BACK TO Research in Austria

Research Policy at the National Level


The RTI (Research, Technology, Innovation) strategy "Realising Potential, Increasing Dynamics, Creating the Future – Becoming an Innovation Leader", which was launched in 2011 for the next decade, aims to see Austria promoted from the group of "innovation followers" to the league of "innovation leaders" regarding the Innovation Union Scoreboard. The RTI strategy defines Austria’s strategic and operational goals, sets priorities and includes support measures for the promotion of research, technology and innovation. It addresses measures to strengthen national research structures with a focus on excellence, to foster the innovative capacity of companies, to raise the efficiency of governance, and to link research, technology and innovation to the education system. The strategy should also help to mobilise research, technology and innovation for the grand challenges of society and the economy. The Federal Government proposes to set itself the goal of increasing the country’s research ratio to 3.76 % of the GDP by 2020. Over time, Austria has more than doubled its research expenditure since 2005, increasing its R&D quota from 2.37 % to 3.19 % by the end of 2018. By international comparison, Austria has the second highest R&D rate, in terms of gross domestic expenditure on R&D relative to gross domestic product, and the seventh highest in the world.


Innovation Leader

The European Research Area (ERA) plays an important part in Research, Technology and Innovation in Austria. In order to position Austria in the group of "Innovation Leaders" in the long run it will be necessary to promote internationalisation efforts in research and to participate even more in European research programmes and to optimise the participation of the country’s enterprises and research organisations.


Austrian ERA Roadmap

On 29 May 2015 the Competitiveness Council adopted conclusions in connection with the European ERA Roadmap 2015-2020. In these conclusions the Council called upon each member state to provide for the national implementation of the European ERA Roadmap by means of national action plans or strategies. With the "Austrian ERA Roadmap" Austria complies with this request by the research ministers of the European Union and follows the European ERA Roadmap, both with regard to structure and to content. On 30 November 2018 Council Conclusions on the governance of the European Research Area were adopted under the Austrian Presidency. The ERA Council Conclusions consist of three parts: (a) Acknowledgement of important progress by the different ERA-related groups in implementing the ERA agenda; (b) Decision of the research ministers on the "ERA Advisory Structure", based on the pertinent review and the ERAC report; (c) Outlook on the future of ERA, with the invitation to the European Commission to publish a new ERA Communication by 2020 as well as to Council Presidencies to organise regular ERA ministerial conferences. Regarding the Horizon Europe regulation, the Council reached a political agreement with a partial general approach.

Regarding Europe and the European Research Area (ERA), the ERA Observatory Austria establishes a new roof for the integrated governance of Austria’s role in European RTI policy. It supports evidence-based decision-making and enables Austria to play an active role in Europe. If you are further interested in EU-related research policy and its implementation in Austria and in Europe please refer to the ERA Portal Austria.


Further interesting documents

FTI-Strategie 2030 – Strategie der Bundesregierung für Forschung, Technologie und Innovation (RTI Strategy 2030; in German only)
Bericht: FTI-Strategie 2030 (report, pdf; in Geman only)
Research, technology and innovation (RTI) are at the centre of an Austrian location policy that is future-oriented and designed to be competitive and innovation-friendly. Austria as a location for innovation has shown dynamic development in recent years. The RTI Strategy 2030 has now been adopted by the federal government: It sets out the main goals and fields of action of RTI policy for the coming decade.


* To catch up with the international leaders and strengthen Austria as an RTI location;
* Focus on effectiveness and excellence;
* Focus on knowledge, talents and skills.


OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy: Austria
The Report aims at supporting Austria in designing its next RTI Strategy 2020+ so as to further increase the quality and the impact of science, research, technological development and innovation. Providing a valuable outside view, the results and recommendations of the report will feed into the preparation of the new RTI Strategy 2020+.


Austrian National Action Plan for Researchers (118.55 KB) (pdf)
The National Action Plan for Researchers is Austria's response to the Communication issued by the European Commission (EC) entitled "Better Careers and More Mobility: A European Partnership for Researchers" as well as the related conclusion by the European Council.


Austrian Research and Technology Report 2020
Austrian Research and Technology Report 2019
The Austrian Research and Technology Report is an annual compilation of current statistics, findings and assessments on research, technology and innovation policy in Austria, providing an overview of Austria’s position in this policy field.


Research Strategy 2020
released by the Council for Research and Technology Development; in German only (Forschungsstrategie 2020 des Rates für Forschung und Technologieentwicklung)


The Researchers' Report 2014 | Country Profile Austria (pdf)
The Researchers' Report 2014 prepared by Deloitte for the European Commission is a comprehensive report on the research profession in Europe. The report focuses on indicators, which relate to the Innovation Union Commitments Nos 1, 4 and 30.

These cover research training & employment conditions, removal of obstacles to mobility and cross-border cooperation, and ensuring that leading academics, researchers and innovators reside and work in Europe and attracting a sufficient number of highly skilled third country nationals to stay in Europe. Additional documents and annexes can be downloaded here.


Platform Research & Technology Policy Evaluation (fteval)
The mission of the Austrian Platform for Research & Technology Policy Evaluation is to encourage more, better and more transparent evaluations for an optimal strategic planning of RTD-policy in Austria and to develop a culture of evaluation together with decision-makers in the field of Austrian technology and research policy.


Austrian ERA Portal:
The Austrian online platform for the European Research Area (ERA) is a promotion initiative aiming at providing comprehensive information on the implementation of the ERA.

Austrian ERA Roadmap - Final Report 2020


ERA Observatory Austria
The ERA Observatory Austria establishes a new roof for the integrated governance of Austria’s role in European RTI policy. It supports evidence-based decision making and enables Austria to play an active role in Europe. The ERA Observatory consists of an interministerial steering committee, the “ERA Policy Forum Austria”, as well as an expert advisory body, the “ERA Council Forum Austria”. The two bodies will exchange views and findings on a regular basis.


Austrian Strategy for Research, Technology and Innovation
The Austrian Federal Government launched its Strategy for Research, Technology and Innovation for the next decade on 8 March 2011.