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Austrian funding for basic research boosted by 27%

Three-year allocation of €806 million ensures the “future viability of our country” says agency head

The Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Austria’s main public body for funding basic research, has had its budget increased by 27 per cent via a three-year funding agreement with the government.

The agreement between the agency and Austria’s central science ministry was signed on 22 September and will provide €806 million for frontier-busting research for 2021-23.

“The financing agreement is about nothing less than the future viability of our country. More researchers than before will be able to be successful at the Austrian Science Fund FWF and move up to the world class in their field,” said agency head Christof Gattringer.

Science minister Heinz Faßmann said the extra funds would “send even more researchers on a journey in order to gain completely new insights for the world of tomorrow”.

The agency said the deal broadly follows the goals set out in a decadal research and innovation strategy ministers signed up to in December 2020. It covers spending streams including open-topic individual project funding, EU collaboration and a new €150m excellent science push branded ‘excellent = austria’.