The Austrian business landscape is characterised by innovative small and medium-sized enterprises, by dynamic growth in company set-ups, and by rising direct investments.
In the past 15 years, more than 400,000 companies have been founded - and the number is increasing.

The most important Austrian industrial sectors include: metal production and processing, the chemical industry, mechanical engineering, the electrical and electronics industries, vehicles and transport as well as the food industry. There is a particularly high proportion of innovative companies not only in the classic technology industries of EDP and electrotechnology/optics, but also in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, in mechanical engineering and in the vehicle industry. In the service sector, which has a slightly lower overall proportion of innovative companies, the IT and telecommunications industry is of special importance.
The mechanical and plant engineering and metal products sector generates around EUR 33.5 billion (2011) or nearly a quarter of the entire production value in the manufacture of material goods. Around 1,900 businesses are heavily export-oriented and belong to one of the most active industries, with investments of roughly EUR 500 million in research and development.
Large innovative mechanical engineering companies include the Voestalpine steel group as well Andritz, Liebherr, Plasser & Theurer, GE Jenbacher, Doppelmayer, and Palfinger.


The electrical and electronics industry comprises around 225 companies with about 60,000 employees and a production value of around EUR 12.8 billion (2011). Around one third of the total industrial budget on research and development comes from this sector.
Highly specialised companies such as Infineon, Alcatel, Siemens, Sony, austriamicrosystems, NXP Semiconductor and SEZ operate important research and production sites in Austria.
Austrian companies are also present on the world market in the field of mechatronics, the fusion of mechanical engineering, electronics and information technology. This sector comprises around 6,900 businesses with above-average innovation expenditure.
One of the most important industrial sectors is the chemical industry with a share of around twelve percent. Most companies operate in the areas of plastics and pharmaceuticals. These include, for example, Borealis, one of the world’s leading plastics producers, and the Engel Group, a leading mechanical engineering company. Also amongst the prominent representatives of the chemical industry in Austria are Henkel, situated in Vienna, and the branch office of the pharmaceutical company Sandoz in Tyrol, one of the world’s most important manufacturers of antibiotics. The extent of investments made by foreign companies in Austria demonstrates the dynamism of the location: Austrian biotech companies secured major contracts with global companies such as GlaxoSmithKline. The US group Baxter bundled its research activities in Austria, while the German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim invested more than EUR 170 million in Vienna. Companies such as Sandoz, Eli Lilly and Roche also produce and research in Austria.


In the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, Austria is in the upper midfield on an international scale.
ICT also occupies an important place in (non-) university research, both at the technical universities and universities of applied sciences, as well as in the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, in the Softwarepark Hagenberg or in the many competence centres. Outstanding companies in the sector are: Frequentis, global market leader for airport security technology, Infineon, developer and manufacturer of power electronics, AT&S, leading manufacturer of printed circuit boards for mobile telephones, and Kapsch, an innovative provider of traffic telematics systems.
Energy technology is another Austrian export hit: Two out of three biomass boilers installed in Germany come from Austria, and 79 percent of all thermal collectors go into export. With a turnover of EUR 490 million (2010) and around 1.3 million m2 of manufactured collector surface, Austria is amongst the biggest producing countries in Europe.
The Alpine republic has also developed into an important location for the automotive industry. Around 700 companies work in the supplier industry.