circle17 Alumni


Header: (c) GSG


GRÜNSTATTGRAU is a holistic competence centre for greening buildings: it gives impetus and connects people, innovative products and projects, provides know-how and guides participative urban strategies to their implementation.


The circle17 Impacthon was characterized by interesting people, future-oriented tasks and encouraging input. GRÜNSTATTGRAU was able to meet many motivated participants within the course of the challenge. Working together with them on solutions for the green city of the future was not only fun, but very successful.

(c) GSG
What Challenge were you working on during your time with circle17 and what SDGs are you focusing on?

“How might we motivate more people to engage in developing green infrastructures, so we can increase the percentage of green spaces by 20% until 2025?”

GRÜNSTATTGRAU aims to find and develop new services in order to create smart, green and liveable cities for the future. Therefore, a strong interaction with companies, citizens and municipalities is required to accelerate the implementation of Nature Based Solutions in urban environments. We further support and boost innovative ideas for digitalising, quantifying and further developing green infrastructures as well as promoting knowledge transfer between citizens, research and practice.

SDGs we focus on: SDG9, SDG11, SDG12, SDG13

What did you learn from your experience?

That working not only with experienced companies, but also with start-ups and young visionaries offers a lot of potential for new project ideas and potential future collaborations.

How was it working with start-ups?

Since GRÜNSTATTGRAU is also a start-up, we understand some of the problems young companies can face – especially during their first years. It was interesting to get to know their ideas, dreams and world view. Their thoughts motivated us and challenged us as well – good drivers for innovation!

Did you set up a partnership and if so, would you like to tell us more about it?

From the ideas of our challenge, a new project idea was born: To use potential areas collaboratively to grow and harvest vegetables, fruit and herbs directly in the city. Now the participants are working with experts in the field – a consortium came together and we are excited for the ideas that will come out of this project.

What would you recommend future participants to get the most out of the experience?

Be experimental, challenge new thoughts & approaches, don’t be afraid to ask and seek help, aim high 😊

(c) Beate Kaindl

Team Members

Susanne Formanek

With an educational background in the field of forestry and coming from the construction industry, she specialized in energy-efficient and sustainable building. She led the Green Building Cluster in Lower Austria, focusing on the holistic approach and climate-neutral building, living and renovation. At the end of 2016, she developed the innovation lab " GRÜNSTATTGRAU" with the Association for Building Greening, and is now the managing director. As a trained project manager for national and international cooperation and research projects, she brings ideas to life! In addition, she is president of the IBO - Austrian Institute for Building Biology and Ecology and has a seat on the presidential council of Austrian Standards International.

Isabel Mühlbauer

Her educational background combines design with technical aspects: After graduating in Interior- and Surface design, she studied Smart Building, where she started to focus on building greening and ecological building. Within GRÜNSTATTGRAU, Isabel is responsible for various projects regarding energy efficiency, sustainable buildings, retrofitting and the quantification of vegetation. Other tasks involve graphic design and creating illustrations.