Werner Wittmann, founder of the global auxiliary and automation supplier of the same name, was honored by the government of Lower Austria for his company's contributions to the province. Wittmann was presented with the Silver Commander's Cross by the governor of the province of Lower Austria, Erwin Pröll, at an award ceremony held in the assembly hall of the Lower Austrian Parliament House in St. Pölten.
Pröll honored Wittmann's achievements on behalf of Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH in Kottingbrunn, and simultaneously on behalf of the Province of Lower Austria. The Wittmann Group acquired its fellow Austrian firm, Battenfeld, in 2008. The governor noted that Wittmann's "courageous entrepreneurial move in taking over Battenfeld GmbH in 2008", resulted in more than 200 jobs being preserved in Kottingbrunn. Since that time, reinvestment in the machinery supplier has enabled it to increase its workforce to just under 400 employees today.