The “TWIST” program is an initiative by IST Austria to support researchers interested in the commercial development and use of their research results. With a range of measures, results are to be translated into product ideas, which the institute intends to commercialize through licensing and the support of start-ups. TWIST facilitates the exchange with industry, works with founders, and helps students make career decisions.

Two measures support researchers in finding ideas. Companies are invited to campus to meet researchers of IST Austria as part of the „Innovation Series“. In this way, researchers get insights into industrial research areas and their need for innovation. Through regular discussions with internal experts and external entrepreneurs, the „Inventors’ Corner“ supports bold ideas that go far beyond industrial perception.

The internal “TWIST Fellowship Program” allows alumni and postdocs of IST Austria to develop their start-up ideas for one year. Two options are available. Firstly, TWIST Fellows can dedicate 100% of their time to the development of their concrete product idea for one year after the completion of their academic program at IST Austria. Secondly, TWIST Fellows have the option to spend 20% of their working time for one year during their academic program on exploring the commercial opportunity of their research results using external resources. TWIST Fellows receive feedback from industry and mentors, assemble a team, apply for public funding and meet prospective investors. Funded projects are selected by a jury consisting of professors of IST Austria, Oliver Holle (Speedinvest), biotech entrepreneur Gottfried Himmler, and Markus Wanko, the initiator of the TWIST program at IST Austria.

TWIST offers scientists training and support for commercialization. In the IST Entrepreneurship-Lab, students generate a business idea and plan the necessary measures for its realization, including the protection of intellectual property rights, financing, market research, targeted gathering of customer feedback and team assembly. TWIST supports researchers in protecting intellectual property rights, helps to access public grants, and connects them with the start-up ecosystem.

Markus Wanko
Head Technology Transfer Office (TTO)
Tel: +43 2243 9000-1130 / E-Mail:
Institute of Science and Technology Austria
Am Campus 1 / A-3400 Klosterneuburg