Austria is a country of research and innovation with great innovative capacity, ranking among the leading countries in Europe with another record research spending ratio of 3.19 per cent in 2018.
Austria has set itself the ambitious goal of increasing the research spending ratio to over 3.7 per cent of GDP. Throughout 2012-2016, the R&D expenditure to GDP ratio in Austria was higher than in Germany and most other EU Member States.
A major task of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs is to provide funding for areas that are specifically in need of such support. These funding programmes are devised and managed in close cooperation with other ministries, the Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development as well as other funding entities. In addition, they are subject to periodic evaluation by independent experts to better focus the programmes on their relevant target groups.
Framework for RTI in Austria
A successful research and technology policy consists not only of funding measures. Rather, it requires a number of accompanying actions to inform potential beneficiaries and help them implement innovative ideas, while supporting policy-makers in efforts to improve the RTI framework.
Innovation and Technology Policy
The competitive strength of companies and thus their potential for employment are a central subject in both Austria and Europe as a whole. These factors greatly depend on the quality of activities in research, technological development and innovation. Consequently, it is important for the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs to further enhance investment in research, development and innovation and to establish the appropriate framework for strengthening Austrian businesses, in particular small- and medium-sized companies.
For this purpose, a coordinated portfolio of programmes, initiatives and networks has been made available.
Austrian Research and Technology Report 2021
The Austrian Research and Technology Report (RTR) is published annually on behalf of the Austrian ministries responsible for research and technology, namely the Federal Minstry of Education, Science and Research, the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology and the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs. Based on current data, it highlights developments in the areas of research, technology and innovation policy, and looks at the position of Austria in specific sectors within an international context.
The RTR 2021 offers a detailed overview of strategic developments, such as the new RTI Strategy 2030, the implementation of ongoing sub-strategies in the field of RTI, as well as the most important current initiatives and measures in the public sector.
Statistics Austria's "Global Estimate on R&D-expenditures" illustrates the important role of public research funding in times of crisis. According to a recent study, an increase of 1 EUR in public R&D spending can increase GDP by 6 EUR in the long term. Despite a crisis-related decline, domestic companies remain the most important source of finance for R&D, with a share of 5.03 Billion EUR.
In accordance with the Research Financing Act, one of the main sections of this report is the annual monitoring of the ten "central research- and research funding institutions" in Austria, based on eight selected indicators. An analysis of the target / actual values will be available once all performance and financing agreements have been concluded for the 2022 report.
As a supplement to the RTR, the six-page fact sheet offers a compact overview of data and facts in the field of research, technology and innovation in Austria.