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Rails in the Future More Than 'Only' Streets Red ... - Austria Today

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Ausgabe 05/05

P.b.b. Verlagspostamt 1130

GZ02Z034082 M

Location Austria

Standort Österreich

The magazine for business location Austria

Hitech ● Biotech ● Transportation Technology

Red-Green Successes

Sustainable upswing

in Austrian biotechnology

More Than ‘Only’

Streets

Asfinag’s multi-billion

projects and how it exports

its infrastructure know-how

Rails in the Future

Innovation is the basis

of the worldwide success of

the Austrian railway industry

Vienna Region: The Boom in the East Continues


4 Austria is number 1

The “D A CH Reform Barometer” demonstrates what

makes Austria more successful than its neighbours.

10 Cluster & Co

Concrete economic measures reward Austria with concrete

economic advantages

12 Top location Carinthia

13 Tec Center Lebring

14 Lower Austria: High-Tech in

the Spotlight

16 Setting the Course for the Railways

Environmental and safety interests favour the railways;

user statistics give priority to roads. An overview of the

strengths and weaknesses in the rail sector and the

competition between carriers.

21 Innovation as Key to Success

22 Through Education to Greater

Competitiveness

CONTENTS

23 A Venture into the Very-Smallest

24 'Red' biotechnology is booming

The young and dynamic life science scene in Austria is

now one of the world's leading branches

29 Austria's high tech right up front

30 Innovative Materials

32 The East Makes the Right

Decisions

Economy, high-tech, assistance and business in the

Vienna Region

37 Austrian companies:

world leaders in infrastructure

38 Upwards Mobility

Asfinag's multi-buillion projects and how it exports its

infratsructure know hows

46 Technopark Raaba to enter next

extension level

TownTown ready for take-off!

■ Construction stage 1, completion December 2006

■ 35,000 m2 rented

■ 10,000 m2 available

■ Best location near city centre

■ Separate subway station U3 Erdberg

■ Direct highway access A23 / A4

U3 U3

U4 U4

U1 U1

Stephansplatz

Stephansplatz

U4

Karlsplatz Karlsplatz

Contact: + 43 (0)1 716 90 95

E-Mail: office@towntown.info

www.towntown.info

Wien Wien Mitte Mitte

S1/2/3 S1/2/3

Wien Wien Mitte Mitte

Belvedere Belvedere

Südbahnhof

Südbahnhof

U3 U3

A4 A4

Schlachthausgasse

Schlachthausgasse

T-Center T-Center

A23 A23

A2 (Graz), A21 (Linz)

TownTown/Erdberg

TownTown/Erdberg

U3 U3

Gasometer

Gasometer

A23 A23

A4 A4

A4 A4

Lusthaus Lusthaus

H/SK H/SK (Budapest/Bratislava)

(Budapest/Bratislava)

Flughafen Flughafen Schwechat

Schwechat

00 200 200 400 400 600 600 800 800 mm

3

Neue Neue Donau Donau

Donau Donau


4

Austria wins,

ahead of both

Germany and

Switzerland.

No, not in Alpine

skiing but as a business

location. The ‘D A CH Reform

Barometer’ clearly shows what makes

Austria more successful than its neighbours.

When it comes to Alpine skiing Austria

is expected to come ahead of the Germans

and, at least at the moment, the

Swiss. By contrast, the Germans play the better

football and the Swiss make the better

chocolate. At least, those are the clichés. There

was also never any doubt that Germany was the

economic powerhouse and Switzerland the

heavyweight financial centre. Until now, that

is, as the success of the Austrian model is being

cited in more and more international media.

These reports are now also backed up by a

recent study: the Institut der deutschen

Wirtschaft Koeln (IW), Avenir Suisse Foundation

and Austrian Federal Economic Chamber

(WKÖ) issued a joint report on the competitive

capabilities of the three German-speaking

countries. The D A CH Reform Barometer analyses

and rates the economic reforms implemented

by Germany, Austria and Switzerland

since 2002 using identical criteria. The report

comes to the conclusion that the Austrian economic

policy is the most effective of the three

countries' policies. With 113.7 points, Austria's

reforms beat Germany's with 110.9 points.

Switzerland was only able to increase its rating

to 105.5 points over three years. Austria's

ranking as top reformer is largely due to the

fact that, by contrast with Switzerland and Germany,

concrete developments have taken place

in the realms of labour policy, social policy as

well as fiscal, financial, educational and

research policy.

1 st place

for Austria

IDENTICAL STARTS, DIFFERENT PER-

FORMANCES

According to the authors of the Barometer, Germany,

Switzerland and Austria all face the same

challenges as developed national economies

lying in the heart of Europe. “Globalisation and

EU enlargement, an ageing population, tertiarisation

and deindustrialisation, as well as the

transition to a knowledge-based society, redefine

the economic conditions and require continual

adjustment and flexibility. However, specific

national problems, such as the high level

of structural unemployment in Germany, a failure

to improve the efficiency of the public sector

in Austria, or the regulation of the domestic

market in Switzerland are all issues that governments

and parliaments need to face. The

labour market situation needs to improve,

growth and competition be encouraged, in order

to secure the high levels of prosperity in each of

the nations.” With this in mind, the measures

taken by the three German-speaking countries

to improve market conditions over the past three

years are outlined and compared. The ‘political

technical supervisory society’ used the reform

Barometer introduced by the IW Koeln in September

2002 as a starting point. The Barometer

has analysed the policies instituted by the German

Government since 2002 and investigated

the measures taken by the three countries over

the past three years in the realms of the labour

market, social security, fiscal and financial policy

as well as competition, education and

research. One noteworthy aspect reported by the

authors, was that Austrian policy had undergone

positive developments in all the observed fields.

Unfortunately, the report also commented on

the lessening drive behind reform policies since

the beginning of this year.

LABOUR MARKET MORE FLEXIBLE

When analysing the first indicator, the national

labour markets, the authors of the D A CH Reform

Barometer lauded the reforms instituted by Austria

which have resulted in a far more flexible

labour market. In their assessment, the Social

Law (introduced in 2003) and new severance pay

regulations, under which the right of employees

who have been given notice, to receive compensation

has been replaced by a corporate pension

plan, have proved their worth. Employees

retain their contributions to the system, even if

they switch employer of their own accord, and

the system is an important supporting pillar for

private pension schemes. Reforms have

improved the flexibility of the labour market on

the one hand; on the other hand, planning reliability

for businesses has also increased. Austria

was also awarded points for the 2004 amendment

to the law on the employment of foreigners,

making it somewhat easier for foreign financial

and academic experts to enter the Austrian

labour market, and repealing the law on ÖBB

work rules, under which employees of the

national rail network with special needs were

granted preferential treatment. The first mea-

FISCHER GES.M.B.H


ANDRITZ AG

Infineon Technologies Austria:

Research and Development

at a World-class Level

With its research units in Villach, Klagenfurt, Graz and Linz, Infineon

leads the way of the future in microelectronics. Some 700 researchers

provide high-performance and, by international comparison, outstanding

developments in the business areas for automotive and industrial

electronics and multimarket (AIM) as well as communications.

Shortest development times, high quality

and a focus on customer-oriented system

solutions distinguish the work of specialists

at the development centres. With 245 invention

disclosures annually and a high degree of

presence at international conferences,

researchers make a substantial contribution to

Infineon’s competitive capacity. With investments

of 153.3 million Euro per year during the

last business year (ended September 2004),

Infineon is one of the top research establishments

here in Austria.

CHIPS FOR CARS, MOBILE PHONES,

INTERNET AND PASSPORTS

Infineon’s high-tech developments in Austria

are contained in a large number of applications

D A CH REFORM BAROMETER

ONLINE

A short version of the complete D A CH Reform Barometer

can be downloaded (in German) free of charge

from the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln (IW)

web site at www.iwkoeln.de under ‘IW-Statements’.

and systems. One important area is power electronics

for the car and industry. This includes

sensors and control chips for ABS brake systems,

airbags and light machines as well as

energy-saving chips for the power switches of

network devices. With ADSL2+ and VDSL2+ specialists

are now in the lead in the search for even

faster data communication on the internet.

Internet telephony with component families for

VoIP is another priority as are customer-specific

developments for hard drives and the optical

high-performance mouse. Software for mobile

telephones as well as high-frequency and base

band components for GPRS and UMTS are also

among the development tasks. One additional

area of competency, for example, is the contactless

chip technologies to be incorporated

BUSINESS LOCATION AUSTRIA

sures implemented as part of the law on labour

market reform affecting older employees,

whose dismissal protection was loosened and

social security contributions reduced, were also

rated positively, as were the reasonable regulations

for the unemployed. Austria's attempts

to increase the number of apprenticeship training

positions through subventions was however

seen as a step backwards from an economic

point of view. Apart from windfall gains, the

regulations are seen as, “pro-cyclical and not

differentiated by sector”. The report also criticises

the strict regulations in place concerning

working hours in Austria, which are seen as in

dire need of reform.

PENSION REFORM: EXEMPLARY

Social policy is seen by the authors of the study

as the “star performer” amongst the four indicators.

In addition to rating the new severance

pay positively, the recent reform of the pension

system brought Austria a high number of points

in the ranking. According to th D A CH Reform

Barometer, the newly-implemented regulations

ensure the system is built upon solid foundations.

Special mention was given to the pension

account and 80/65/45 system under which pension

payments are 80 per cent of the average

salary earned over a lifetime when going into

pension after 45 years of contributions at age

into the new German passport. Contactless

access to one’s car and tyre pressure control,

electronic tickets for public transportation systems

and events, as well as RFID-based solutions,

as in Vienna’s main library, are other

areas of application for this technology.

CONTACT

Infineon Technologies Austria AG

Siemensstraße 2

9500 Villach, Austria

Tel: +43 / (0) 517 77 – 0

www.infineon.com

5


6

BUSINESS LOCATION AUSTRIA

MINISTER OF TRANSPORT, INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY,

HUBERT GORBACH: “If we compare developments in Austria

with development throughout the European Union, we have

focussed on the right aspects. Austria has gone from being

a straggler to leading the pack.”

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A-8010 Graz, Andreas-Hofer-Platz 17, Tel. +43 / 316 / 81 74 00, e-mail: info@ip-graz.at

MINISTER OF FINANCE, KARL-HEINZ GRASSER: “In an increasingly

competitive global economy, low taxes offer important

incentives to a business location and create employment.

Austria's appeal has increased radically due to the largest tax

reform in the history of the Second Republic.”

An Immorent Süd and GBG Graz

enterprise

WKO PRESIDENT CHRISTOPH LEITL: “First place in the reform

barometer ahead of German and Switzerland gives us courage

and additional motivation for the Government to continue with

tripartite talks and pursue its reform policy to the end.”

65. Criticism was aimed at the long transition period until the system

is fully-implemented and the special regulations for heavy

workers, granting certain jobs the option of early retirement. Austrian

health policy did not receive any points on the Barometer

with this area described as “in great need of reform in the coming

years”. Structural reforms and more competition would serve to

increase the efficiency of the Austrian health system.

SECOND TAX REFORM EVEN BETTER

The second stage of the tax reform 2005 propelled Austria to new

heights in the reform Barometer rating of fiscal and economic policy.

The reductions in corporate income tax from 34 to 25 per cent

was rated as a very positive step. According to the report's authors,

“Vienna has shown Berlin and Berne how to react to competition

from international tax rates by reforming corporate income tax.”

Group consolidation allows international corporations to set off losses

by foreign subsidiaries against some of their Austrian tax obligations.

This increases Austria's appeal as a location for holding companies

and thus contributes to improving international competitiveness.

The number of projects involving international enterprises

located in Austria has increased by 25 per cent since January

2004; the number of German companies alone increased by 40 per

cent as compared to 2003. Minster of Finance Karl-Heinz Grasser

sees this as an indication of the success of the largest tax reform in

the history of the Second Republic: “In an increasingly competitive

global economy, low taxes offer important incentives to businesses

to locate in the region and therefore create employment. Austria's

appeal has increased radically due to the largest tax reform in the

history of the Second Republic. We have become more competitive

compared with our immediate competitors.” Grasser cites two important

new “record figures”: Productivity in Austria increased by 6.9%

between 1999 and 2004 whilst the EU average was only +5.3 per

cent. A further historic victory for Austria over its larger neighbour

was also recorded in exports. According to the Ministry of Finance,

Austria is set to become the European export champion in the coming

year. According to Grasser, “The European Commission estimates

WIRTSCHAFTSKAMMER ÖSTERREICH


that Austria's exports will have grown by 44 per

cent in the period between 2000 and 2006. That

is a European record. Austria is ranked in first

place ahead of both Germany and Ireland.” However,

there is also some criticism from the report's

authors, especially on the issue of high taxes in

Austria. Income tax for high earners, set at 50 per

cent for a taxable income above 51,000 Euro,

ought to be reduced as soon as possible, according

to the authors. The sharp progression in tax

rates, starting with a taxable income of 10,900

Euro, is also seen as problematic, with the current

system being an incentive to employees to

work part-time. Positive comments focussed on

the level of expenditure to stimulate the economy

following the burst of the new economy bubble,

which was seen as far more reasonable than

the European average. Furthermore, national

debt was cut from 65.8 per cent of the GDP in

2002 to 63.7 per cent in 2005. Tax contributions

were also reduced from 44.3 per cent of GDP in

2002 to 42.1 per cent. Grasser aims to reduce this

figure to below 41 per cent in 2006.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ON

THE UP

The least dynamic indicator on the reform

Barometer was in the field of competition, educational

and research policy. The largest impact

here was the new law on univerities, freeing universities

from State administration from 1 October

2002 and increasing the autonomy of educational

institutes. Further positive mention is

reserved for the adjustment of labour laws for

university staff in accordance with the laws

applicable to the private sector, leading to an

improvement in the efficiency of the university

sector and strengthening Austria's ability to

innovate atmosphere for innovation. Measures

implemented by the Ministry of Transport, Innovation

and Technology with this goal in mind

have resulted in recent structural reforms to

research funding and have spearheaded Austria's

leap to join the international elite for

investment in innovation. Macroeconomic

expenditure on research and development

climbed to a historic high of 5.8 billion Euro this

D A CH -D A CH Reform Barometer: Austria Soars

The D A CH Reform Barometer measures the impact of political reforms of labour policy, social policy, fiscal

and economic policy, as well as competition, educational and research policy on economic conditions

in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. September 2002 = 100 points; Values over 100 indicate

an improvement; Values under 100 indicate deterioration.

110

105

100

95

90

110

105

100

95

90

110

105

100

95

90

Deutschland

Austria

Switzerland

March 2003

Agenda 2010

announced

Source: Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln, Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, Avenir Suisse

January 2004 March 2005 May 2005

Bill proposed for reforming

the pension system

(Pension Insurance

Sustainability Law, Oldage

Income Law)

Job

summit

110.9

Elections announced.

All reform

proposals still

under discussion

fail.

January 2003 January 2004 August 2004 January 2005

The new severance pay comes

into effect, providing ‘compensation

for termination

of contract’

March 2003

Bill proposal to encourage

research, development and

technology between 2004

and 2007

First labour

market reform

and law on universities

come

into effect.

Second labour

market reform

comes into

effective

113.7

Second stage

of the Tax and

Pension Reform

come into

effective

November 2004 January 2005 August 2005

Bilateral Agreement

II bill proposed

(harmonisation

between Switzerland

and the EU)

Bill proposed

for reforming

the domestic

market

105.5

Bill proposed

for 5th revision

of disability

insurance

SOND J FMAMJ J ASOND J FMAMJ J ASOND J FMAMJ J AS

2002

2003 2004 2005

© 46/2005 Deutscher Instituts-Verlag

BUSINESS LOCATION AUSTRIA

year. This places Austria with Belgium in an

impressive joint fifth place in the internal European

Union rankings table. Austria is well set to

meet the targets of Barcelona, under which

three per cent of gross domestic profit is to be

invested in research and development. Hubert

Gorbach, Minister of Transport, Innovation and

Technology says, “We have made additional

means available and provided modern infrastructure

and research grants. But the industry

has also played its part and tax conditions have

been optimised. If we compare developments in

Austria with development throughout the European

Union, we have focussed on the right

aspects. Austria has gone from being a straggler

to leading the pack.” Vital experience and a pool

of highly qualified employees is also attracting

international investors to Austria. As Gorbach

says, “The Austrian auto parts suppliers’ industry

and transport technology is renowned across

the world for its top performance. Austria is also

enormously successful in the areas of environmental

technology and the aviation industry,

Tri-country ranking:

Switzerland still leads

National economic indicators 2002

Switzerland

Gross domestic product

per inhabitant (US $)

30,170

3.0

29,574

4.0

GDP per inhabitant: based on

purchasing power parity;

Quellen: IWF, OECD

27,280

Standardised unemployment rate (%)

Welfare contributions

(% of GDP)

7.7

Austria

14.5

Direct and indirect taxes

(% of GDP)

8.6

14.2

29.1

22.4 21.1

Budget deficit/surplus

(% of GDP)

0.2

-0.4

Germany

-3.6

? 46/2005 Deutscher Instituts-Verlag

7


8

BUSINESS LOCATION AUSTRIA

which is set to contribute 400 million Euro in

income this year and therefore provides an overproportionate

contribution to growth and

employment.” Foreign investments account for

around 20 per cent of investment in research and

development, a top rate internationally. As many

as a third of the experts at Austrian research

institutes such as the Kplus Centres of Excellence

now come from abroad, as do up to 34 per cent

of companies involved. Austria's appeal as a

manufacturing site also profits from these developments;

direct foreign investment increased by

a factor of seven to 5.3 billion Euro. According

to A. T. Kearney's Globalisation Index 2005, Austria

is ranked a formidable ninth. Austria is currently

home to between 50 and 60 Leading Competence

Units – decision making headquarters

for large mobile multinationals. Gorbach says,

“These units are taking on central importance in

the process of innovation and creating added value

for businesses. A large number of small and

medium-sized business in the various regions are

also dependent on these companies.”

NEW MEASURES FOR NEW VICTORIES

In short, the D A CH Reform Barometer included

both praise and criticism for Austria.

Christoph Leitl, President of the Austrian Federal

Economic Chamber is nonetheless pleased but

does concede that some measures still need to

be taken. “Austria is obviously on the right track.

