December 1, 2016

Evaluation of IST Austria unanimously accepted by Research, Innovation, and Technology Committee

All-party support for IST Austria • Successful development of Institute recognized by committee members • Federal Minister Jörg Leichtfried and State Secretary Harald Mahrer for long-term planning security

The Research, Innovation, and Technology Committee of the Austrian National Council, chaired by Ruperta Lichtenecker, convened yesterday and accepted the evaluation report of IST Austria unanimously. The statements made by all parties acknowledged and recognized the achievements so far in building and operating the Institute.

Federal Minister Jörg Leichtfried (Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology) and State Secretary Harald Mahrer (Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy) attended the committee meeting as representatives of the Austrian Federal Government. Both emphasized the successful course that the Institute has been steering since its opening in 2009 and they left no doubt that the Austrian federal government will continue to provide the framework that has contributed to the excellent start of IST Austria. Planning security and a long-term financial perspective were identified as top priorities.

Prof. Erwin Neher und Prof. Thomas Henzinger were invited to the committee meeting. Nobel laureate Erwin Neher from the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen was part of the evaluation committee chaired by Roger Kornberg (Nobel Laureate in chemistry 2006, Stanford University) and comprised of international top scientists that evaluated the institute last year. Erwin Neher described the methods of the evaluation committee and was very impressed by the achievements so far. In the name of the evaluation team he acknowledged the excellent start of the Institute in Klosterneuburg and expressed his optimism that the Institute’s goal to establish itself permanently in the group of world-class research institutions is ambitious but within reach. However, a basic requirement is that the institute can continue to rely on the necessary flexibility, independence and long-term planning security.

Thomas Henzinger, who has been re-appointed as IST Austria President by the Board of Trustees for the second time, stressed in his comment that he was determined to meet the future challenges in the development of the Institute and to make an essential contribution to Austria’s success in the worldwide competition to attract the best scientists.  

Thomas Henzinger summarizes: “I am grateful to the evaluation committee for their appreciative, inspiring and encouraging analysis, the members of the Research, Innovation, and Technology Committee for their recognition and support across all parties, and the Austrian Federal Government for their continuing confidence in the long-term success of IST Austria.”

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