Taking part in international initiatives, maintaining international partnerships and the continuous development of the international FWF strategy have a central place on the agenda of the Austrian Science Fund. FWF President Klement Tockner was involved in a number of international meetings and appointments between early and mid-July. A visit in Beijing to the National Natural Science Foundation of China was followed by a short stopover in Vienna so as to welcome high-level visitors from Georgia before he embarked on a trip to Moscow to the Russian Foundation for Basic Research. The international weeks were concluded by a visit from the President of the Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office. In addition, Klement Tockner was appointed to the eight-strong Governing Board of Science Europe.
Beijng: symposium on the development of a common research space
Upon an invitation from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), FWF President Klement Tocker attended an international symposium in Beijing on 3 and 4 July that brought together representatives of research support organisations from 22 countries and seven international science organisations to talk about the possibilities for building a common research space linking China, other Asian countries and countries in Europe (“Belt and Road”). At the symposium, Tockner also delivered a keynote address on “Changing science landscapes: a brief FWF perspective”.
High-level visitors from Georgia at the FWF
On 7 July, the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Science of Georgia, Aleksandre Jejelava, paid a visit to the FWF accompanied by the Georgian ambassador and high-ranking representatives of the Georgian Ministry of Education and Science. Vice Prime Minister Jejelava reported about developments within the Georgian science system in recent years and current efforts towards internationalisation. With FWF’s President Klement Tockner he discussed options for intensifying scientific exchanges between Georgia and Austria. It was agreed to have a further encounter expected to result in defining tangible measures.
FWF visit in Moscow
The next trip took the FWF President to Moscow on 10 and 11 July. The FWF and its Russian partner organisation, the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), have enjoyed long-standing co-operation. This year the FWF for the first time issued a bilateral call for proposals together with the Russian Science Foundation (RSF). The visit also permitted the signing of a new agreement which extends joint project support to the areas of the humanities and social sciences. In the meetings with the two partner organisations, the FWF President discussed the status quo as well as prospects for a further development of bilateral relations.
Meeting between FWF and NKFIH/Hungary
On 14 July, the President of the Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NRDIO/NKFIH), József Pálinkás, visited the FWF. The two organisations look back on close cooperation which already started with the predecessor organisation of the NKFIH. The meeting with FWF President Tockner centred on the current status of co-operation and also included opportunities for extending collaboration between scientists.
Klement Tockner appointed to the Governing Board of Science Europe
A founding member of Science Europe, the FWF continues to show great commitment to the umbrella organisation of European research funding organisations. Klement Tockner was recently appointed as one of the eight members of the Science Europe Governing Board.
Head of Public Relations and Science Communication