The FWF is an institution established under Austrian federal law (Research and Technology Funding Act, or FTFG).
The FWF was established under Art. 2 FTFG for the purpose of funding research that is 1) carried out on a project basis in line with the highest international standards and generally without thematic restrictions, 2) designed to generate new insights and expand and advance scholarly knowledge, and 3) is non-profit.
Art. 2b (1) FTFG defines the FWF's duties as follows:
1. To promote scholarly research efforts of one or more natural or legal persons in any suitable manner by way of the administration and execution of research funding programmes or funding activities,
2. To administer the funds allocated to the Austrian Science Fund in accordance with their designated purpose (Art. 2a),
3. To provide support and advice to the Austrian Federal Government,
4. To offer information and raise public awareness on the significance of scientific/scholarly research and the advancement and appreciation of the arts and their funding, in particular through new forms of participatory communication (“science communication”),
5. To participate in joint European and international programmes and funding instruments for the benefit of research according to Art. 2 para. 1. The decision on the use of funds according to Art. 2a points 1 and 2 must be made while taking into consideration the responsible body of the respective European or international programme or funding instrument,
6. To represent Austrian interests vis-à-vis relevant European and international institutions on behalf of the Austrian Federal Government, and
7. To evaluate the programme’s achievements and analyse its effects on the system within the scope of its duties.
The full text of the Research and Technology Funding Act (FTFG) can be retrieved from the Austrian Federal Chancellery’s Legal Information System (in German).