An expert group has analysed 293 regions in Europe for their potential within 6 key enabling technologies (KET). The best 10 regions per technology have then been identified and only 2 Austrian regions have made it to the Top10:

  •  Vorarlberg is place 8th in the field of Photonics
  •  Vienna is place 7th in the field of Advanced Materials

For the ranking the expert group has compared the patent applications within the technology fields in a defined time frame and they used absolute numbers. That means, despite it’s small size Vorarlberg can keep up internationally. And that is incredible!

Furthermore with 480 billion euro market volumne, the technology field of Photonics is one oft he most important KET, Advanced Materials in comparison has a market volumne of 150 billion euro.



According to the expert group, the 6 KET will drive innovation in future and strenghten Europe’s competitive position and industries. They are:

  • Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
  • Advanced Materials
  • Industrial Biotechnology
  • Micro-/Nanoelectronics
  • Nanotechnologies
  • Photonics

The full report, that was published in 2015, can be downloaded here:

Tradition and Innovation

Besides Zumtobel Group as one of the traditional innovation drivers in Vorarlberg,  remarkably many young companies contribute  to the developments in lighting technologies: Be it efficiant LED lamps in Lustenau (LEDON Lamp), LED based growth lamps for plants in Schruns (SANlight), individual lighting solutions for industries in Hohenems (NEUlicht) or revolutionary lighting source designs in Langenegg (Georg Bechter Licht), to name just a few.



The relevance of Vorarlberg als a light technology hotspot is also underlined by the LpS Symposium. The LED oriented expert conference annually draws more than 1,500 visitors from all over the world to Bregenz.  The event has established as one of the leading light technology events internationally.

Laser Center

Next to light as a tool for illumination, companies like Spectra-Physics and Montfort Laser engage with light in its most concentrated form. They develop ultra short pulse lasers for processing materials and are very successful with that.

The processing of material surfaces with lasers is also analysed in an own research centre at the FH Vorarlberg. By precise work with fast pulsed laser sources, surfaces can for example be edited to become hydrophob (water repellent) or hygroscopic(water attracting). The development of these functional surfaces bare remarkable potentials for different applications, for example in the medical fiel das well as in industries.

©Weissengruber + Partner for CHANCENLAND VORARLBERG at Spectra-Physics

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