ProdTect Software

Shows Product

Developers the End

Manufacturers of electronic devices can control

recycling from the planning stages

Whether a mobile phone, computer or

stereo: electronic devices are ending up

in the rubbish earlier and earlier. In Austria

up to 120,000 tonnes of e-trash accumulate

per year. The EU has declared war on the mountains

of garbage and has stipulated precise recycling

and re-use quotas for electronic scrap – up

to 80 per cent of the device’s weight depending

on the product category. Yet recycling and disposal

cost time and money so it is all the more

important for the product developer to know and

optimize these factors at an early stage of planning.

In cooperation with the Technical University of

Braunschweig, KERP, a competence centre for

electronic scrap, has developed the software

ProdTect, which shows the designer the effect of

using various materials at the end of the product’s

life. The principle is simple: the user first

First place in the Barometer ahead of Germany

and Switzerland gives us courage and additional

motivation for the Government to continue

with tripartite talks and pursue its reform policy

to the end. We cannot just sit and rest on our

laurels. We need to be smart and keep a cool

head when it comes to staying competitive in

the future.” In order to become even better and

safeguard Austria as a business location, further

measures are still necessary, according to Leitl.

“Nonetheless, there is still a real need to act.

We need to promote research, development and

innovation, attract investment, increase flexi-

enters the most important parts (materials, components,

connections) into a product model. On

the basis of the empirical data ascertained, Prod-

Tect assesses key figures for waste management

such as the time required for disassembling the

product and the most cost-effective degree of disassembly:

it shows up to what point disassembly

is worthwhile. In a further step the tool suggests

the optimal order of disassembly.

ProdTect not only supplies recycling quotas but

also determines the ‘end-of-life’ costs. For the

calculation the software relies on a library in

which current – country-specific – market data is

compiled. The developer therefore has the opportunity

to make calculations using realistic prices.

The tool contrasts the costs and returns for

reusable components (for e.g. metals and plastics).

Here the software also calculates current

returns for each EU country.

bility and reduce the burden on businesses.” In

concrete terms, Leitl calls for tax relief for undistributed

profits and no limit on accumulated

losses for small and even smaller businesses. He

also calls for the introduction of a new investment

growth premium, for example for investments

in environmental technology, thermal

sanitation and high levels of added value domestically.

Leitl says, “These measures must be

implemented as soon as possible. I believe that

these measures will serve to guarantee Austria's

permanent position at the top of international

location rankings.”

The KERP competence centre is an extra-university research

institution which conducts applied research in the electrical

and electronics industry with its partners from science and

industry. The areas of focus range from environmentally

friendly product design to the implementation of legislative

environmental guidelines for companies, all the way to waste

management.

CONTACT

KERP-Kompetenzzentrum

Business & Research Center

Meldemannstraße 18/4, 1200 Vienna

mobile: +43 664 826 43 48,

office: +43 1 93960-3070, fax: ext 3079

office@kerp.at Web: www.kerp.at

ANDRITZ AG


LCUs as drivers for innovation

and guarantors of prosperity

Leading Competence Units (LCUs) are an essential part of economic reality

in Austria. In conjunction with small and medium-sized businesses,

LCUs provide a significant impulse for further innovation and the economy

Decision-making centres of large international

companies not bound to one single

location – so-called Leading Competence

Units – have great significance for Austria in business

terms. In their function as economic hubs,

they are often indispensable to the economic survival

of whole regions. A study commissioned by

the Federation of Austrian Industry (IV) has for

the first time proven in concrete figures the enormous

direct and indirect effects that LCUs have

on the national economy. These do not just concern

the aggregate value added, investments or

the securing of jobs, but first and foremost

research and development, the demand for highquality

services and the qualifications of employees.

Accordingly, these 14 companies for instance

invested over 1 billion Euro in research and development

alone in 2003 – this corresponds to more

than 20 % of the total expenditure for research

and development in Austria in that year. In their

The University of Natural

Resources and Applied Life Sciences,

Vienna (BOKU) has created

an internationally-recognised centre

for bio-technology at its

premises on Muthgasse, that

includes such relevant institutes as

those for applied micro-biology,

applied genetics, food sciences

symbiotic relationship with small and mediumsized

businesses LCUs thus provide an essential

contribution to the improvement of the performance

of the national innovation system.

According to the president of the Federation of

Austrian Industry, Dr. Veit Sorger, Austria is lacking

“an integral approach for the location politics

for small and medium-sized businesses and

LCUs. That is why – besides the important promotion

of small and medium-sized businesses –

we should be concerning ourselves with securing

the locations of LCUs in Austria, encouraging further

investments and making Austria even more

attractive as a business location.” Possibilities for

improvement of local conditions for LCUs can be

found in the relevant tax laws, in making working

hours more flexible, in reducing bureaucracy

through administrative reforms, through an even

more flexible and efficient capital market, in

improved infrastructure but first and foremost

and technology, applied botanical

sciences and technology, and

chemistry. The about-to-be-established

BOKU BioTech Center, which

will have space for spin-off and

start-up firms as well as for BOKU's

expansion, will be an excellent

basis for the future Muthgasse

technology cluster.

Development area:

Between Muthgasse and the Heiligenstadt

Railway Station in Vienna's

19th district.

Project data:

● In the first phase of the project,

the establishment of the BOKU

Biotech Center next to the existing

BOKU buildings.

● 8,400 square meters of usable

floor space in the buildings for

spin-offs and start-ups.

● Parking for cars in the basement.

● Completion in the middle of

2008.

Transit links:

● In close proximity to the Nordbrücke,

with direct access to the

A22 autobahn interchange and

with connections to the airport.

● Next to the Heiligenstadt railway

station (underground and various

fast trains and bus lines).

Expansion area:

BUSINESS LOCATION AUSTRIA

Technology Cluster Muthgasse, 1190 Vienna

A Project of ‘Glamas,’ an undertaking by BAI, PORR,

Wiener Städtische and WSE

Dr. Veit Sorger: “LCU-Check is important

for the innovation location”

through better targeted investment in innovation,

education and qualification. LCUs are dominant

guarantors of growth and prosperity in Austria

as a centre of innovation. According to Dr.

Veit Sorger, the level of LCU suitability should

therefore be taken into account in all decisions

regarding location politics.

CONTACT

DR. WOLFGANG HAIDINGER

Federation of Austrian Industry, Division of Education,

Innovation and Research

Schwarzenbergplatz 4, A-1031 Vienna

Tel. +43 1 71135-2362, Fax +43 1 71135-2383

w.haidinger@iv-net.at

www.iv-net.at

● Ground for future expansion is

available right next door.

● Potential area of around 55,000

square meters gross floor space.

Become acquainted with the attractive

location and contact us for more

information.

CONTACT:

For BOKU Biotech Center

and Expansion area 1:

Glamas Beteiligungsverwaltungs GmbH and

Co Alpha KEG

Tel.: +43 (0) 50626-1702

Fax: +43 (0) 50626-1453

josef.wailzer@porr.at

For Expansion area 2:

Wiener Stadtentwicklungsgesellschaft m.b.H.

Tel.: +43 (0)1 720 30 50-33

Fax: +43 (0)1 720 30 50-25

clemens.spenger@wse.at

9


10

CLUSTERS AND TECHNOLOGY PARKS

Cluster

& Co.

From the new TECHbase technology park in Vienna,

Technopols in Lower Austria or clusters in Styria –

concrete economic measures reward Austria with

concrete economic advantages.

Vienna, or, to be more exact, the Vienna

Region, is now home to an automotive

cluster. The grand opening of TECHbase

Vienna, constructed in the northwest of the

Austrian capital, took place at the end of

November. The technology park and start-up

centre provides 12,500 square metres of floor

space housing training centres, research and

development facilities and room for international

hi-tech enterprises and innovative startups.

Some 21 million Euro have been invested

in the construction of the park, which was the

first joint technology park project involving

three provinces, Burgenland, Lower Austria and

Vienna. The project was also a Public Private

Partnership between the Viennese fund for Promotion

of Trade and Industry (WWFF), the Lower

Austrian business agency ecoplus and Raiffeisen

Holding Lower Austria-Vienna. TECHbase

will be home to the Automotive Cluster Vienna

Region (ACVR) amongst others. A network for

enterprises form the fields of mobility, transport

and modern vehicle technology, ACVR

wishes to construct a centre for industrial gluing

techniques and a centre for automotive

design aimed at part suppliers in the new location.

By combining a cluster within a technology

park, these two important instruments

serve to stimulate and network the local automotive

industry. Austria is home to an disproportionate

number of clusters and technology

parks. Together with centres of excellence and

AplusB centres, they have played a key role in

establishing Austria as a business location with

international clout.

10 YEARS OF CLUSTERS IN AUSTRIA

The ACVR was founded in 2001 as a joint initiative

between the Provinces of Vienna and Lower

Austria and currently has around 70 partners.

In addition to classical auto parts suppliers,

electronics and telematics enterprises, as well

as numerous educational and research and

development institutes, are members of the network.

The ACVR aims to unite the various areas

of expertise of companies in the Vienna region

and to initiate innovative projects and partnerships

that create added value for the region. This

strategy builds upon a model that was first

implemented in Austria ten years ago. When

ACstyria was founded in Styria in 1995, many

Austrians had little idea what a cluster was. They

soon learnt that it is a special form of cooperation;

in the case of the ACstyria automotive cluster,

six leading car manufacturers have production

sites in Styria, supplied by over 200 small

and medium-sized businesses, all of which are

represented in the cluster community. Since

ACstyria was founded, more than 200,000 jobs

have been created in Styria in the auto parts

industry and over 200 companies have invested

in excess of 2.5 billion Euro in the region. The

members of the cluster together employ around

45,000 staff and recorded 6.8 billion Euro of

income in 2003, creating added value of over

1.2 billion Euro.

Clusters are an important driving force behind

the Styrian economy. Last summer, the fifth cluster

located in Styria was founded. Upper Austria,

which has developed to become an internation-

WWFF

ally recognised regional model, also plays host

to a large number of clusters. Since 1998, eight

clusters have been formed in Upper Austria, networking

a total of more than 1,500 businesses

and research institutes in the province. All in all,

22 clusters are currently operating in Austria in

the most important sectors: focussing on packaging

in Vorarlberg, wood in Salzburg; health

and mechatronics in Upper Austria, from plastics

in Carinthia to well-being in Lower Austria.

108 TECHNOLOGY PARKS IN AUSTRIA

Whilst clusters focus on issue fields such as vehicle

technology, chemicals or even health and

spas, technology parks take on an important

regional function. As Wolfgang Rupp, Chairman

of the Board of the Austrian Association of Technology

Centers Verband (VTÖ) explains, “Clusters

are primarily aimed at harnessing added value,

in the form of research and development, manufacturing

and distribution. Technology parks

are active horizontally, focussing much more on

regional economic development.” The VTÖ has

acted as an independent umbrella organisation


epresenting the interests of Austrian technology

parks since 1988 – the days of the first technology

parks in Austria. With 108 technology,

start-up and impulse centres, Austria boasts one

of the highest densities of such establishments

worldwide. Technology parks are set up by the

provincial authorities and are designed to support

new technology-oriented enterprises which

can stimulate the local economy. In addition to

providing infrastructure, focus is placed on offering

these businesses competent services, as Rupp

outlines: “The infrastructural foundations have

been laid. We need more support and opportunities

in our technology parks, in order to implement

projects.” With the aim of improving the

services offered to new businesses, the VTÖ has

started training the managers at technology

parks as incubation managers. As Rupp says,

“Technology parks need to become regional incubators.

50 per cent of businesses in Austria would

like to invest in research and development but

they lack the necessary means. Either they are

short of personnel or do not have the money.

These companies form the target group for technology

parks.”

WALTER EBENHOFER

TECHbase Vienna, a modern

technology park and start-up

centre, has only been open

for a short time.

PROMOTING EXCELLENCE AND

APLUSB

Whilst technology parks focus on providing local

companies with infrastructure and support, centres

of excellence are time-limited institutes furthering

cooperation between research institutes

and businesses. The centres focus on research

and development in fields that are of high academic

and economic relevance. Centres of excellence

are selected according to a list of criteria

from the submitted bids and are supported for

seven years under the Kplus programme. The

programme was first instituted by the Ministry

for Transport, Innovation and Technology in

1998 and is overseen by the Austrian Research

Promotion Agency (FFG). Three bidding procedures

have resulted in 18 Kplus centres of excellence

being founded, covering a wide range of

areas. A number of industrial centres of excellence

are also located in Austria. The Ministry of

Economics and Labour has developed a programme

supporting these centres. The centres

are run by industrial firms or consortia and focus

on converting the insights gained from research

into new products and services as quickly as pos-

Dipl. Ing. Wolfgang Rupp, Chairman of the Board of the

Austrian Association of Technology Centers Verband (VTÖ)

sible. Academic start-ups in Austria are supported

by the AplusB centres and thus increase

the number of spin-offs. The AplusB programme

is an initiative of the Ministry of Transport, Innovation

and Technology. The programme is carried

out by the FFG, which provides consulting,

infrastructure, monitoring and carries out the

selection process. Six AplusB centres are already

up and running across the country, and just this

autumn, plans to create two new AplusB centres

in Salzburg and Vorarlberg were unveiled.

CLUSTER & CO LINKS

Further information on research institutes and

networks in Austria can be found at:

Austrian clusters: www.clusterland.at

Technology parks: www.vto.at

Kplus centres of excellence: www.ffg.at

Industrial centres of excellence:

www.kompetenzzentren.biz

AplusB centres: www.ffg.at

NETWORK MAP

The Ministry of Economics and Labour and Ministry for

Transport, Innovation and Technology have created an

online map of the Austrian research networks. The map

provides information about the individual institutes in

order to facilitate communication. You can find a direct

link to the map on the Austrian Association of Technology

Centers web page (www.vto.at) under ‘Innovatinoslandkarte’.

11


12

HIGHTECH

Big Companies Value

Carinthia as a Top Location

High technology, dynamism and growth, its geographical role as

a gate to south-eastern Europe: Austria’s southernmost province

is succeeding as a business region of the future in the international

competition as the place to be.

The business location Carinthia has a distinct

new profile today: the settlement of high

technology has strengthened the momentum

in employment and power of innovation,

thereby further improving the basic conditions

for investors. EU enlargement has brought additional

advantages as well: those who invest in

Carinthia find the bordering countries in the

south-east to be virtual ‘home markets’.

Carinthia’s role as an east-west hub in the centre

of the Alpine-Adriatic region, its highly qualified

employees and first-rate business development

with as much as 50 per cent in the area of

research and development, have long made the

province an interesting and attractive location

for national and international investors. Corporate

income tax of 25 per cent throughout Austria

also militates in favour of the business location

Carinthia.

Beyond its borders Carinthia has not only positioned

itself as a technology centre with Lakeside

Science & Technology Park in Klagenfurt

and Technology Park Villach; in the area of new

energies, the province has made its way to the

top, with the global market leader in the manufacture

of solar power plants also originating

from Carinthia.

ENTWICKLUNGSAGENTUR KÄRNTEN

GMBH AS A POWER GENERATOR

As a power generator for innovation and growth

the provincial organisation Entwicklungsagentur

Kärnten (EAK) plays a central role in Carinthian

business development. Important changes

are taking place through business settlements,

the management of technology parks, start-up

services, export assistance and not least the

development and support of industry networks.

These networks – for example wood or energy

and environment – are an excellent example of

how Carinthia has not only successfully maintained

but even increased its international

competitive capacity in its own fields of

strength as a result of input from high-tech,

research and innovation.

TECHNOLOGY PARK VILLACH – The high-tech heart of Carinthia

MAJOR PROJECTS OF INTERNATIONAL

COMPANIES

A series of current, large-scale business settlements

demonstrates how attractive Carinthia has

become for investors. For example, Magna International,

the world’s largest automotive supplier,

is building a factory for several hundred

employees in Carinthia’s capital city of Klagenfurt

and a management centre directly on the

Wörthersee. Magna is following in the footsteps

of Infineon and Kapsch, which have also built

large production locations and research and

development centres.

The conversion of ‘traditional’ industries to new,

expanding branches of business has been highly

successful. For example, Germany’s MAHLE

Group which, with an existing Carinthia-based

factory ‚of 1,900 employees, supplies the automotive

industry with filters, has also moved into

the production halls of a former shoe factory in

which a research and development centre for

mechatronics is being built.

Major new hotel and wellness projects are also

providing new momentum and stimulation in

Carinthia’s traditional winter sports centres, for

example on Katschberg and Naßfeld. In addition

to scenic beauty, additional plus factors for

investors are favourable costs of living in terms

of rent, power, fees and services.

Carinthia – the better choice!

INFORMATION:

Entwicklungsagentur Kärnten GmbH

A-9020 Klagenfurt, Primoschgasse 3

Tel.: +43 (0)463 3875-100

Fax.: +43 (0)463 3875-112

www.entwicklungsagentur.at


From Monitor-Tube Production to

Tec Center Lebring

It has been three years since LG.Philips Displays

Austria stopped producing monitor

tubes in Lebring. That 170,000-squaremeter

site has since become a modern industrial

park, the Tec Center Lebring. The location

is in the heart of the southeastern EU futureregion

and stands out for its proximity to Graz,

as well as to the aspiring markets of the former

Yugoslavia and Hungary. Its position on technology

axis Graz-Maribor and in the region of

Styrian auto-cluster AC-Styria creates many

opportunities for cooperation. Perfect connections

to national and international traffic networks

and location-specific subsidies (EU-Target

Region 2) make Tec Center Lebring an ideal

industrial location. A total of 25,000 square

meters of production, storage and office space

can be adapted to meet renters' specifications

on a step-by-step basis. High-quality dust-free

rooms are available for special needs.

Up to the present, seven firms have located

there. The first renter was the Austrian Post

office responsible for postal district Lebring.

HAG, a producer of spray-casting plastic parts

for the automobile industry, among others,

has developed and grown out of the nearby

Impulse Centre. In Tec Center Lebring, newlyestablished

FSG-Austria manufactures gearbox

parts for Volkswagen. World market leader

Isovolta AG has built a highly-modern facility

that uses the world's biggest machine to produce

foil composites for the photo-voltaic

industry on a 43,000-square-meter site. Mostrecently,

the firm Ecofil has located there, producing

many different kinds of innovative

paper cords and fabrics for agriculture. Around

12,000 square meters of developed and

40,000 square meters of undeveloped land are

still free. The goal is the transfer of at least

250 jobs to that location.

