December 2, 2015

IST Austria on its way to becoming a model for science management

Economic evaluation commends IST Austria • Exemplary character of the Institute emphasized • Mandate by Ministry of Science and State of Lower Austria • IST Austria President Henzinger thanks evaluation team

“IST Austria is a well-kept house,” is the overall verdict of the economic evaluation of the Institute of Science and Technology Austria. The evaluators commend that IST Austria had “acted resourcefully, expediently, and economically” since its foundation and is on its way to becoming an exemplary model for cutting-edge research and science management alike.

The evaluation was commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy and the State of Lower Austria. It was carried out by a consortium consisting of PwC, Drees & Sommer, as well as technopolis. They examined the time since opening of the Institute up until the year 2014. The economic evaluation started in May 2014 and was finalized in fall 2015.

IST Austria President Thomas Henzinger: “We thank the evaluation team for the thorough examination and the valuable indications for the further development of IST Austria. We had already tackled or executed some of the recommendations at the time of printing of the report. The very positive evaluation report is an important confirmation of our approach. It truly encourages us to keep improving our science management as it is our ambition is to convince not just with our research output alone.”

Key statements of the report are: IST Austria is a an institute with good economic prospects; the available funds are used in a resourceful, expedient, and economical fashion; and the scientific development plan corresponds well with the financial framework assured by the Republic of Austria and the State of Lower Austria for the development of IST Austria until 2026. The constructional development of the campus is according to plan both in terms of money and time. The Institute’s management is well organized and provides a solid and target-oriented base for the continued dynamic growth. The administration is on the right track to “becoming an internationally recognized model institute for the management of research and research infrastructure”, writes the evaluation team in its report.

Following the scientific evaluation of the Institute in 2011 and the evaluations of the disciplines computer science, biology, and neuroscience in the past three years, the economic evaluation was the fifth extensive external examination since foundation of the Institute in 2009. It will be succeeded by the upcoming overall scientific assessment at the end of 2015 as stipulated by legislation.

Henzinger concludes: “We are arguably one of the most evaluated scientific organizations in the world. But those of us who—like IST Austria—have high ambitions and are supported by public funds also have the obligation to be held accountable and meet these demands. We are pleased to fulfil this obligation, not least because we learn from every evaluation.”


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