About us

The Export Service Organisation of the Styrian economy

As a partner organisation of ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA, we offer information and advice to export-oriented companies. We have been providing local businesses with information on internationalisation for almost 20 years.

One-Stop-Shop for (new) exporters

Taking the first steps on the export journey should not be a venture into the unknown with unforeseeable risks. In order to simplify the path for Styrian businesses into trading internationally, the ICS Internationalisation Centre Styria (Internationalisierungscenter Steiermark – ICS) was established in 2005 as a joint initiative of the Styrian Economic Chamber (Wirtschaftskammer Steiermark), the Province of Styria (Land Steiermark)/ Styrian Business Promotion Agency (SFG) and the Styrian body of the Federation of Austrian Industries (Industriellenvereinigung Steiermark). Since then, obtaining valuable information on export opportunities has never been this straightforward. From legal aspects of international trade and funding opportunities to financial advice, valuable information on important topics is now available in one place: The ICS serves as the one-stop-shop for Styrian exporters and their questions on internationalisation. Valuable information is available immediately thanks to our extensive partner network and database. If necessary, special information can be obtained from other sources in very little time.

The ICS offers practical support to help Styrian companies start operations abroad, enter new markets and step up their activities abroad.

Not only does the ICS provide advice and support in export business plans, we also offer three-year focus programs for the purpose of putting interesting new markets on the radar of Styrian (new) exporters. Trade commissioners’ meetings, seminars on sectors and specific country information help facilitate the entry into future export markets.


GETTING STARTED | Entering the international market
Why even commit to foreign markets?

While the EU Single Market and international markets offer many lucrative opportunities, international commitment also means strengthening and securing your company’s success. An entry to a foreign market, especially when it involves more than pure export of goods and services, initially must be viewed as an investment and may take quite a long time to offer returns. By opening up new markets, the exports of Styrian companies now generate 50% of the Styrian gross regional product and thus 50% of the total value added in Styria!

How much time will I need to schedule for the market entry?

Getting started may not necessarily be the hardest, but still you will need to schedule enough time, especially for export projects and internationalisation. Having a realistic understanding of the necessary time frame is a critical factor for a successful internationalisation of your business. A healthy dose of enthusiasm is helpful too, because the whole company needs to support the export effort! Convey your goals to your peers and employees.

  • Short-term goals: Where do we want to be next year?
  • Long-term goals: Where do we want to be in five years?

Encourage your team to take a positive stance on the new venture. Explain to them WHY they will want to export and what good it will do for the company and, in turn, for each individual.

Did we plan for sufficient funds?

Plan in advance to allocate sufficient funds for a new foreign activity, in order to be able to survive a “dry spell”. Ideally, your company has a solid grounding in other well-performing foreign markets and in the domestic market. This can generate the financial means to invest in promising new markets.

Is my product ready for export?

Consider adapting your product to the targeted market or culture, if the added costs are justified. There may also be legal requirements for you to do so.
The same applies to services: Will you need special permits to offer your services? Will your employees be able to communicate adequately on site? What requirements will you need to fulfill in terms of after-sales service?

The ICS offers support by

  • promoting Styrian businesses on a global scale
  • facilitating market entry in target regions and participation in international projects
  • intensifying business relations with Central and Eastern European regions
  • connecting partners and stakeholders: companies, clusters and public bodies
  • encouraging Styrian SMEs to internationalise

Priorities in 2023

  • We are starting the new year with a company visit offensive with which we will strengthen our individual export consulting. We would be thrilled to visit you too – please send us your request via email: office@ic-steiermark.at
  • Our successful EXPORT ACADEMY training program will continue due its success as well in 2023!
  • Project launch DESIRE: The EU project DESIRE (Development of E-Health Solutions Improving Resilience in Europe) coordinated by ICS aims at facilitating SMEs’ access to European Digital Health markets by offering various support services in the areas of internationalization, innovation and qualification.
  • What to keep in mind due to EU Sanctions on Russia, Belarus and Ukraine? We will continue to provide you with updates and answer your questions via: +43 316 601 400.
  • The go international funding program is expected to continue from the beginning of April. As soon as the new funding period is confirmed, we will be happy to inform you through the usual information channels.
  • As a new country focus, we will be looking at Poland in 2023 – Vietnam as an export and procurement market since 2021 has been in its phasing out period. We are still offering activities on the Western Balkans.
  • Furthermore, we hope to be able to catch up on as many interesting trade missions – e.g. MedTech, SXSW, UN procurement in New York, autonomous driving…