voestalpine is increasing its research and development budget to a record level of over EUR 140 million for the BY 2014/15, maintaining its position as Austria's most research-intensive industrial company.
This important step was jointly agreed within the Group in order to secure the long-term success of planned investments in the most technologically-demanding product sectors, and to extend its global technological leadership in defined product segments. More than 700 employees in 75 voestalpine companies worldwide are currently involved in research & development activities. Over the past decade alone, R&D expenditure has risen annually by around 11 percent. As a result, R&D expenditure has almost tripled since 2003, from EUR 48 million to EUR 140 million.
"Research, development and innovation enjoy the highest priority at the voestalpine Group. We consistently invest in this key area, because only specialization, paired with technological and quality leadership, will secure our future as an international player in the most demanding product segments."
Global research network
Working together with around 70 universities and research institutes, voestalpine is currently running around 150 research projects in 21 countries. voestalpine has been consistently generating trend-setting innovations for ultra high-strength steels for years, especially for use in automotive lightweight construction. For example, up to 60% better forming properties can be achieved by using the newly developed multiphase steels for the next generation of body-in-white components (AHSS HD steels – Advanced High-Strength Steels High Ductility).
Focus of future research
The Group’s activities are based on high-tech steel, and this will continue to be the focus of voestalpine research in the future. Consequently, the transformation from steel producer to a technology and capital goods group will be completed gradually. In future the focus will be on those markets which are most demanding in terms of technology and quality, especially in the mobility and energy sectors. Accordingly, other goals include sustainable market, quality, technology and results leadership, as well as industry benchmarks in Europe for environmental standards and resource efficiency. It is the combination of metallurgical know-how and leading expertise in processing which leads to new technological solutions and innovative products.