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Research, technological developments and innovation do not only lead to steady economic growth and stable employment. They are also important for overcoming the challenges of the future. Austrian companies have a proven track record in research and development and offer export-oriented new technologies such as nanotechnology applications and telematics solutions.


Knowledge - an economic driver

Gross domestic expenditure on research and development in Austria is well above the EU average. Investment from foreign companies in R&D in Austria has been rising for years and is at an extremely high level, while domestic industry has doubled expenditure on R&D over the last 10 years. There are many successfully exported Austrian products and services in the areas of:

  • Nanotechnologie
  • Telematik

A Rich Scientific Heritage

In 1943 the Austrian Paul Eisler invented the printed circuit board, a device that supports and connects electrical components and which today is found in almost every electronic device. Today the Austrian companyAT & S is the largest printed circuit board manufacturer in Europe and India and significantly involved in China. The company from Leoben has a top global position in the highest technology segment, HDI Microvia printed boards which are predominantly used in mobile devices. The group also operates successfully in the research and development of modern automotive circuit boards as well as in the industrial and medical technology sectors.

Solid Research Principles

Austrian scientists are today considered among the very best in the world in the field of quantum computer research. The two theoretical physicists from Innsbruck, Peter Zoller and Hans Briegel, along with the experimental physicist from Vienna, are among the world’s most cited experts in the field.

The framework for developing new technologies is exceptionally favourable in Austria. The breadth of the Austrian research landscape is breathtaking: from traditional, principle-based research right through to cutting-edge areas of applied science. Operations research is often found in innovative SMEs.

Micro technology and Nanotechnology

Micro technology and nanoscience represent highly promising technologies of the future and are given considerable weight in Austria, particularly as regards solid state electronics and materials science.

The most important nanotechnology products and areas of application include:

  • Pigments and other additives for varnishes and plastics
  • Processors
  • Surface coatings (e.g. tiles, bathtubs, worktops)
  • Manufacture of dental filling materials
  • Medical application of nanoparticles for new types of diagnosis and therapy

There are currently around 100 Austrian companies applying their knowledge of nanotechnology, while countless companies are active in areas where nanotechnology will play a key role in the future, such as microelectronics , optics,medical technology ,sensor technology ,materials science ,pharmaceutical industry ,automotive industry ,textile industry , aviation and space travel.

Technology of Today with Potential for the Future

Robotics attempts to reduce the concept of interaction with the physical world by applying the principles of information technology. It crosses over with some areas of informatics (especially artificial intelligence), electro technology and mechanical engineering. The purpose of robotics is to programme robotic electronics and robotic mechanics so that they come together in a way that can be controlled.

Optoelectronics attempts to combine the benefits of electronic data gathering and processing with the benefits of the transfer characteristics of light. Optoelectronics is an integral part of our daily life as it is used in monitors, computers and optical storage devices and data carriers.

Semiconductor technology deals with the technical manufacture of microelectronic elements and integrated circuits, primarily from semiconducting material.

New technologies for society and the environment

Austria is the land of innovative small and medium enterprises. There are many medium-sized companies who are among the world’s best in their technological fields and niche markets and the majority of them finance their own research and development spending. Several multinationals have their research and development departments in Austria.

Austrian companies are facing up to the challenges of the future and developing innovative technological products and services for society and the environment.

Meeting the Challenge of Energy Efficiency

A key business area of Fronius International GmbH is solar electronics. The cutting-edge energy cell developed by Fronius promises the highest efficiency and profitability and is sold on the European market as well as Brazil, USA, Canada, India and China.

In order to promote the topic of e-mobility in Austria, leading domestic companies (Verbund, Magna, Siemens, AVL List, etc.) have come together in a cooperation project (Austrian Mobile Power ). The “Austrian Mobile Power” initiative is working to realise the vision of the future where cars and lightweight commercial vehicles run on electricity from renewable energy sources. As the land of renewable energy, Austria offers the best conditions for an environmentally friendly traffic system based on renewable energy sources to meet the challenges of the future.

Meeting the Challenge of Safety and Security

The company Frequentis is the global market leader in flight control systems and has developed the world’s first major fully digitalised voice control system for European air traffic control – Eurocontrol.

Grabner Instruments Messtechnik GmbH is one of the world’s leading producers of automatic testing and analysis technology for ensuring the quality of oil products.

Another company contributing to safety standards is Phenomatics Virtual Reality Software GmbH , which deals with the worldwide development and marketing of unique software for high-end simulations, in particular for oil refineries, which simulate errors and accidents.

The Schiebel Group is a leader in mine detection equipment. Another of the company’s products is the unmanned helicopter which has already become the world market leader thanks to its innovative research and slick technology.

Durisol-Werke (in German) is a pioneer in the production of noise barriers made from wood-chip concrete. The product range is characterised by its excellent ecological profile and is unrivalled for its noise-reducing properties.