© Boehringer Ingelheim, Dieter Quant
American biotech, pharmaceutical, and life science companies face many challenges today. Organizations are struggling with a shortage of skilled workers, rising costs, supply chain disruptions, and data security. Other challenges include a growing scrutiny of regulations and sustainability. And the pressure is constantly increasing to drive growth and international expansion, develop domestic manufacturing and research capacities abroad, and improve access to new medicines and technologies.
For a life sciences company, global expansion can be particularly daunting, given the costs and time involved in navigating procedures and regulations that vary from one market to the next.
There are no simple, one-stop-shop solutions for the life sciences industry in the US, if only because of its size: the annual revenue of pharmaceuticals alone is estimated at more than half a trillion dollars. However, more and more organizations focusing on international expansion and research are looking for operations in Austria, a growing life sciences hub that offers the sector many benefits to the bottom line, more funding, and comprehensive that support.
Investments in the Future-Continuity
About 900 biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical technology companies operate in Austria, including established US-based multinationals such as Merck, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, GE Healthcare, Amgen, Biogen, Gilead Sciences, and Medtronic, as well as startups and scaleups including Apeiron Biologics and ViraTherapeutics. Everyone benefits from Austria’s comprehensive ecosystem, from basic research to production and distribution.
An example is MSD, a Merck & Co. company, which in 2020 acquired Themis, a Vienna-based startup specializing in vaccines and immunomodulation therapies for infectious diseases and cancer. MSD Animal Health Danube Biotech is investing about €30 million (US$31.5 million) in Austria in cutting-edge technologies for veterinary medicine, with €150 million (US$157.5 million) more planned.
Another is Pfizer, which relies on the attractive environment that Austria offers for pharmaceutical production and long-term partnerships with local medical institutions, universities, and stakeholders in the country’s healthcare sector, which produces around 14.5 million vaccine doses per year at the Austrian production site for the entire world. export.
And Americans are not alone. Switzerland’s Novartis Group recently invested €900 million (US$945 million) in a new production facility for biopharmaceuticals. And German pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim is building a climate-neutral green factory in Austria: the biggest investment in the company’s history.
Many Austrian companies, such as BASF, ZETA, Bilfinger, and VTU, provide basic technologies for the entire value chain of production processes. These technologies include the production of plasma, special enzymes, and other biological substrates, and stem-cell products for the repair of bones, cartilage, and muscle tissue, along with good manufacturing practice ( GMP) expertise for the development of pharmaceutical plants. Close collaboration with universities, research centers, and industry and the Austrian team of highly educated, experienced scientists, experts, and technicians ensure that these organizations produce the highest quality products and services.
Funding and Talent Opportunities
As a hub for the sciences, Austria provides comprehensive, non-bureaucratic support in financing, searching for top talent, identifying and acquiring the best operational sites, acquiring the necessary approval, and networking with potential partners. As a small country, Austrian government organizations coordinate effectively, using streamlined online registration, tax, personnel, social, insurance, environmental, and many other types of procedures to help those company to set up efficiently.
Organizations thinking about locating in Austria can use a lot of direct and indirect funding. By 2021, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG is giving life science organizations subsidies, loans, credits, and guarantees of €1.6 billion (US$1.7 billion) for research. Austria’s unique 14% research tax credit covers the costs of additional in-house and contract research.
Austria shows a research ratio of 3.26% in 2022, making it one of the most research-intensive countries in the world, and is considered a “strong innovator” in the European Union’s Innovation Scorecard, surpassing EU average. In an innovation-friendly country of 8 million, 25,000 life-science researchers work in the private sector and in 55 research facilities mainly dedicated to life sciences, as well as public-private models partnership (PPP) such as COMET and Christian Doppler laboratories. , supported by many life science groups.
Due to Austria’s recognized dual education system, which combines theoretical and practical training, life science organizations have little problem recruiting qualified and motivated employees. Today, 77,000 students are enrolled in life-sciences study programs at Austrian universities: a great talent for the next generation.
Austrian medical universities have produced countless distinguished researchers and Nobel Prize winners such as Karl Landsteiner, Konrad Lorenz, and Anton Zeilinger. Its location in the heart of Europe is prime for access to clinical studies across the continent, including the Vienna General Hospital, the fourth largest in Europe.
And despite a top-notch infrastructure and a quality of life that ranks among the highest in the world, labor costs in Austria are consistently lower than in the US.
Welcome to Austria
The Austrian Business Agency (ABA), the national business location company, the first point of contact for prospective investors, has helped attract about €14 billion (US$14.8 billion) in foreign direct investment.
ABA supports organizations with customized services free of charge on all issues related to location, setting up operations, and finding skilled employees by linking to companies with research institutions, funding institutions and other important players, helping to find laboratory space, and providing information that will help ensure your successful start-up in Austria.
Learn more about starting in Austria and how it benefits your bottom line.