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BEST OF AUSTRIA

TEC CENTER LEBRING –

FACTS & FIGURES FIGU ES

● Approx. 25.000 m² production, warehouse and

office space in flexible modules are available from

1.500 m²

● Approx 40.000 m² undeveloped plots

● High-quality, dust-free rooms available

● Direct connection to the A9 (with connections to

Graz, Vienna, Slovenia, Hungary, Carinthia), 30 km

south of Graz, 20 km to Slovenia

● 10 min. to Cargo Center Graz/Werndorf, 15 min.

to Graz-Thalerhof airport

● Fully-developed infrastructure (electricity, gas,

water, dedicated railway connection)

● Proximity to universities and research institutes

in Graz

● Attractive funding for employment-creating

investments

● A region with a high quality of life

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13


14

HIGHTECH

Lower Austria:

High-Tech in the Spotlight!

THE TECHNOPOL-PROGRAM OF LOWER AUSTRIA –

A PATH BREAKER FOR FUTURE BUSINESS SUCCESS!

The command of new technologies is the first

step for successful products and innovations

and thus an important step for market success

tomorrow! “Not only is technological top performance

of a region important, but above all the

ability to transfer know-how into numerous applications,”

says Vice-Governor Ernest Gabmann,

Minister of Economic Affairs of Lower Austria. In

order to achieve this, Lower Austria deploys

Technopol Managers who ‘mediate’ between

research and business. Thus, in accordance with

the Technopol-Program the available scientific

competence is developed in terms of demand and

with respect to Lower Austria’s technological priorities.

The Technopol-Program of Lower Austria

was implemented in 2004 by ecoplus, the business

agency of Lower Austria, at the three locations

in Krems, Tulln and Wiener Neustadt.

FROM ‘OLD ECONOMY’ TO NEW PRO-

DUCTS AT THE TECHNOPOL WIENER

NEUSTADT

Surface technology, microsystems technology

and medical technologies – these are the fields

of research at the Technopol Wiener Neustadt.

For example, know-how will be developed in the

area of surface areas for new coating proce-

dures in aviation and automotive technology,

and the area of use for machine-building applications

will be significantly improved. Microsystem

technology and ‘integrated-system’

know-how will promote the trend towards

miniaturisation of technical equipment. Even

medical technology can profit enormously from

different scientific competences and utilise

extensive expertise in the field of plastics technology

in its medical applications.

Spatial proximity will make possible cross-disciplinary

activities that offer industry partners

a broad spectrum of know-how from 150

researchers! Coupled with sufficient university-educated

employees for technology and

business from the University of Applied Sciences

at Wiener Neustadt, this interdisciplinary

approach makes it possible for companies

to command and deploy new technologies.

IN FOCUS: MYCOTOXIN RESEARCH AND

BIOANALYSIS AT THE TECHNOPOL TULLN

The identification of hidden toxins in mould and

the detoxification and inactivation of these toxic

substances (mycotoxins) are just a few of the

priorities for understanding the functions and

WWW.STICKLERFOTOGRAFIE.AT

interactions of food and animal feed, the focus

of research at the Christian Doppler Laboratory

in Tulln. Incorporating the field of bioanalysis,

biopolymers such as proteins, carbohydrates,

lipids, DNA/RNA and their modifications are

investigated.

Based on these results, innovative protein chips

are being researched and developed together

with the University of Applied Sciences for the

detection of allergy-producing substances in

food. Numerous publications in international

journals attest to the scientific importance for

agricultural and environmental biotechnologies

of the more than 150 researchers at the

Technopol location in Tulln.

OPTIMAL COOPERATION among research,

education and application at the technopol location


OPENING OF THE GMP LABORATORY IN

KREMS: Univ.-Prof. DDr. Johannes

Huber; Vice-Governor Ernest Gabmann,

Dr. Richard Plitzka and Mayor Dir. Franz

Hölzl (from L to R)

Additional interesting areas of research on

future applications such as biogene materials,

“renewable sources of energy” and “biogas” and

bio-fuel” will be developed.

The marvelous coordination of research, education

and business is exemplified by cooperative

involvement with companies located at the new

technology centre in Tulln. The firm RomerLabs ®,

a partner of Christian Doppler Laboratory, and the

firm Biopure, a university spin-off from the analytical

center of IFA Tulln (Interuniversity Department

of Agricultural Biotechnology) are developing

– based on the results of research – ready-formarket

products and organising their worldwide

distribution.

THE FUTURE OF REPLACEMENT PARTS

IN MEDICINE ARE THE FOCUS AT THE

TECHNOPOL KREMS

For a number of years now, research priorities

within the field of regenerative medicine have

KARGL

been pursued in the area of extracorporeal

blood cleansing with applications in liver

replacement therapy in Krems. Implementation

of this know-how is being carried out through

the company Biotec Systems in the development

and production of adsorbers used for artificial

liver support. Moreover, in the promising

field of tissue engineering the first applications

are already being successfully implemented.

For example, the company Cells + Tissue Bank

Austria there provides highly purified

processed bone replacement material for hospitals.

Products for cartilage replacement therapy

are produced through the Biotec company

Ars Arthro under pharmaceutical clean room

and quality conditions, and the company

TissueMed Bioscience, which recently settled

there, is developing a new kind of protein for

better healing of injuries.

In the area of cancer cell therapy Cell Danube AG

has achieved the first highly promising successes

in the scope of an Austria-wide clinical study.

The province of Lower Austria provided the rel-

ECOPLUS/HAIDEN-BAUMANN

HIGHTECH

evant infrastructure at all Technopol locations

as well as in Krems. For example, in Krems the

first GMP-compliant special laboratory is available

for the production of Biotec products. Altogether,

1900m 2 in special laboratory space has

been established in Krems in the last few years,

and with the recently opened Campus Krems, the

Danube University and IMC University of Applied

Sciences have opened state-of-the-art training

and research facilities there.

The concept of Technopol represents predefined

quality criteria for every location in Lower Austria.

There are research institutions with clear

application-oriented scientific competencies, a

university training facility and business enterprises

which work together synergetically on location.

“The acceleration of knowledge transfer

through Lower Austria’s Technopol-Program and

the rapid realisation of research results in business

are supported by the province of Lower Austria,”

and Vice-Governor Ernest Gabmann is convinced

that the successes will be apparent in economic

growth in the next few years.

TECHNOLOGY CENTRES,

as in Wiener Neustadt, in the centre of the technopol

CONTACT:

ecoplus. The Business Agency of Lower Austria Ltd.

Martin Gaggl

Technopol – Program Coordinator

Tel. +43(0) 1/ 533 1893/ 11800

m.gaggl@ecoplus.at

www.ecoplus.at/technology

ECOPLUS/HAIDEN-BAUMANNKARGL

15


16

Setting the Course

for the Railways

Environmental and safety interests favour the railways; user statistics

give priority to roads. An overview of the strengths and weaknesses

of the rail sector and the competition between carriers.

Rising fuel prices, increasing traffic jams

(by 2050 the number of vehicles will swell

from 800 million at present to two billion),

transit and toll problems – the roads are

troubling. Calculations by the Federal Environmental

Agency have meanwhile added grist to

the mills of railway advocates. On behalf of the

Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) levels of greenhouse

gases originating from rail and motor

vehicle transport were investigated, taking not

only the emissions in transit into account, but

also those from preliminary processes such as

fuel and electrical power production. The result:

when one person travels one kilometre by car,

that person creates ten times the amount of

greenhouse gases than when travelling by rail.

In the transport of goods, one tonne produced

27 times the amount of CO 2 emissions per kilometre

by truck. A clear victory for the railways,

which are also highly favoured in terms of passenger

safety in the competition with roads.

There are 45,000 fatalities in European road traffic

compared to 200 deaths by rail, according to

the Austrian automotive club (VCÖ).r.

FLEXIBILITY IN DISARRAY

A glance at current transportation user statistics

is all the more astonishing: 80 per cent of passenger

transport and 45 per cent of cargo transport

still takes place by road and the tendency is

on the rise. “In my view the main problem concerning

the railway lies in its lack of flexibility,”

says Josef Mülner, member of the Management

Board and head of the Railway Systems division

at voestalpine. In passenger travel, time-tables

lead to undesirable restrictions and for families

and travel groups the variable operating costs of

a car fall below the price of train tickets. In cargo

transport a concept is lacking for an optimal

transport association in the modal split between

railway – road, in the loading of trucks for longdistance

routes (transit) and in regional distribution.

Another lynchpin for the railway expert of

Voest: “As is true of the roads, we need free transport

of goods which also ensures the ability to

travel with the same carriage, for example, to

Sweden as well as to Germany.” An opinion

shared by Robert Woppel, Managing Director of


the professional Railway Association within the

Austrian Chamber of Economy: “The obstacles to

cross border use and approval of railway carriages

are in many ways still too great.” Also with service

regulations, traffic laws and the anticipated

increase in future track user charges, Woppel sees

competitive disadvantages to railways over the

roads. Regarding the problems of border crossings

by trains, division head of Transport Automation

Solutions at safeguarding technology specialist

Alcatel Austria Alfred Veider can only agree

with the findings: “As long as there are no suitable

European railway transport regulations, and

personnel have to be changed at every train and

national border in Europe, the railways will naturally

remain at a disadvantage.” And Dr. Wolfgang

Röss, the manager of Siemens Austria's Rail

Automation & Power division, adds that “it will

be impossible to increase rail transport vis-a-vis

auto transport in Europe without the creation of

a cross-border rail system featuring the European

Train Control System (ETCS). The European Union

needs to provide around three billion Euro annually

for railway expansion in the coming years that

will include ETCS expansion as one of the top priorities.

The Austrian EU Presidency can lay the

rails for such a development correctly.”

RAILWAY STANDARDS FOR CROSSING

THE BORDER

A circumstance which prompted EU and European

railway operators to become active with regard

to the forthcoming liberalisation of rail traffic

throughout Europe , European Rail Traffic Management

Systems (ERMTS) and European Train

Control System (ETCS) are the keywords heralding

the new era for railway systems. The goal is

standardisation of safeguarding and control systems

throughout Europe which, by 2013 at the

latest, will provide for smooth and cost-effective

rail traffic on Europe’s railways. The electronic

signal box (ESTW) is considered the key technology

of telematic innovations and here Austria

plays a vanguard role. 160 signal boxes manufactured

by Alcatel Austria and Siemens Transportation

Rail Automation & Power division of

Siemens Austria have already been installed on

Austria’s rail network. According to Veider, by

international comparison the very good capacity

levels brought about by using the electronic

point operating system will largely see to it that

Austria will not suffer the “fate of circumvention”

in rail transit.

GOOD GRADES FOR INFRASTRUCTURE

AND INDUSTRY

Apart from weaknesses in matters of flexibility,

the Alpine Republic generally receives good

marks from experts in matters of railway technology

infrastructure and innovative industry.

Solid numbers document Austria’s strengths.

For example, the export rates in the rail industry

in Austria (5.1 billion Euro corresponds to

4.6 per cent of total export value in Austrian

industry) are double that of the EU-15’s average.

With the companies united in voestalpine’s

Railway Systems division, the country has at its

disposal the largest rail manufacturers in

Europe and the world’s largest internationally

positioned point control system builder. In

terms of investment in railway infrastructure,

Austria takes second place in Europe after

Switzerland with 177 Euro per capita per year

(by comparisonwith Germany’s 39 Euro).

According to the Austrian General Transport

Plan, 29.9 billion Euro will be invested in the

railways in domestic areas by 2020, compared

with just 15 billion Euro for road infrastructure.

RAILWAY TECHNOLOGY

ROADS AND UNDERGROUNDS MADE

IN AUSTRIA

And not only railways are being accelerated.

Mass transit services here in Austria are thoroughly

respectable as well (value creation: 4.4

per cent of gross national product). For example,

Siemens Transportation Systems, a wholly

owned subsidiary of Siemens Austria, also concentrates

on the manufacture of underground

carriages in addition to railway carriages and

undercarriages. Peter Wandaller, who is in

charge of business development and communication

at Siemens Austria: “Train series are

exported from the plants in Vienna-Simmering

and Graz to Oslo, Bangkok, Melbourne and

Shanghai. Proof of know-how in international

demand. “At home Siemens’s ‘Silver Arrow’ and

low-platform trams are a feature of Vienna’s

cityscape – which is also a domain of the Bombardier

Group. In the company’s Floridsdorfbased

competence centre whose headquarters

are located in Canada, trams and city railways

are developed and manufactured for the Austrian

and European market, for example 78 of the

U6 trains which have crossed Vienna from North

to South since 1989.

TOGETHER, NOT ALONE

“As deserving of critique as the railway services

may be in certain areas, the cooperation of ÖBB

SIEMENS PRESS PICTURE

and the Vienna Transport Authority with industry

functions wonderfully,” says Mülner, pointing out

an additional strength of Austria by example of a

rail and cross-tie (sleeper) system developed

together with the Vienna Transport Authority to

handle the problem of damping structure-borne

sound in the underground. “In the meantime we

have exported this successful system to Milan,

Zurich and Bucharest, possible not least because

of the Austrian transport authority’s outstanding

reputation. The same is true of numerous projects

in cooperation with ÖBB. What functions on our

17


18

RAILWAY TECHNOLOGY

illustrious market at home also has solid market

chances abroad, says Mülner. “In Europe ÖBB

takes the lead in the area of infrastructure”.

Just how important publicly effective cooperation

and coordination between industry, railway

operators, high-tech SMEs, policymakers and

research institutions really is was recognised two

years ago in another area. At the initiative of

Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and

Technology the Rail Technology Cluster Austria

(RTCA) was formed in 2003. Michael Paula, Secretary

General since this spring of the selffinanced

association : “We see ourselves as a

competence platform and intermediary, we bring

decision-makers together, establish contacts

and we provide stimulation.” The most recent

initiative of the RTCA: the feeder lines project for

2010, which is focused on the improvement of

significant ÖBB network feeder lines with industrial

enterprises. Overall Paula is “cautiously

optimistic” with regard to the railway’s chances

in competition with roads, “ if the long-term concepts

work and the railways are granted the necessary

political support.”

LINKS:

www.rtca.at

www.alcatel.com/tas

www.vae.co.at

www.siemens.at/transportation/

Siemens Rail: Von New

York bis Heygeshalom

Von Österreich aus erschließt die “Siemens Rail Automation and

Power Austria” mit maßgeschneiderten Lösungen die ost- und

südosteuropäischen Märkte.

Der rasche und vor allem qualitativ erstklassige

Ausbau der Infrastruktur ist eine

entscheidende Voraussetzung dafür, dass

der wirtschaftliche Aufschwung in den boomenden

Ländern im Osten und Südosten Europas auch

in den kommenden Jahren fortgesetzt werden

kann. Eine besonders wichtige Rolle spielt dabei

die Verbesserung der Bahnverbindungen.

Führend in diesem Milliardengeschäft ist

Siemens Rail Automation & Power (TS RA & P).

Diese bearbeitet von Österreich aus die Wachstumsmärkte

Slowakei, Slowenien, Kroatien, Bosnien,

Serbien und Rumänien. “Wir haben in den

vergangenen Jahren zahlreiche Aufträge erhalten

und sind heute Marktführer im Bereich Bahn-

Infrastruktur”, erklärt Bereichsleiter Wolfgang

Röss. “Da kommt uns natürlich die globale Kompetenz

von Siemens – wir restrukturieren gerade

das U-Bahnnetz von New York – und unsere

langjährige Präsenz in den osteuropäischen

Märkten sehr zu Gute.”

Ein besonders wichtiges Projekt ist das von TS

º19

RA & P realisierte grenzüberschreitende Zugsicherungssystem

ETCS (European Train Control

System) auf den Strecken Wien – Heygeshalom

und Wien – Nickelsdorf. Damit wird nicht nur die

Sicherheit erhöht, sondern es werden auch

höhere Zugfrequenzen möglich und der Energieverbrauch

wird reduziert.

Andere große Projekte sind etwa die Ausstattung

der slowakischen Bahnhöfe und Bahnübergänge

mit elektronischen Sicherungsanlagen, die

Modernisierung der Signaleinrichtungen in Slowenien,

in Rumänien die Modernisierung von

Straßenbahn-Unterwerken in Bukarest und die

Errichtung elektronischer Stellwerke auf der

Strecke zwischen Arad und Constanta.

Bei vielen Projekten ist Österreich für Siemens

Rail Automation & Power selbstverständlich ein

wichtiger Referenzmarkt. So wurde etwa mit der

Einrichtung eines elektronischen Stellwerks bei

laufendem Betrieb bei der Wiener U-Bahn eine

richtungsweisende Innovation vorgenommen.

Damit wird eine weitgehende Automatisierung

VOESTALPINE AG

Elektronisches Stellwerk am Bahnhof St. Valentin (Österreich)

des Betriebes möglich und die Betriebssicherheit

wird enorm erhöht, indem jeder Zug mittels

Linienzugbeeinflussung ständig überwacht und

automatisch geführt wird.

KONTAKT

Siemens Rail Automation & Power

Wolfgang Röss

Leberstraße 34, A-1110 Wien

Tel.: +43 (0)51707 41888

Fax: +43 (0)51707 51788

www. siemens.com/transportation


Maba is one of the leading producers of prestressed concrete

sleepers for track and turnouts in Europe. The production process

which utilises long beds and the precision steel forms guarantee

a consistently high quality product.

BOMBARDIER

Trendsetting trams

and light rail vehicles

Canadian company Bombardier at its Viennese site specialises in

the design and manufacture of innovative urban transport solutions.

The trams and light rail vehicles from Vienna are in operation

not only in Austrian cities but in urban centres across Europe.

AThe international success story of today’s

low-floor light rail vehicles started in Vienna.

Bombardier developed a vehicle for the

Vienna Transport Authority (Wiener Linien) that

was specially adapted to the conditions of a light

rail line built over a century ago. With their level

entrances and spacious interiors the vehicles

had already attracted attention of public transport

operators in Cologne and Stockholm – where

they went for presentation tours – even before

their official introduction in Vienna.

Since then Bombardier delivered further developments

of the Viennese vehicles – the FLEXITY

Swift series – to a number of European cities such

as Cologne, London, Stockholm and Istanbul as

well as to the Netherlands. This vehicle concept

has also served as a basis for Bombardier’s light

rail vehicles in Minneapolis in the United States.

