Research and development is a crucial success factor for voestalpine. The R&D budget for the business year 2021/22 is the highest to date at EUR 185 million. Around 700 employees are working on innovative solutions in 77 R&D facilities worldwide. The core of the voestalpine company strategy is leadership in innovation, technology, and quality. That makes research and development (R&D) a central element of the voestalpine business model.
The core of the voestalpine company strategy is leadership in innovation, technology, and quality. That makes research and development (R&D) a central element of the voestalpine business model.
To consistently maintain the company’s quality standard and business success, continuous investments are made in R&D. Even in 2020/21, the most challenging business year to date, voestalpine spent EUR 153 million on research. The 2021/22 R&D budget is the highest to date at 185 million euros.
“The key to the voestalpine Group’s global success is innovation. The present record research budget of EUR 185 million clearly shows that research, development, and innovation have the highest priority within the voestalpine Group […],” states Franz Androsch, Head of R&D at voestalpine.
Research & development as a catalyst
A technology-driven company like voestalpine has to continually develop new products and production processes in order to set itself apart from the competition and continue to be successful in the market.
The goal of product development is to create innovative complete solutions. The Group’s metallurgical know-how combined with its materials and processing expertise provides the ideal basis. All research activities primarily focus on the high-revenue and technologically sophisticated mobility and energy markets
Innovative products deliver distinctly positive results even in times of crisis and poor economic activity and effectively contribute to the stability and security of the company.
Research & development for the environment
R&D is not only a catalyst for the company’s success, it also significantly helps protect the environment and climate. The production route for steel production is continuously being optimized in terms of resource efficiency and emissions. Successfully—carbon emissions have already been reduced by a full 20%. But the potential for carbon savings has almost been exhausted. To meet company and EU requirements to further reduce emissions, other approaches need to be taken. At the moment, in-depth research is being performed on completely new production technologies.
Collaboration for successful developments
Intensive research and development work necessitates an efficient and effective research network. In-depth knowledge of materials and processes is necessary in order to develop high-quality products and complex processes. This basic research is performed together with and by scientific partners. The voestalpine scientific R&D network comprises around 100 international and national partners such as university institutes, universities of applied sciences, research institutes, competence centers, and Christian Doppler laboratories.
Another Christian Doppler Laboratory opens
The Christian Doppler Society is an international best practice example for combining entrepreneurial issues with top basic research. The Society encourages collaborations between companies and universities (Christian Doppler Laboratories) and universities of applied sciences (Josef Ressel Centers) in the area of application-oriented basic research. voestalpine currently works together with 10 laboratories.
A new CD laboratory “CDL-AgePol” (Christian Doppler Laboratory For Superimposed Mechanical-Environmental Ageing Of Polymeric Hybrid Laminates) has just been opened at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz. At this laboratory, new characterization and testing methods are being developed to investigate and understand the adhesion mechanisms between different materials under complex loading conditions and environmental influences. The goal is to be able to predict durability and service life in order to ensure the high quality of products such as the fully bonded lamination stacks developed by voestalpine. These stacks are already being used successfully in extremely efficient electric motors.
Our path to a green future
We are upping the pace of emissions reduction. greentec steel from voestalpine is Austria’s largest climate protection program. Starting in 2027, this program will reduce Austria’s annual CO2 emissions by almost 5%. 2024 marks the start of the partial shift from the blast furnace to the electric arc furnace (EAF) route—once unresolved funding issues in Austria are clarified.