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Research institutions

Statistical figures on entities conducting research 

Based on the last full statistical survey on research and development (R&D) in Austria in 2017, there were 5,084 institutions conducting research. About 69% (3,489) belonged to the business enterprise sector, with nearly all of them (99%) engaged in research for their own business. About 1% of the institutions (38) fell into the cooperative sector, which includes the Institutes of Austrian Cooperative Research (ACR) and the COMET centres. Business enterprises had research expenditures in 2017 of €7.888 bn and 52,477.8 employees (FTEs) in R&D, which represented just under 69% of the total volume. About 57% of R&D employees were classified as scientific personnel. The main fields of activity were experimental development (64%) and applied research (31%).

The higher education sector, comprising the universities, the universities of applied sciences, private universities and university colleges of teacher education as well as IST-Austria, accounted in 2017 for just under one quarter (1,259) of all institutions conducting research. Of this latter number, about 96% of the R&D entities were at universities (including clinics and art universities). About 23% of total research expenditures (€2.533 bn) and all R&D personnel (17,680.3 FTEs) were in the higher education sector. More than 76% of those employed in R&D in the higher education sector in 2017 were scientific personnel, a percentage that was substantially higher than in business enterprises. The main fields of activity were characteristically basic research (about 54%) and applied research (about 38%). Altogether, about 69% of all basic research activities were conducted in this sector.

In 2017, the government sector had 288 (about 6%) of the R&D institutions. Besides the Federal Government institutions, they included institutions of the federal states, the municipal authorities and the professional chambers, the social insurance institutions or private non-profit institutions funded and/or controlled by the public sector as well as R&D institutions of the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft. Since the 2017 survey, the following have been newly added: Austrian Academy of Sciences (previously in the higher education sector), the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and Joanneum Research (JR) (formerly in the business enterprise sector/cooperative sector). The research expenditures amounted to €612 million or 5.5% of total spending and this sector had 5,266.3 FTEs, about 7% of R&D personnel. The main fields of activity were basic research at about 39%, applied research at about 38% and experimental development at about 23%. The percentage of scientific personnel was high in this sector as well, amounting to about 70%.

The smallest of the sectors, the private non-profit sector, had 48 research institutions in 2017 (about 1%). This sector comprises non-profit institutions whose status is predominantly private or defined under civil law, denominational or otherwise non-public. The research expenditures in 2017 totalled €0.062 bn (0.6%), the R&D personnel amounted to 585.3 FTEs (0.8%). The main field of activity was applied research (about 79%), with scientific personnel constituting about 67% of the total.

Links:

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

Contact:

Irene Danler
Department V/1 (Research, Technology, Innovation: Strategy, Reporting, Knowledge Transfer from Universities and Public Research Institutions)
Minoritenplatz 5, 1010 Vienna
T +43 53120 6315
irene.danler@bmbfw.gv.at