NEWLY DEFINED BOUNDARIES

Another innovative solution from Bombardier

in Vienna is the FLEXITY Outlook 100% low floor

tram which was first introduced in the Austrian

city Graz. With true innovative spirit Bombardier’s

engineers developed a 100 % lowfloor

tram which combined conventional wheelset

bogies with a completely step-less interior

– up to then this was considered technically

impossible. The first city to implement this new

concept was Linz which was soon followed by

Lodz. High travelling comfort and a flexible

design concept are only a couple of the reasons

why the FLEXITY Outlook trams have become an

integral part of the cityscape of Geneva and

Eskisehir (Turkey). The most recent orders for

FLEXITY Outlook vehicles have been placed by

Marseille and Innsbruck.

RAILWAY TECHNOLOGY

MABA Railway Infrastructure

Prestressed concrete sleepers

By the optimisation of the prestressed reinforcement,

excellent resistance is provided against dynamic loads

even with high speeds and heavy loads. With production

plants operated by Maba in Austria, Hungary, Romania

and Turkey supply within these and to neighbouring

countries can be easily achieved. As well as sleepers,

Maba offers a range of specialist precast concrete

elements for railway infrastructure such as poles for

conductor lines, platform edges, tunnel segments, etc.

Austria

Maba Fertigteilindustrie GmbH

A-2700 Wiener Neustadt

Hungary:

Maba Hungaria Kft

HU-8100 Varpalota

Romania:

Maba Romania SRL,

RO-505500 Rupea

Turkey:

BETRA Prefabrike Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S

TK- 54900 Pamukova

contact:

Maba Fertigteilindustrie GmbH,

Tel: +43 (0) 2622 400 1.45, Fax: +43 (0) 2622 400 130

office@maba.at, www.maba.at

www.maba.at

Bombardier FLEXITY Outlook trams from Vienna with

innovative low-floor technology have been in service on

the Geneva tram network since the end of 2004.

AT A GLANCE

Serving a diversified customer base around the world,

Bombardier Transportation is the global leader in the rail

equipment manufacturing and servicing industry. Its

wide range of products includes passenger rail vehicles

and total transit systems. It also manufactures locomotives,

freight cars, bogies, propulsion & controls and provides

rail control solutions. It is a unit of Bombardier Inc.,

a global corporation based in Canada, world-leading

manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from

regional aircraft and business jets to rail transportation

equipment.

CONTACT

Bombardier Transportation Austria GmbH & Co.KG

Donaufelder Strasse 73-79, 1211 Vienna

Tele. +43 1 25 110, Fax: +43 1 25 110 8

www.bombardier.com

19


20

RAILWAY TECHNOLOGY

INTERVIEW WITH

Alfred Veider,

division manager

Transport Automation

at Alcatel Austria.

Preparations for the liberalisation of rail traffic

throughout Europe are running full speed. Uniform

standards are being created with the European

Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS)

and the European Train Control System (ETCS).

Electronic signal boxes (ESTW) are considered a

key technology in railway telematics. What can we

expect from this?

VEIDER: The electronic signal boxes are responsible

for ensuring a safe track system. Similar to

the “transport slots” in air travel, they make

routes available to trains on the rail network.

The trains can be guided in consecutive intervals,

which simultaneously guarantees the efficient

control of interval distance between trains

as well as the greatest possible degree of safety.

For these types of functions, the greatest possible

degree of safety – measured as safety

integrity level (SIL) 4 – is guaranteed. This

means that only one ten-millionth of a percent

of the events per hour is likely to be risk-relevant:

SIL 4 also means a risk rate ten million

times less than with the phenomenon of “human

error”, which is equal to SIL 0 on this scale.

Alcatel is one of the leading global suppliers of integrated

communication technology for railways and of safety

technology such as train control systems and control

centres. In Austria Alcatel Austria is market leader for

electronic signalling systems (more than 100 Alcatel

facilities in operation with ÖBB).

Electronics,

Not Cement

Where does the difference with road traffic lie in

regard to the issue of safety

We talk about interval distance between trains

on railways and reaction distance between cars

on roads. An example to clarify the difference:

if everyone in a line of cars maintains reaction

distance and the head of the line drives into a

tree, logically there will be a mass collision due

to the elimination of braking distance. In contrast,

on the railways an orderly shutdown without

incidence of collision is guaranteed as a

result of the system-controlled interval distance.

One more difference from the road: with

the railway ticket the customer buys safe transport

which he can rely on and for which the railway

operator bears the responsibility.

In your opinion, what are the main arguments

favouring railway over road transport?

The above-mentioned safety, the predictable

degree of punctuality and the increase in basic

transport capacity. Another example: a typical

700 ton cargo train is approximately 400 metres

long. With motorway speed and adherence to

representative safety distances of up to 80

metres each, the 50 trucks necessary for the

same amount of freight use a road segment of

four kilometres. For passenger cars the comparison

is considerably more blatant. For this reason

capacity in road traffic is at the expense of

everyone’s safety.

What are the most urgent problems on railways now

and what do the solutions look like?

The main difficulty in Europe arises with the

border crossing of trains in international transit.

Incompatible systems ranging from rail

gauge to the electrical power systems of traction

vehicles and the national differences in

signalling and control systems have led to

extremely inefficient situations in economic

terms. ERMTS and ETCS will see to the elimination

of these problems. According to the

plan, by 2013 standardisation is to be complete

on a primarily European core network of

routes including approximately 42,000 rail

kilometres and their associated 10,000 traction

vehicles. Another fundamental problem is

posed by the railway’s mixed cargo-passenger

system. Slow cargo trains hold up fast passenger

trains. In my opinion, we are in much

more urgent need of efficient modern train

control than of building additional lines or of

even faster high-speed trains which are useable

only on a few segments of a line. I like to

refer to this with the slogan “electronics, not

cement.” As I said, to this end the electronic

switch boxes have a key function in Austria and

in this regard Austria is best equipped. With

160 ESTW, which is the same number used on

the nearly ten times larger German railway network,

approximately 25 percent of Austria’s

signal boxes are electronic. The goal is to

establish 50 percent ESTW coverage within 10

years. 300 ESTW associated with ERTMS/ETCS

should be enough to provide effective line

management

Informationen: http://www.alcatel.com/tas


Employees and Innovation

as Keys to Success

Technological leader on the global market: the compressor

manufacturer ACC Austria – formerly known as

VERDICHTER Oe. – in Fürstenfeld is one of the most successful

companies in Styria.

For Claus Repnik, Managing Director of

refrigeration compressor manufacturer

ACC in Fürstenfeld, employee motivation

is the key to success. “Motivation leads to the

other pillars – steady innovation and a team

which does quality-conscious work.” Repnik is

convinced that without innovation the ACC,

which won the Leading Companies competition

in Styria this year for the second time in a row.

would no longer exist. “The Kappa compressor

which we developed and built is more efficient

than other machines and that is the point: we

don't need to talk about leadership in terms of

cost; our argument has to be technology.” And

with this technology ACC is extraordinarily successful,

for between 2002 and 2004 income rose

45.4 per cent from 196.2 to 154.5 million Euro.

The operating result improved 245 per cent. In

order not only to maintain but to expand its

global position even further, the next technological

innovation is already being developed –

the Delta compressor. It will come on the market

in the middle of 2007 . “This third production

line is the complement to the ACC product

range. The new product is distinguished by

increased efficiency in a compact package,”

says Repnik.

Since the beginning of 2004, all the development

work of ACC has been concentrated in the

area of refrigerator compressors for household

cooling. “This is obviously a corporate-driven

enhancement of our location,”

says Repnik. Fürstenfeld's

innovation and technology

transfer centre (itz),

which is currently being built

by the project partners ACC

Austria GmbH, the municipality

of Fürstenfeld, the start-up

and service centre and public

services of Fürstenfeld and

which will be opened at the

end of 2006, will also see to it

that the spirit of innovation

and creativity is bundled even

more closely in eastern Styria.

itz Fürstenfeld will not only

house the ACC Group's entire

research and development division; it will also

become the hub for training and development

measures for the metal and electrical engineering

industries. “This will be for suppliers as

well as companies which want to conduct joint

apprenticeship training programmes or carry

out R&D together,” according to Replik's vision.

Jahnstrasse 30, 8280 Fürstenfeld

+43 3382/5010-0

www.acc-austria.at

formerly known as Verdichter Oe. GmbH

ACC Austria GmbH was established in 1982 as a production

location – under the well-known name Verdichter

Österreich GmbH – by the Italian manufacturer Zanussi.

In 2003 the company was integrated into the Italian company

ACC Group, the leading supplier for household

appliance components.

Some 650 employees now produce six million refrigeration

compressors per year, a doubling of capacity within

four years

Income in 2004 totalled 154.46m Euro, the export ratio

was 90 %.

HIGHTECH

IN THE

INTERVIEW

ACC Managing

Director Claus

Repnik

Why are steady innovations so important? Why

can't a good product remain the way it is for a

while?

The necessity for innovation is a virtual given

in Austria if a company intends to maintain its

location in the country. As soon as a product is

on the market, it's copied and offered at a better

price. As soon as it makes it into mass production,

it no longer has any reason to stay in

Austria. In Austria being more innovative and

better than the others is the only way forward

and the only way to remain successful.

Under what conditions are processes of innovation

possible?

In my experience direct cooperation with the

production sites is indispensable for good

innovations. An innovative product develops

only when the factory which can immediately

implement and test the ideas is located closeby.

Another important factor is the thorough

qualification of employees at every level. In

order to obtain highly-qualified people from

universities, companies themselves have to be

attractive. They have to motivate people, for

without enthusiasm for implementing one's

own potential, the very best of qualifications

are useless. Also important are clear rules concerning

the support and implementation of

ideas, a company climate fostering an atmosphere

of trust and which facilitates and promotes

interaction with one another as well as

qualified, motivated employees who are willing

actively to further educate themselves and

who are committed to supporting their own

company in creating the product and the team.

At ACC Austria great value is placed on the

integration and inclusion of all employees.

This is successful because of a flat organisational

structure which provides individuals

with more responsibility as well as the necessary

latitude for introducing and implementing

their own ideas.

21


22

PHARMA & BIOTECH

Education as the Key to

Greater Competitiveness

The Vienna School of Clinical Research (VSCR) has long been

one of the leading educational centers for medical and scientific

experts in Central and Eastern Europe. For a short time,

it has also been involved in the conception and future implementation

of educational measures in the framework of the

EU initiative “Innovative Medicines Initiative” (IMI) that should

contribute to the strengthening of Europe's competitiveness

in the area of bio-medicine.

Vienna has developed into a hub for educational

measures for doctors and other

medical personnel in Central and Eastern

Europe in the last few years. The Vienna School

of Clinical Research (VSCR) has been playing the

key role. In cooperation with the City of Vienna,

the Austrian Ministry for Education and Science,

the European Union, some pharmaceutical

companies, especially the US concern Eli Lilly,

but since recently also the enterprises

Böhrnger-Ingelheim and Servier and various

other private industries, VSCR has trained more

than 1,600 scientists and doctors from more

than 60 countries in its educational programmes

in the past five years.

Now, VSCR has a new opportunity. In the framework

of the EU Technology Platform “Innovative

Medicines Initiative,” they are actively working

in the area of Education and Training, supplying

valuable inputs on the basis of its long experience

which has made VSCR a European leader

in the education of clinical researchers. In addition,

VSCR benefits from impressive experience

in international cooperation. A concrete example

is the current INTERREG-Project that aims at

educating 30 Slovak and Austrian doctors in

clinical research and that is academically recognized

through integration in University postgraduate

curricula.

In general, the INTERREG initiative of the European

Fund for Regional Development supports

enhanced cooperation among regions of the

European Union. With an EU-wide budget of Euro

4,875 billion, the aim of INTERREG III (in the

structural fund period of 2006) is to strengthen

economic and social cohesion in the EU by funding

cross-border, transnational and interregional

cooperation and more balanced regional

development. Several times already, the City

of Vienna has co-funded projects in the scope of

INTERREG III using means from the Vienna Business

Agency (WWFF) – with a budget of approx-

More than 1.600 scientists and doctors from more than

60 countries have profited from the Vienna School of

Clinical Research´s educational program in the past.

imately Euro 700,000, the VSCR project is the

biggest “coup” so far.

One of the major goals of the current project is

to develop the first internationally harmonized

educational curriculum for clinical researchers,

Biotechnology is one of the most important

international growth sectors, but for ethical and

legal reasons the results cannot be applied to

patients without thorough clinical research.

Thus, in the last decades, the number of patients

participating in clinical studies has doubled

every six years, and this growth will continue

under the pressure of innovation.

For this reason, in the joint INTERREG project of

VSCR, the Medical University Vienna and the Slovak

universities in Bratislava and Trnova, 30 doctors

are receiving not only extensive training to

become clinical investigators but also an internationally

accredited certificate. It will be recognized

first in the participating countries, subsequently

throughout the entire East European

region, and later throughout Europe.

To acquire a Master of Science degree in the area

of clinical research that is to be launched by the

end of 2007, 20 training modules must be completed

and examinations passed within a period

of three to four years. In the scope of the project,

an elite group of clinical physicians will

emerge with internationally accredited academic

credentials that are unique in Europe and other

parts of the world. In the competition for the

market in clinical research, the countries of Central

and Eastern Europe will be significantly

strengthened by competent experts, while a network

of contacts will be developed among the

countries and used for future research. Moreover,

academic research will be able to answer

specific questions concerning health policies

and medical science that are relevant to Europe.

Vienna School of Clinical Research

1030 Vienna, Kölblgasse 10

Tel.: 01/713 40 51-0, Fax-Ext.: -99,

Contact: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Eichler (President),

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heinrich Klech (Vice-President),

Christa Janko (Managing Director)

www.vscr.at, vscr@vscr.at


Top Research: A Venture

into the Very-Smallest

Ongoing nano-structure analysis for safer medications and

in the service of human medicine: Styrian bio-physicists at

the Austrian Academy of Science (ÖAW) research centre

are developing appropriate know-how as well as high-tech

X-ray equipment (HECUS X-Ray Systems).

As Professor Peter Laggner at Graz's Institute

for Bio-physics and Structural X-ray

analysis (IBR) reports, a research group

under his leadership, together with colleagues

in Stockholm, has been exploring the connection

between the macro- and the nanoscopic

structure of blood vessels. Since 1996, IBR has

been conducting high-tech X-ray work on the

investigation of nano-structures in Trieste. The

background to such research efforts is the medical

fact that cardiovascular diseases are the

cause of as much as 50 per cent of deaths in the

Western world.

An important cause of such illnesses is biochemical

and biomechanical changes in vascular

walls that can cause blood vessels to shrink

or even to close. The most-common method of

treating such cases is balloon-angioplasty, and

the declared goal of the research is the improvement

of its safety and efficiency. With the help

of light produced in a storage ring, called synchrotron

radiation, it is possible to make structural

changes as small as a millionth of a millimeter

visible even during mechanical manipulation

of human tissue samples.

Phamaco-vigilance as a safety-technical instrument

for the recording and observation of and

protection against medication risk (see the interview

to the right) is another highly-explosive

area of application of the most-modern

X-ray structural analysis. Technical know-how for

it comes from the Graz firm HECUS XRS, a spinoff

from academia. HECUS uses complex methodology

to produce easy-to-use and commerciallyvaluable

tools. In June of this year, SAXeye was

brought to market. With this most-recent addition

to the family of System-3 products, HECUS

offers a complete spectrum of X-ray and wideangle

diffusion. SAXeye completely satisfies the

demands of 3D-nano-structure analysis.

CONTACT

ÖAW-Forschungszentrum

Institut für Biophysik und Röntgenstrukturforschung

Schmiedlstraße 6, A-8042 Graz

Tel. +43 (0) 316 41 20-0

HECUS X-Ray Systems GmbH

Reininghausstraße 13 a, A-8020 Graz

Tel. +43 (0) 316 48 11 18-20

www.ibr.oeaw.at

www.hecus.at

BIOTECH

INTERVIEW

Dr. Peter Laggner

The WHO claims that around seven per cent of

medications are fake.

Dr. Laggner: The trend is increasing. In addition

to medications, life-style and potency pills

are among so-called pirate-products. Pharmaco-vigilance

is therefore not only part of safety

research but also an important theme of the

seventh EU framework programme for

research, technology, development and

demonstration.

How can one recognise fake medications?

Fake medications often have insufficient

active ingredients or have fake components

in the wrong amounts. Medications basically

consist of active ingredients and so-called

carrier substances. One basically recognises

fakes by the fact that the carrier substance is

not authentic. But it is often quite difficult to

distinguish between the fake and the original.

Nano-analysis begins when chemistry

cannot distinguish between them.

Can nano-technology make medications

impossible to forge?

With our high-tech X-ray analysis systems, we

can identify divergent, sub-microscopic nanoqualities,

for example, different kinds of

pressing in products that chemistry had found

to be identical. Manufacturing firms can put

unmistakeable nano-signatures on their products,

the authenticity of which can be guaranteed.

That constitutes an enormous competitive

advantage vis-a-vis their competitors

and gives our research work great commercial

potential. With the development of the mostmodern

X-ray equipment, one can discover relatively

quickly such fingerprints or signatures

and thereby distinguish between a forgery and

the original.

What are the possible uses of this technology?

On the one hand, directly in the pharmaceutical

industry. On the other hand, the equipment by

virtue of its ease of use can help authorities and

security forces rapidly to classify goods at border-crossings.

At present, we are in the early

development phase and won't be ready for market

until the middle of 2007.

23


24

BIOTECH

Red’ biotechnology

is booming

Having started in a very halfhearted way a time ago, the young

and dynamic life science scene in Austria is now one of the

world’s leading branches. Life science in Austria has achieved

a worldwide reputation through the publishing of important

contributions and through major economic success.

Biotechnology is booming and for a long

time has been one of the world’s most

researched branches. Austria, too, is no

exception. Even though it took a little longer for

the country to acquire a taste for the new sector,

the results were still more elaborate than

some of the pioneers’ ideas. What is more, Austria

can point out its prominent history in the

field, with inventors such as Gregor Mendel,

whose theory of genetics has placed the foundation

stone of today’s biotechnology, or

biochemic-researchers Ernst Brandl and

Hans Margreiter, who discovered acid

robust penicillin in 1951, allowing tablet

antibiotics to be developed. Today, the

universities’ high-class research activities

can be seen as the base for the commercially

most hopeful field of biotechnology.

