Alpbach 2016 - Silicon Austria

During the Breakout session 02: “Silicon Austria: A Game Changer for Austria as a High-Tech Location?” innovation ecosystems in the area of electronic based systems were discussed. Globally successful European and US R&D-centres presented their competence and strategy. Their directors described, how the R&D ecosystems were built up. The value of co-locating R&D and production was demonstrated by the established economic impact found over the past ten years. Innovation trends and competitiveness agendas from globally competitive nations were reviewed. The vital importance of key enabling technologies and research technology organisations was highlighted. The high necessity for a resilient R&D as well as business ecosystem was shown.

The Austrian innovation ecosystem was represented by the directors of ams AG,  a globally renowned provider of sensor solutions that enable smart products such as the world’s first 3D-integrated photosensor IC enabling very low radiation dose Computer Tomography, and TTTech Computer Technik AG,  a global player based on an academic start up in the area of safe and secure embedded data control systems with products like Airbus A380 cabin pressure control system. Both demonstrated the possibility of a successful operation of a modern wafer manufacturing plant and several pilot lines in Austria or the foundation of a world-leading 500-employee high-tech company out of a three-men start-up.

Factors for this positive development were analysed and recommendations made, on how to further strengthen this momentum with special focus on R&D collaborations and industrial framework conditions. The availability of highly-qualified experts is one of the key elements in this success stories. Europe is facing fierce competition with regard to highly-qualified experts as well as high technology design and production. The European Commission and the national governments will have to take into account the rules of global markets and competition. A clear industry politics is necessary for Europe as well as the member states if Europe likes to sustain manufacturing. This includes changes in framework conditions are crucial.

The initiative “Silicon Austria” denotes a major opportunity to multiply success stories and to drive Austria into a leading global position in the EBS segment. “Silicon Austria” is interpreted to be “the instrument” to propel academic education at universities, colleges of higher education and polytechnic institutions for higher education to cope with the problems of EBS design and development. “Silicon Austria” will be an essential element to strengthen the position of the European ebs industry.

Chair: Michael WIESMÜLLER

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