Picture credits: Standortagentur Tirol


The people in Tirol master obstacles and bottlenecks with a lot of creativity and persistence.

Innovation in their blood

When are you most creative? When faced with a challenge? When breathing good air? When on a mountaintop broadening your perspective? Or simply when you can clear your mind completely? You can have all of this in Tirol.

When climbing up high, skiing in powdery snow, when paragliding against the backdrop of impressive scenery or when simply hiking in one of the woods nearby. The Tirolean inventions from past to present prove that this all encourages creativity.

In 1814, Josef Madersperger from Kufstein invented the first ever sewing machine. In 1858, Christian Reithmann from Fieberbrunn developed the two-stroke gas engine. Somewhat later, in 1867, the "electric power wheel" by Johann Kravogel, an electric motor, depicts the beginning of the commercial use of electricity. An inventor who was just as creative, Norbert Pfretzschner, a doctor and politician from Jenbach, invented the photographic dry plate in 1866 as well as malt coffee.

A revolutionary Tirolean invention by the company formerly known as Biochemie Kundl, now Sandoz Kundl, is acid-resistant penicillin. Because only after Ernst Brandl and Hans Margreiter discovered it in 1951 was it possible to administer penicillin as a tablet . Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair succeeded in achieving a similar medical breakthrough. The founders of the company MED-EL developed the world's first micro-electronic multi-channel cochlear implant in Vienna and hired their first employee in 1990 in Innsbruck. Today, more than 1,500 MED-EL employees worldwide are working on innovative hearing solutions, 1,000 of them in Innsbruck.

Innovations are also being churned out in sectors important for the future such as life sciences and renewable energies: the biotech start-up ViraTherapeutics has designed a virus that multiplies in cancer cells and then destroys them. In this way, tumours can be treated directly without harming the patient. And the company Sunplugged has developed flexible thin-film solar cells, opening up new possibilities for designers and architects. Or enerChange GmbH driving forth intelligent storage and charging systems to integrate electric mobility across the board.

Back to the initial challenge. The people in Tirol embarked on one of their greatest challenges when they made the mountains accessible. They mastered it and - in the truest sense of the word – overcame obstacles and bottlenecks in a creative and persistent way. Therefore, innovation is in their blood - and they are most certainly going to be providing some solutions to the matters of our times.