Still, Austria’s dominating sector

is the ‘red sector’, meaning the medical

field in the broadest sense. Mostly it is university

professors who are in charge of the

sector’s progress, following up on earlier

successful research.

ATTRACTIVE LOCATION

For the past couple of years, Austria has emerged

to a research location of global prominence.

Multinational companies such as Baxter, Novartis,

Boehringer Ingelheim, Quintiles and Roche

have established businesses in the country and

are constantly investing in their establishments

in oder to make use of the location’s competitive

advantage. Boehringer Ingelheim alone has

opened up a biopharmazeutic manufacturing

plant in April this year, investing more than 80

billion Euro. Important contributions to the

location’s attractiveness are general economic

conditions as well as stability, safety and the

high quality of living. Additionally, Austria borders

a number of important markets that are

quickly catching up on the country’s economy

and is also home to numerous universities which

have been working on a worldclass level for many

years. Another special ‘goody’, of course, is the

country’s research-friendly tax law: the corporate

income tax is fixed extremely low at 25 per

The molecule pictured in front is the carbohydrate

receptor of ProtAffin’s medication at the surface

of an inflamed vessel.

cent, and there are allowable deductions as well

as a number of different bonuses. Nevertheless,

Austria is interesting for investors for another

reason. The atypical undisclosed share is more

and more becoming an important tool for indirect

promotion and the funding of commercial

research and development. The tax advantages

facilitate venturing in a biotech company for the

investor, and as Austria is part of the small number

of countries allowing for this tool to be used,

investors show increased interest in the country.

National firms, too, seem more creative

because of these measurements. Additionally, a

strong avowal by the public authorities is noticeable

and has been getting stronger since the

1990s, concentrating in the first place on the

field of medical biotechnology and allowing

more than 100 start-ups last year. The most frequented

location among all the start-ups since

1989 has been Vienna with 50 new foundations,

followed by Innsbruck with 36 startups

and Graz with 19 start-ups.

In order to strenghten Austria further as

an economic location, worldwide operating

companies in cooperation with

Austrian university departments want to

move closer together by the means of a

platform called ‘Austrian Center of Biopharmaceutical

Technology (ACBT)’. Apart

from Biotechnologie Kundl, Boehringer

and Polymun Scientific, partners will be the

department of biochemistry in Innsbruckand

the department of applied microbiology at the

University of Natural Resources and Applied Life

Sciences in Vienna.

FROM SCIENTIST TO COMPANY

FOUNDER

Almost all the biotech companies in Austria were

founded as spin-offs by university researchers.

Today, they still profit from their excellent academic

surroundings. Most of the companies are

specialised in the development of pharmaceutics,

diagnostics or innovative medicine products.

A real cornerstone in the young biotech

scene’s development is the initial public offering

of Viennese Intercell earlier this year, that

caused not only national but international sen-


The Novartis “Center of Excellence” in Vienna is concentrating

of the development of innovative methods of treatment

for skin diseases.

Not even ten years since its foundation,

the Vienna-based subsidiary of the US

pharmaceutical and biotechnology services

group, Quintiles has risen to become the

group's most important foreign subsidiary.

Quintiles carries out the clinical studies necessary

for the approval of new medications on

behalf of big international pharma and biotech

groups. 31,000 patients are currently participating

in Quintiles studies in Central and Eastern

Europe. “This is 25 per cent of our worldwide

total,” says Quintiles Austria's Managing

Director Dr. Heinz Carmann. “This is clearly the

group's number one region.” Vienna is not only

the regional headquarters for nearly 750

employees (53 of whom are in Austria) but also

the most important training centre. Approximately

300 events with more than 3000 par-

sations. Only six years ago, Intercell had been

founded by Alexander von Gabain and Max Birnstiel

as well as three younger colleagues. Founding

the company, von Gabain was the first university

professor to trade his professorship for

Quintiles Conquers

the East

Quintiles, the US global market leader for clinical studies in

biotechnology and pharmaceuticals has conquered the east

from Vienna. Vienna has meanwhile become the company’s

most important foreign subsidiary and for Quintiles Central

and Eastern Europe is the most important region worldwide.

ticipants have been held here thus far.

Central and Eastern Europe actually provide

the best conditions for Quintiles' work.

A legacy of the Communist era, the strong centralisation

of the health care system facilitates

the organisation of studies and for doctors participation

in international research activities

is a chance for further education. Moreover,

the willingness of patients to participate in

studies for new drugs is far higher than in western

countries.

Quintiles handles the entire clinical testing

programme (Phases I through IV) including the

approval procedures and marketing support

for the introduction of medications. “The trend

is clearly moving from individual solutions to

taking over as big a segment as possible or the

entire process itself,” says Dr Carmann. “And

Quintiles Vienna Managing

Director Heinz Carmann:

750 employees in Central

and Eastern Europe

CONTACT

Quintiles Austria GmbH

Tel. +43 1 726 30 10-0

Fax +43 1 726 30 10-100

BIOTECH

an entrepreneur existence. Success, though,

attests to his decision. At present, more than

one hundred employees work for the company

in the development of synthetic vaccines to fight

infectious diseases as well as cancer. Two of the

most advanced fields of research are a serum

against Japanese encephalitis and an active

ingredient against hepatitis type C. Von Gabain

is certain that his company’s product portfolio

is unique in the life science scene.

Sandochemia, too, can claim a very early initial

public offering, in 1999. The company had

already applied for a hard-fought-for patent

before the Austrian biotech boom even started:

the process of galantamine synthesis, a process

that slows down the degration of messengers

substances guaranteeing a fully-working brain.

The company is already represented in the United

Kingdom, Switzerland and the USA.

DEPTH INSTEAD OF WIDTH

If a small country such as Austria plans on being

successful in the field of biotechnology, it will

always be better for it to concentrate on niches.

One of the Austrian companies’ special field

of interest is the development of pharmaceutics

to fight various types of cancer. Igeneon, for

example, has specialised in active and passive

immune therapeutics against cancer.The Viennese

company’s research philosophy is therefore:

‘mobilizing the body’s defences’. The body

here we are considerably further along than all

the competition.”

heinz.carmann@quintiles.com

www.quintiles.com

25


Ageing with

a Clear Head

Alzheimer’s disease can

neither be prevented,

stopped nor healed at

present. Based in Graz,

the research and development

company JSW

Research specialises in

carrying out experimental

and clinical studies

for new drugs in the

area of neurodegenerative

diseases.

JSW Research possesses internationally

recognised expertise in

the area of transgenic models of

disease. “For the identification

and evaluation of drugs we apply

a broad spectrum of biochemical,

cellular and molecular biological

methods. Furthermore, we are

specialists in the areas of neurosciences

as well as behaviour, and

work with various animal models

including transgenic mice,” says

the Managing Director of JSW

Research Dr. Manfred Windisch,

who founded the company in 1999

and has 20 years of experience in

drug development. JSW Research

focuses on preclinical projects

addressing all age-related diseases

which occur in connection

with the central nervous system:

Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, vascular

dementia as well as neurodegeneration

following strokes. The clin-

The illustration shows brain cells of a mouse

with nerve cells (large illustration, red) and an

amyloid plaque (insert) – one of the characteristics

of Alzheimer’s Disease

ical division of JSW offers services

in all phases of clinical research

and indications, offering first-rate

quality on two different levels: on

the one hand JSW conducts highly

standardised contract research

for the global pharmaceutical

industry as well as for renowned

institutions such as Harvard University,

the Mayo Clinic and the

University of Tel Aviv. “99 per cent

of our clients are not from Austria

while a substantial number are

academic clients who rely on our

know-how.” No wonder the Grazbased

company is also one of the

technology leaders in pre-clinical

as well as clinical research. On the

other hand, JSW also researches

its own substance development

projects. The company’s primary

goal is to increase the quality of

life of those affected as well as

their loved ones.

JSW-RESEARCH

FORSCHUNGSLABOR GMBH

Rankengasse 28

8020 Graz

Tel. +43/316/76 51 14

www.jswresearch.com

is supposed to use the immune system in order to fight disseminated tumour

cells with the help of cancer vaccines. This way, the development of metastases

(especially in lung cancer, bowel cancer or breast cancer) should be

stopped or at least slowed. The FSG Biotechnologie GmbH Austrianova too,

has put forth some amazing research discoveries. For its findings, the company

was the first Austrian firm to receive the ‘Orphan Drug Status’, making

it possible for the company’s innovative chemo therapy (a cure for cancer

of the pancreas concentrating on a local curing effect) to be included

in the offical index of pharmaceutics for curing rare diseases.

IMPULSES FOR START-UPS

The past few years’ unusually fast development inside the Austrian biotech

scene was, apart from other factors, also supported by political decisions

that were made in order to further promote the branch’s growth. Within

the supporters, the main part of responsibility is held by LISA (Life Science

Austria), handled by the Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws) on behalf

of the BMWA. In possession of many years of know-how for all the interests

concerning the foundation of life science companies, LISA was cre-

RESEARCH

At present, 15 universities –including two private universities- are teaching and

researching in the field of life Sciences in Austria. Additionally, nationwide non-university

public research facilities such as the Ludwig-Boltzmann-Gesellschaft, the Austrian

Academy of Sciences, the Christian-Doppler-Gesellschaft and the Austrian Research

Centres are also interested in the topic

MAIN REGIONAL POINTS OF FOCUS

The Vienna Region has five universities and 100 anchor tenants with F&E that have specialised

in medical biotechnology, development of pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and

process development.

In Styria, there are four universities and 19 F&E firms with the main focus points of

medical technology, pharmaceutical process technology as well as health management.

Tyrol has three universities as well as 36 F&E plants, concentrating on medical technology,

information technology, bioanalytics, the development of pharmaceutical agents

and cell therapy.

In Salzburg, two universities are researching in the field of Life Sciences, as does one

university in Linz.

COMPANIES

At present there are about 150 companies in Austria that are active in the field of Life

Sciences. Last year, they obtained a total of almost three billion Euro with the number of

employees exceeding 10.000. According to prognoses, this sector will further create

many thousand jobs over the next couple of years.

SUCCESSFUL START-UPS

Intercell: developing ‘smart vaccines’ based on the identification of antigens and

new adjuvantics.

Austrianova: viral gene transfer systems for the therapy of breast cancer and cancer

of the pancreas.

Igeneon: working on monoclonal antibodies for cancer immunotherapy.

BenderMed Systems: creates 30 products a year for reproducing the immune system.

BIG PLAYERS

Baxter: developing new technologies for blood products and new vaccines.

Boehringer Ingelheim: The company’s Viennese plant is the centre of oncological research.

Novartis/Sandoz: Novartis is currently developing agents to fight skin diseases. Sandoz

develops, produces and sells generic drugs.

Eli Lilly: The US major company’s research centre in Vienna embraces clinical projects

in the fields of diabetes, bone diseases, cardiovascular diseases as well as diseases of

the central nervous system.


ated to assist potential company founders.

Within this framework, the international businessplan

competition ‘Best of Biotech’ is one

of the very important contributions to the Austrian

biotech scene’s development. In the competition,

the transnational cooperation between

Austria and its neighbouring countries

is supposed to increase. Project leader Martin

Tools of the Trade

for Biotech

For scientists and companies the manufacture

of biotechnological drugs poses

far bigger technological challenges in

manufacturing than the classical pharmaceutical

industry. “Here there are still enormous

potentials for the improvement of efficiency,”

says Friedemann Hesse, coordinator of the

Austrian Center of Biopharmaceutical Technology

(ACBT). “The aim of ACBT's work is thus

to develop innovative and more efficient manufacturing

processes for the biotechnological

sector. In the medium term this can guarantee

our partners enormous cost and competitive

advantages.”

Integrated into the competence programme of

the Austrian Ministry of Economy, ACBT is actually

one of only a handful of research centres

working in this field worldwide. The focal point

of its projects is the improvement of technolo-

Spatz stated happily: “The new, bordering EU

countries have taken part in the project with

the utmost enthusiasm and interest”. Through

new contacts, there could be creations of new

networks and cooperations interesting to both

sides. Since 2001, as many as three competitions

have been held, together receiving a total

of 154 projects. As a result, no fewer than

The Austrian Center of Biopharmaceutical Technology offers

important incentives for better and more efficient biotechnological

research and manufacturing processes

gies for the production of recombinant proteins

with bacterial and mammalian cell cultures. This

in turn provides the ‘raw materials’ for biopharmaceutical

research and the manufacture of

drugs. “In view of the enormous costs for the

development of biopharmaceuticals, an increase

in the efficiency of research and production is a

key question for further development of the

entire sector,” says Hesse.

Concentration in this field has also made it

possible to unite partners with highly divergent

interests. In addition to two universities

(University of Natural Resources and Applied

Life Sciences in Vienna, University of Innsbruck),

with Boehringer Ingelheim, Sandoz

and Polymun, two global players and an Austrian

start-up company are also involved in

ACBT. “Through ACBT our partners are able to

take advantage of major synergies,” says

In the picture: work on bacteriae fermentation for

the manufacture of recombinant proteins

Hesse. “We have already registered three

important patents and from implementation of

the corresponding technologies we anticipate

an improvement in the competitive capacity of

our industrial partners.”

CONTACT

ACBT

Dr. Friedemann Hesse

A-1190 Wien, Muthgasse 18

Tel.: +43 1 36006-6806

BIOTECH

Sensational discovery in Graz: the ‘adipose triglycerid

lipase’ can be held responsible for the fission of

triglycerids (neutral fats) in fat tissue.

Intercell’s manufacturing of synthetic vaccines to fight

various infectious diseases as well as cancer.

friedemann.hesse@boku.ac.at

www.acbt.at

27


28

BIOTECH

17 companies were founded, including melodic

names such as ‘Green Hills Biotech’, ‘Oridis

Biomed’ or ‘Biovertis’. The winner of this year’s

competition was ProtAffin Biotechnologie AG.

The company was founded as the Karl-Franzens

university’s biotech spin-off in July this year in

Graz, Styria. Andreas Kungl from the department

for pharmazeutic sciences was the scientist

in charge, working together with Dr. Jason

Slingsby. ProtAffin is now developing recombined

agents, drugs based on protein molecules

that are supposed to be used as antiinflammatories

for treating rheumatoid arthritis

as well as psoriasis. In an animal model, the

new medication’s positive effect has already

been proved, and Kungl is now expecting the

first testing on humans to start in the year

2007. “Our medication’s totally new treating

mechanism is letting us hope for a better therapeutic

effect as well as a major competitive

advance in comparison with other anti-inflammatory

drugs”, he stated.

UNDERSTANDING THE ILLNESS

One of the most important scientific efforts of

this century is the exploration of the human

genome, as medicine thinks of this field as

being the most likely to present important scientific

results that could be used as the base

Success

against

Alzheimer's

Asuccess story like something

out of a novel: in 1990 DI Dr.

Werner Frantsits founded

the pharmaceutical company

Sanochemia. 15 year later the mini-company

has become a highly

profitable, listed company with

174 employees which has caused a

flurry of excitement with its products

worldwide.

In particular with the drug Galantamin

– it is used in a drug for

Alzheimer’s, distributed nearly

everywhere in the world and has

provided the Burgenland-based

company a global reputation. Great

hopes have been placed in the drug

to be able to effectively treat the

rapidly growing number of

Alzheimer’s patients occurring with

the ageing of the population –

growth prospects are also positive

for the next few years.

“Galantamin is certainly our trademark

product, but Sanochemia has

for developing new pharmaceutics. In order to

increase this sector’s proceeds, the up-to-now

highest endowed research programme in Austria,

GEN-AU, was created four years ago. The

projects that were included into the genome

research programme during the first phase

(2001 to 2005) have already made excellent

progress. More than talking about the others,

one probably has to speak of the project ‘GOLD’.

In cooperation with six research teams, Rudolf

Zechner from the Department for Molecular Biosciences

at the University in Graz has managed

to localise an adipolytic enzyme that was

unknown until now. The team was also able to

show that the ‘adipose triglyceride lipase’ can

be held solely responsible for triglyceride fission,

namely the fission of neutral fats in fat

tissue. With this result, the earlier doctrine that

saw the “hormone-sensitive lipase” responsible

for the first step towards lipid catabolism was

revised. The highly reputable magazine Science

took on this ‘olymp of genome research’ right

away, calling it the first step in the direction of

a totally new medical treatment for obesity.

According to Zechner, research has once again

moved another step closer towards the myth of

a ‘fat -losing pill although “it will certainly still

take some time until the new results can be used

in the creation of medication”.

several pillars supporting it as

well,” says Dr Josef Böckmann, CEO

of Sanochemia. “Our focus lies in

the development of products with

considerable therapeutic requirements

such as neurodegeneration,

pain and oncology.” Apart from the

business area of drug development,

Sanochemia is successful in

the production of high-quality

drugs as well as the manufacture

of pharmaceutical products. The

company also markets x-ray contrasting

agents and diagnostics via

Sanochemia Diagnostics.

CONTACT

Sanochemia Pharmazeutika AG

Boltzmanngasse 9a-11, 1190 Vienna

Tel. + 43 / 1 / 3191456-0

www.sanochemia.at

◆ Business

◆ Politics

◆ General news

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CONCENTRATING THE FORCES

While ‘red’ biotechnology is booming in Austria

as never before, other fields such as agrobiotechnology

have experienced a major downturn

even though the development potential of

the ‘green’ biotechnology could not be overrated

at this moment, where future changes in EU

support policy are soon to come. In the field of

‘white’ biotechnology, namely the research on

how to use biological techniques in order to optimise

industrial processes, there have also been

developments: A competence centre for applied

biocatalysis was recently founded in Graz. Its

research team is constantly looking for and

using methods in order to create chemicals made

from living cells. These products from the ‘biochemical

laboratory’ would deal with the environment

and our resources in a gentle way rather

than destroying them on the long run.

According to Michaele Fritz from the Austria

Wirtschaftsservice, even more cooperation would

be desirable for further development of the country’s

biotechnology scene. “We really want the

regions to work more closely together, especially

in the field of international marketing, as Austria

is still a very small biotech location after all,

still missing the necessary visibility in the international

context”, she stated.

