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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 2020

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.

A novelty in the current report is, as a trial for 2020, the inclusion of a monitoring of the main research funding institutions, such as the Austrian promotional bank (aws), the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and the Christian Doppler Research Association (CDG), as well as of key research institutions, for instance the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) or the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria).

After the Research Financing Act will come into effect, this monitoring chapter will be regularly included as a basis for the report to the National Council, as well as to inform the interested public.

A focal point of this current report is the topic of "Artificial Intelligence", which is gaining importance in an increasing number of areas. As in previous years, the RTR 2020 is complemented with short summaries of selected evaluations of nationally financed RTI programs.

Another novelty is that for the first time a "factsheet" is enclosed with the RTR, which highlights the most important data and facts on research, technology and innovation on four pages.