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  • Location advantages

Willkommen Daheim – A new ABA initiative for Austrians Abroad

Austrian talents abroad are dynamic, successful and innovative … and they like to return home if the general conditions fit.

Currently, about 580,000 Austrians live abroad. More than three quarters of them reside in Germany (257,000), Switzerland (67,000), Great Britain (33,000), the USA (30,500), Australia (20,000), Spain (12,000) as well as the Republic of South Africa, Brazil and Argentina (10,000 each). The motivations for returning home are many and varied: children's schooling, aging parents, a new job offer, social security or enjoying the extremely high quality of life in Austria.

Austrians abroad are engaged in a wide variety of professional branches. On one hand, they return home as company founders and have already made a name for themselves as successful entrepreneurs abroad, or they are scientists who have received an interesting research assignment in their home country, or they decide to work for a company in Austria because their expertise from abroad, their language skills and their experience are in demand on the domestic market, especially in times of an acute shortage of skilled workers.

What makes Austria attractive

In recent years, Austria has once again been able to prove its international attractiveness in many ways. In the field of research alone, there has been major development. In the last two decades, the country has succeeded in advancing research and development many times over. The research ratio, which was still 1.53% in 1994, rose to 3.26% by 2022, positioning Austria's development dynamics in the field of research and development as one of the strongest in Europe.

The Austrian Science Fund FWF just approved 52 million Euros for basic research projects. And from 2022 to 2025, the "Fonds Zukunft Österreich" will distribute 140 million euros annually - for future topics such as "Pandemic Preparedness", AI or radical innovation. In Austria, companies can claim a research premium of 14% for expenditure on research and experimental development. Both in-house research and commissioned research are eligible for the premium. In addition, researchers in Austria benefit from an immigration allowance amounting to 30 percent of income from domestic and foreign scientific activities.  Austria is now one of the most important centers of the European life science scene, with a total of more than 900 companies from the biotech, pharmaceutical and medical technology sectors, including big names such as Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis and Ottobock. There is a lot of dynamism, especially in the strong fields of cancer research, gene therapy research and medical products.

The high degree of networking between manufacturing, supplying and service companies makes Austria an excellent life science location with international research. With seven percent of GDP, the life science sector also contributes significantly to the national gross value added and is responsible for over 60,000 highly qualified jobs. In Austria, environmental technologies, energy efficiency and alternative energy generation have a long tradition. For example, 70% of the electricity required is generated from hydropower. Austria's green tech sector offers a lot of potential for innovation.

With an R&D rate of five percent, it is home to market-leading GreenTech pioneers from a wide range of sectors - from waste management and recycling to industrial production and the circular economy.  EBS (Electronic Based Systems) is another key technology in Austria. Around 63,000 people in almost 200 companies are employed in the electronics industry. EBS/microelectronics is one of the most important sectors in Austria: Research-intensive large companies are networked with technology parks, universities and universities of applied sciences, forming a world-class ecosystem for EBS innovations. Innovation and growth need excellent research. In addition to Joanneum Research and Fraunhofer Austria, Silicon Austria Labs also conducts focused cutting-edge research. The Austrian Institute of Technology links industry and science and reaches completely new levels in the field of electronics-based systems. Together with France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom, Austria is also active in the "Important Project of Common European Interest" (IPCEI) Microelectronics. The country is also planning to participate in the second project, IPCEI Microelectronics II, under the motto "Safety, Security, Sustainability and Sovereignty". It involves a total investment volume of 8.4 billion euros and is an important tool for strengthening the business location and in the fight against the climate crisis.

Austria can score in many areas as an attractive business location and thus also plays a decisive role for international professionals and companies to settle in Austria. This also applies to Austrians abroad who wish to return and either start a business or work in a company back home.

Initiative „Willkommen Daheim“

ABA is therefore expanding its range of services to this important target group in order to make the return of Austrians as smooth as possible. The Willkommen Daheim Initiative includes a wide range of consulting services:

From residence permits for partners and family members and general questions about living and working in Austria to setting up one's own business: ABA sees itself as a one-stop shop for the specific concerns of this group of people. These new services focus on the following 3 Cs: Connect, Community and Customized, because ABA wants to offer a network and individual solutions based on the actual demands of Austrians who would like to return home and continue their successful career in Austria.

  • Connect Success - No one in the country has as much location know-how and networking expertise as the ABA. Continue writing your own success story in Austria – with ABA you will be sustainably  successful in Austria.
  • Community Spirit - ABA offers a platform for professional and personal exchange: webinars, newsletters and consultations on complex topics and builds the bridge from the world to a network in Austria with many competent partners from science and business.
  • Customized Solutions - ABA is familiar with Dual Career, Remote Work, Double Taxation, Exit Tax of Green Card holders and offers individual solutions to facilitate the return to Austria. ABA networks in questions of tax and labor law and also supports family members in immigration, job search, school enrollment and many other concerns, together with its cooperation partners.

Find more information about the initiative Willkommen Daheim here.

  • Smart Solutions- We think left and right and research across the board. Then we filter out the essentials for you to get the best solution as quickly as 
  • Supportive Spirit- Our support is top-notch. We understand your challenges and provide pinpointed help - with positive energy and in fifteen languages. 
  • Sustainable Success- Nobody in the country can match our business location know-how and networking competence. Confidential and for free. With us, you will be sustainably successful in Austria.

Gabrielle Gradnitzer, Managing Partner at Amrop, confirms in an interview with ABA that she receives more and more requests from Austrian companies to fill certain positions explicitly with an Austrian who brings the necessary qualifications and international experience. These top talents are highly valued on the Austrian labor market and are now also in high demand.

For further questions and information on Willkommen Daheim please do not hesitate to contact Katja Otter.

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