AUSTRIA TODAY

online

The Austrian daily (online) newspaper

in English

subscription:

69 Euro

www.austriatoday.at

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GRAPHICS: Ewaryst Izewski; PROOF-READING: Neil Gillespie


Austria’s high

tech right

up front

Looking at the surface area, Austria is a rather unimpressive

country. Nevertheless, there are thousands of

women and men in our country who are currently working

in numerous companies in order to develop and

realise new ideas. Many of those high-tech firms are

only discovered because of regularly held competitions

for innovation and techniques. As one of the major contests,the

aws arranges the competition for the Austrian

National Award for ‘Innovation’ by order of the Federal

Ministry for Economy and Labour (BMWA) each year.

The last Austrian National Prize was awarded to the SOI-Waver machine that

was invented by the Upper Austrian EV Group: The innovation allows for the

electronic industry to create products such as mobile phones that can run

at ten times normal speed, using only one-hundredth of previous energy.

‘Simplify processes and construct machines more efficiently’ was Leonardo

da Vincis definition of automation. Thus it is no coincidence that the

prize for automation solutions is named after the famous scientist. In a

first round, a total of 39 submissions were nominated for the Leonardo

Award 2005. The company Salomon Automation was able to score the golden

Leonardo for their fast battery channel vehicle (AKF).

HIGH TECH THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE COUNTRY

Meanwhile, the important field of mechatronics is supported by the ‘Linz

Center of Mechatronics’ as the largest mechatronics competence centre in

Austria. The project teams of LCM GmbH too, have already won numerous

awards, among others the silver Pegasus, the Upper Austrian innovation

award and the Trauner Award. Today, LCM’s main points of competence are

topics such as electric drives and actuators, shock absorption or multibody

dynamics and control engineering.

In the technology park in Villach, CTR, one of the leading high-tech forces

in Austria, is currently developing system solutions and services in the field

of optical sensors and image processing. The company’s goal is to measure,

analyse and automise high-tech applications. Following this principle,

CTR is supporting their clients’ production processes and workflows,

allowing for efficiency, quality and costs to be ameliorated.

The economic field of automotive and industrial electronics, too, is strongly

represented in Villach by Infineon AG from Munich. In Carinthia, the

company develops innovative semiconductor products and complete semiconductor

system solutions for cars, industry and the household. Since

1970 Infineon Austria has been most successful as the Infineon competence

centre for power semiconductors. The chips from Carinthia are already

in use today with numerous functions such as air-conditioning, seat adjustment,

ABS and airbags, as well as engine and gear units.

THE NEXT ‘BIG THING’: NANOTECHNOLOGY

Over the last couple of years, nanotechnology has developed into one of the

most important fields of research not only nationally but also internationally.

It is seen as a promising future technology with a huge application

potential in numerous industrial sectors and areas of life. The initiative NANO

networking is one of the modules of the nationwide NANO initiative. Through

the network, the SME sector is experiencing new possibilites of application

in the field of micronanotechniques. What is more, new solutions for other

technologies are created through networks and clusters.

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30

HIGHTECH

Innovative Materials

Cooperation ‘AREA m styria’ promotes high-value site and

technology offers of the Styrian materials region to attract

global investors.

High-tech materials from Styria are used

around the world. Leading firms like

voestalpine, Boehler-Uddeholm and Pankl

Racing Systems AG supply components and

systems for automotive, aviation and space

technology all over the world. Those global players

are solidly anchored in the region. Innovative

materials have always been the core focus

here. Communities in the eastern part of upper

Styria from Leoben to Mürzzuschlag are cooperating

in the initiative ‘AREA m styria’ to attract

investors through site and technology offers and

successful network management. The shareholders

(Regionalmanagement Obersteiermark

Ost GmbH, Wirtschaftsinitiativen Leoben GmbH,

the cities of Kapfenberg, Bruck/Mur, Oberaich,

Kindberg, Mürzzuschlag and Niklasdorf) see

themselves as partners in business development

with an international focus. Wolfgang Wiesen-

hofer, head of the Kapfenberg business service

and ‘AREA m styria's’ Managing Director: “Our

target is the settlement of new high-tech firms,

and the core competence of the region is our

unique selling proposition. The skill of professionals,

e.g. from Boehler training facilities, is

just one among a variety of advantages, we

advertise at international trade fairs, as benefits

of our region for investors”

“With this bundling of activities and finances,

we will succeed in the competition of regions,

which is constantly increasing”, says Leopold

Pilsner, second director of the ‘AREA m styria’

management team. The young and very active

cooperative partnership has already attracted

attention at international trade fairs such as

‘Hanover Industry 2005’. Competent consulting

is provided to investors interested in Styria

as a business location. Modern industrial Parks,

such as Hi-Tech Park Kapfenberg or Top-Industry-Zone

Leoben, meet every demand by innovative

enterprises. Business-oriented research

facilities such as the University for Mining, Metallurgy

and Materials in Leoben or the University

of Applied Sciences in Kapfenberg, as well

as highly skilled experts, round out the spectrum

of offers. Global players like those mentioned

above, as well as many small- and medium-sized

enterprises, provide numerous opportunities

for synergies. Factors such as an intact

environment or outstanding quality of life with

numerous opportunities for leisure-time activities,

sports, culture and various shopping facilities,

contribute to the regions appeal. With

these ideal settings, ‘AREA m styria’ is the top

location for innovative materials and technologies

in the heart of Europe.

CONTACT

Office Kapfenberg: Tel. +43/(0)38 62/225 01-10 40

Office Leoben: Tel. +43/(0)38 42/474 07-0

office@areamstyria.com

www.areamstyria.com

Leopold Pilsner (Leoben) and Wolfgang Wiesenhofer

(Kapfenberg), Joint Managing Mirectors of AREA m styria

GmbH


state-of-art infrastructure

highway connenction to Vienna, Graz, EU-East

innovative R&D-partners: FH, HTBL, MUL

first grade specialists

synergy potential with global players

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230.000 m 2

for your

hi-tech ideas

reliable providers of industrial related services

top assistance for business set-ups

high quality of living, excellent leisure opportunities

tailor made economic funding

Information: City of Kapfenberg, Dep. Enterprise Services

Wolfgang Wiesenhofer, phone: 03862/22501-1040, e-mail: wirtschaftsservice@kapfenberg.at

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32

VIENNA REGION

The East Makes

the Right Decisions

The area around federal capital Vienna has long counted as one of the winners from

European integration. The region, comprising the provinces of Vienna, Lower

Austria and Burgenland, is once again geographically and economically in

the center of an enlarged Europe. The economy, high-tech, assistance and business

have simultaneously linked up, demonstrating that regions that intelligently

promote locations can be successful even in a globalised economy.

In the course of inaugurating the new

Technopol in Krems, Lower Austria, vice head

of the provincial government, Ernest Gabmann,

recently stated: “Continuing our strong

line of technology politics, Lower Austria is well

on the way of positioning itself as an international

top technology location”. “The most important

factor for things to develop this way is the

creation of a climate encouraging technology and

innovation. This climate can then be the base for

technology orientated business foundations”, he

also claimed. According to Gabmann, encouraging

and supporting Lower Austria’s economy is to

be seen as central for politics right now, in order

to sustainably secure and boost the country’s

international competitive capacity.

COOPERATION IS ALWAYS POSITIVE!

Lower Austria is a great example for the succeeding

cooperation of businesses, branches,

networks and clusters with politics as well as

research and training facilities. What is more,

the Vienna Region’s ability to deal with the east

has prompted numerous firms to settle their

Eastern Europe operations in the area. The companies

are also being attracted by groundbreaking

Public/Private Partnership concepts

and the region’s overall economy-friendly politics.

International companies as well as startups

benefit from the large number of different

promotions. In addition, firms are entitled to EU

aid in the EU target areas.

The Automotive Cluster Vienna Region (ACVR) is

an ideal example of successful cooperation.

Around 40 per cent of Austria’s automotive unit

sales are earned here. The cluster organises

companies such as Eybl International, Pollmann

Austria as well as the country’s branches of German

firms Bosch and Siemens. In November

2001, the ACVR was initiated by the public

authorities and got support through a Public-

Private-Partnership (PPP). According to Sabine

Fuchs, spokesperson of the ACVR, it was a shared

initiative of the provinces of Vienna and Lower

Austria that started the automotive cluster. The

concerned agencies for this particular PPP model

are the economic agency for Lower Austria,

ecoplus, and the Viennese fund for promotion

of trade and industry (WWFF).

Presently, the brand name ‘Vienna Region’

includes Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland.

Having said this, the main goal of the ACVR is to

connect existing authorities, initiating innovative

projects. “The Vienna Region already

includes numerous authorities; what we now

have to do is to connect all of them in an efficient

way”, said the cluster management. “This

way, the project can actually become more than

just the sum of its components”

The automotive sector ‘interior’, electronics,

telematics and design is considered the main

point of competence in the ACVR network. Nev-

LABORATORY INAUGURATION IN KREMS: Mayor Franz Hölzl

(on the left), Director Helmut Kramer (3rd from left) and head

of department Dieter Falkenhagen (on the right) opening the

Donau University Krems’ new biotech laboratories while

being complimented by Stanford University’s Friedrich B.

Prinz (2nd from right).


Data Highway

To the East

Fibre optic networks, MPLS, VPN – now state-of-the-art

telecommunication solutions are also available in Central and

Eastern Europe. For companies, Telekom Austria offers custom

connections in numerous countries.

The east is the most promising market for

Austrian companies. Nowhere else are so

many investments made, subsidiaries

established or branch office networks set up as

in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe.

The prerequisite for developing these markets is

an efficient telecommunication structure, so it

is only obvious that Telekom Austria has granted

highest priority for the upgrade of connections

to the east and the creation of custom solutions

for the large number of corporate customers

operating in the east.

EFFICIENT FIBRE OPTICS

With one of the most efficient fibre optic networks

in Europe, Telekom Austria has created

a unique infrastructure. Through its own fibre

optic ring, Telekom offers borderless, fast and

secure data transmission and is also positioned

as a full service provider. This starts with network

analysis as well as cross-technology consulting

services and includes the conception of

individual solutions.

Directed switched routes are also provided,

connecting customers between Vienna,

Prague, Brno, Budapest, Milan, Bratislava,

Frankfurt, Munich, Ljubljana and Zagreb. Virtual

private networks (VPN), with which the

local offices of a company in several countries

are directly connected, are also becoming

increasingly important. “We received a customised

and, for us, an ideal solution,” confirms

Dr. Heidinger, managing partner at Wolf

Theiss. With 9 locations in CEE/SEE one of the

biggest Austrian law firms, Wolf Theiss advises

not only Austrian, but international companies

as well. “As an international law firm we require

a permanent, secure, well-functioning, trou-

VIENNA REGION

ertheless, the network also takes care of topics

such as materials, security and HMI (Human-

Machine-Interface). Recently, the autocluster

was expanded by the integration of new partners

from the international supplying industries

of Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Sabine

Fuchs, spokesperson of the ACVR, stated: “We

don’t see our neigbour countries as rivals”.

According to Fuchs, it is far more important to

work together transnationally. Thus, the ACVR is

planning to establish itself as a partner network

in the supplying industries of the new bordering

EU countries Slovakia, Hungary and the

Czech Republic.

Apart from the automotive sector, Lower Austria’s

economic agency Ecoplus has already created various

other cluster initiatives in the future fields

of wood, eco-industry, well-being and synthetics.

At present, more than 470 companies with a

total of more than 52.000 employees have been

enlisted as partners. What is more, as many as 70

IDYLL AND HIGH-TECH on the banks of the Danube:

The Wachau region

Dr. Markus Heidinger, managing

partner of Wolf Theiss: “Southeastern

Europe is the primary growth

region for us!”

ble-free and fast communication network.

Telekom Austria managed to fulfil all our

requirements with its customised solution.”

INFO

gernot.hugl@telekom.at

business.telekom.at

33


34

VIENNA REGION

THE TECHNOLOGY AND RESEARCH CENTRE

in Wiener Neustadt

cooperation projects have been realised so far,

working together with more than 350 firms.

As a high-tech location for the forward-looking

field of medical biotechnology, Lower Austria

is already groundbreaking: Over the last

five years, the number of companies in this

branch has more than doubled. It is especially

the city of Krems that has become the European

if not the worldwide term for successful cooperation

of university and non-university

research agencies, international firms and

small and medium sizes enterprises. The scientists

of Krems have specialised, for example,

in intelligent systems for blood cleaning, sepsis

mechanisms and multiple organ failures as

well as Tissue Engineering: cultivation of cells

outside the body.

MASS-PRODUCED ‘ARTIFICIAL

LIVERS’

One of the scientists’ most successful projects

is the Prometheus® system that was created in

order to support patients with acute liver failure.

According to Prof. Doz. Dr. Dieter Falkenhagen

from the Donau University Krems’

Department for Economic and Medical Science,

the ‘artificial livers’ are now being produced en

masse in cooperation with the German Fresenius

Medical Care AG. The adsorper capsules are

manufactured especially by Biotec Systems

Krems GmbH, a company that was founded as

a spin-off company by the Donau University in

ECOPLUS/HAIDEN-BAUMANN

1999. The fields of agro-biotechnology, microsystem

technology, electrochemical technology

and tribology too, have found a new home

in the Vienna Region. Apparently the centre’s

history of success all began with an EU project

in the course of the Biomed 2 programme that

dealt with blood cleaning systems and was

coordinated by the Donau University Krems.

Two announcements from the United States

served as the project’s final touch and a downer

to the centre at the same time: At first, it was

great news for the region’s job market to hear

that the large US company Baxter has settled

in the Vienna Region, the site being its largest

location outside the United States with more

than 3000 employees. Later, the former trusty

investment’s reputation sank after the United

States declared a stop to construction of the

site in Krems and a possible employee reduction

in Krems and Orth/Donau. According to

Baxter, the reason for this announcement was

that “a new medication development did not go

according to plan”.

THE YOUNGEST TECHNO-BABY: THE

TECHNOPOL KREMS

It might be logical to think that the efforts Lower

Austria made in order to create an ideal base

for technology and a knowledge-based economy

in the region could also have negative

effects. On the contrary, the Technopol programme

has up to now shown a line of develop-

Intense research at “Wachau” metropole Krems

ment that can easily be described as “very successful”.

According to ecoplus CEO Dr. Richard

Plitzka, the programme, that was launched in

2004 in the locations of Krems, Tulln and Wiener

Neustadt and has since been realised by ecoplus,

is of the essence in the further attraction of Lower

Austria as an ideal technology location. This

Picture of vice head of the regional government

Ernest Gabmann

ECOPLUS/HAIDEN-BAUMANN


was also stated by Ernest Gabmann. The three

Technopol locations have created more than 550

high quality research and development jobs. At

the beginning of November, 1000 square metres

of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) laboratories

were created in Krems alone. The GMP in

the Technopol Krems hold the worldwide highest

quality standard in the production of pharmaceutic

goods. The Technopol Krems specialises

in medical biotechnology such as cell

biology, Tissue Engineering, biochemistry,

blood cleaning, measurement and adsoption

technologies.

The Donau University Krems holds an

exploratory focus in the field of biomedical

technology as well as intensive cooperation

with other institutions and companies of the

Technopol Krems. According to Prof. Doz. Dr.

Dieter Falkenhagen from the Department for

Economic and Medical Science, such cooperations

exist, for example, with the RIZ (Regional

Innovation Centre Krems). RIZ also holds the

ARS ARTHRO biotechnology GmbH as well as

the Biotec Systems Krems. The BTZ (Biotechnology

Center Krems) and the IMS Fachhochschule

Krems have also cooperated with

Donau University. Postgraduate studies too,

are very much emphasised at the Donau University,

especially the postgraduate course of

studies ‘Professional MBA biotech and pharma

management’.

GROCERIES IN TULLN, NANOTECHNO-

LOGY IN WIENER NEUSTADT

The University’s Department for Research in

agro-biotechnology (IFA) in Tulln was founded

in 1994 as an archive. At present the Christian

Doppler laboratory has more than 100 employees

in 5 departments. Since 2003, the laboratory

from Tulln has established itself internationally

with great success. The laboratory is a

cooperation between the IFA and the Erber AG.

What is more, the Fachhochschule tries to offer

education and research in Tulln.

A short time ago, the IFA was able to celebrate

the 10th anniversary of its ‘quality securing centre

for chemical water analysis.’ What is more,

Lower Austria’s Technopol programme has

allowed a total renewal of the instrument park

and has ensured the next ten years of high class

analytics at the IFA Tulln. Until now, more than

300 national and international laboratories

have taken part in so-called round-robin tests

at the Technopol Tulln in order to receive information

about the water quality. Vice-head of

the Provincial Government, Ernest Gabmann, is

happy about this research’s economic impulse:

“Because of the innovative work in Technopol

Tulln, Lower Austria’s economy is flourishing,”

he stated. What is more, interesting European

joint projects are successful in Tulln and also

give impulses for economy: For example, a

research surveying grocery safety includes a

school from Tulln, the IFA, the Fachhochschule

for Biotechnology in Tulln, the EU’s Food Safety

Unit, the Flemish Institute of Technological

Research as well as the Joint Research Center

Geel and the European school Mol in Belgium.

Through scientific cooperation that crosses

geographical borders as well as university borders,

the project can reach a European dimension.

This new dimension could then open up

several interesting perspectives for Tulln as well

as for participating project partners. Techopol

Manager, DI Claus Zeppelzauer, stated: “This

joint project offers a great opportunity to

VIENNA REGION

enhance the cooperation between the single

departments in the matter of an active theme”.

In Wiener Neustadt and its technology centre,

MedAustron, a project favouring the realisation

of a medical progress and therapy centre, is currently

working on a radio therapy in order to

cure cancer patients. It is also here that Integrated

Mikrosystems Austria (IMA), which specialises

in micro-system technology, has its

seat. All in all, Wiener Neustadt is well on the

way to becoming a technology and research

centre for Life Science projects from the fields

of micro- and nanotechnology.

35


36

BUSINESS

MORE DRIVE FOR FOR

THE VIENNA LOC LOCATION

TION

After some years of continuous recession in which few new business locations were formed

in Vienna, things are starting to look up again. City planning schemes contain the

completion of several important office buildings in Austria’s capital city for 2006. As a reason

for the sudden upswing, one can identify tenants’ increasing demand for modern office

space. Within this new development, criteria such as efficiency, cost/performance ratios

and flexibility have more and more importance; at the same time however, prestige does not

seem to matter particularly anymore.

