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 2019
The Austrian Research and Technology Report (RTR) is published annually on behalf of the Austrian ministries responsible for research and technology, namely the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology and the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs. Based on current data, it highlights developments in research, technology and innovation policy, and positions Austria in specific sectors within the international context. The RTR consists of analyses, available each year, such as that of the development of the Austrian position in essential RTI indicators and rankings, or the Austrian performance in the European framework Program. Furthermore, the report deals with topics of particular interest which vary from year to year. Thus, for example, the RTR 2019 focuses at length on the current RTI strategy 2020 which is about to reach its conclusion, and summarizes its implementation in recent years. It will, therefore, along with other reports - e.g. the "OECD-Review on Innovation Policy in Austria" (the most important results of which are also outlined in the RTR 2019) - build the basis for a newRTI-Strategy. The report dedicates a further chapter to the "digital transformation" and concludes with a short summary of various appraisals of nationally-financed RTI programs.