11 Hidden Tech Champions from Austria

There are some world-famous brands from Austria — take Red Bull and Swarosvski as examples from the beverage and jewelry sectors. But in technology and engineering, there are no such giants. Many leading tech companies are medium or small in size and largely unknown to the general public. These companies are “hidden champions.”

Here is a list of some of them.

AVL List is the world’s largest developer of powertrain systems for vehicles and large engines, along with the associated simulation and testing. The company was founded in 1948 and currently employs about 9,500 people.

Diamond Aircraft develops and produces a range of light aircraft. Founded in 1981, the company has now about 1,200 employees and is the third largest company in the world selling single engine aircraft. Special emphasis is given to flight safety and one-stop-shop service.

Doppelmayr is a world-leading manufacturer of ropeways, cable cars, and ski lifts. They have built about 15,000 installations in 90 countries since their foundation in 1892. The Doppelmayr-Garaventa group has about 2,700 employees all over the world, most of them in Austria and Switzerland.

Frequentis is a leading company in safety-critical information and communication systems with emphasis on air traffic management, public safetly, and transport. Their 500 customers include Scotland Yard, NASA, police organizations, and the German armed forces. The company was founded in 1947 and has now about 1,600 employees.

Geislinger, founded in the 1960s, is a world-leading developer and producer of dampers and couplings. Their products are mainly used in ships and other places with large engines. The company has 700 employees and an export rate of 99 %.

GREENoneTEC is a world-leading manufacturer of thermal solar collectors. The company was founded in 1992 and now has about 150 employees.

iSi Group is the global market leader in pressurized gas cylinders. Founded in 1867, the company offers products for kitchenware, automotive, and components (e.g., life-saving, medical applications).

Kapsch is a telecommunications and traffic telematics group that was founded in 1892. It has currently almost 7,000 employees in four companies: BusinessCom, CarrierCom, PublicTransportCom, and TrafficCom. The latter develops and operates electronic toll systems.

TTTech develops and sells communication platforms that are especially reliable and safe. Established in 1998 as a spin-off of TU Vienna, the company has more than 500 staff members with a gross performance of more than 70 million Euro. Reference partners include Audi, Boeing, NASA, and Thales.

Magna is a Canadian-Austrian automotive supplier headquartered in Canada with its European branch steered from Austria. Magna Steyr in Graz is a subsidiary of Magna International. With its about 10,000 employees, it develops and produces vehicles on behalf of car manufacturers, such as Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Januar, and Volkswagen cars.

ZKW, founded in 1938, develops and produces lighting systems with emphasis on front lighting for car, truck, and two-wheeler applications. The company has about 9,000 employees. Customers include many major car manufacturers.

Disclaimer: This list is not meant to be a complete list of all (hidden) (tech) champions in Austria. The author declares that he is not affiliated with any of these companies. He has been advised by the founder of TTTech and a former board member of Kapsch TrafficCom as part of his job as scientific director at Lakeside Labs. Both Lakeside Labs and TTTech are partners in a large European research project with several other partners.