Austria’s capital, Vienna, has grown into one of Europe’s leading hubs for life sciences, with around 35,000 people working in this field.
The life sciences sector is of enormous importance to the Austrian economy. Over 60% of all companies in Austria working in biotechnology, medical technology and pharmaceuticals are based in Vienna according to the latest study by the cluster organisation Life Sciences Austria Vienna (LISAvienna) . The “Vienna Life Science Report 2013/14” states that there are 378 life science companies in Vienna, employing around 21,000 people and generating revenue of EUR 9.1bn in 2012.
Vienna also has a heavily research-focused academic scene with 25 research institutes dealing with life sciences. Around 14,300 people work in this sector at 5 universities, 2 universities of applied sciences and 18 non-university-based institutions – with more than half of them engaged in research. 5,733 scientific papers have been published and teaching and support given to a total of 38,290 students. Furthermore, 33 out of the total 38 ERC grants awarded in Austria – a highly acclaimed EU research prize – went to scientists in Vienna in 2012.
The report also highlights the fact that Vienna has been developing exceptionally well as a location for life sciences in international comparisons. Highly acclaimed fundamental research and licence deals have been key factors in establishing an international reputation for life sciences. Cooperation agreements between (young) biotechnology companies and international pharmaceutical firms are further evidence of this sector’s global success. BIO-Europe 2013 – Europe’s largest partnering conference for the biotechnology industry – is another sign of this and it has been held in Vienna twice already.