History of the FWF

On October 25, 1967, the Austrian National Council passed the Research Funding Act (Forschungsförderungsgesetz, or FFG), which was supported by the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) as well as the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) and established two research funding organisations as independent legal entities: the Austrian Science Fund (Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung) and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (Forschungsförderungsfonds der gewerblichen Wirtschaft). Once the senates and departments of the eleven institutions of higher education in Austria which are authorised to confer doctoral degrees had elected their representatives to the Assembly of Delegates, the founding meeting of the Austrian Science Fund (known as the FFWF at the time) was held at the Austrian Ministry of Education on March 4, 1968; the meeting was chaired by Federal Minister Theodor Piffl-Percevic. Just a few days later, the assets and liabilities of the Austrian Research Council, an association founded in 1960, were transferred to the FFWF.

The legal framework created by the FFG 1967 has been amended twice, but the key elements and principles of the FWF’s work have remained unchanged. The Research Funding Act was first amended by the Research Organisation Act (FOG) in 1981. For the FWF, the new legislation mainly brought about changes in the composition of its decision-making bodies: Both the Assembly of Delegates and the FWF Board were expanded to include representatives of associations and interest groups. In response to the Universities Act 2002 (UG 2002), the second major amendment reformed Austria’s research funding landscape in 2004. The FWF was restructured, and the expansion of decision-making bodies adopted in the FOG was essentially reversed. In its current form, the FWF is an Austrian institution established as a separate legal entity under Austrian law (Research and Technology Funding Act, or FTFG) for the purpose of promoting basic research. Under the FTFG, the FWF was equipped with new structures and its strategic and operational units were separated. Since those reforms, the activities of the FWF have been overseen by a supervisory board.

1967 – 1972: Liebiggasse 5/1, A-1010 Vienna
1972 – 1990: Garnisongasse 7/20, A-1090 Vienna
1990 – 2006: Weyringergasse 33-35, A-1040 Vienna
2006 – 2023: Haus der Forschung, Sensengasse 1, A-1090 Vienna
2023 – present: Georg-Coch-Platz 2, A-1010 Vienna

FWF Executive Board

1967-1972Hubert Rohracher 
1972-1974Theodor Leipert 
1974-1982Hans Tuppy 
1982-1991Kurt L. Komarek 
1991-1994Helmut Rauch 
1994-2003Arnold Schmidt 
2003-2005Georg Wick 
2005-2013Christoph Kratky 
2013-2015Pascale Ehrenfreund 
2015-2016Christine Mannhalter
(Interim President)
2016-2020Klement Tockner 
2021Gregor Weihs
(Interim President)
from 2021 and from 2016 - presentChristof GattringerUrsula Jakubek (Executive Vice-President), Gerlinde Mautner, Ellen Zechner, Georg Kaser (from 1st September 2021)


FWF Managing Directors

PeriodExecutive Vice President / Managing Director
1970-1978Carl Kramsall
1978-1990Raoul F. Kneucker
1990-2003Eva Glück
2003-2010Gerhard Kratky
2011-2016Dorothea Sturn
2016-2021Artemis Vakianis