- After more than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the interest in biotech and medtech solutions has reached new heights
- Vienna is becoming an international hub for the health and life science industry, which generates €3.4 billion in revenue
- At Vienna UP’21, health and life science events gather the world’s brightest minds and fiercest innovators to illuminate the future of the healthcare sector
With a scientific and medical tradition that goes back centuries, it’s no wonder that Austria is a rich resource for the biotech and medtech industries. In recent years, the Austrian capital has been bustling with new developments and has come to be recognized as a key player on the international scene.
Public Health Meets the Economy
In December of 2020, Austria’s biotechnology companies banded together to form Biotech Austria, the country’s first specific branch association for the biotechnology industry. This association aims to promote cooperation between the government, science and the biotech industry, which currently employs 2,000 people and includes over 150 companies. “The biotech industry is a very important economic sector in Austria,” says Peter Llewellyn-Davies, president of Biotech Austria and CEO of Apeiron Biologics. “The technologies that have been developed by this industry have come to play a key role in human wellbeing, public health and thus the economy.” In this past year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen the importance of this industry firsthand. The development of new innovative ways of testing and the remarkably fast progress in developing the SARS-COV-2 vaccine have been crucial in containing the pandemic. One of the new diagnostic methods, the RT-LAMP, was developed right here at the Vienna Biocenter.
As the country’s capital, Vienna is undoubtedly the center of Austria’s medical industry. According to a 2017 report by LISAvienna the city is home to more than 240 medical device companies, boasting a workforce of 8,890 people and bringing in €3.4 billion in revenue. Currently, there are 51 medical device companies carrying out research, development and manufacturing in Vienna. A number of these companies have a long-standing tradition that goes as far back as 1969, however the biggest companies on the market are notably younger, with 24 of them being founded less than five years ago. In addition to bigger companies, Vienna is increasingly becoming a hub for medtech startups focusing on digital health solutions.
Funding the Biotech and Medtech Sectors
It is important now more than ever to invest in new talent and innovative ideas in the field of biotech and medtech. Fortunately, Vienna isn’t lacking in the financing department, offering an abundance of research and innovation funds. The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) aims to support ongoing development of Austrian science and basic research at an international level. Their primary goal is to fund top-quality research projects for individuals and teams by enhancing the competitiveness of Austria’s innovation system and its research facilities. The Austrian promotional bank of the federal government AWS also offers several funding options like the AWS Preseed which delivers funding for the phase before a life science company is set up, providing up to €200,000 to those selected.
Join Vienna’s Biotech and Medtech Innovators at Vienna UP’21
The upcoming startup festival Vienna UP’21 aims to connect startups, investors and talents across different industries at numerous events. In addition to helping the participants navigate through challenging times, the conferences combine research and application as equals and provide new insights into tomorrow’s innovations. Inspired tech talents will share the stage and screens with members of academia, the government and the health care sector at this unique international festival, curated by the Vienna Business Agency.
Respected members of the science community and tech innovators will also gather at this year’s iteration of the startup mega-event to discuss the newest developments in their fields. Peruse the program and mark these health and life science events below. Don’t miss the chance to dive deeper into this fascinating and life-changing industry!
As medical technologies are advancing, so is the healthcare system they serve. At the core of it is patient empowerment, a process that helps people gain agency over their healthcare and increase their active involvement in their wellbeing. On May 7, Health Hub Vienna is hosting an interactive meetup on the subject with a keynote, a discussion panel and interactive sessions.
We use it every day and often take it for granted, but its significance for business and technology is constantly increasing – water. On May 10, Biotech Atelier is starting a dialogue with utility companies, startups and larger business entities in the area of biotechnological developments and their application in the water sector.
The life science connector LISAvienna invites startups to connect with medical professionals and healthcare providers from across the world and join them in an illuminating discussion on areas in need of innovation on May 10.
The Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) – Center for Health & Bioresources has organized this conference series – now under the name of dHealth – since 2007. Their fifteenth iteration is a how-to on navigating the healthcare sector in times of crisis, a theme that couldn’t be more timely. Join them for the two-day event on May 11 and 12 and gain valuable insight into the medical innovations of tomorrow.
Want to dive deeper into the world of Vienna’s startup scene? Check out our article “Where Art Meets Business” to find out about local creative industries and their involvement in Vienna UP’21.
This article is part of a cooperation with the Vienna Business Agency