New Technologies

Austria´s exports in the field of „new technologies“ comprise innovations in products and processes. Austria´s distinctive competence in the field of R&D has also been recognized by one of the world´s fastest growing sectors, the aerospace industry.

New technologies, product and process innovations combined with applied basic research constitute both basic requirement and driving force for a promising economy. Austria boasts a balanced mixture of (export-oriented) economic growth and employment development, while showing a particularly high affinity in the area of research & development.

Austria´s innovative landscape 

In the context of an ecological structural change which is currently observable across the whole globe, the significance of constant success in the fields of research, technology, and innovation becomes increasingly important. Austria makes great achievements in the technology research – this goes as well for the basic- as for the applied and experimental research. The small country sticks out with a distinct dynamic in the research & development area with a R&D rate that has nearly doubled over the last decade. In a Europe wide comparison, Austria achieved a strength of 2.76 percent which positions the country far above the average values of EU15 and EU27. Also the average values of the OECD countries and those of the USA are topped by the domestic research strength (Research and Technology Report 2011; BMVIT).

The rising employment figures of currently more than 56,000 full-time employees in the fields of research and experimental development indicates an upward trend in the research & development sector. With over 20,000 employees, the federal capitol Vienna turns out to be the top employer, followed by Styria and Upper Austria (Statistik Austria, 07/11). The national trio employs a good three quarters of all people working in the Austrian F&E sector. The gross domestic expenditure amounted to almost EUR 8 million in 2010 – the forecast for 2011 shows a pleasant increase up to a whopping EUR 8.3 million (F&E Global Forecast Statistik Austria, 04/2011). One of the essential key factors for the success is definitely the Austrian cooperativeness, which is reflected by the 50 institutions for technology, innovation, and incubation across Austria.

Export opportunities 

Austria´s foreign sales activities in the field of „new technologies“ comprise innovations in products as well as in processes. While product innovations are aimed towards improved goods or services, the purpose of process optimizations is to imply new or improved methods in the production of goods or services, as well as in logistics, supply service, and marketing. Owing to the domestic small and medium-sized enterprises that act as innovators and productivity motors, Austria ranks among the most competitive national economy worldwide and rightly comes out on top in the ranking of the most productive SMEs across the globe (World Competitiveness Yearbook 2010).

Apart from the established sectors like bio-technology, the micro- and nanotechnology sector turns out to be a promising market segment as it offers a pretty high export potential. An international survey shows that the domestic nano-companies are especially renowned for their “special applications”. The sector supplies the world market with nano-technology products for medical applications, as well as for the plastics sector, and the textile and automotive industry.

A pronounced export orientation can also be observed with companies in the field of environmental technologies. The mission statement of this sector is “Safety, Sustainability and Environmental Awareness“. Therefore, it goes without saying, that Austria boasts excellent research and development capacities in companies and research institutions.

Austria´s distinctive competence in the field of research, development, and innovation has also been recognized by one of the world´s fastest growing sectors, the aerospace industry. Being renowned as reliable partner, international aircraft and engine manufacturer, Austrian technology firms operate successfully on the world market.

Austrian companies set international trends with above average investments in the R&D sector and pave the way towards a successful and innovative future!

Editorial department: Mag. Sandra Hollersbacher