International / EU

The international linkage of Austrian research and development (R&D) is an issue that has been (and is still being) promoted successfully for a long while. In order to remain at the top, good international networking is indispensable for R&D stakeholders.

On the European level, the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation known as Horizon 2020, with around 78 billion euros of funding, is the most important instrument for the international networking of Research, Technology & Innovation (RTI) stakeholders. The program has a 7-year runtime starting in 2014 and is the largest research program in the history of the European Union.

Horizon 2020 is playing a substantial but not the exclusive role in the EU -wide effort to estab-lish a European Research Area (ERA). As set forth in the most recent ERA progress report of the European Commission, much progress is being made on consolidating the collaboration among the EU Member States, wherein Austria is assuming an excellent position here in the wake of already implemented key and profound reforms in research. Active participation in the shaping of European Research represents a rewarding challenge, especially for small Member States like Austria, as it gives the respective RTI stakeholders open access to a European Area of Knowledge and Innovation. Securing an appropriate place for Austria's R&D in Europe and internationally is thus a key component of the mission of the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) as an R&D ministry:

  • Active participation in the shaping of the European RTI agenda through political representation in the EU committees
  • Promotion of bilateral RTI collaboration with countries within and outside the EU
  • In the scope of the implementation of the European Research Area, issuing calls for bilateral and multilateral program proposals and providing funding for Austrian project participation through the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)
  • Strengthening public dialog on science, research, and innovation with a view to open-ing up new potentials for the innovation process
  • Continued integration of Austrian research in the European Research Area

In the scope of an interministerial commissioning of the FFG, the BMK supports parties in-terested in participating in European research with a comprehensive offering of services.

In cooperation with Austrian stakeholders, the BMK is also an active and successful partici-pant in other European initiatives related to technology. Examples include multilateral EU initiatives such as ERA-NETs, joint programming initiatives or joint undertakings, numerous European technology platforms, and the SET Plan.

The BMK is also becoming increasingly active on the international level outside Europe through cooperation with promising markets such as China on topics such as nanotechnologies or urbanization, for example, thus implementing another key requirement of the 2011 RTI Strategy of the Austrian Federal Government and the "Beyond Europe" concept based thereon.

In the area of space science, the BMK has been systematically pursuing the strategy of ex-panding Austrian industrial and research activities for many years. By actively representing Austria in the European Space Agency ESA, in the European weather organization EUMETSAT, and in the organizations and programs in charge of implementing the large Eu-ropean space science programs GALILEO (satellite navigation) and COPERNICUS (earth observation) as well as by providing appropriate funding in the scope of the Austrian space science program ASAP, the BMK is creating the necessary basis for successful participation by the RTI stakeholders in this increasingly important economic sector.

Information on the linkage of national (i.e., Austrian) to international and EU technology and research programs, participation in Horizon 2020 and in the COST research initiative as well as in the European Research Area, and on the space science sector are summarized in the 'In-ternational/EU' menu item.