Life Sciences in Vienna

A growing sector with scientific tradition

Vienna can look back on an excellent scientific tradition in the field of medical research. Semmelweis, Billroth and Landsteiner are part of this history. The outstanding reputation of the Vienna Medical Schools of the past is carried on today – in academia and on the business side. Vienna’s life sciences community has experienced significant growth for many years. In 2020, a total of 600 companies, research institutions and further core organizations were active in the life science sector in Vienna, having a combined workforce of 41,000 people.

Dynamic start-ups meet big players

Vienna’s outstanding geographical position and its top quality of life, make the city an ideal place for marketing products across Europe. All pharmaceutical and almost all medical device companies ranked in the top 20 worldwide by global annual sales have a presence in Vienna. In addition to the international companies, a dynamic start-up scene has been developing since the 1990s. More than 500 biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies produce or develop products and processes in these fields in Vienna or are active as suppliers, service or sales companies. These enterprises employed 24,250 people and generated 13.3 billion euros in sales in 2020. Thereof, more than 200 companies carry out research or develop and produce innovative products.

13.3 bn
Sales / Year
850 m
R&D Investment
Source: Vienna Life Science Report 2021/22 (Data: 2020)
Barbara Rangetiner - Octapharma
(C) Octapharma

Every day we strive to provide safe and efficacious treatments for our patients around the world. By extension of our basic fractionation we’ll be able to double our plasma throughput within the next years. Vienna with its central location, the excellent educational opportunities and its good infrastructure offers best conditions for generating additional jobs to meet the growing demand for our life-saving products in the future.

Barbara Rangetiner
General Manager at Octapharma Pharmazeutika Produktionsgesellschaft m.b.H.

Focusing on improving health

Besides the strong biotech departments of large companies, Vienna is proud of being home to more than 90 younger dedicated biotechnology companies. Almost 70 of them focus on health issues: Infectious diseases, neoplasms (cancer) and diseases of the respiratory system are center stage. However, also business areas going beyond medical issues have emerged in Vienna’s biotech community.
Additional 60 dedicated medical device companies are located in Vienna. These have succeeded in establishing particular strengths in the areas of software, in-vitro diagnostics, implants and disposable products.

Peter Llewellyn-Davies - APEIRON Biologics
(C) APEIRON Biologics / Bernhard Peball

The quality of our home base in Vienna combined with the broad support for research and development in the biotech industry are excellent and inspiring. The close cooperation of industry and academia, plus the generous grants from government bodies, have enabled and provided substantial support for our efforts to develop new treatment options to devastating diseases. Our proprietary master checkpoint blockade mechanism was discovered in Vienna – thanks to the availability of qualified staff, partners and experienced service providers.

Peter Llewellyn-Davies

Scientific excellence at the heart of Europe

Vienna is clearly in first place in Austria when it comes to education and research in the field of life sciences. Five universities, two universities of applied sciences and eleven non-university research institutes employ about 14,500 members of staff. With roughly 42,000 students in the area of life sciences, Vienna educates more young scientists than the rest of Austria. A multitude of publications (more than 8,000 in 2020) in international journals is evidence of the excellent research work in Vienna.

Academic Institutions
Source: Vienna Life Science Report 2021/22 (Data: 2020)

Clinical expertise awaits partners

Vienna is Austria’s most important node for high-end medicine. Health professionals at some 20 hospitals not only serve Vienna’s 1.9 million inhabitants, but the whole Vienna region providing home to more than 3.9 million people. Experienced partners for clinical research push back the frontiers of knowledge to the benefit of patients. Commercial partners are welcome to join in. Conduct your clinical trials in Vienna!