For potential tenants the current situation is at its best: Prices have stayed at an attractive

level. At the same time, the range on offer is large and of quality, as it has not been in a very

long time. The following examples are only a few in the long list of attractive projects that

are available for renting now or will be in the next couple of months

TownTown:

Probably the most ambitious project located in the east of the city, right on the extremely

busy axis between the city centre and the airport. In this hot spot, a real ‘city within a city’,

consisting of high quality, flexible office space, is being built on an area measuring more

than 100.000 square metres. An extensive range of shops, leisure activities and restaurants

creates an urban atmosphere. What is more, it has the perfect connection to the highway

system (a direct link to the airport highway as well as the busy Süd-Ost-Tangente) and to

the public transport system (it has its own underground station, turn TownTown into one of

Vienna’s most attractive locations. The first construction phase with an area of 45.000 square

metres is already more than 75 per cent let with a whole year to go until the planned

completion in December 2006.

KaiWest

Right across Vienna at the other end of town, the office building KaiWest, with more than

12.000 square metres of net floor space, was recently completely modernised and is now

one of the best-equipped office buildings. What is more, the complex is linked advantageously

to public and private transport and is one of the very few large rentable spaces in the

west of Vienna.

Construction projects are running at full

speed since the go-ahead for unique kind

of office building was given in spring this

year: with ezone an office building will

emerge at the Lassallestraße location,

which succeeds not only due to its flexibility.

The building is already three floors

high and on 30 November the topping

out ceremony will take place. In the form

of an E, the modern structure stands for

effizienz, erfolg und expansion – or efficiency,

success and expansion. Its location,

the main traffic artery Lassallestraße,

is one of Vienna’s most important business

locations. Companies such as BA-CA,

City Point:

For more than a decade, City Point has been the largest inner-city office project in town.

With net floor space of approximately 30.000 square metres and located right next to the

Wien Mitte railway station (undergrounds, urban railways, the City Airport Train as well as

several bus and tram routes), it combines perfect transport connections and a central

location. Companies looking for large, modern spaces close to the city centre will not find

anything better than this.

Airport

At the Viennese airport, a great deal of highly modern office space was completed recently,

attracting not only airline offices and other companies involved in air travel. What turns the

location into the hottest spot for companies dealing with Eastern Europe is the immediate

connection to Budapest, Bratislava and other centres.

City Point

Construction Running at Top speed

Zürich Versicherung, OMV, SAP and

Telekom Austria and many more have settled

here. The reason for the run on

Lassallestraße is obvious as the entire

premises of the Nordbahnhof railway station

is being redeveloped. Thus, as of 10

May 2008 the U2 will run directly to the

popular business street. Yet innovative

residential projects are also cause for

excitement: around 2,500 residential

units will be newly built in the near future

– a separate section, Bike City, will even

cater to the needs of cyclists. And those

who want to relax in a park after a day of

work will be able to retire to the splendid,

likewise new Rudolf Bednar Park.

DI Hellia Hader-Schwab and Ing. Gerhard

Paral, managing directors of the project

development company EZL, both say:

“With ezone, at an ideal location we are

creating an especially flexible building

complex which places high value on outstanding

infrastructure. And we are not

just there for the big companies. Office

space starting at 240 sqm can be let there

as well.” Completion is set for August

2006. Moreover: progress in construction

can be viewed by webcam on the homepage!

EZL Entwicklung Zone

Lassallestraße GmbH & Co. KEG

A-1020 Vienna, Venediger Au 11

Tel: 43-1-728 67 27-0

www.ezone.at


Austrian companies:

Austria's image around the world owes a

lot to its mountains. They have made

the “Alpine Republic” the country of

downhill racers, ski factories and yodelling

experts. But its Alpine nature has been key to

Austria's success in other areas, as well. A striking

example is the construction industry. Challenged

by Austria's geography, Austrian companies

have been frontrunners in the engineering

and construction of tunnels, bridges

and hydroelectric power plants for decades, in

the process becoming specialists in highlyadvanced

technologies.

That specialisation in high-tech niches has

contributed much to ongoing success in the

industry's export activities. A traditional

stronghold in the foreign business of Austrian

construction and engineering companies has

been the construction of power plants. In

recent years, the focus has been on CEE and

SEE countries. For instance, Vienna-based construction

group Porr and Salzburg's Alpine

Mayreder have established subsidiaries in

mountainous Bulgaria to build and operate

power plants. Two projects are already in the

concrete-planning stage. Other companies, for

example, Strabag, which has become one of

Europe's largest construction groups in recent

years, are strongly involved in infrastructure

projects all over the CEEs.

Austrian power-plant exporters of turn-key

facilities have been especially successful. In

that business, Turkey has emerged as a main

market. Austrian companies are involved in

about 30 per cent of all hydro-electric power

plants currently being built in the Anatolian

peninsula. VA Tech is highly active in Turkey,

joined by other prominent players like Alpine

Mayreder, Verbundplan, Alstom Austria and

Austria-based Siemens Hydro Power.

Experience in construction and engineering of

tunnels and bridges has made Austrian companies

sought-after partners in road construction.

But construction alone is no longer enough. The

development of new financing models and the

generation of income from infrastructure have

become key issues. Especially as far as “Public

Private Partnerships” (PPP) are concerned, Austrian

companies have received a lot of orders.

A key element in Austria's international con-

struction business is the export of engineering

and planning services. Among the most successful

companies in this field is Innsbruckbased

engineering group ILF. Over decades,

the company has established itself as a leader

in planning and constructing water purification

plants, water-supply systems and sewagetreatment

and desalinisation plants. With its

range of products, ILF is a strong player both

in the Arab world and in other regions.

A quite new construction and infrastructurelinked

business area is the implementation of

EXPORT AND DIRECT INVESTMENT

world leaders in infrastructure

Austrian infrastructure companies are strongly expanding their international activities. Long

and successful experience in technically- advanced engineering and construction work on tunnels

and power plants gives them a competitive edge. Innovative financing and the successful

development of toll – collection systems are contributing as well to success in exporting.

Austrian construction companies are involved in infrastructure projects around the world.

modern toll-collection systems. The road-pricing

system on Austrian highways has secured a

superb technical reputation for Austrian companies.

Quite a few of them are active in exporting

successful technology. Efkon (infrared-based

roadside equipment, in-vehicle modules),

Europpass (full-service toll operator) and Kapsch

(traffic telematics, electronic equipment)

are representatives of that industry. Specialists

like Eur-Road (integrated software-solutions for

haulers and carriers) have also found a niche in

the strongly-expanding industry.

The internationalisation initiative ‘GO International’

of the Austrian Ministry of Economics

and Labour and the Austrian Federal Economic

Chamber has a bridge-building and

matchmaking function for Austrian companies and their potential international partners. In a series

of trade fairs, conferences and road-shows – about 800 events are annually organized by Austrian

Trade – managers and entrepreneurs from all over the world have an opportunity to efficiently inform

themselves about Austrian technology and get into direct contact with Austrian suppliers. GO International

gives a boost to these activities and makes it easier than ever to find an ideal business partner

in Austria.

For more Information on business with Austria and Austrian environmental technology, please

contact the nearest Austrian Trade Commission. For the address, please visit our website.

STRABAG

http://austriantrade.org

37


38

Upwards Mobility

A well developed local transport network and infrastructure

are basic requirements for any business location.

Ensuring that Austria’s networks are up to the task and

operating smoothly is a challenge faced by both ASFINAG

and the Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology.

successfully planning and implementing the

recently introduced toll system for heavy

goods vehicles has played a major a role in

establishing ASFINAG as a name recognised by

over 80 per cent of road users in Austria. But the

success of the Austrian model is also attracting

interest from abroad. Yet while several million

people use the road network overseen by ASFI-

NAG every day, the enterprise behind the network

was unknown to many until fairly recently.

This may partially be attributed to the fact

that the company is still relatively new, having

been formed in 1982 as a financing company by

the Austrian Federal Government. In 1997 the

company was then restructured in the mould of

a private company due to the ASFINAG Authori-

sation Act. ASFINAG has gone on to become the

largest motorway operator of its type in Europe,

and is also a market leader in the fields of toll

systems and traffic telematics. ASFINAG is

owned by the Republic of Austria and operates

on behalf of the Ministry of Transport, Innovation

and Technology. Having made the transition

from a State-run financing company, the enterprise

now functions as a service provider operating

as a private company. The ‘new-look’

ASFINAG is charged with planning, constructing,

servicing and operating Austria’s high quality

road network. Their customers are the drivers on

Austrian motorways and highways. In exchange

for a fair service charge, users are provided with

an optimal network offering the highest level of

comfort, which in turn lays the foundations (in

the true sense of the word) for individual mobility

and road-based freight logistics.

KICK-STARTING WITH THE HGV TOLL

After a project and construction phase lasting

only 18 months, the world’s first fully electronic

toll system providing total coverage was

implemented on schedule in Austria. The project

has been a resounding success: operations have

proceeded without a single disruption and over

99 per cent of all HGVs and buses have been

tracked by the system; an excellent success rate,

especially when compared with other figures

internationally. Key factors contributing to the

success of the system were both the decision on


the part of the Austrian government to implement

a fully electronic model and the commitment

by ASFINAG to a system that is both extremely

user-friendly and affordable to its users.

The fact that the toll for heavy goods vehicles

has met with such high acceptance in its current

form is largely due to the fact that users of the

network can see with their own eyes where their

money is being invested: the road network is

expanding at an unprecedented rate. In cooperation

with the Ministry of Transport, Innovation

and Technology, ASFINAG is focussing on

expanding ‘intelligently’. Reducing the pressure

on hotspots, closing strategic gaps in the network

and building new road connections for the

future are the three areas of investment. And on

the subject if investing, the toll received from

vehicles over 3.5 tonnes has provided ASFINAG

with the decisive boost towards becoming a private

company. The returns from HGVs and buses

have improved the companies liquidity dramatically

and paved the way towards financing a

high quality transport network in return for providing

services. Since 1997, no money has been

allocated to ASFINAG from the State budget.

STRUCTURAL TRANSITIONS

In tandem with planning and implementing the

toll for heavy goods vehicles, ASFINAG and the

Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology

worked together on important organisational

and structural improvements at ASFINAG,

aimed at replacing the previous regional structure

with a more functional business model. In

2004, ASFINAG was reformed as a holding company

with independent affiliated companies

responsible for operations in the group’s core

areas. ASFINAG’s main responsibilities, the toll

system, construction and traffic telematics were

allocated to individual subsidiaries: ASFINAG

Maut Service GmbH (MSG, responsible for the

toll system), ASFINAG Bau Management GMbH

(responsible for construction) and ASFINAG

Verkehrstelematik GmbH (VTG, responsible for

traffic telematics).

Central tasks, such as financing, corporate management,

planning, development and monitoring

the group are handled by ASFINAG Autobahnenund

Schnellstraßen Finanzierungs-AG, the holding

company. The company is managed by Franz

Lückler and Christian Trattner. “We are en route

to creating a modern, sleek enterprise with a clear

focus” is how the two Directors see their priorities

for the next few years. In order to manage

their motorway operations more efficiently, which

previously were the responsibility of eleven different

provincial and federal organisations, four service

companies were founded responsible for

various regions: ASFINAG Autobahn Service GmbH

Nord (North), ASFINAG Autobahn Service GmbH

Süd (South), ASFINAG Autobahn Service GmbH Ost

(East) and ASFINAG Alpenstraßen GmbH (Alpine

roads). In addition to uniting core responsibilities,

the new company structure increases the enterprises

internal efficiency. By streamlining the

ASFINAG: LEADING BY EXAMPLE

enterprises’ structure, it was possible to eliminate

a large number of overlapping fields, especially

in administration. All the individual measures

will be in place by the end of 2006, providing ASFI-

NAG with a flat hierarchy, quick decision-making

and a large degree of flexibility.

GOALS FOR THE FUTURE

An important challenge for the future will be

cementing the corporation’s new structure. From

next year, ASFINAG aims to transfer all operations

of its road network completely to its operating

subsidiaries. By releasing the Holding company

from all operating responsibilities, the

company can focus its attention on dealing with

vital issues such as its customers’ needs and market

requirements. An important area, at the heart

of ASFINAG’s strategy for the future years, is

customer-oriented services, such as carrying out

road maintenance without causing congestion,

to providing information via mobile phones,

internet, TV and radio. The ‘real’ developments

will see the group turn its attention to optimising

road connections to Austria’s eastern neighbours

– a project that is important from both

an infrastructural as well as economic point of

view. Another prime area of focus will be developing

integrated transport solutions with other

modes of transport. ‘Networking’ is seen as more

than just focussing on the road network; in the

medium-term, intermodal transport solutions

are to be intensified in cooperation with other

transport providers. The general transport plan

outlined by the Ministry of Transport, Innovation

and Technology envisages a combined rail,

water and road network with one common goal:

transporting people and goods to their destination

as quickly and cost-effectively as possible,

with minimum impact on the environment.

39


40

ASFINAG: SHAPING THE FUTURE

Get

Moving

ASFINAG operates some 2,050 km of Austria’s

road network; some 1,700 kilometres

of motorways and 360 kilometres of

highway. A further 50 kilometres are currently

under construction with another 250 kilometres

bein planned. ASFINAG invested a total of

around one billion Euro in construction projects

over the last year; 675 million Euro on new

roads and furthering the development of the

high quality road network. These investments

reflect a threefold increase in construction

spending when compared to 2000, but the figure

will increase even further in the next year

as the new infrastructure programme instituted

in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport,

Innovation and Technology is put into

effect. A common transport policy was first

drawn up in 2001, unifying all infrastructural

projects planned over the coming years and

taking all modes of transport into account. The

primary aim of the ‘common transport policy

for Austria’ is increasing Austria’s international

appeal as a business location and consequently

improving the competitiveness of businesses

in the region. In accordance with this

plan, a further 1.25 billion Euro was invested

in the road network in 2005; the figure for 2006

will be just as high. Of this sum, 340 million

Euro is earmarked for maintaining and servicing

the existing network, with a further 880

million Euro allocated for new construction

projects and expansion. The way ahead is clearly

marked: improving connections to Austria’s

eastern neighbours and developing integrated

transport solutions are the top priorities.

BUILDING BRIDGES AND NEW

RELATIONSHIPS

The enlargement of the EU saw Austria move

from the Union’s eastern frontier to the heart

of a throbbing economic market. No other country

in the EU is profiting from the booming markets

in the new member states as much as Austria.

But new markets also demand an infrastructure

that is up to the task. The Ministry of

Transport, Innovation and Technology and

ASFINAG have therefore placed a clear focus on

improving the connections to the newer EU

member states. Works on the A6 North-easr

motorway in the direction of Slovakia began in

2004; construction on the A5 North motorway

towards the Czech Republic is scheduled to

begin next year. By 2007, two new routes to

Hungary will be in operation with the A3 Southeast

motorway and the S7 Fürstenfelder

expressway; 2008 sees the completion of a further

route to the Czech Republic with the S10

Mühlviertler expressway. The second core area

focussed on by ASFINAG and the Ministry of

Transport, Innovation and Technology is the

elimination of gaps in the road network as part

of an integrated transport solution, including

improved connections between the existing

motorway and highway networks. Important

steps in this direction were taken with the S6

Semmerin interchange and the completion of

the A9 Pyhrn motorway, filling the void between

ASFINAG is set to invest over 2 billion

Euro in 2005 and 2006 in the expansion of

Austria’s road network. Projects range

from connecting Austria’s neighbours to

large-scale tunnel projects to the unparalleled

circle ring project ‘Regional Ring’.

Inzersdorf and Schön. This year also sees the

completion of the Danöfen-Dalaas axis, as well

as the Strenger tunnel and Strenger by-pass on

the S 16 Arlberg expressway, and completion of

the Herzogenburg North – Traismauer South

axis on the S33 Kremser expressway. Work on

the completion of the A2 South motorway and

the tunnel under Bindermichl on the A7 Mühlkreis

motorway are also well underway. New

projects include the completion of the Kollersdorf

– Jettsdorf axis on the S5 Stockerauer

expressway and the Stausee – Zlatten stretch

on the S35 Bruckner expressway.

GRAND DESIGN: CIRCLE ROAD

In order to deal with issues affecting the transport

of goods and passengers in the area in and


around Vienna, a circle road is planned around

the city, in a combination of motorways and

highways. The Regional Ring is made up of several

motorways and highways and will provide

the Vienna region with effective, safe and environmentally-friendly

road connections. The project

is on an unprecedented scale: the entire circle

road will stretch for some 200 kilometres,

130 of which have already been completed. The

remaining 70 kilometres of the project will be in

place for the project’s completion, scheduled for

2014, at a total cost of around 3.2 billion Euro.

In addition to improving the comfort of road

users, the circle road also serves as an important

‘protective shield’ for Vienna. The system

will reduce the burden on the inner city as well

as other large centres around the capital. Following

completion of the Schwechat bypass in

the summer of 2006, the S1 Vienna outer ring

expressway will be opened to traffic between

Vösendorf and Schwechat. The northern and

eastern sections of the circle road, the S1 via

the Ölhafen to Sueßenbrunn, are to follow in

2009. All sections will be completed by 2014.

ASFINAG: SHAPING THE FUTURE

HUBERT

GORBACH

vice-Chancellor

and Minister for

Transport,

Innovation and

Technology

“As a representative of the State, ASFINAG’s success

is something that both pleases me and fills

me with pride. Over the last two years, ASFINAG

has done more for the road network than it managed

to in an entire decade in the previous millennium:

from visible improvements, such as the

renovation of the West motorway and construction

works in the south of Vienna, to a range of

smaller improvements to the overall road network.

Looking to the future, connecting Austria’s

northern and eastern EU neighbours to the most

important road connections is just about to kick

off properly. As Minister of Transport, I am proud

that the current development projects are part

and parcel of a far-reaching common transport

policy. This is a definite first for Austria, combining

all modes of transport under one common

policy. As the Minister of Technology I am also

proud of our electronic toll system which may well

go on to find use in other countries as well. Much

like our successes in the field of traffic telematics,

which is primarily aimed at further improving

the safety of Austria’s roads.”

