Austrian Offices of Science and Technology in Washington and Beijing

Since the beginning of the 1990s, Austria has been building a network of science and technology offices abroad, the objective being to intensify international cooperation in the field of research and technology. Initially, the activities of the network were focused on South-Eastern Europe. The majority of the “Austrian Science and Research Liaison Offices” (ASOs) were based in Austria’s neighbouring countries to the East. As bilateral relations intensified and the countries of Eastern Europe either joined the European Union or gained access to the EU research framework programmes through association agreements, an on-site presence was no longer considered necessary. Therefore, the European ASOs were given up and replaced by “Offices of Science and Technology Austria” (OSTAs) in other parts of the world.

Currently, OSTAs are operating in the USA and China, serving as strategic interfaces to these important players in the research arena. Through their on-site presence, the offices contribute to the intensification of research and technology cooperation.

Besides the classic tasks of science diplomacy, which OSTA directors perform in their capacity as science attachés, the Offices of Science and Technology fulfil the following functions:

  1. Provision of services for Austrian researchers and – in the case of the Washington office – extension of and support to the network of Austrian researchers in the USA
  2. Policy advice in the fields of science and research
  3. Advice and support in establishing scientific and technological cooperation between Austrian research institutions and partner institutions in the target country

The Washington Office of Science and Technology (OSTA Washington) was established at the Austrian Embassy in Washington in 2001 as an inter-ministerial initiative of the (since 8 January  2018: Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research), the Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology, and the Federal Ministry for Digital, Business and Enterprise.. The Washington Office cooperates closely with the Association of Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America (ASCINA).

The Washington Office of Science and Technology publishes “Bridges”, a regular online newsletter covering US and Canadian science and research policy, which you can subscribe free of charge

The newsletter of the OSTA Beijing can be subscribed also free of charge.