Austria - Country Commercial Guide
Advanced Manufacturing

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-09-12


Austria`s manufacturing industry employs approximately 673,000 in about 29,000 companies, with an especially strong presence in the provinces of Upper Austria, Styria, and Lower Austria. 2021 the industry accounted for 17% of total value added to the country`s GDP and includes several globally significant multinationals and an estimated 200 “hidden champions,” global technology leaders in their specific segments dense in patent holders. Beyond these companies, most Austrian manufacturers are characterized by small- and medium-sized, family-owned companies with an average of 100 employees.

Most Austrian manufacturers need to adopt more cutting-edge innovative technologies to increase their productivity and competitiveness. Advanced manufacturing solutions are critically important to this effort. Many Austrian companies reinvest in their operations, including for R&D, at an average annual level of 7% of revenue, according to a 2020 survey of 125 companies by international institute OnePoll. Austrian government support to industry during the Covid-19 pandemic encouraged such investment by offering grants of 7% of a company’s investment, and 14% for investments in digital transformation, automation, green technologies, and life sciences in 2021. As a result, the Austrian government is providing $9.2 billion in grants to leverage over $62 billion from the private sector over the next 2-3 years.

Currently, 30 universities and 15 institutes in Austria, concentrated in Vienna, Graz, and Dornbirn, focus their research programs on disciplines relevant to Industry 4.0, including mechanical engineering, electronics, and information technology. In addition, a strong network of industry clusters under the umbrella of the government-led National Cluster Platform brings over 7,000 companies participating in 76 industry clusters and networks with focuses such as mobility, materials, mechatronics and information and communication technologies, life sciences, and environmental and energy technologies. U.S. companies should consider joining relevant Austrian clusters or associations to build strong industry links and to network with potential partners.

Leading Sub-Sectors

According to the annual cross-government Austrian Research and Technology Report, firms in the mid-range technology segment that provide industrial inputs and machinery in globally competitive supply chains (electronics, automotive, metal, plastics production, and processing) are the most frequent users of Industry 4.0 technologies and are trend leaders in Austria. Customer requirements are a key driver for the using new concepts and technologies in such areas as quality, flexibility, effective documentation of manufacturing processes, and improved coordination with customers’ production processes. Strong ties between Austrian suppliers and with their customers highlight the importance of Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing technology to Austria.


Austrian manufacturers face customer requirements that are pushing for greater product diversity and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes. These requirements are creating demands for new high-tech materials, shorter development cycles, and just-in-time delivery. In some cases, global clients are also pursuing strategies of re-shoring parts of the supply chains, localizing of critical suppliers, or switching to a multi-sourcing strategy.

Austrian manufacturing is under enormous pressure to cut costs to be more efficient, especially in the face of strengthening global competition. In addition to existing German and Japanese manufacturers, Austria now faces an increase in higher-quality products from PRC-based manufacturers that benefit from government resources.

“Plattform Industrie 4.0”, an initiative of the Austrian government closely coordinated with employers` and workers` associations, published a technology roadmap critical for the future of advanced manufacturing in Austria. These trends mirror the best opportunities for U.S. firms to provide Austrian companies key Industry 4.0 solutions/technologies, including:

  • Big data analytics and artificial intelligence: advanced evaluation techniques against very large, diverse data sets, assisting real-time decision-making and optimization.
  • Virtualization & simulation: Precise digital images, such as a digital twin or a digital factory.
  • Physical systems: Smart machines, robots, and additive production (additive manufacturing especially for prototypes) to make production faster and safer.
  • Sensor systems: Intelligent and energy-efficient sensors using self-diagnosis and predictive maintenance to increase their significance for quality control.
  • Cross-sectional software: to enable the intelligent combination of algorithms, sensors, physical objects, and cyber-physical systems.
  • New surface treatments enhancing the functionality and smart materials (ceramics, plastics, metals, composites) with improved properties.
  • Smart logistics: autonomous, cellular, self-driving transport systems.
  • Cyber-physical systems (CPS): including autonomous automotive systems, process control systems and distributed robotics.
  • Work and assistance systems: improved user interfaces between machines and humans to simplify work in real time such as through visualization with the aid of augmented reality.
  • Cyber security: to improve risk profiles and especially protect industrial control systems, connected products and intellectual property (see additional Best Prospect in CCG regarding cyber security)
  • Cloud technology: to manage huge data volumes and allow real-time communication in open systems for production systems.

Several significant projects with an advanced manufacturing focus underway in Austria, often involving international OEMs, illustrate this advancing Industry 4.0 movement:

  • Semiconductor manufacturer Infineon will invest $1.9 billion by 2025 to construct a new, fully automated chip factory to manufacture 300 mm thin wafers at its production site in Villach.
  • Swiss technology group ABB recently invested $118 million in its global center for machine and factory automation at the headquarters of its subsidiary B&R in Upper Austria where 1,000 additional employees will conduct research into developing the factory of the future.
  • Microsoft announced it will invest $1.1 billion by 2024 in local data centers in Austria, supporting Austria’s digital transformation and advanced manufacturing.
  • Semi40 is one of the largest Industry 4.0 projects in Europe. Coordinated by Austria-based Infineon Tech, the project brings together 37 partners in 5 countries that are conducting research on further developing autonomous factories with a strong focus on semiconductors and electronic manufacturing.

Furthermore, three government-funded pilot factories within the context of industry 4.0 were implemented in 2019 and 2020 to further transfer knowledge among industry and civil society actors:


Trade Shows: 

Associations & Interest Groups:

  • Platform Industrie
  • Clusterplattform Austria
  • FV Metalltechnische Industrie
  • FV der Elektro- und Elektronikindustrie
  • Additive Manufacturing Austria
  • SemI40
  • Silicon Alps
  • Austrian Chamber of Commerce, Federal Industrial Division

Research Institutes:

  • Austrian Institute of Technology
  • Fraunhofer Austria
  • Salzburg Research Forschungs
  • Upper Austria Research
  • Joanneum Research

U.S. Commercial Service Austria, Advanced Manufacturing Specialist – Jan Bruckner