the Junior Achievement Austria programme has been expanded to include primary school pupils.

If you would like to know more about JA Austria, please go to: Junior Achievement Austria.

For questions related to collaboration between EIT Manufacturing and JA Austria, please get in touch with Rosina Preis, Competence and Knowledge Manager for EU Projects at EIT Manufacturing East, via rosina.preis@eitmanufacturing.eu.

On European level, EIT Manufacturing supports JA Europe through the Green Manufacturing Award by EIT Manufacturing. Open to Upper-Secondary and University level participants, this awards aims to promote developing innovative products or services that minimize natural resource use, reduce pollution and waste, recycle and reuse materials, and/or create new processes to lower manufacturing resources and moderate emissions.  For more about JA Europe, please see: Junior Achievement Europe.