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					Information series “Research Centre: Austria”
Best Practice Example No. 5

smartStrips: Frequentis revolutionises air traffic
safety again
Frequentis AG has won the tender for the implementation and
development of a new flight strip system for British air space,
issued by the British air traffic management organisation NATS
(National Air Traffic Services). NATS has secured for itself a
state-of-the-art solution in smartStrips, which promises to
revolutionise air safety procedures.

It is no accident that UK-based NATS has placed this order with
Austrian-based Frequentis AG: many well-known air traffic management
companies around the world are relying on “Innovation made in
Austria”. Frequentis’ technology is in use daily at the Paris-
Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt am Main and São Paulo-Guarulhos
airports, for example. As a leading innovator in the field of air
traffic safety, Frequentis generated revenues of EUR 133 million in
the last financial year and has long since expanded beyond Austria’s
borders, with offices in the USA, Australia and Singapore.
Nevertheless, the majority of its more than 700 employees work at
its head office in the Innovationsstraße in Vienna.

Innovation
As market leader, Frequentis is a permanent force in the market and
one of the principal innovators in the field of information and
communications technology for air traffic safety systems. Frequentis
places particular emphasis on intuitive user interfaces for its
systems. CEO Hannes Bardach explains: “We set up our own User
Interface Center (UIC) as early as 1986. The team focuses its
research and development activities on the man-machine interface.
Thanks to our specially developed software, we can customise the
user interface to match particular customer requirements.”

The intuitive user interfaces are not only used for civil air
traffic safety, but also in other key areas for Frequentis: the
company is a leading innovator and key player when it comes to ICT
for the maritime, public transport and public safety markets.

With EBIT of EUR 7.8 million in 2007, the year in which Frequentis
celebrated its 60th anniversary, operating profits were increased by
71.1% compared to the prior year.

Research hub
Frequentis’ subsidiaries and international agency activities are
coordinated out of Vienna. 600 out of the, in total, 700 employees
are employed here in operations, particularly in Research &
Development, but also in Production. “There is a long tradition of
research here: scores of inventions originated in Austria.” Bardach,

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who himself was educated at Vienna’s Technical University, traces
the international orientation of the location back to Vienna’s
multicultural background as the capital of a multinational state at
the time of the monarchy. “Austria possesses many advantages when it
comes to research cooperation: for example, there are excellent
universities and research institutions here; and it is an attractive
location for other high-tech companies and international
institutions too, especially in the context of the enlarged EU.”




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smartStrips
The decision by NATS to deploy Frequentis’ flight strips solution is
no accident. The air traffic sector is growing fast, notwithstanding
economic and raw materials crises. Global hubs such as London
Heathrow, which NATS is responsible for, have to process ever more
flight movements. As a result, air traffic is becoming denser – not
just in the air, but also on the ground.

In air traffic management, every aircraft is assigned a flight
strip, on which the air traffic controller manually enters all the
data which is relevant to the flight. Up until now the industry has
relied on paper flight strips, but these are no longer appropriate
following digitalisation of this environment. smartStrips are
electronic flight strips, which can be used in the same way as
conventional flight strips and which scarcely differ optically from
the paper strips. Through the possibilities opened up by digital
capture of data, Frequentis’ flight strip solution is a trend-setter
for the sector and for the fast-moving conversion from analogue to
digital technologies.

The company

Frequentis AG
Innovationsstraße 1
A-1100 Vienna
www.frequentis.com

2007 turnover: EUR 133 million
%age of sales spent on R&D:     12 %
Employees:      over 700
Locations:      Austria, Germany, Slovakia, UK, France, USA, Canada,
                Australia, Singapore


The sector
With turnover of EUR 30 billion in 2007, the Austrian ICT sector is
even weightier than the tourism sector, for which Austria is known.
The Austrian ICT metropolis is Vienna, where approximately 73,000
people are active in 8,000 sector-related companies – particularly
in research and development. The proportion of GDP spent on R&D in
Austria comes to 2.63% (EUR 7.5 billion). According to the World
Economic Forum, Austria is in 15th place in the list of the most
innovative ICT locations and is already ahead of Germany and Japan.
Austria is striving for a position in the top three.
The ICT sector will find many highly qualified employees and
research partners in Austrian universities, specialist colleges and
research institutions, thanks to a strong tradition in mathematics
and logic.
Companies such as Infineon Technologies Austria, Sony, Siemens AG
Österreich, Microsoft and, of course, Frequentis AG benefit from the
technical universities, large research centres such as the Austrian
Research Centers and from the funding of research, which is unique
in comparison with other countries. Research enjoys significant tax


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advantages and there is a multitude of direct grants for R&D in
companies.
Austrian ICT innovations are characterised by interdisciplinary
solutions covering multiple applications: bioinformatics and sensor
technology are particular areas of strength. Nanotechnology is
providing new impulses in areas such as quantum optics and quantum
cryptography.
And through its proximity to Eastern Europe, Austria has proved
itself as an ideal location from which to manage all CEE activities.




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About ABA–Invest in Austria
ABA-Invest in Austria is a company owned by the Austrian Federal
Ministry for Economics & Labour, dedicated to attracting inward
investment. Free advice is given to interested companies on location
selection and on questions of employment and tax law; help is given
in finding partners for cooperation; and support is given in dealing
with Austrian authorities. Interested companies are looked after by
ABA staff based at the Head Office in Vienna and at offices in New
York and Tokyo.

About “Research Centre: Austria”
ABA-Invest’s international marketing initiative entitled “Research
Centre: Austria” is the name also used for this information series.
The aim of this campaign is to strengthen Austria’s image as a
location for research and innovation in the target countries
Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Japan. The strategy     deployed in
this initiative is to present those areas of research and
development in Austria which best reflect the country’s innovative
strength,   using  classical   advertising, PR   work,   information
materials and appearances at exhibitions.

Already published as part of the information series “Research
Centre: Austria”:
1. Otto Bock – world class research from Austria
2. Martin Tajmar researches outer space out of Austria
3. AFFiRIS develops an Alzheimer’s vaccine in Austria
4. Energy self-reliance is possible – with the first steps towards
   that goal, GREENoneTEC has almost doubled turnover this year.



Contacts:
Mag. Hanni Grassauer
ABA-Invest in Austria (Austrian Business Agency)
Opernring 3, A-1010 Vienna
Tel. 0043 1 588 58 57; Fax: 0043 1 586 86 59
E-Mail: h.grassauer@aba.gv.at
Internet: www.aba.gv.at


Mag. Cathren Müller
communication matters
Kollmann & Menasse Public Relations GmbH
Kolschitzkygasse 15/14, A-1040 Vienna
Tel. 0043 1 503 23 30 34; Fax: 0043 1 503 24 13
E-Mail: mueller@comma.at
Internet: www.communicationmatters.at




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