112 MILLION FOR RESEARCH
Villach is expected to become one of three sites of the research initiative “Silicon Austria Labs”.
The unbelievable €1.6 billion Infineon investment will put Villach into the Champions League of research (see page 4/5). But there has also been a second high-tech boost in Villach, which affects Carinthian Tech Research (CTR) in the Technology Park.
The federal government has lined up a €280 million package for high-tech investments in Austria. Half of this sum will come from public funds and the other half should be supplied by the industrial sector. This money will be invested in three locations: Graz, Linz - and Villach. Over the next several years, €112 million will be put into the new research center, “Silicon Austria Labs”.
“Silicon Austria Labs” will offer world-class research in the area of electronic based systems, and in this way will drive progress on such areas as “smart factory”, “autonomous driving”, or “smart grids”. Because CTR has made an international name for itself over the last 20 years we can thank this organization for the fact that Villach will become one of the three sites for this research. Over this time period more than 80 patents have been developed by around 80 researchers, and it has supported nearly 300 domestic and international organizations with its know-how.
CTR AND SILICON LABS
It was this research excellence that made Villach into a pillar of “Silicon Austria Labs”, and a new building must be built at the site in Villach-St. Magdalen for this purpose. Planning permission for the expansion has already been granted since the City of Villach had the foresight to plan in additional buildings already. In terms of personnel, this “Labs” location should increase its number of employees to as many as 200 researchers. Preparatory work and the final negotiations are currently under way to determine how CTR will be brought into the “Labs”.
THE RIGHT STRATEGY
For Mayor Günther Albel, the fact that Villach is one of only three sites for this nationwide high-tech strategy is convincing proof: “As a city, we focused on modern technology at an opportune time. Now we can reap the harvest.” With CTF, the “Labs” expansion, and the Infineon investment, Villach has an enormous international appeal. “We have strong reasons to believe that we can count on quite a few more businesses moving to Villach,” says Albel.
SECOND PERIOD OF GROWTH
With “Labs” moving into the Technology Park, the campus has experienced large growth for the second time in a short period. Intel Austria just recently moved into its new offices with 150 employees. This company is also among the world’s best, working on sender and receiver units in smartphones and with concepts for the data processing and distribution of data in fully digital houses of the future.
They are researching the future in the CTR laboratories: the smallest, intelligent sensors and microsensors can make mobility safer and more autonomous, can allow medical advancements to be made, can raise energy efficiency, and can help protect the climate. In the future, CTR will grow to double its size: it was chosen as one of only three sites for the federal government’s high-tech program “Silicon Austria Labs”.