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You will gain much experience! Expectations for the TU Austria Innovation Marathon 2020

Copyright Ivan Knechtl

Ivan Knechtl is a participant of this year’s TU Austria Innovation-Marathon at the European Forum Alpbach. Read about his expectations and why he can hardly wait for the official program to start.

My name is Ivan Knechtl, I study Environmental System Sciences at TU Graz and I come from Maribor, the second largest city in Slovenia. Looking back on my life, I recognise four things that have accompanied me constantly: genuine curiosity, problem solving, perform to best of my abilities and the factor of awesomeness.

These are good qualities for the TU Austria Innovation-Marathon. By the way, what are your expectations?

I strive to bring my knowledge to the team in order to solve the proposed problems. I would be proud if we could find a really good solution that fully addresses the problems or maybe even disrupting the current standards in the selected industry. I would be happy to meet and get in touch with the amazing team of the organizers of the TU Austria Innovation Marathon, the companies involved in the project and all the smart young innovation thinkers from all over the world.

What is your definition of "innovation"?

For me, innovation is a process of getting better, just to find a perfect solution for the existing problems of the world, or better, for the problems that are yet to come. In doing so, I attach importance to understanding the systems as a whole, and all aspects on which innovation has an influence must be taken into account.

What benefit do you expect from tackling the real product problems of companies?

I will get to know the current environment in which they work, the systems they use and the pain they are experiencing. Then I will wait to hear how they have already tackled the pain and how they think in terms of vision, mission and milestones. I am also waiting to see the skills of my teammates and learn from them.

Why should students participate in the European Forum Alpbach and especially in the TU Austria Innovation Marathon?

As stated in its scholarship brochure, the European Forum Alpbach is an interdisciplinary platform for science, politics, business and culture that deals with the socio-political issues of our time. It connects international decision makers from all areas of society with an interested audience and committed young people. Maybe you start your own entrepreneurial journey with the ideas from the marathon or get a job from the participating companies. In either case, you will get rich experiences and I can hardly wait for the official program to start.

Find out more about the Innovation-Marathon on

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