Dark liquid in a beaker (photo)


OMV seeks innovative solutions to optimize operations, explore business opportunities, and establish new business models. We develop new technologies and products with the aim of reducing our impact on the environment, increasing efficiency, and achieving our main goal of lowering the carbon intensity of our operations and product portfolio.

We believe that transitioning to a circular economy will significantly reduce our impact on the environment and our emissions. A circular economy decouples economic growth from resource constraints, while eliminating as much as possible the leakage of waste into the environment and, in particular, into the oceans as well as to landfills. The circular economy will also curb global warming. Through the efficient use of our precious resources, we can recover and reuse byproducts or waste to make new materials and products. This process has the potential to greatly decrease associated emissions across product value chains.

The creation of a truly circular economy also has wider societal implications. It will provide economic benefits to society by reducing the major financial burden of ineffective waste management systems and pollution management, and will create new business opportunities and employment at various stages of the value chain. A circular economy will also result in better living and working conditions, and in general in a cleaner environment.

In 2020, OMV took a major step in its circular economy and innovation journey through the acquisition of a controlling stake in leading polyolefins producer Borealis. Borealis’ innovative activities in plastics recycling, such as the Ecoplast and mtm plastics recycling plants, and initiatives, such as Project STOP (see also Waste and Community Investments) and the Design for Recycling () initiative, are perfect additions to OMV’s ReOil® technology for chemical recycling of post-consumer plastic to synthetic crude.

OMV manages the development of innovative technologies and the transition to a circular economy in a number of ways: through investments, through innovation centers to harness innovation inside the organizations, and through strategic partnerships.


We are committed to becoming a major player in the circular economy and will invest up to EUR 1 bn by 2025 in innovative energy solutions such as ReOil®, Co-Processing, hydrogen, and mechanical recycling for a circular economy and lower-carbon future. In 2020, EUR 45.4 were invested in sustainability innovations in Upstream and Downstream.

The Group’s research and development () expenses increased from EUR 49 mn in 2019 to EUR 61 mn in 2020. Out of total R&D expenses in 2020, EUR 13 mn (or 21%) was attributable to low-carbon solutions, such as hydrogen, advanced fuels, plastics recycling, Co-Processing, carbon capture and utilization, and other Upstream and Downstream innovations.

Innovation Centers

In 2020, OMV opened its Innovation & Technology Center () in Gänserndorf. The outstanding technologies of OMV Upstream, which are developed in the Weinviertel region of Austria and used worldwide, are exhibited on around 1,600 m2 by using state-of-the-art presentation technology. The main focus is placed on the technology areas of geology and geophysics, drilling technology, artificial lift, smart oil recovery, material and corrosion, saltwater treatment, and nanotechnology. Sustainability is the connecting factor for all technologies. The ITC is intended for OMV business partners, investors, OMV employees, and universities, as well as schools and interested visitors.

Borealis’ key innovation sites are its Innovation Headquarters () in Linz, Austria, and two Innovation Centers: in Stenungsund, Sweden, and Porvoo, Finland. Three and pilot plants are also integral to Borealis’ competencies in innovation and technology. Two of these pilot plants are in Porvoo and one is in Schwechat, Austria. Borealis’ innovation facilities engage in independent but coordinated efforts, with the common aim of developing innovative solutions that provide added value for customers and end users. The IHQ’s main R&D focus is on polymer design and compound research for polymer applications in the energy, automotive, advanced packaging, and health care industries. In the Innovation Center in Stenungsund, the focus is on polymer design, scientific services, and R&D in the area of energy and infrastructure industry solutions. The Innovation Center in Porvoo is an important site for advanced catalyst and process research, as it includes catalyst scale-up facilities and fully integrated Borstar™ PE and PP pilot plant lines. All Innovation Centers collaborate closely with local and international universities and research institutes.

The Borouge Innovation Center in Abu Dhabi, , cooperates closely with Borealis’ Innovation Centers to explore enhanced infrastructure, automotive, and advanced packaging application solutions.

Collaboration With Research Institutions

OMV collaborates globally with universities, research institutes as well as with industry partners and relevant initiatives.

For example, OMV and Borealis cooperate with various research institutions in the following areas:

  • Hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass waste to bio-oil (with University of Leoben)
  • Fast pyrolysis of biomass waste to bio-oil (European-funded research project)
  • Storing and utilizing sustainable electric energy via synthetic e-fuels or chemical products (through a partnership within the German-funded Kopernikus project)
  • Gaining deeper knowledge of the value chains of recyclates from different waste streams and identifying best possible applications where recyclates are the primary material (Circumat is a multifirm partner consortium project funded by the Upper Austrian funding line “Innovatives Oberösterreich 2020.”)
  • Creating an infrastructure that is necessary for further developments of products, including ones made from recyclates (The Factory is the open research platform of the Linz Institute of Technology (LIT) of Johannes Kepler University Linz funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, the Province of Upper Austria, the City of Linz, and company partners. Borealis is one of the major initiators.)


Borealis’ dedicated platform EverMinds® serves to streamline all Borealis circular-economy-related activities in order to boost their impact and engender familiarity with the topic. It facilitates deeper collaboration between Borealis and its partners in the interest of developing innovative and sustainable polyolefin solutions based on the circular model of recycling, reuse, and design for circularity. An example of how EverMinds® serves to promote awareness of the circular economy is the “10 Codes of Conduct for Design for Recyclability.” Based on extensive knowledge of polyolefins – polyethylene and polypropylene – as well as expertise from mtm plastics and Ecoplast, the two recycling companies wholly-owned by Borealis, these are ten Codes of Conduct for polyolefin packaging designers to adopt. The Codes provide critical guidelines on how to maximize the quality and quantity of packaging materials that can be recycled, while at the same time supporting the achievement of recycling targets and contributing to a more sustainable transition to a circular economy.

carbon dioxide
Design for Recycling
research and development
Innovation & Technology Center
Innovation Headquarters
United Arab Emirates
Linz Institute of Technology