Alpbach, August 25, 2022 – Behind developments like digitization, automation and technologies regarding climate protection such as e-mobility and photovoltaics are electronic based systems. To strengthen non-university research on these key technologies, Silicon Austria Labs (SAL) was founded in 2018 by the federal government, the federal states of Styria, Carinthia and Upper Austria, as well as the Austrian Association for the Electric and Electronics Industry (FEEI). Now the shareholders’ representatives have jointly declared their ongoing long-term support for the top research center in the field of microelectronics in order to strengthen the competitive advantage of the local industry and secure Austria’s success as a research location.
“Innovations play an important role in shaping a climate-neutral future. With their work, the researchers at Silicon Austria Labs contribute to a sustainable value creation process and thus to reaching Austria’s climate goals. With our long-term support, we invest in research on technologies for the mobility and energy transformation and in a green industry that is internationally competitive. This way, we can secure SAL’s successful positioning and ensure that we will have world market leaders in environmental technologies in our country in the future,” stresses Federal Minister for Climate Action, Leonore Gewessler.
“Silicon Austria Labs is a lighthouse in the nationwide cooperation between science and economy. The team at SAL has managed to conclude cooperation agreements with renowned research institutions, attract well-known industry partners and establish lighthouse projects in the field of microelectronics. The Styrian innovation location will profit greatly from the further expansion of the research center,” states Styrian Provincial Minister for Science and Economy, Barbara Eibinger-Miedl.
“Silicon Austria Labs has been present at the site in Villach since the very beginning and strengthens Carinthia’s role as a technological hot spot, especially in the field of microelectronics. With the declaration of further support until 2030 and the establishment of Austria’s biggest research cleanroom at the High Tech Campus Villach, the success story that started in 2018 at the European Forum Alpbach continues,” comments Carinthian Provincial Minister for Technology and deputy governor, Gaby Schaunig.
“In Linz, Silicon Austria Labs is developing key technologies for a wirelessly connected factory of the future with research on the new generation of wireless communication 6G. This is opening up entirely new business opportunities for the digitized industrial production. The business and innovation location Upper Austria thus has an important actor at the interface between science and economy. With our involvement in SAL via the Upper Austrian Research GmbH, we want to establish Linz as a center for 6G research to secure the foundation of our value chain for the future,” explains Upper Austrian Provincial Minister for Economy and Research, Markus Achleitner.
“The electric and electronics industry sets the pace for innovation and progress. As one of Austria’s most research-intensive industries, it plays a key role in both Europe and the global market. As a shareholder of Silicon Austria Labs, we, the Austrian Association for the Electric and Electronics Industry, see the enormous innovation potential in the cooperation between the industry and research centers. Together we work on solutions for the big challenges that society is facing nowadays, such as the climate crisis, and together we can implement the energy transformation faster,” states chairwoman of Infineon Technologies and deputy chairwoman of the Austrian Association for the Electric and Electronics Industry (FEEI), Sabine Herlitschka.
“SAL has a lot on its agenda! Our vision for the upcoming years – the ‘SAL vision 2030’ – focuses on three main ideas: Firstly, with our research on electronic based systems we want to face the challenges of climate change upfront. Secondly, we want to continue developing the research location Austria and thirdly, increase Austria’s share on the global electronic semiconductor market. With the support of our shareholders and partners, we will rise to the Champions League of top European research,” shares Gerald Murauer, CEO at SAL.
“Microelectronics are used wherever digital information is processed, transmitted or stored. They are the basis of efficiency and performance in every industry and an indispensable foundation for prosperity. Thus, strategically promoting this key industry is not only necessary to maintain competitiveness, but also for securing the industry’s existence in the long run. AT&S is making a significant contribution to Europe with advanced packaging solutions, which is why we are establishing a unique-to-Europe R&D center in Leoben,” explains chairman of Leoben-based corporation AT&S, Andreas Gerstenmayer.
“The connection between chips, sensor technologies, software-stack and validation is particularly important for the local automotive industry and thus also for AVL List. The rapid validation of components, systems and applications is crucial to our success, for all its complexity. SAL consistently implements the necessary bridge between hardware and software in its research and is therefore a very attractive partner for AVL. This way, we can offer innovative solutions and contribute to strengthening Austria and Europe as research locations and contribute to climate protection on the basis of sustainable mobility,” comments Helmut List, CEO at Graz-based company AVL List.
Research Lighthouses at SAL
At the three SAL locations in Graz, Villach and Linz, research on key technologies in five different fields is conducted. These five research areas, the so-called lighthouses, are located along the entire value chain of electronic based systems:
- “More Than Moore” Microsystem Technologies
- High Power Density Converters
- Dependable EBS
- 6G, the next generation of wireless communication
The SAL team around Christina Hirschl in Villach is working on photonic systems – which are essential for photovoltaics or autonomous driving, for example – and “More than Moore” microsystem technologies, which are a requirement for the miniaturization and increased efficiency of components.
In Graz, an interdisciplinary team around Rudolf Krall has devoted themselves to research on power electronics and the optimization of the power density of electronic components that are used in electric vehicles, for example. Another team is working on different technologies that contribute to the dependability of EBS, starting with software development for the Internet of Things through to the question of the explicability of artificial intelligence (Explainable AI).
In Linz, the team around Thomas Buchegger is already conducting research on the new generation of wireless communication 6G, as the fundamental research for a market launch of 6G by 2030 is beginning to form internationally. 6G enables the transmission of large volumes of data in nearly real time, while at the same time providing high reliability, and thus plays an essential role for wireless machine-to-machine communication in the industry.
Silicon Austria Labs GmbH (SAL) was founded in 2018 at the European Forum Alpbach as a cross-border non-university top research center for electronic based systems. At the sites in Graz, Villach and Linz, research is conducted on key technologies in the areas of Microsystems, Sensor Systems, Power Electronics, Intelligent Wireless Systems and Embedded Systems. SAL is thus connecting both important actors from industry and academia as well as valuable expertise and know-how and is conducting cooperative, application-oriented research along the value chain. The goal is to accelerate the value creation process from idea to innovation – with excellent research and economic profits. Shareholders are the Republic of Austria (50,1%), the federal states of Styria and Carinthia (each 10%), the federal state of Upper Austria (4,95%) and the Austrian Association for the Electric and Electronics Industry (24,95%).
Silicon Austria Labs GmbH
Isabella Preuer, BA BA MA
Corporate Communications & PR
+43 664 832 97 73