Projekt SMEPlus: Interview mit Dr. Markus Bohrer

Foto: Franz Helmreich
Foto: Franz Helmreich

Markus Bohrer, born in Tyrol in 1960, for the first time became aware about the environmental challenges as a young boy in school when the Club of Rome report "The Limits to Growth" has been published. In the late 70s Dr. Bohrer started to study radio and communication electronics at Vienna University of Technology. It was there where he began to program an old Digital Equipment PDP11 computer with punch cards with a cybernetic model of our earth - established by Jay Wright Forrester at MIT. Later in 1984 he joined the people in Hainburg watching how we treat nature. Later in the 90s he spent some years as CTO in a Swiss company owned by Stephan Schmidheiny, founder of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and who organized the Rio Summit 1992.


Markus Bohrer is convinced that there is a way for sustainable development and to make sound business as well. At the end we'll need an environment where we can live. Basically for all of us and especially for his three young daughters, born in Burgenland.


Why is energy saving important for industrial SMEs?

Energy saving is an important method to avoid waste. What is not wasted has not to be produced. And by the way, running costs are reduced.


Why is energy saving important for your region?

Burgenland is a model region in Europe with its own green energy production. And again, the amount of energy saved has not to be produced.


What are the benefits of energy saving, apart from reduced energy costs?

It is a global responsibility for all of us to take care of our world, otherwise the day might come, where we can't even exist here any longer.


Does energy efficiency have an impact on the public image of an industrial SME?

Of course it does! I changed my personal behavior to buy from local producers. And there are more and more customers which are aware of our image which has a strong focus on energy efficiency and they buy from us.


In your opinion, are good practices transferable between the regions and countries in the EU?

I had the privilege to have some courses in Stanford USA and there I could speak with some entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley. As they explained, until now nobody could transfer the spirit of this region anywhere, not even a few miles to the other side of the bay. I think this is also true for our region. We should act globally but think locally and establish our own models.


What are the most important incentives for SMEs to invest in the energy efficiency measures?

For me personally as a researcher it is curiosity at the beginning and success at the end. If I can do something better it makes me happy and gives me the feeling, that I could contribute. This gives importance to my live which is the best incentive for me.


Which existing energy policies towards SMEs in your region are, in your opinion, the most efficient?

There are two major aspects: number one green energy production - mainly with solar energy and wind mills - and number two an awareness for sustainable development in general.


Which policies from other regions could be implemented in your region?

What is needed locally should be produced locally. For me establishing a university in Burgenland is the foundation of a successful future. If enough people are well educated and start their own local business we will save a lot of energy.


Priv.-Doz. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. techn. Markus Bohrer ist Geschäftsführer der Firma Dr. Bohrer Lasertec GmbH ( in Neusiedl am See. Seine Erfolgsgeschichte wird auch in unserem Buch "Reiseführer durch die Krise" erzählt. Mehr dazu unter