← Back

Graz, 19. November 2014

We want to work with the best …”

In this interview with Franz Zuckriegl, Dr. Sabine Herlitschka, CEO of Infineon Technologies Austria AG, reminisces about the how the Human Technology Cluster began ten years ago in Graz and reflects on the challenges she now faces as head of an international concern.

botenstoff: Dr. Herlitschka, Infineon has an R&D intensity of around 23% and your own background is in universitybased science. Back in 2004, when the Human Technology Cluster was founded, you were vice-rector for research management and international partnerships at the Med Uni Graz. Where do you see the biggest differences in the day-to-day management of a university and a commercial company?

Sabine Herlitschka: The differences aren’t as big any more as you would have imagined in earlier times. The universities think more like businesses than they used to. I worked at the university in the phase when the Austrian universities were being made legally autonomous. At the same time, we took the medical faculty of the University of Graz and transformed it into a separate medical university, the Med Uni Graz. In that phase, it was very relevant to think about many things in an entrepreneurial or business management way — and it helped us succeed with many of the things we were trying to do. The founding of the Human Technology Cluster became possible because multiple interested parties came together and created it as a joint initiative. On the other hand, as an organization, Infineon is about twice the size of the Med Uni Graz and then it is also part of a big international group. We are responsible for over 3,000 people in Austria and we have to succeed by selling physical products in specific markets. With our focus areas of energy efficiency, mobility and security we also want to help find answers to some of society’s big issues.


botenstoff: Infineon itself almost has its own cluster in its network of suppliers. How do you involve your suppliers in what you’re doing?

Herlitschka: At our location in Villach we have about 2500 employees, out of the total workforce of around 3100 people in Austria. If you add all of our suppliers, then it comes to a total of almost 4000 people who are constantly in contact with us and who work with us. With some of these suppliers we can say there is a conceptual partnership, that is, we are doing developments together. That’s especially true of manufacturing. SMEs usually get in touch with a large industry player like Infineon because the things we are interested in are the same or complementary in some way. We want to work with the best, and I hope we’re attractive to the best.

» Read more in Human Technology Blog

» fz-News

» fz-Blog