As a shareholder in companies that operate a COMET competence centre, TU Graz is able to play an active role in the long-term, seminal development of joint research expertise.
TU Graz considers the university subsidiaries, therefore, to be valuable tools for sustainable scientific cooperation.
The company portfolio allows TU Graz to further strengthen its research, technology and innovation positions, together with industrial, scientific and governmental partners.
The subisidiaries, in turn, support TU Graz:
Patricia Seidl (right: Affiliated Companies and Subsidiaries) and Heimo Theuretzbacher-Fritz in conversation with Prof. Frank Uhlig (center left: Dean of the Faculty of Technical Chemistry, Chemical & Process Engineering and Biotechnology) and Dr. Mathias Drexler (CEO of ACIB GmbH).
Mission – what do our affiliated companies stand for?
Vision – what are our long-term goals with respect to our subsidiaries?
The chief executive officers are responsible for the overall management and legal representation of the affiliated companies. They report to the superordinate bodies oft the limited company (GmbH):
A total of 10 persons hold mandated positions in these committees and represent TU Graz. For instance, Rector Kainz and Vice Rector Hoffmann fulfil the following key functions:
6 TU Graz-professors have been appointed as chief executive officers in TU Graz subsidiaries.
TU Graz promotes networking between science and industry at various levels - through projects, long-term cooperation and investments in companies or competence centres. We are joining forces to fuel the engine of innovation and increase the visibility of science in society.
Scientific success can be increased significantly through cooperation. Competence centres and university subsidiaries are an important way for TU Graz to form cooperation networks with industry and society.
Since the university became autonomous in 2004, the TU Graz shareholdings have significantly increased in terms of number and extent of economic activity. The Austrian COMET competence centres programme and its previous programmes have been critical for this development.
The TU Graz portfolio companies displayed a total annual turnover of almost € 100 million in recent years, nearly 1/3 of which was brought in through joint projects together with TU Graz institutes.
The university subsidiaries currently employ approximately 1,050 staff members. More than 80% of the positions in the portfolio companies are in Styria and nearly 2/3 are located in the greater Graz area.
The Austrian COMET programme promotes the development of competence centres. Their cores are their research programmes which combine business and science on a high quality level.
COMET is publicly funded by the federal government and the provinces and managed by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).
The COMET competence centre programme includes 3 lines: K2-Centres, K1-Centres and K-Projects.
The objective of K2-Centres is bundling of existing national expertise in the long-term and cooperation with the world's leading researchers, scientific partners and company partners in joint strategic research programmes at highest level. This is to achieve long-term strengthening and a significant increase of Austria’s attractiveness as a research location internationally.
The objective of the
K-Project line is to initiate high-quality research in science-industry cooperation with a medium-term perspective and a clearly defined subject having the potential for further improvement. This is to increase the flexibility of the programme and to enable those consortia and research topics to participate, whose potential is not yet sufficient for a K1 application.
The objective of K1-Centres is the initiation of high-quality research defined jointly by science and industry with a medium-term to long-term perspective. K1-Centres implement top-level research with a focus on scientific and technological developments and innovations to qualify for the future markets.
The company portfolio of TU Graz currently comprises 16 LLCs. The focus has been clearly placed on the competence centres in the COMET programme (K2- and K1-Centres, K-Projects). On the left of the chart, the respective TU Graz shares in these companies can be seen.
Kompetenzzentrum – Das Virtuelle Fahrzeug Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
COMET Programme: K2 Mobility
The purpose of the company is to conduct research and development work that leads to the virtual development of vehicles and associated services. The core of the research activities is the COMET programme
K2 Mobility. In addition, numerous EU projects are carried out, for example, the overall management of the Virtual Vehicle Austria Consortium in the major railway project
ACIB GmbH The K2-Centre acib combines expertise from 10 Austrian scientific institutions with industrial biotechnology. Together with renowned international universities and national and international companies, they conduct integrated projects on precompetitive research on biocatalysis, bioprocess technology and enzyme and pharmaceutical protein production.
The corporate goal is to develop and implement scientific knowledge in the field of materials science, including principles and methods of relevant process and manufacturing technologies and application methods, following the initiatives of the Austrian Federal Government and relevant programs at national and international levels. In the COMET programme, MCL operates the K2-Centre MPPE.
The RCPE conducts research and development in the field of pharmaceutical engineering and related fields and bundles competencies in the fields of Chemical Technology and Engineering, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Technology and Materials Science. In addition to the K1 programme RCPE in COMET, numerous research projects are carried out on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry and during plant construction.
The Know-Center is Austria's Competence Centre for knowledge management and data-driven business solutions. It considered itself as an IT-interface between science and industry.
The Large Engines Competence Center (LEC) is Austria's leading research institution in the field of combustion technology for large engines. The focus has been placed on the development of more environmentally friendly, efficient and robust large engines. The main objective of the COMET K1-Centre LEC Evolet – as part of the LEC GmbH - is to construct the foundation that enables a technological leap to be made to the next generation of gas and bi-fuel engines. Thus, the optimal use of these engines in diverse fields of application will be made possible.
FTW represented cooperation between science and industry for the further development and application of communications technologies. By the end of 2015, the funding had run out for the COMET K1-Centre with the same name and FTW had ceased its operations. At present, the company is being liquidated.
BIOENERGY 2020+, as a biomass research centre, focuses on such topics as the thermal conversion of biomass, fermentation, bio-fuels and biomass power plants. At locations in Graz, Wieselburg and Güssing, BIOENERGY 2020+ conducts research projects within the framework of a COMET K1-Centre, with support from other funding programmes or as part of industrial contracts.
PCCL develops scientific knowledge in the fields of plastics engineering and polymer science as well as related fields. Within the COMET programme, PCCL operates a K1-Centre and the K-Project PolyComp.
The aim of the COMET K1-Centre CEST is to combine developments for innovative and efficient processes and products in the field of electrochemical surface technology.
The aim of the COMET K1-Centre CBmed is to combine excellent research infrastructure, scientific expertise and medical knowledge with national and international companies to conduct systematic biomarker research in medicine.
The use of timber as a building material in construction and the development and refinement of wood products to create stronger, more economical building materials are the subjects of holz.bau Research GmbH. In particular, holz.bau has conducted K-projects in the field of cross-laminated timber technology and focused on identifying fundamental elements that assure export success for the Austrian wood industry.
HyCentA stands for Hydrogen Center Austria and is dedicated to capitalizing on the role of hydrogen in technological applications. The goal of the company is to conduct research and development on alternative energy sources, particularly those based on hydrogen, but also from natural gas.
Website VAH under progress
Science Park Graz, the shared academic foundation centre of TU Graz, the Medical University of Graz and the University of Graz, supports start-up activities within the framework of the AplusB federal programme. Since 2016, it also operates one the few Business Incubators of the ESA in Europe.
The VAH is an accredited testing institute associated with the TU Graz Institute of High Voltage Engineering and System Performance. It conducts high voltage studies and tests as well as systems engineering studies and reviews of high voltage plants and equipment.
The Forschungsholding TU Graz GmbH served in recent years to hold shares in profit-oriented companies as indirect TU Graz subsidiaries. In 2015, the shares of these companies were sold. Currently, the holding is being liquidated.