Research & Development
Facts and figures
In the business year 2013/14, the research and development expenditure of the voestalpine Group rose to EUR 141 million, a new record. This is a gain of more than 8% compared to the previous year; in the past ten years, this expenditure has more than doubled. The research ratio (proportion of R&D expenditures in relation to revenue) rose from 1.09% to 1.16% compared to the same period of the previous year.
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.
Innovation is the key word for voestalpine’s worldwide success. The current record-breaking budget of EUR 141 million shows clearly that research, development, and innovation have top priority at the voestalpine Group. Consistent investment in this key sector is essential as it is clear to everyone at voestalpine that we can ensure our future as an international player in sophisticated product segments only by specializing and maintaining our technology and quality leadership.
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 ultra-high strength steels 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