05.05.11 17:24

High technology and pure nature at the heart of the Alps-Adriatic region


High technology and pure nature at the heart of the Alps-Adriatic region

Mountains and lakes are not enough: Austria’s southernmost province offers first rate industrial and commercial premises, much sought-after technological know-how and an excellently trained labour force.


The perfect mix

Concentration reigns in the research laboratories. Only occasionally a pair of eyes looks up from a microscope; then the gaze falls through the large window onto the Karawanken mountain range. Perhaps an employee might also turn to look at the green hills of the Carinthian hinterland. In between, less than a ten minutes’ drive away, there is Lake Wörthersee. So there will be time for a swim after work, or simply a leisurely walk along the water front.

Many investors from abroad do not decide in favour of Carinthia as a location for their Austrian and Eastern European subsidiaries by chance. An outstanding region for emergent high tech companies perfectly complements the traditional industries of mechanical and plant engineering. In addition there is a holiday feeling all year round in the ‘region of a thousand lakes’ with its sun-blessed climate – this is exactly the mix that companies need to attract creative and motivated staff.

Infineon: Semiconductors for the world market

Not without good reason did Infineon Technologies Austria decide in favour of Villach and develop the site into its group-wide headquarters. Its core competence, the production of semiconductors for automobile and industrial electronics, makes Villach one of the market leaders in this field. With the new headquarters for IT infrastructure in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee responsibility for substantial parts of Infineon’s global IT is taken and another global centre of excellence established. As a result Infineon Carinthia is strengthening its position within the globally active group. Thanks to numerous innovative large enterprises as well as small and medium-sized companies the region around Villach has developed into one of the most important innovation areas in Carinthia.

1.5 million exhaust gas turbochargers – made in Carinthia

Another success story is the company Mahle Filtersysteme Austria in St. Michael ob Bleiburg. With more than 2,400 employees Mahle is one of the biggest employers in Carinthia. The company runs its own mechatronics centre as well as its own apprentice academy. By starting up Bosch Mahle Turbo Systems Austria, a joint venture of the two big automotive suppliers, the decision was made once more in favour of Carinthia in 2008 as well as an investment in the establishment of a production site for exhaust gas turbochargers. Up to 1.5 million turbochargers are to be fabricated and assembled for the European automotive industry in St. Michael annually. The Bosch Group with 272,000 employees worldwide and Mahle with more than 40,000 employees complement one another perfectly in the field of exhaust gas turbochargers. Together they support this key technology to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in future engine generations.  

Dr. Andreas Prang, managing director of Bosch Mahle Turbo Systems: “The decision in favour of the location St. Michael was made early because as well as the good technical facilities and infrastructure provided by the already existing MAHLE Filtersysteme Austria plant, which we can make use of, it is particularly the efficiency and commitment of the people from the region that have to be mentioned as decisive criteria for the location decision. The proximity to the Universities of Klagenfurt and Leoben as well as to the Graz Technical University ensures the necessary succession of qualified personnel and engineers.”