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Austria as a hotspot for electronic based systems

13. December 2023

Electronic based systems (EBS) have long become a crucial part of our professional and private lives. They can be found in gadgets, machines and products as well as in almost all digital services and smart infrastructure. Over the last few decades, microelectronics has sustainably shaped and changed the world. Many people may not be aware of the fact that microelectronics – developed and frequently manufactured in Austria - are integrated into almost every modern automobile, smart phone or passport. EBS and microelectronics have emerged as one of the most important economic sectors in the country and makes many innovations and future-oriented technologies in other industries possible in the first place. More than 60,000 people in about 200 companies are employed by Austria’s electronics industry, including international flagship companies and highly specialised component suppliers such as Infineon, flex, AT&S, IMS Nanofabrication, Lam Research and TDK.

Here, as in many other industries, Austria’s strength lies in having a distinctive, specific ecosystem along with the related, intensive collaboration between industry and research. It goes without saying that innovation and growth require excellent research, especially in a sector which is evolving so rapidly. The research centre Silicon Austria Labs (SAL) focuses on cutting edge research, thus supporting companies in developing new technologies and processes. SAL, the regional research company Joanneum Research and Fraunhofer Austria all make an essential contribution towards safeguarding and enhancing the competitiveness of Austria as a research, innovation and business location. Furthermore, the Austrian Institute of Technology, Austria’s largest non-university research organisation, serves as a highly specialized research and development partner to industry. Experts for research and industry are trained at the numerous, first-class Austrian universities and universities of applied sciences such as the Graz University of Technology. In cooperation with the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), it offers an innovation-oriented course of studies in the field of electronic based systems, equipping students with the required expertise and cross-section components (hardware, software, system and innovation management).

Today Austria already ranks among the leading business locations for microelectronics, both in terms of research as well as production. Austria is providing incentives for billions of investments in this sector as a means of reducing the dependence on individual countries and regions in the semiconductor segment and further expanding Austria’s overall strength as a business location. For example, in October 2023 the Austrian Federal Government announced that it would allocate € 3 billion for chip research and production in Austria on the basis of the European Chips Act. In turn, this is expected to trigger more than € 7 billion in investments in Austria’s chip industry.

All of these factors are designed to sustainably strengthen the position of the Austrian business location as a global hotspot for electronic based systems.

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