Detail
2010

OPENING OF THE RIC

Milestone 7: The Regional Innovation Center combines expertise and practical experience

THE RIC: DRIVING THE REGION’S INNOVATION AND EDUCATION

In the mid-2000s, Gunskirchen breaks new ground in the development and production of high-performance engines. The goal is clear: Rotax wishes to continue to play a leading role in innovative powertrain technology in times to come. A significant step towards this goal is the opening of an in-house, on-site innovation and qualifications center on the site in 2010 – the Regional Innovation Center, or RIC for short.

Investment in the RIC cushions the impact of the global economic and financial crisis. From its foundation, the RIC not only drives innovation at Rotax, it is also THE driver of education in the region, guaranteeing training and development for all ages.

TARGETING INNOVATION & EDUCATION

The following objectives are crucial for the establishment of the RIC: the construction of a leading center for novel powertrain technologies in power sports, safeguarding the future of Gunskirchen as a research and development site, expansion of in-house training and development, securing the business hub and building up long-term partnerships with regional education partners.

After a construction period of just under a year, the RIC starts operations in 2009, and the building is officially opened in challenging economic circumstances in May 2010, as Josef Fürlinger, the first CEO of RIC GmbH remembers: “We opened at the height of the economic crisis and managed to bring strategic partners such as the Berufsförderungsinstitut (BFI) [Vocational Training Institute] on board. We were already looking to the future, and so we were able to offer our employees the opportunity to attend training courses and develop themselves further.”

EDUCATION PARTNERSHIPS AND AWARDS

Because alongside innovation, the RIC also prioritizes education. The RIC always offers a wide range of education for people of all ages, both to its own employees and to external customers. In order to meet the high standards expected of it as the region’s education driver, the ROTAX Academy, based in the RIC, opens in late 2015 and provides high-quality, practical training and education focusing on mobility and production technology, across all levels through to lifelong learning.

The ROTAX Academy is awarded the EB Quality Mark, abbreviated to EBQS in German, and the Ö-CERT certificate for quality continuing education.

INSPIRING CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ABOUT TECHNOLOGY

A further factor in the success of the RIC is inspiring young people at an early age about science and technology. The RIC building not only houses Rotax training workshops, it also originates numerous initiatives and projects, such as the 2010 E-Mobility 4 U project, later to be awarded the Austrian State Prize for Mobility. Many other initiatives, including LEGO Creator and Coding and robotics workshops, inspire children from kindergarten and elementary school age upwards about technology.

This helps the RIC to strengthen its contacts with schools, industry, young people and their parents. And the RIC and Rotax have something to offer even very young children: In the summer of 2019, the RIC provides on-site childcare with a fun-filled program of activities, which receives a very positive response from Rotax employees.

The E-Mobility 4 U project inspires the jury of the State Prize for Mobility, awarded by the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology. (https://www.bmk.gv.at/ministerium/staatspreise/mobilitaet2011.html

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