Microchip | © dieindustrie.at | Mathias Kniepeiss Microchip | © dieindustrie.at | Mathias Kniepeiss
The Green Heart of business and innovation


In the heart of Europe, Steiermark stands out with its vibrant economy and innovative strength. It is a place where visionary companies can develop with their creative minds and thus improve the world of tomorrow with products and services.

With a strong focus on research and development, Steiermark has created an impressive innovative landscape that drives various industries forward. From medical technology to renewable energies and the automotive industry, Steiermark is a pioneer for trailblazing technologies and solutions. Companies benefit from a dynamic business environment, strong industrial presence and wide range of funding opportunities. The Green Heart of Austriais proud of its innovative strength and commitment to sustainable economic growth, making it an attractive location for entrepreneurs, investors and talents.

The winning formula for a strong positioning within research and innovation is the close collaboration between business and science. This is made possible by co-operations between companies, universities and non-university research institutions. The seven clusters and networks also make a significant contribution and promote cross-company collaboration.



  • The Green Heart of Austria has made an impressive transition from an “old industrial area” to a highly industrialised technology region.With a research and development rate of 5.17 percent, it is the most innovative federal province with the highest research rate in Austria and one of the leading regions in European comparison.
  • Export plays a significant role in Steiermark. Three quarters of all products are sold abroad and goods worth 28.91 billion euros were exported to other countries in 2022. The most important trading partners include Germany, the USA, Italy, China and the United Kingdom.
  • The federal competence centre programme (COMET) serves to strengthen co-operation between business and science. The Green Heart of Austria is currently involved at 24 of the programme’s 41 Austrian research centres.
  • The gross regional product was 51.6 billion euros in 2021. In direct comparison with Austria’s other federal provinces, Steiermark is in fourth place. This results in a GDP of 41,300 euros per inhabitant.
  • The Styrian Business Promotion Agency  (SFG) supported 1,550 projects by local companies in 2022. The associated funding amounts to almost 64 million euros.
  • The Green Heart of Austria has many bright minds and great ideas. This is reflected in its start-ups, with 5,907 companies founded in 2022. That’s second place Austria-wide! Overall, every seventh start-up in Austria is based in Steiermark.


An impressive 436 patents were registered in 2022. The many bright minds have thus contributed to Steiermark being able to achieve second place in Austria for patent applications.

Of the 40,455 employers, there are 33,091 micro-enterprises employing up to nine people. In return, there are 277 large companies with more than 250 employees each.

The recipe for success is strongly based on the future-oriented key themes of mobility, green tech and health tech in combination with the related core competencies in the fields of material engineering, production technologies, mechanical and plant engineering as well as digital technologies and microelectronics.

Business & Innovation


What support is there for start-ups? How can you employ workforce from Austria and abroad? Or how are particularly innovative companies recognised? The following links provide answers to questions about business and innovation in the Green Heart of Austria.


Bernd Pischetsrieder is one of the most prominent and respected automobile managers in the world; his CV is unique in the industry. Born in Bavaria and a fan of the Green Heart of Austria, Bernd has been CEO of BMW and Volkswagen. His appointment as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG is the culmination of his career. For info: the interview is in german language.

Delightful meetings in Styria | © Steiermark Tourismus | Tom Lamm

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