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Casting a global spotlight on Austria as a research location


Austria has benefitted considerably from the growing internationalisation of research and development, with entrepreneurs from Germany, the USA and Switzerland leading the field.

R&D carried out by foreign companies in Austria has made a significant contribution to the overall increase in R&D activity in Austria since 1995. That’s the verdict of a study by Innovation Systems Department of the Austrian Institute of Technology , which examined research investment in Austria by multinational companies.

R&D expenses incurred by multinational companies under foreign ownership rose from EUR 1.6 billion to more than EUR 3.4 billion in the period from 2004 to 2013. This means that more than half of all R&D expenditure in Austria’s entire enterprise sector stems from companies under foreign control. Compared to other countries, this is a very high figure. In Europe, it is bettered only by Ireland (71%) and Belgium (66%). Lagging far behind Austria are France (27%), Germany (26%) and even Finland (14%).

The major players conducting R&D in Austria come from Germany (47% of all R&D expenditure by foreign firms) and the USA (15.4%), followed by Switzerland (11.7%) and Canada (8.7%). Chinese firms spent EUR 86 million on R&D in Austria (2.5%).

These developments are proof positive that Austria is earning its place as an attractive research location against stiff international competition.