First Workshop of the ASCII International Advisory Board

Experts from industry, academia and politics came together to discuss the resilience and sustainable transformation of global supply chains in order to develop recommendations for action.

Functioning and sustainable supply chains are increasingly becoming a decisive factor for the success of the Austrian, European and global economy. The newly established ASCII Institute for Supply Chains focuses on long-term supply chain analysis with the aim of producing directly applicable results. The newly established ASCII Advisory Board plays a crucial role as an advisory body. It consists of about 30 renowned national and international experts from industry, academia and politics and advises the ASCII management and board. The ASCII Advisory Board is chaired by Sabine Herlitschka, CEO of Infineon Technologies Austria AG.

New approaches

The first meeting of the ASCII Advisory Board recently took place in Linz. One of the key findings was that new types of interdisciplinary and evidence-based approaches are needed to make our supply chains fit for the future. Many of the key challenges of our time – achieving economic growth through more sustainable production, increasing security of supply in times of geo-economic upheaval – can only be solved if the adaptability and changeability of value networks can be better understood and thus proactively managed. To this end, concrete research approaches have been developed on how ASCII can contribute to achieving these goals in individual sectors.

Focus on supply chain security

Sabine Herlitschka, Chair of the ASCII Advisory Board and CEO of Infineon Technologies Austria AG, said: “The establishment of ASCII is a real milestone because it is working with outstanding expertise on the strategically important issue of supply chain security and strengthening. This is essential for us as a company and highly relevant for us as a society. The challenging and active debate in the Advisory Board, with its extensive national and international expertise, has shown how necessary the establishment of this science-based supply chain institute is. It has also shown how great the need is for data-based, clear and rapidly available decision bases and processes, especially in key sectors such as automotive, microelectronics and life sciences.

Enabling exchange and collaboration

Peter Klimek, ASCII Director: “As a scientific supply chain institute, ASCII aims to provide decision-makers in politics, administration and industry with a solid basis for achieving the Austrian and European goals of secure value creation and environmental neutrality. The ASCII Advisory Board plays a crucial role in this context by enabling the exchange of ideas with highly respected national and international experts from industry, science and politics. The first meeting of the ASCII Advisory Board has already demonstrated the importance of this collaboration to achieve the necessary breakthroughs in our research on secure and sustainable supply chains. In addition to focusing on individual sectors (automotive, microelectronics, life sciences), we need to better understand and visualise our strategic interdependencies and the impact of new regulations such as the Supply Chain Act or the Critical Raw Materials Act.”

Securing jobs and added value

Markus Achleitner, Upper Austrian Minister for Economic Affairs: “It is a positive signal that the advisory board of the new supply chain institute ASCII, which consists of top-class experts from Austria and abroad, has held its first workshop in Linz. Especially for Upper Austria as a leading economic and industrial province, knowledge about supply chains is of existential importance. The knowledge gained here makes an important contribution to strengthening the crisis resistance and resilience not only of individual companies, but also of entire sectors in our country, thus safeguarding jobs and value creation. For this reason, the province of Upper Austria is also making a conscious financial contribution to this institute.

The ASCII Advisory Board is made up of three groups:

Industry: Peter Umundum (Spokesperson of the ASCII Industry Group and Member of the Board, Österreichische Post AG), Silvia Angelo (Member of the Board, ÖBB-Infrastruktur), Gerald Hofer (CEO, Knapp AG), Michael Kocher (CEO, Novartis Sanoz), Georg List (Vice President, AVL), Harald Pflanzl (Senior Vice President, BASF), Karl-Heinz Strauss (CEO, Porr AG) and Hubert Zajicek (Member of the Board, voestalpine).

Science: Alexandra Brintrup (ASCII Science Group Spokesperson and Professor, University of Cambridge), Pol Antràs (Scientist, Harvard University), Vasco Carvalho (Professor, University of Cambridge), Cesar Hidalgo (Head, Institute for Artificial and Natural Intelligence, University of Toulouse), Kalina Manova (Professor, University College London), Benoit Montreuil (Scientist, Georgia Institute of Technology), Michael Obersteiner (Professor, University of Oxford), Ralph Ossa (Chief Economist of the WTO and Professor, University of Zurich) and Claudia Steinwender (Professor, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich).

Politics: Georg Konetzky (Spokesperson of the ASCII Group “Politics” and Head of Section, Federal Ministry of Labour and Economic Affairs (BMAW)), Martina Auer (Upper Austrian Department of Economics and Research), Nicola Brandt (Head, OECD Berlin), Christina Burger (Economic Policy Department, BMAW), Claudia Huber (Head of Economic Policy Department, WKO), Thomas Eibl (Deputy Head of Economic Policy Department, WKO), Georg Knill (President, Federation of Austrian Industries), Markus Marterbauer (Economist, Chamber of Labour), Klaus Oberreiter (Head of Policy & Location Strategy, Upper Austria), Markus Roider (Head of Economics and Research Department, Upper Austria), Helene Schuberth (Head of Economics Department, Austrian Trade Union Federation), Thomas Starlinger (Adjutant to President Alexander Van der Bellen), Michael Stern (Head of Crisis Management Department, Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management) and Harald Stranzl (Head of Foreign Economic and Trade Diplomacy Department, Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs).

For the German press realease, please click here.


In the 4th Interdisciplinary Workshop on Firm-Level Supply Networks, we bring together leading experts and early career researchers in economics, complex systems, and supply chain management, to discuss recent advances in the analysis of granular supply network data.
The Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence released the Risk Monitor 2024. The report includes articles by ASCII Director Peter Klimek and ASCII Vice President Gabriel Felbermayr on supply risks in a weakened global economy.
We are looking for a part-time Communications Specialist to coordinate our outreach activities and support the institute in all PR- and event-related matters. The position covers scientific, political and economic topics in an international environment.