The Vienna Science and Technology Fund (Wiener Wissenschafts-, Forschungs- und Technologiefonds ) is a non-profit organisation established to promote science and research in Vienna. The fund’s funding tools and methods are designed to strengthen top research in Vienna. Some of its calls are explicitly directed at promoting promising young scientists.
The WWTF obtains its funds from the “Privatstiftung zur Verwaltung von Anteilsrechten”, a private foundation in the financial sector which was set up in order to manage equity interests.

Funding Instruments

The WWTF sets priorities for its funding activities in the form of thematic programmes, each of which is valid for several years. Within these programmes, calls for one of the two funding instruments (project or individual funding) are regularly issued for a limited period of time, whereby the call-specific guidelines and call texts must be observed:

Project funding: The WWTF supports larger scientific projects that have a medium to long-term economic and/or social exploitation perspective. The funding covers mainly personnel costs, but also investment, networking and overhead costs. The possible project duration ranges from two to four years. Depending on the specific call for proposals, the funding amount can be up to € 1 million.

From 2003-2019 (as of December 2019), the WWTF's calls for proposals in the five existing thematic research programmes have enabled 234 research projects with durations of between 2 and 5 years to be funded with a total of around € 126 million.

In addition, 26 research projects, three fellowships and 12 summer schools were funded with a total amount of € 8.3 million in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Cultural Sciences program which was financed by the City of Vienna.

Funding for individuals - Vienna Research Groups for Young Investigators: Funds provided by the City of Vienna are intended to attract promising young researchers from outside Vienna and, if possible, to bind them to the location in the long term. The maximum total funding amount is € 1.6 million spread over six to eight years. This should enable the establishment of the first own research group. This funding program has so far enabled 21 research group leaders to be brought to Vienna.

Eight further renowned researchers have come to Vienna as endowed professors thanks to WWTF funding. The previous funding for individuals and groups amounts to € 42.2 million.

Complementary instruments: To a lesser extent, the WWTF provides funding for accompanying activities and projects, mainly within the existing priority areas. The maximum funding amount is € 50 thousand. So far, 15 of these projects have been funded with a total of € 0.6 million.

Mission and Strategy

The Vienna Science and Technology Fund devises its funding strategy from the context of the Austrian science and research scene, as well as the special position held by Vienna as the capital of Austrian research.

The WWTF contributes to:

  • establishing and fostering critical mass for Vienna as a research location,
  • the intense networking of research institutions and groups in Vienna, especially within the scope of international partnerships,
  • implementing mid-range utilisation and exploitation potentials for Vienna as a business location, and
  • strengthening the anchor functions of research facilities for research-intensive businesses in Vienna.

The choice of the thematic programmes is based on the extent to which projects in the selected theme will help reinforce Vienna’s strengths and make a relevant contribution to the interests of Vienna and its region. Whereby, the selection of projects is prioritized by scientific excellence. 

 

History

The Vienna Science and Technology Fund was founded in 2001 to encourage top-performing research work in Vienna and make Vienna attractive for international scientists. Thereby emphasising the importance of basic research to provide an impetus for developing new technologies and insights for the City of Vienna.

WWTF draws its funding from a private bank foundation. A common practice in countries such as the USA, UK or Germany, this type of financing for science and research is unique in Austria.

The fund receives approximately € 9-11 million per year from the foundation and additional funds from the City of Vienna for selected programmes.

 

"As a metropolis and as a European region, Vienna must invest in key areas of future development. Only if we manage to expand our strengths and to position ourselves as a centre of knowledge against the background of increasingly mobile and interlinked markets, we will be in a position to further increase our economic potential and our quality of life."

Former Mayor of Vienna, Dr. Michael Häupl
President of WWTF

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