March 19, 2014

IST Austria for sound funding of science in Austria

State Secretary Danninger visits IST Austria campus • praise for acquiring third-party funding • Henzinger warns against consequences of underfunding for science in Austria

Today Jochen Danninger, state secretary in the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Austria, visited the Institute of Science and Technology Austria in Klosterneuburg. Among other things, his visit was marked by the current discussion about the funding of science and research in Austria. Danninger praised the efforts made by IST Austria to acquire third-party funding, both from public research funding organizations and from private donors. So far IST Austria has acquired approximately 53 million Euros in third-party funding.

IST Austria President Thomas Henzinger pointed to the high significance of a sound funding of science in Austria: “IST Austria does not exist in a vacuum. In spite of all our efforts, IST Austria can only succeed in the long run if universities and other research institutes in Austria have a sound funding: firstly, we recruit our most talented junior scientists from universities, i.e. students and postdocs. Secondly, our scientists are in need of strong and high-class collaborators. And thirdly, universities and research institutes contribute substantially to the intellectual climate and, consequently, to the attractiveness of Austria as a research location.”

Henzinger stated with reference to the Austrian research funding organization FWF: “Science in Austria needs a strong FWF. The highly competitive tending procedure is, by international standards, are excellently structured and administered. The FWF needs to have a safe and sound budget so that it can fulfill its task of efficiently funding excellent science. Even short-term underfunding may have long-term consequences both for our research activities at home and as a signal to aboard. The country’s reputation in the international ‘scientific community’ – and hence its future – are at stake.”

Additionally, Henzinger and Managing Director Georg Schneider briefed the State Secretary on the progress made in developing the technology park, where companies are to settle in close proximity to IST Austria’s campus, its facilities and the know-how of its scientists.

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