New Executive Board for the Austrian Institute of Technology

PeopleOther ♦ Published: March 9, 2023; 13:59 ♦ (Vindobona)

The largest research and technology organization in Austria, the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), with 1,400 employees, is getting a new three-person management team. Read more about Austria's largest research and technology organization!

Vienna has already been the main location for AIT as Austria's largest research and technology organization for many years. / Picture: © AIT / Johannes Zinner

As the term of office of the current management board ends at the end of June 2023, the supervisory board of the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology with its chairman Dr. Peter Schwab was tasked with the search for a successor to the current management board. This was done by the Federal Act on Transparency in the Filling of Positions in Government-Related Businesses, as part of a public invitation to tender in the fall of last year.

The decision on who would be invited to the hearing was made before Christmas. Now the new management has been determined. The positions "Spokesperson of the Executive Board", "Managing Director Scientific Excellence" and "Managing Director Finance, Processes, Administration" were advertised. The new three-member management team has been appointed until June 2028.

AIT's new management team includes new management spokesperson Brigitte Bach, new managing director Andreas Kugi and managing director for finance, processes, and administration Alexander Svejkovsky.

This was announced by the two owner representatives, the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) and the Association for the Promotion of Research and Innovation (VFFI) of the Federation of Austrian Industry (Federation of Austrian Industries/IV) together with the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Peter Schwab.

New three-man management team and transparency

AIT Supervisory Board Chairman Peter Schwab is pleased with the transparent process and the highly gratifying outcome of the search for new managing directors and emphasizes: "Top research requires top management at the top. The new three-member management team is characterized by concentrated expertise and shared leadership.

Brigitte Bach, a 57-year-old physicist, is currently Salzburg AG's Board Member for Energy, Transport and Telecommunications. Previously, she was in charge of telecommunications, electromobility and new business areas at Wien Energie. From 1999 to 2018, Brigitte Bach played a key role in the development and strategic positioning of energy research, most recently as Head of the Center for Energy at AIT. Brigitte Bach has a wealth of European experience, which is reflected, for example, in the establishment of the European Energy Research Alliance. "Brigitte Bach has outstanding knowledge and experience from a wide range of perspectives for the transformation of systems in this time of greatest demands and challenges," says Schwab, describing the future spokesperson for the AIT Executive Board.

Andreas Kugi (55) is head of the Institute of Automation and Control Engineering (ACIN) and professor for complex dynamic systems at TU Wien and has already been heading the Center for Vision, Automation & Control at AIT together with Andreas Vrabl since 2017. Among other things, Kugi is a real member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, a member of the German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) and vice president of the Austrian Electrical Engineering Association (OVE). "With Andreas Kugi, we meet the demand for high scientific excellence as well as ensuring valuable cooperation with universities, and with clear interfaces to the major requirements of industry," Schwab says of the new scientific managing director.

"Alexander Svejkovsky (50), CFO of AIT for many years, is undoubtedly one of the best financial experts in the domestic RTI scene. His top expertise, built up over many years, is an essential asset for the institute and in his capacity as the future CEO of AIT. At the same time, he has excelled in the end-to-end digitalization of all the company's business processes," explains Schwab.

Owner representative on the importance of the AIT

The global technology race is intensifying significantly. Access to and a pioneering role in key technologies are increasingly crucial for Austria's and Europe's technological sovereignty. Climate change and key technologies to combat it also play an important role for the two owner representatives, the BMK and the IV.

"The AIT Austrian Institute of Technology supports business and society in sustainably shaping the green and digital transformation," Federal Minister for Climate Leonore Gewessler.

It is necessary to push ahead with the energy transition and resolutely stand in the way of climate change, Gewessler said, "This transformation applies to us in Austria, in Europe and the world."

"As the largest non-university research institution in Austria, the AIT is a central institution when it comes to researching the big questions of our future. With innovation and future technologies, we will successfully master our path to climate neutrality in 2040. To do this, we need top research and top management," says Gewessler, who is delighted with the AIT's three excellent new managing directors.

"The AIT Austrian Institute of Technology has been a key strategic partner for innovative Austrian industry for many years. Especially when it comes to successfully mastering the Twin Transition as Austria's research and production location and expanding frontrunner positions in global competition. We are pleased about the strong, internationally excellently networked new three-member management team," emphasizes IV President Georg Knill.

About the AIT

The Austrian Institute of Technology is a non-university research institution in Austria. It operates several locations throughout Austria. The main location is Vienna.

The AIT conducts applied infrastructure research and is a partner of both industry and European and national authorities concerning the implementation of their sovereign tasks.

The owners are the Republic of Austria (Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology) with 50.46% and the Federation of Austrian Industries (Association for the Promotion of Research and Innovation) with 49.54%. The Chairman of the Supervisory Board is Peter Schwab, a member of the Management Board of Voestalpine AG.

Today, the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology is divided into six Competence Units (Energy, Health & Bioresources, Digital Safety & Security, Vision, Automation & Control, Low-Emission Transport, Technology Experience).