November 21, 2022
VERBUND AG Donates Five Million Euro to ISTA
Named professorship for energy sciences established. Another building block for capital campaign.
Michael Strugl, CEO of VERBUND, and Thomas Henzinger, President of ISTA, announced that VERBUND AG will support the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) with a donation of 5 million Euro. In recognition of this donation, a named professorship with the title “VERBUND Professor of Energy Science” will be permanently established.
The first holder of this title is the materials scientist Maria Ibáñez. The donation comes as a result of a long-lasting mutual relationship between VERBUND and ISTA, and is one of the largest philanthropic donations in Austria’s contemporary industrial history.
Michael Strugl: “The transformation of the European energy industry towards a completely renewable system calls for the efforts of us all and for our combined innovative strength. VERBUND is excited about this long-standing cooperation with ISTA, an outstanding domestic lighthouse project in research, which sets standards and is renowned internationally. Foundations for the technologies of tomorrow enabling reliable and sustainable future development are being developed here. In addition, the donation not only supports ISTA, but also the domestic business and research, thus, the donation complies with VERBUND’s CSR strategy.”
Maria Ibáñez is a materials scientist who has won several awards and whose career took her from Barcelona via Caltech in the USA and ETH Zurich in Switzerland to ISTA in Klosterneuburg. Ibáñez works on the development of new functional nanomaterials using precise, artificially constructed nanocrystals as building blocks and investigates their properties. With this, Ibáñez is creating a new generation of materials whose components and functionalities can be defined in advance. In addition to fundamental studies of nanocrystal synthesis and surface chemistry, her group‘s goal is to develop the basis for highly efficient low-cost thermoelectric materials, which could ultimately find application in energy storage, for example.
Thomas Henzinger, President of ISTA: “VERBUND’s donation demonstrates that outstanding organizations in science and industry will naturally seek and find contact with each other. VERBUND´s support enables ISTA to continue its consistent path to the world’s top in fundamental research. With this donation, VERBUND provides an impressive show of support for outstanding achievements with great potential for the future; entirely in line with the strategy of this leading domestic company.” The donation is another important milestone in ISTA’s Capital Campaign “Be a Giant”, which was announced in June 2022. As part of this campaign, the research institute aims to build an endowment of 100 million Euro by 2027. The Endowment will serve to secure ISTA’s long-term excellence and independence and is funded by donations. To date, a total of 30 million Euro in donations have been raised as part of this campaign.