Voestalpine Group is increasing its 2021/22 research budget from EUR153m (US$179m) to EUR185m.

“Only companies permanently conducting research and development in order to stay ahead will succeed in the face of global competition over the long term,” said voestalpine chairman, Herbert Eibensteiner.

“Seen in this light, our research activities are an important investment in our Group’s future viability.”

The Group has developed ultra-high strength steels with formability for lightweight automotive construction, one benefit of which is to reduce fuel consumption. Another example is additive manufacturing, a technology which is suitable for producing complex geometries with no material losses.

It is used in areas such as highly-complex temperature control and lightweight construction solutions, in toolmaking for the automotive and consumer goods industries and for applications in medical technology.

Resource efficiency and emissions in steel production itself are also being optimised. During the past three decades, voestalpine has reduced its CO2 emissions by around 20%. The voestalpine Group is conducting research into gradual decarbonisation of steel production using green hydrogen, in projects such as H2FUTURE at the site in Linz, and SuSteel in Leoben-Donawitz.

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Product development activities are focused on creating digital system solutions aimed at high-turnover and industries such as mobility.

They include fully digital monitoring and diagnostics systems for railway infrastructure which evaluate data recorded by sensors to minimise train dwell times, delays and downtime.