Production begins this fall in Hoffmann-La Roche's new ATS 2-billion (US$ 154 million) facility in Linz. Its workforce of 150 will produce high-value base elements for medications. "Products manufactured entirely in Linz will be exported, processed further and marketed worldwide," explains Hoffmann-La Roche Vienna CEO Witmer.

Decisive factors for locating in Linz included the proximity of business partner DSM Chemie Linz - which had developed the firm's main production process - as well as generous incentives and, as promised, rapid facility approvals.

Says Witmer, "The completion of our Linz facility makes Austria a pillar of the company in supplying base elements for our products."

The Hoffmann-La Roche investment is the most recent example of a growing presence by multinational health-care firms in Austria, including Eli Lilly R&D and Baxter's recent strategic partnership in Immuno.

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