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Research funding and key research funding agencies

Scientists need the requisite funding for their research in order to advance progress for society as a whole and fulfil their responsibility in this regard. In Austria, either the universities and research institutions do this directly themselves by making available to scientists the necessary budget, infrastructure, personnel and other services – usually in connection with an employment relationship. Or research funding is granted through the key funding agencies for research, technology and innovation at the level of the Federal Government and the federal states, with the universities and research institutions making available the infrastructure, the expertise and an environment conducive to science.

Along with this national research funding, there is also international research aid – above all, the aid granted through the EU Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development (Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe). Research can also be financed by business enterprises and other private funders.

The three major research funding agencies in Austria

The bulk of federal aid is provided by three major agencies, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws), or handled by these agencies on behalf of the Federal Government. The FWF finances basic research while the FFG focuses on funding applied research associated with industry. aws, for its part, is the federal development bank in Austria for business-related economic development.
The FWF and one of the predecessor organisations of the FFG, the Austrian Industrial Research Promotion Fund (FFF), were founded back in 1968. The FFG and aws did not come into being until 2004 and 2002 respectively, following mergers of various other agencies.
You can find current detailed reports on research funding every year in the Austrian Research and Technology Report.

Other research funding agencies

Three other research funding institutions are worth noting. Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft (LBG) pursues medicine, the life sciences as well as the humanities, the social sciences and cultural sciences as its priority fields. The Christian Doppler Research Association (CDG) funds collaborations between science and business and the Agency for Education and Internationalisation (OeAD) is the main service centre for European and international mobility and cooperation programmes in education, science and research.


Other research funding agencies for which the BMBWF is not directly responsible