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ABB to invest €100m in r&d campus at B&R’s Austrian HQ

06 April, 2018

ABB is investing €100m to build an innovation and training campus at B&R Automation’s headquarters in Eggelsberg, Austria. The investment, which will create around 1,000 high-tech jobs, is ABB’s largest organic investment in industrial automation in its 130-year history.

The 35,000m² campus will develop technologies for the factory of the future, based on ABB’s Ability platform, which allows production to be undertaken autonomously by smart and cloud-connected machines and robots. The campus is expected to start operating during 2020

As well as r&d laboratories – which will develop and test new automation technologies, from industrial control systems to machine learning and artificial intelligence – there will be an Automation Academy to train and educate customers, partners and employees in these technologies.

ABB acquired B&R Automation in July 2017. Since then it has integrated B&R into its Industrial Automation division to become its global Machine & Factory Automation business.

“B&R has had an excellent start within ABB and has exceeded our expectations,” reports ABB CEO, Ulrich Spiesshofer. “We are well on track to achieve our goal of revenues of more than $1bn soon.

“With our €100m investment, we are strengthening this dynamic, and the pillars of this success story: innovation and people,” he adds. “In addition to the new research and development capacity, our investment will expand B&R’s Automation Academy, offering customers, partners and employees globally unique education and training programmes.”

An artist's impression of the €100m r&d campus that ABB is building in Austria

“This is a great day for B&R,” says B&R co-founder, Josef Rainer. “The smooth integration shows that the company Erwin Bernecker and I founded 39 years ago is in excellent hands. I am delighted that ABB continues to write and accelerate our success story with this historic investment.”

With the investment in the new campus, ABB says it is delivering on its Next Level strategy, which defines innovation as a key driver of profitable growth. The development of disruptive technologies at the campus will help ABB to better serve the $20bn machine and factory automation market.

ABB invests $1.4bn annually in r&d, and has a team of around 30,000 r&d and application engineers. B&R has more than 1,000 employees working in r&d and application development.

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