ABA Newsletter (15 Feb 2017)

Date: Feb 2017

Austrian Government’s New Package of Measures Provides Fresh Impetus for Austria as a Business Location

On the basis of the new package of measures, the Austrian Federal Government plans to increase the research premium to 14%, introduce an employment bonus to reduce auxiliary wage costs and implement further measures designed to strengthen the business location. This is a short overview of the most important actions:

Research premium increased to 14%

The first preliminary conclusions drawn from an evaluation of the research premium demonstrate the positive effects of these measures on Research Location Austria. Starting in 2018, the research premium will be raised from 12% to 14% as a means of further promoting research activities on the part of Austrian business as well as to securing and expanding the number of qualified jobs.

Employment bonus

Auxiliary wage costs will be decreased further following the phased reduction of auxiliary wage costs to the amount of EUR 1 billion. An employment bonus for creating additional jobs will be introduced. For every additional job created (full-time equivalent) beginning in July 2017, the company will be reimbursed for 50% of the auxiliary wage costs over the next three years. This applies to all employees who are subject to municipal taxation. The project will be handled by “austria wirtschaftsservice” (aws).

Investment promotion – accelerated depreciation

In order to offer investment incentives, the possibility of accelerated depreciation will be created for companies with more than 250 employees. These firms will be able to claim an accelerated tax depreciation (or the option of an incremental investment tax credit) of 30%. Limiting the duration of the measure to the period March 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017 is designed to provide targeted investment incentives in the year 2017. Investments in material assets will be encouraged (with the exception of buildings and vehicles). Small and medium-sized enterprises will benefit from the previously approved incremental investment tax credit for the years 2017 and 2018.

Austria will be the 5G trailblazer

Thanks to the Digital Roadmap and the broadband strategy, the federal government is committed to ensuring a well-developed and affordable digital infrastructure. A 5G strategy including specific implementation measures will be formulated and defined no later than the end of 2017. Digital applications in various areas such as eGovernment, eHealth, automated driving and Industry 4.0 will provide valuable use cases for 5G. Their implementation will be prioritized. Initial tests by telecommunication providers should already be carried out starting in 2018. 5G is expected to be available in every provincial capital by the year 2020.

Stop the flood of regulations

The federal government is committed to sustainably relieving the burden on citizens and companies arising from bureaucratic red tape and the flood of regulations. For this purpose, an enabling act will be passed to take these objectives into account.

Employee protection

An amendment to the Employee Protection Act (ArbeitnehmerInnenschutzgesetz), the Labor Inspection Act (Arbeitsinspektionsgesetz), the Working Time Act (Arbeitszeitgesetz) and the Act on Rest Periods (Arbeitsruhegesetz) is scheduled to be passed in the first half of 2017.Negotiations on other laws and regulations relating to technical aspects of employee protection rights will begin immediately. The underlying aim will be to practically relieve the burden on all stakeholders, especially companies.

Carinthia further expands microelectronics research center in Villach

Carinthian Tech Research (CTR) is investing EUR 4.5 million in a clean room for conducting research in the fields of microsensors and system integration. The federal state of Carinthia is supporting high-tech investments in the Villach business location.

Smart Sensors & System integration

Carinthian Tech Research (CTR) ranks among the leading application-oriented research centers in Austria in the field of smart sensors and system integration. More than 70 researchers work in close cooperation with industrial partners to develop microsensors, power electronics as well as assembly and connection technologies. The recently constructed clean room in Villach which is at its disposal for microchip research and its system integration is the new centerpiece of the organization’s research activities. The area of the clean room for research purposes is 300 m². Up until now CTR has spent about EUR 2.5 million on construction and initial equipment, with another EUR 2 million to be invested in purchasing state-of-the-art devices for the clean room. The new investments are being funded by the European Fund for Regional Development and the Federal State of Carinthia, and are designed to further strengthen the business location of Villach as a hub for microelectronics.

15 tips for successfully setting up business in Austria

Are you planning to set up a company in Austria or expand your business to Austria? Preparing yourself well in advance and thoroughly is a key success factor. Here is an overview of our 15 tips to consider when locating your business in Austria!

Please click here to read the full article.

Tricentis raises fresh capital

Tricentis raises fresh capital

The Viennese company Tricentis specializing in automated software tests, which is also represented in Silicon Valley, has received financial support to the amount of EUR 165 million (EUR 154 million) from the private equity and venture capital company “Insight Venture Partners.”

The financing is for the purpose of further expansion, and is designed to enable even more aggressive growth for the experts in automated software testing. Top customers include BMW, Toyota and Starbucks.

"The financing puts additional capital at our disposal to invest in the business and grow more aggressively“, said Tricentis co-founder and sales manager in a press release.

Operating globally

According to Tricentis’ own information, the company supports more than 400 companies with its software, including HBO, Whole Foods, Toyota, Allianz, BMW, Starbucks and Deutsche Bank. The company has offices in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Poland, Great Britain, USA, Australia and India.

Insight Venture Partners has already provided funding totaling USD 13 billion to more than 250 companies.

Team of researchers uncovers mechanism to store electrical energy

The efficient and quick storage of electrical energy plays a decisive role in a sustainable energy supply based on green technologies.

This applies to new forms of energy production as well as for e-mobility or microelectronics. Super capacitors are modern energy storage systems which are much faster and can be charged or discharged more often than normal batteries.

An interdisciplinary team of scientists led by the Institute for Physics at Montan University Leoben, with the participation of the Graz University of Technology, the University of Bienna and the Institute for New Materials in Saarbrücken has now revealed new ways to better understand these phenomena. For the first time the processes described have been rendered visible on an atomic level, and new possibilities including optimized electrode materials were demonstrated with a combination of X-ray scattering experiments and atomistic computer simulations.

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