Graz/ Villach/ Linz, June 25, 2019 – With the signing of the merger agreement by the managing directors of SAL and the CTR Board of Directors, the ongoing preparatory process for the personnel and organizational merger of the two research centers is now legally sealed: After the official registration in the company register, all research agendas will be run exclusively through Silicon Austria Labs GmbH. The continuity of CTR's research activities and projects is a top priority. Thanks to a long-term project in preparation of the merger, a complete continuation of the projects in accordance with SAL research strategy can be ensured.
"This merger marks a new chapter of Austrian innovation in the field of electronic-based systems," SAL Managing Director Dipl.-Ing. Werner Luschnig commented on the legal merger of SAL and CTR. "Thanks to the extremely constructive cooperation with the CTR Board of Directors, the tireless commitment of all SAL and CTR employees, and the joint vision to help shape the research landscape in the field of electronic-based systems, we can now move forward as one team and take advantage of the opportunities for the location offered by the digital transformation and help shape Austria's technological future," Luschnig says.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE RESEARCH CENTER IS PROGRESSING
Following the signing of the framework agreement by the shareholders in August 2018, the official establishment of Silicon Austria Labs GmbH on December 14, 2018 and the transfer of all CTR shares to SAL by the State of Carinthia on February 26, 2019, the merger is the next important milestone in the development phase of the research center.
By combining competencies, synergies in the field of electronic-based systems between the locations Graz, Linz and Villach and the broader research fields of SAL are increasingly being utilized. Thanks to attractive basic public funding (EUR 140 million by 2023), the research center can set new standards in research and form research consortia along the entire EBS (Electronic Based Systems) supply chain.
"The establishment of Silicon Austria Labs was a major challenge and we are proud that the concepts and plans we developed over the years have now manifested in a research center of this caliber”, Section Head Deputy Mag. Ingolf Schädler of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (Section III – Innovation and Telecommunications) comments. "SAL will continue to further the national EBS and microelectronics ecosystem in a sustainable way and develop additional capacities that allow Austria to be competitive in these core technologies at an international level. In a capital-intensive research sector such as microelectronics, critical masses must be generated, which we are now implementing with the highest standards of excellence at SAL."
TOP COMPANIES NEED CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH
SAL will be the link between the smallest components and intelligent systems along the supply chain. With innovations that work across this supply chain, participating industrial companies can achieve special competitive advantages on the world market.
"Austrian companies are well positioned in the field of electronic systems. In order to be at the forefront of global competition, they need world-class research. This is what Silicon Austria Labs offers. Through their performance in the field of research & development, Austria can increasingly rely on key technologies in digitalization and thus strengthen the innovation ecosystem in the field of microelectronics and 'embedded software'," Dr. Klaus Bernhardt from the Austrian Association for Electronic and Electronics Industry (FEEI) analyses the role of SAL in interaction with industry. "With CTR, SAL is taking over an experienced research team. At the same time, the location in Villach has the unique opportunity to grow and massively increase the visibility of European research activities thanks to SAL," Dr. Bernhardt discusses the potentials of the merger.
NEW JOBS AND RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE - INVESTMENTS IN AUSTRIA AS A BUSINESS LOCATION
At the High Tech Campus Villach, the top research positions will be tripled to about 160 jobs by 2023. Construction of an additional research building will begin in 2019. By 2023, an additional 3,000 m2 will be added for office and laboratory space.
In the course of the SAL setup at the Villach site, the bandwidth for high-performance data transfer will also be increased from 30 Mbit to 700 Mbit. This enables faster data transfer between the SAL locations and within SAL's scientific network.
"Carinthia relies on economic megatrends that determine the future. With the merger between CTR and SAL, SAL can continue what CTR has already successfully started," deputy governor Dr. Gaby Schaunig emphasizes.
Based on the existing laboratories and cleanrooms, the extensive know-how in the field of sensor technology and thanks to the highly qualified CTR specialists, board members as well as the designated division head for sensor systems, Dr. Christina Hirschl, SAL can continue research activities in Villach without any interruptions and meet the demand for excellence in research.
"I am pleased to know the SAL site Villach in the competent hands of a woman who has already helped shape CTR. With the merger of CTR and SAL, the Southern Austrian region is attracting even more international attention and is entering the global economic playing field as a competent region in the field of EBS through cooperation with already established, globally operating companies." so Schaunig.
HIGH-TECH CITY VILLACH - SAL LOCATION WITH PERSPECTIVE
As a hub in the Alps-Adriatic region, Villach enables networking and cooperation with high-caliber companies and institutions, and thus the cooperation between science and business. The location combines university know-how, research institutions and technology companies, resulting in important synergies for SAL. Combining these competences is fundamental to the recruitment of top international scientists.
"The city of Villach is committed to sustainable engagement in research and jobs. Today, business magazines refer to us as a "boomtown" in which globally competitive businesses and research companies, in cooperation with competent administration, do great things. With Silicon Austria Labs, Infineon and other top corporations, Villach is moving the high-tech region of Carinthia like a locomotive into a great future," Villach's mayor Günther Albel explains the city’s establishment as a high-tech city.
In addition to the innovative working environment, Villach has a high quality of life with its proximity to lakes, mountains and the sea as well as its educational and leisure activities. This also plays a major role for researchers who want to move to Villach with their families.