Herbert Edelsbrunner

Austria’s most highly endowed research award

With nominees named by the scientific community, winners selected by an international jury of experts, and a €1.5 million endowment that exceeds all other individual funding awards in Austria, the FWF Wittgenstein Award is unique in every respect. With this award, the FWF not only honors exceptional academic careers, but also offers researchers the resources they need to advance their own research work at the highest international level.


Gruppenbild der FWF-START und Wittgenstein-Preisträger
Setting the stage for outstanding research: The researchers accepting their awards at the formal award ceremony © Daniel Novotny/FWF

Target group

The funding program is aimed at outstanding researchers from all disciplines.

Funding goals

The program provides both recognition and support to excellent researchers (up to 60 years of age) who have already produced exceptional work and who occupy a prominent place in the international scientific community.

Funding period and funding amount

  • 60 months
  • €1.5 million

Herbert Edelsbrunner 2018

In 2018, the prize was awarded to both the Austrian computer scientist and mathematician Herbert Edelsbrunner (*1958) and the ethnomusicologist Ursula Hemetek. Edelsbrunner is one of the world's leading researchers in computational geometry and topology. These subfields of information science and mathematics focus on the computational implementation of mathematical theories that are applied, among other things, in the field of artificial intelligence to advance machine learning. Edelsbrunner has been a researcher at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) near Vienna since 2009.

Computer scientist and mathematician Herbert Edelsbrunner
Award winner 2018: Herbert Edelsbrunner, ISTA © Michael Rausch-Schott/FWF

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