ABA Newsletter (21 Dec 2016)

Date: Dec 2016

EuroSkills 2016: Austria is the European champion once again

As was the case in 2014, Team Austria once again stood out above the others at this year’s EuroSkills competition in Gothenburg, Sweden, and managed to successfully defend its European championship title with a total of 14 medals.

35 young specialists adroitly demonstrated their capabilities in a total of 29 professions, and beat more than 450 participants from 28 nations. “The successes in Gothenburg confirm the top performance of Austria’s dual educational system, the vocational schools and companies offering apprenticeship training in the professional development of qualified skilled workers which Austria requires in order to be able to continue to persist in the future in the light of international competition”, says a pleased Christoph Leitl, President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.

Hans im Glück opens its first foreign site

Hans im Glück (Hans in luck), a catering and food service group founded in 2010, focuses on restaurants which offer their guests different varieties of burgers and individually created dishes.

In the meantime, Hans im Glück has more than 40 different locations in Germany. Now, thanks to the consulting support provided by ABA, it has opened its first restaurant abroad, namely in Tyrol.

The franchise offering of Hans im Glück targets both traditional startups as well as private companies and institutional partners.

Startup Hub for CEE: Vienna among the Top Ten Startup Hotspots in Europe for the First Time

Vienna stands out due to its quality of life, infrastructure and the many talented people from all across Central Europe who live there.

If you could start all over again from scratch, where would you begin? This question was posed to 700 founders by the European Startup Initiative (esi). The resulting Startup Heatmap Europe shows that Berlin is ranked as the top location, but Vienna is also highly sought-after. The Austrian capital is rated tenth among 30 European cities, beating out Paris, which placed 13th.

Talented people are the most important factor

The survey shows that Vienna is considered by the interviewed founders to be a particularly good location for high-tech startups. In general, these entrepreneurs consider talented staff to be especially crucial. 71% would go to another city just because of the talented people there. Vienna scores points in this regard, in light of the fact that it has 200,000 students and 21 universities. Every tenth person in Vienna is studying. In particular, the CEE competence available in Vienna is helpful. About one-quarter of all students are not citizens of Austria.

Vienna is a convincing location thanks to its infrastructure and costs

According to esi, founders also consider the ecological system (69%), costs (51%) and access to capital (44%) to be key factors underlying their decision in favor of a particular location. Asian startups are excited about Vienna’s advantages. They can reach all European capitals within three hours from Vienna Airport, and can also travel overseas quickly. Other business location factors which stand out internationally are the infrastructure and rental costs.

Infineon Austria: Growth on all levels

The recently completed 2016 financial year (balance sheet date of September 30, 2016) ranks among the most successful in the history of the Infineon Technologies Austria Group (Infineon Austria).

The Austrian subsidiary of the German semiconductor group grew on all levels. Turnover reached a new record level of €1,839.5 million, representing a rise of €412.4 million or 29% from the prior-year figure of € 1,427.1 million. The strong growth resulted from the good market development in the global product business with energy-saving chips. This business responsibility on the part6 of Infineon Austria was further expanded during the takeover of the U.S. semiconductor manufacturer International Rectifier by the Infineon Group. As of August 2016, the Group transferred global responsibility for five producer lines of the former competitor to its Austrian subsidiary. This expansion provided additional support for the strong sales growth of the company. Infineon Austria now serves as the headquarters for the global market activities of a total of eleven product lines.

“In addition to our existing expertise, we have thus greatly expanded our head office areas and now coordinate the global marketing and product business for energy saving chips from Villach“, explains Oliver Heinrich, CFO of Infineon Technologies Austria AG.

Bonanni was recently given the Hedy Lamarr Prize, which honors outstanding female inventors.

Milestone: R&D spending exceeds € 400 million for the first time

Infineon Austria spent € 412 million on research, development and innovation in the 2016 financial year. This represents an increase of € 49 million or 13% more than in the previous financial year, corresponding to a research quota of 22% of total turnover. As a result, Infineon Austria is among the most research-oriented industrial companies in Austria.

Growth capital for Crystalline Mirror Solutions

The crystalline mirror technology of CMS comprises a breakthrough in precision optics, and enables improvements in the range of a factor of 10-100 in optical measurement technology and the production of industrial lasers.

“Up until now Crystalline Mirror Solutions (CMS) has grown through its own efforts. We have resolutely invested our revenues in the further development of our products and the expansion of our international partnerships. The involvement of a remarkable group of private investors as well as the aws Founder Fund as the lead investor means we now have partners on board with which we will be able to scale our products and build up other product areas”, states Christian Pawlu, Managing Director of CMS.

About Crystalline Mirror Solutions

CMS is a spin-off of the University of Vienna and the Vienna Center of Quantum Sciences and Technology. CMS GmbH was founded in Vienna in August 2013. Since then, it has established two other sites in Santa Barbara (California) and Zurich (Switzerland). Potential applications of crystalline super mirrors range from optical components in ultra-precise atomic clocks and precision interferometry and spectroscopy to solutions for heat management and facilities for laser processing.

Supercapacitors: Battery researchers increase storage density

The success prospects for future e-mobility solutions go hand in hand with the growing demands placed on electricity storage devices. Researchers at the University of Graz have presented a hybrid which combines high energy density typical for batteries as well as the high performance of supercapacitors.

They presented their solutions for the first time in the latest issue of the research journal "Nature Materials". It consists of a new type of ionic liquid, which serves as electrolyte and storage material at the same time. This consists of a redox-active salt which is also in a liquid state at a temperature of close to 30 degrees Celsius. The cations and anion of these biredox ionic liquid bear moieties that undergo very fast reversible redox reactions. This serves as the basis for a multiple increase in the capacity of the supercapacitor, demonstrating that the concept works in principle.

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