Closer cooperation between Hong Kong and Vienna in the HeaLth Care Business Sector

Austrian virtual delegation interested in Asia’s health care business. Presentation of Healthcare Metropolis Vienna.


Austria was presented at the 1st Asia Summit on Global Health 2021 in Hong Kong on November 25, 2021 with 13 Austrian companies and organizations interested in the latest Asian health trends and looking for partnerships in Hong Kong/China and Asia, see also list of participants. In the framework of the Summit, Alexander Biach from the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Silas Chu from the Hong Kong Trade Development Council/Frankfurt Office signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” for strengthening the relations between the two business organizations to promote trade and investment in the healthcare sector. “The Summit itself provided timely updates on global and Asian opportunities in the health care sector and also offered 1:1 networking”, summarized Monica NG representing the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Winsome Chan from the Frankfurt office of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. The Austrian capital Vienna wants to position itself as a leading centre for health care excellency and innovation with the “Healthcare Metropolis Vienna” initiative.

Healthcare Metropolis Vienna:
Dr. Alexander Biach, Vienna’s Business Location Advocate and Deputy Managing Director of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce, is working with the government of the City of Vienna and institutional and private partners to pave the way. Some lead projects should support the ambitions: The Center for Precision Medicine (CPM) at the MedUni Vienna will provide space and state-of-the-art infrastructure for 400 researchers. Some 60 million EUR will be invested into the Vienna Biocenter. In addition, top Austrian companies are currently establishing a regional innovation hub under the umbrella of the largest European healthcare network, the European Institute of Technology (EIT) Health. Through a network of partners in industry, research and medicine, the aim is to foster the innovation potential of cutting-edge research in health technologies for health care usages, diagnosis and prevention and to support rapid market entry.

The Austrian capital also aims to attract new international authorities and EU organizations in the health sector such as the planned admission office, the so-called “Benannten Stelle für Medizinprodukte und In-vitro Diagnostika”. Vienna will also apply as the location for the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, HERA.

Austria’s Health Sector:
The Austrian health care system ranks among the best in the world.  In Austria, most people are entitled to benefits from statutory health insurance, such as extensive free visits to the doctor, outpatient clinics and care in hospitals. Statutory insurance covers most health risks, but it is possible and common to take out additional private health insurance. The former nine statutory health insurance companies were merged in 2020 into one large institution, the ÖGK. The fact that Austria’s health system is financed through a combination of income-related social security contributions and private payments means that innovations in the field of medical devices can quickly find their way to the patients in one of the country’s 274 (public and private) hospitals.

Austrian Medical Universities and Labor Qualification:
A key parameter on the way to becoming an international healthcare metropolis are highly skilled workers. There are approx. 13,000 practicing physicians and 1,500 dentists in Vienna.

Vienna has around 14,000 students enrolled in the medical universities as well as another 3,000 students enrolled in medical schools. Academia at public universities works closely together with clinics and hospitals, e.g. the MedUni Vienna works closely with Austria’s largest hospital, the Vienna General Hospital (AKH).

A particular challenge for the near future is to meet the rapidly growing demand for skilled nursing and care professionals. In this regard an important contribution is made by the interdisciplinary efforts of the FH Campus Wien, which uses innovative methods to train specialists for practical applications. One example is the OP Innovation Center (OPIC)  in which students learn how to use the latest surgery-technology.

Austrian Life Science Sector /Austrian Medical Technologies:
Austria is not only an attractive market for medical technology devices, but also an important location for med tech development and production. The sector can make us of a long tradition of engineering skills and precision mechanics. In addition to a large number of long-established companies, the sector also sees young, innovative companies profiting from the dense network of excellent academic institutions and the presence of global leading companies for their own new ventures.  For an overview of some of Austrian suppliers, see our FRESH VIEW Medical Technologies publication.

Austria has an excellent scientific tradition in medical research and has made a name for itself around the world in many areas of medical technologies, ranging from diagnostic equipment and dental instruments to the construction and operation of large hospitals. Platforms such as the Health Hub Vienna or LISAvienna are helping start-ups and established companies in the health and life science sector to network with the right partners and to further develop and transform the health system through innovations. Vienna itself is home to 554 life sciences companies and organizations, including up-and-coming start-ups, successful large companies, and world-leading research institutions. With its extraordinary combination of research, business, and education and over 2,000 employees from 79 different countries, the Vienna BioCenter is one of the leading life sciences centers in Europe. Scientists, students, and entrepreneurs come together to create a highly dynamic environment with internationally competitive standards. The research institutes and biotech companies are among the world's leading companies in their field and offer many research highlights.