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 identifies focus subjects for its funding in the form of thematic programmes that have a life span of several years each. Within the scope of these programmes, time-limited calls are regularly organised for either of the two funding instruments (project funding or research group funding), which are covered by call-specific guidelines and tenders:

Project funding: The WWTF provides funding to major scientific projects in basic research which offer medium- to long-term economic or social benefits. Funding is granted towards the cost of staff, investments, networking and management. To be eligible, project applications must have a term between two and four years. Funding ranges from a minimum of 200,000 € up to a maximum of 1 mio. €.

In the years 2003 to 2016 (as of December 2016), 188 research projects with a duration of 2 to 4 years were funded in the four thematic programmes with a total funding volume of 95 mio. €.
In addition, the City of Vienna funded 26 research projects, 3 fellowships, as well as 12 summer schools in the social sciences and humanities programme, with a total funding volume of 8.3 mio. €.

Research Group Funding - Vienna Research Groups for Young Investigators: With funding from the City of Vienna, WWTF aims to attract promising young researchers from abroad to build up their first "own" research group in Vienna and to give them a long-term perspective at this research location. The maximum funding sum available per research group is 1.6 mio. € for a period of six to eight years.

Up to date, 8 Science Chairs have been funded by the WWTF and 14 young researchers have established their research groups in Vienna via the "Vienna Research Groups for Young Investigators" with 32.2 mio. €. total funding from the City of Vienna.

 

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  8-9 mio € 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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