The regional ring road is one of the most important coming

projects on the agenda for the next 10 years at ASFI-

NAG. The project will connect 6 important routes in Vienna

and Lower Austria and includes the following

sub-projects:

● S1 Vienna outer ring expressway from Vösendorf to

Schwechat (project already underway)

● S1 Vienna outer ring expressway, Schwechat intersection

via Ölhafen to Süßenbrunn (over the Danube)

to the Korneuburg intersection (in planning)

● A22 Donauufer motorway, Korneuburg –

Stockerau (completed)

● S5 Stockerauer expressway, Stockerau – Grunddorf

(partially completed)

● S33 Kremser expressway, Donaubrücke Traismauer

(in planning)

● S33 Kremser expressway, Traismauer Nord –

St. Pölten (nearly completed)

● A1 West motorway, St. Pölten – intersection Steinhäusl

(completed)

● A21 Vienna outer ring expressway, Knoten Steinhäusl

intersection Vösendorf (completed)

41


42

MANAGING ASFINAG EFFICIENTLY

ASFINAG has been structured in the

mould of a private company since

2002 and now needs to finance its

undertakings on the capital market.

ASFINAG has sought new avenues of

financing that have been received

well on the capital market.

AAA+ for ASFINAG

ASFINAG was recently rated as AAA+ by

rating agency Standard & Poors. The company

was awarded the highest international

credit rating due to the fact that the Republic

of Austria is guarantor for ASFINAG. A high

credit rating allows ASFINAG to explore alternative

means of financing for, since 1997, the company

no longer receives any funds from the State.

With toll income insufficient to support the

company’s massive investments in the national

infrastructure, bonds pose one innovative alternative

method of financing; Public Private Partnerships

are another.

TOLL INCOME MORE THAN DOUBLE

The services provided by ASFINAG are funded

exclusively from income from the toll sticker,

distance-related tolls and road section tolls on

six motorway sections. Toll fees are determined

by the Ministry of Transport, Innovation

and Technology. When setting the toll fees, the

Ministry considers both the need to cover costs

and the need for an affordable system. The fees

set out the framework within which ASFINAG

operates.

The importance of toll income from buses and

heavy goods vehicle to ASFINAG’s endeavour to

operate in the mould of a private company are

underlined by the figures from 2004: income

from the toll sticker came to some 300 million

Euro. Added to the 110 million Euro from special

toll and other income of 90 million, the

company received 500 million Euro in toll income.

Total receipts for the year from the new

distance-related toll for vehicles over 3.5t GVWR

came to 760 million Euro and more than doubled

ASFINAG’s income. Introducing a toll on

heavy goods vehicles has resulted in a dramatic

improvement in ASFINAG’s liquidity.

Nonetheless, large-scale investments and the

need to renew expiring deals have forced the

company to look elsewhere for capital.

BONDS OVER-SUBSCRIBED MORE

THAN TWOFOLD

The infrastructure programme planned by ASFI-

NAG will see the companies’ debts climb to 13

billion Euro by 2014. Together with the Republic

of Austria, the company’s owner, a financial plan

was drawn up based on the issuing of bonds.

According to international custom and usage,

ASFINAG has instituted a Medium Term Note

(MTN) programme to the tune of 10 billion Euro

as a platform for issuing future bonds. In addition

to a number of smaller issues, three large

issues worth a total of 3.7 billion Euro have been

listed. As bonds from companies in the infrastructure

sector with State liability are rare and

investors are keen to spread their portfolios,

demand for ASFINAG bonds is especially high.

When the books were opened at 9 in the morning

on the reporting date (27th September 2005) of

the latest issue, worth 1.2 billion Euro, over 1

billion Euro worth of orders had been placed. By

midday the figure had climbed to 2.4 billion Euro

before finally reaching over 3 billion Euro. Because

of the scale of over-subscription, low rates of

3 1/8 per cent p.a. were negotiated.

NEW AVENUES OF PRIVATE

FINANCING

The future also heralds projects that will be

implemented as Public Private Partnerships,

both in the area of construction as well as the

operation of the toll system. In contrast to

business models whereby the contractor is

compensated for its services, operators will

license use of the road network, with operators

assuming full responsibility for managing

the roadways they operate. ASFINAG expects

the move to help reduce costs, as operators

seek to increase cost efficiency and make the

most of opportunities to cut unnecessary

expenditure.

According to the proposed licensing model,

ASFINAG would license sections of the road network

for limited time periods. Starting with the

Ostregion Paket 1, private operators will be invited

to submit bids for the first time. The deadline

for bids is September, and following discussion

with a panel of outside experts and after

contract negotiations, the winning bid will be

determined in April 2006.

ASFINAG Facts & Figures (Status: May 2005, source: ASFINAG annual report 2004) – Figures in million Euro

Year 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000

Total Assets 9,797,577 8,799 8,087 7,603 7,110

Equity 297 248 380 397 389

Construction costs 1,026 897 663 545 421

Maintenance costs 151 141 132 123 112

Income from toll stickers 297 314 310 307 200

Toll income 862 256 261 256 256

Other income 33 31 28 25 20


Mag. Christian Trattner,

CTO of ASFINAG,

on strategies, plans,

financing. And on ASFINAG’s

interesting opportunities

abroad.

The successful introduction of the truck toll is

what really made ASFINAG known to the larger

public. Why is that and what has changed in the

spotlight?

First of all, in the year 2000 the federal government

made the good decision favouring a

fully electronic toll system. Afterward, ASFINAG

issued an ultimately irreproachable, extremely

challenging call for tender in which a toll operator

bringing considerable experience to the

project was found. In just 18 months of development

work the world’s first open toll system

was put into operation both punctually and

trouble-free – a genuine story of success compared

to Germany. Since then the revenues of

ASFiNAG road network

2034 km in use

140 km special toll stretches

304 km planning or under construction

D

I

‘No money

from the state’

ASFINAG have provided the necessary money in

order to implement our ambitious building programme

and bring the system up-to-date. The

public has enjoyed this success along with us

and appreciates our building activity.

The introduction of the truck toll is also considered

an international success story, above all due

to the problems with the German toll system. Who

really has the better system?

That’s not a question for us. What’s interesting

is the question of interoperability of the systems.

Germany decided in favour of a satellitesupported

toll system, while we’re working with

a microwave-based system which is state-ofthe-art

throughout Europe. With both systems

there is an on-board unit (OBU). The aim is not

to send truck drivers out on the roads with multiple

OBUs, but to make the systems compatible.

Here the negotiations with Germany have

gained momentum only slowly, unfortunately,

while countries such as Italy, Slovenia, France

and Spain place emphasis on a compatible OBU.

Revenues from the truck toll exceeded expectations

during the first year. How does it look for

2005, what kind of result do you expect this year?

In 2004 we were pleased about our precision at

estimating revenues. This year we anticipate

approximately 2% more revenues which, like

those from the vignette and special toll, flow

exclusively into planning, building, maintenance

and operation of the motorways and

through-roads. Since 1997 we no longer receive

Villach

CZ

SLO

money from the state budget. In 2006 our building

programme will total €1.2bn, while for operations

we will spend an additional €153m. Our

network of roads will expand by 20 km next year.

With this spending we are strengthening the

business location Austria in the long term.

How will financing for further development of the

infrastructure be secured? In the end, you’re still

sitting on an enormous mountain of debt.

It ultimately depends on the right proportion

of owner’s equity and outside liabilities. In the

medium term we are aiming for a healthy

return on equity (ROE) in order to provide a

buffer for investment risks as well as for interest

rate and currency fluctuations. No one is

going to finance his own company with 100%

of the owner’s capital resources; instead, a

healthy ratio of equity to outside capital will

also be sought in order to evenly distribute the

financial burden over the duration of use. And

that’s exactly what we’re doing, too, and we’re

also doing it well.

For international consulting orders a company

affiliate was established. What do you expect

from this and where is your know-how in demanded

abroad?

Trattner: It’s ASFINAG’s leadership in the areas

of European toll systems and traffic telematics

which we want to profitably offer to other countries

and their institutions. Our consulting firm

has already carried out the first orders in Germany

and the Czech Republic.

HR

BUSINESS STRATEGY

SK

H

CONTACT

ASFINAG

Autobahnen- und Schnellstraßen-

Finanzierungs-Aktiengesellschaft

1011 Vienna, Rotenturmstraße 5-9

Telephone: +43 (0)501 08 – 10000

office@asfinag.at

www.asfinag.at

43


44

ASFINAG: SAFE CONNECTIONS

Intelligent

Solutions

Traffic safety and safeguarding the environment are two

important aspects to be considered when planning long

term mobility, and in the field of traffic telematics,

ASFINAG itself is en route to the future.

In years past, the Minister of Transport Hubert

Gorbach and ASFINAG have managed to

reduce both the number and severity of accidents

on Austria’s motorways and highways

through a wide range of differing measures. In

cooperation with the Ministry of Transport,

Innovation and Technology, ASFINAG aims to

reduce the number of severe road accidents by

a further 25 per cent on both motorways and

highways by the year 2010. In order to meet this

goal whilst mobility is increasing, ‘intelligent’

traffic solutions are required. These result in a

reduction in traffic and thus play an important

role in increasing road safety and the standard

of living in the surrounding areas. Both road

safety and protecting the environment are issues

to which ASFINAG is firmly committed.

SAFETY FIGURES OVER ACCIDENT

FIGURES

Maintaining the road network is an important

cornerstone of traffic safety, guaranteeing that

the network is well-serviced and operating at

full capacity. Around 1,500 ASFINAG employees

work around the clock, maintaining road

surfaces, examining bridges or taking care of

green areas. Maintenance costs for 2005

totalled over 150 million Euro and, if necessary,

more will be invested in further measures.

Around 240 million Euro will have been invested

in replacing the safety barriers, started in

2002, when the project reaches completion this

year. In total, 1,700 km of aluminium safety

barriers will have been replaced by modern

steel constructions or concrete walls thus eliminating

the risk of heavy vehicles breaking

through to the opposite lane.

ASFINAG is also busy tackling the issue of tunnel

safety in Austria. In tunnels with two bores, safe-

ty equipment is being modernised. In addition,

the ‘Section Control’ system will be expanded following

the success of the first installation on the

A22 Donauufer motorway. Since starting operation

in 2003, there have been no more injuries

from accidents registered in the Kaisermühlen

tunnel. Traffic safety is also driven by technology.

With its pioneering system used to detect drivers

heading the wrong way on the motorway and

fog warning system, ASFINAG has set new European

standards.

PLANNING SAFETY AND RUNNING

INSPECTIONS

The safety of construction works is also a prime

concern to ASFINAG which has developed an inhouse

tool in order to tackle the issues. The

Road Safety Audit (RSA) is used to analyse all

safety aspects during the planning phase of

construction projects in order to optimise its

safety. Entire stretches of existing roadway are

analysed under the Road Safety Inspection

(RSI) programme, the results of which are used

to eliminate the risk factors identified by the

system. Using a variety of checklists, the links

between the causes of accidents and road conditions

are analysed. The necessary measures

needed to improve the safety of the road are

then assessed from the results and implemented.

Another programme that improves road

safety targets rest areas; 30 per cent of accidents

on the roads are caused by tired drivers.

Improving and expanding rest areas and service

stations, whilst paying special attention to the

needs of road users, improves traffic safety by

providing tired drivers with the facilities for

recuperation. Facilities ranging from bathrooms

to play areas and restaurants all play an

important role here.

ANTI-POLLUTION MEASURES

In addition to road safety, protecting the environment

is a long-term concern for ASFINAG. Up

to 30 per cent of construction costs for new roadways

are taken up by measures to reduce noise

and air pollution and other measures to compensate

for the impact on the environment. The

local wildlife is provided with alternative spawning

grounds, buffer areas, the removal and temporary

storage of dry grass and undergrowth,

protective fences for game, amphibians and reptiles

and safety barriers. Reducing the impact of

noise pollution is another great challenge: the

threshold for noise pollution is very low causing

an increase in the size of noise attenuators,

which in turn impact negatively on the surrounding

area. ASFINAG is therefore engaged in

innovative projects that go far beyond conventional

measures in order to find visually appealing

solutions which efficiently cut noise pollution.

Measures range from transparent noise

attenuators to innovative solutions as seen on

the A2 South motorway near Gleisdorf, where a

multi-functional noise pollution reduction system

was implemented. The system not only

reduces noise pollution but also sensitises drivers

by means of electronic traffic management

based on real-time measurments of noise pollution.

In addition to this functional side, the pilot

project also includes the largest photovoltaic

system in Austria, providing the added bonus of

renewable energy and a commercial return.


TRAFFIC TELEMATICS: INTELLIGENT DIRECTION

Traffic telematics combines cutting edge telecommunications and information technology,

and is seen is a key feature of the Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology’s

telematics framework. Intelligent mobility management can serve to

increase the safety, efficiency and comfort of the road networks in a decisive manner.

In-depth analyses and case studies have demonstrated that the use of traffic

telematics can reduce traffic accidents by as much as 35 per cent, accidents resulting

in personal injuries by as much as 31 per cent and the number of critically

injured by as much as 30 per cent. For this reason, ASFINAG Verkehrstelematik GmbH

was founded at the end of 2004, and has since been engaged in developing and

implementing VMIS, the transport management and information system used in Austria.

The system is the most up-to-date of its kind in Europe, combining centralised

traffic management, comprehensive quality assurance through standardised monitoring

equipment and integrated maintenance management.

The control centre at the heart of the new VMIS traffic management system, the

Verkehrsmanagement- und Informationszentrale (VMIZ), was completed in Wien-Inzersdorf

back in June 2004. A notable advantage of a centralised system is that all

data are collated in one place, providing easy access and making it possible to coordinate

individual solutions with one another. VMIS has been tested since spring of

this year and by 2010 the project should transform Austria’s motorway and highway

networks into ‘communicative’ and ‘intelligent’ hi-tech streets. However, expansion

does not stop at Austria’s borders. VMIZ is also actively involved in an international

approach to traffic management. The centre provides optimal traffic management for

a large region, communicating with other control centres in Europe, such as Bavaria,

South Tyrol, Slovenia and Hungary.

ASFINAG: SAFE CONNETIONS

DIPL. ING.

FRANZ

LÜCKLER

Director

of ASFINAG

Telematics has paved the way for ASFINGAG to

become a communications enterprise. From a

financial perspective, it is also an investment in

the future. Full coverage traffic management

improves the flow of traffic and improves the

capacity of the road network. This means that

large-scale construction to improve capacity can

be avoided, leading to large-scale savings. We

seek to guarantee the flow of traffic on Austria’s

top quality road network and to provide optimal

safety and comfort to users. But there is always

room for improvement – an example would be

the farsighted and responsible development of

the road network from a pan-European perspective

whilst making the most of experience from

abroad. Another example would be improving the

existing network by using ‘intelligent’ hi-tech

systems employing traffic telematics techniques

45


Technopark Raaba

to enter next extension level

You are in search of location and expecting business space, office space or

storage space with the best infrastructure? Already more than 960 employees

appreciate their workplace’s easy accessabilty and the avoidance of hours

spent in traffic jams every day. Now it is time for the next extension level

TPR 4 to be tackled.

Johann Schreiner, General Manager of the

Technopark Raaba GmbH, recently stated:

“Owing to its excellent traffic connection, the

south of Graz now holds the largest growth

potential in the whole region”.

“While in Graz a lot of office space is empty, the

demand for architecturally valuable office buildings

sporting high quality equipment is increasing”.

In early 2006, the ground-breaking ceremony

will take place for the next project, covering

more than 8.000 sqm of net floor space. The

project’s aim will be the construction of flexible

office spaces in units starting from 280 sqm with

sufficient parking space, right next to the Puchwerk

motorway exit.

“Apart from the short construction span of only

eight months and maximum economic efficiency

for the clients, we especially care for the workplace’s

comfort once it is finished.” Therefore,

the complete workspace is for example equipped

with a draught-free air-conditioning system

(heating and cooling) that positively influences

the working atmosphere as well as boosting the

employees’ health and productivity.

CONTACT

Technopark Raaba

Liegenschaftsverwertung und Verwaltungs GmbH

Dr. Auner Straße 22, A-8074 Raaba

Tel. +43/316/40 12 34

Project development:

DI (FH) Wolfgang Ecker-Eckhofen

Tel. +43/664/52 12 540

Administration:

Prok. Ing. Franz Orthaber

Tel. +43/676/55 72 446

INFRASTRUCTURE

● Situated at motorway exit A2/A9

● Frequent public transport (every 15 minutes)

● Immediate access to the Ostbahn train

● Graz airport can be reached in 5 minutes,

traffic light-free

● 2.000 employees within a radius of

300 metres

KEY FIGURES

● 60.000 sqm proprietary core area

● 80.000 sqm optional industrial area

● 21.000 sqm office space

● 6.000 sqm storage space

● 7.400 sqm underground parking

● 150.000 sqm floor space development

potential

The office complex TPR 4 will be linked to the newly constructed building of the Institute

for Social Security of Farmers (SVB)

OCCUPYING COMPANIES

● Daimler Chrysler Consult Graz GmbH

● MAGNA STEYR

● T-Systems Austria

● Nagel Austria GmbH

● Berglandmilch reg.Gen.m.b.H.

● Institute for Social Security of Farmers

(SVB)

● GQM, Gräber&Mörth, quality and

engineering support

● Pidas Customer Care Company

● EUREST Restaurationsbetrieb GmbH

● Gourmet Patisserie

● KET Max Haas & T. Thurner Ges.n.b.R.

● Company Angels

● BHG Betriebsmittel GmbH & Co KG

● Ing. M.H. Weber & Co.

● Austro Commerz Ltd.

● ZSI Zertz & Scheid Ing

VISUALISIERUNG: ING. MANFRED KAUBE


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©2004 Honeywell International Inc.


Focus on the future

of new technologies.

In Lower Austria.

ecoplus. Your plus in Lower Austria

www.ecoplus.at

Where on earth can you find the ideal combination of industry, research and training? Quite simply – in Lower Austria, in as many as three

different places – at our Technopols in Wiener Neustadt, Krems and Tulln. This is where industrial companies and research establishments

are working hand in hand. This is where already today new international standards are being set – in “Modern Industrial Technologies”

at the Technopol Wiener Neustadt, in “Biotechnology and Regenerative Medicine” at the Technopol Krems and in “Agro- and

Environmental Biotechnology” at the Technopol Tulln. There are plenty of technology centres – but only three Technopols like these.

Where? In Lower Austria, of course. ecoplus. The Business Agency of Lower Austria

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