Green Deal and Transformation by Innovation

An Economic Analysis of the Chemical Industry in Austria

In this study, the economic importance of the chemical industry in Austria is examined from the perspective of the transformation of the economic system towards climate neutrality and sustainability with a view to 2030. The object of investigation are companies for the production of chemical products, pharmaceutical products as well as rubber and plastic products. An input-output analysis based on the WIFO model "DYNK" shows an associated value added of more than 13 billion €. In the course of an empirical survey of 54 companies, it was found that the majority of companies have defined plans and targets to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. Global competitiveness of EU companies can only be ensured if the applicable framework conditions within the EU also apply to suppliers on the world market. Assessments of companies on the expected structure of procurement channels show an increasing demand for renewable raw materials in Austria as well as increasing imports of safe and sustainable chemicals from other EU countries. An analysis of patent data with regard to innovative strength shows a similarly high level in the chemical products and pharmaceutical products sectors as in the innovation-leading countries. In the rubber and plastic products sector, which is weaker in terms of patents, Austrian companies are ahead of the innovation-leading countries. An overwhelming proportion of companies are aware of the significance of the digital transformation for their business and expect it to have a strong impact on their companies in the future.