Research & Development
Facts and figures
Despite the difficult economic environment, the voestalpine Group’s expenses for research and development remained at a very high level. The R&D budget for the current business year amount to EUR 132 million. This means that in the last ten years the voestalpine Group has increased expenses for R&D by 11% on average, even after the onset of the economic crisis and cost-cutting programmes.
Highly innovative products
According to EU statistics, voestalpine not only spends more money on research and development than any other Austrian company, but it is among those high-leverage innovators that have a higher-than-average innovative output due to efficient use of resources and funds. For example, alone in the largest Group company, voestalpine Stahl GmbH in Linz, two thirds of the products developed are classified as innovative or even highly innovative. The basis for this success is a comprehensive knowledge network comprised of roughly 100 different collaborations and affiliations with national and international universities, universities of applied sciences, and research institutions, as well as a number of development partnerships with key customers.
This record R&D budget will strengthen our position as an important partner to universities and university research institutions, as well as our development partnerships with numerous key customers,
Key areas of innovation
Some of the top priorities of R&D at voestalpine are the development of new materials, coatings, and processing methods, as well as new joining techniques to bond steel to other materials. The challenges of the future, for example, lie in developing material qualities that are able to meet ever increasing demands. This includes high-tensile steels for the automobiles of the future and extremely resilient, durable high-tech rails or high-speed railway switches that guarantee safety and optimal passenger comfort, even at a speed of 380 kilometers per hour. Additionally, voestalpine is developing special steels for the deepest pipelines in the world, which must withstand more pressure and other influences than previously manufactured tubes and materials were able to do.
Additional information about innovation activities
Innovation in Energy and Environmental Protection
voestalpine is not only a technology leader in the development and production of the most sophisticated steel products but is also a benchmark for energy efficiency and environmental compatibility. voestalpine is the first steelmaker in the world to replace fossil fuels in the blast furnace with waste plastics and has thus reduced the CO2 emissions at the Linz location by more than 500,000 tons annually. Moreover, in the past 30 years, the amount of energy used in steel production has been decreased by roughly 50%. Over the past 15 years, the reduction in energy consumption was about 20%.
Additional information about environment