Since June 2023, researchers from universities and non-university research institutions have had the opportunity to submit climate-relevant research proposals for Austria's largest privately funded research award. Through a private donation to the FWF's alpha+ Foundation, €4.5 million in funding is available for the Zero Emissions Award, with the aim of gaining the knowledge we will need for the energy transition.

Target group

This award is aimed at researchers from all disciplines who are conducting research in the field of renewable energies and the energy transition.

Funding goals

New research findings will be essential if we want to achieve climate neutrality in Austria by 2040. For this reason, the alpha+ Foundation of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) invites researchers from all disciplines to submit proposals for the new Zero Emissions Award. The funding is intended to help close knowledge gaps, find groundbreaking approaches, and spur innovation. The Zero Emissions Award enables researchers from all scientific disciplines to carry out pioneering research projects in the field of renewable energies and the energy transition in Austria.

Funding is provided especially for projects that address one of the following aspects:

  • Pioneering research/excellent basic research in all scientific disciplines to promote innovation in the field of renewable energies and the energy transition 
  • Research on the technological framework conditions required for widespread implementation of the energy transition 
  • Behavioral research on the use of renewable energies

For further information on the program’s objectives, please see: Zero Emissions Award

Additional program-specific information

Applications for the Zero Emissions Award can be submitted under the FWF programs:

Applications submitted for this call are not subject to the restriction on the number of projects in progress.

Funding period and funding amount

  • Funding duration and funding amount are program-specific.
  • For Principal Investigator Projects funded by the Foundation, the general project costs are increased to 15%.
  • ESPRIT projects receive 10% more budget.


The requirements and specifications for the FWF programs Principal Investigator Projects or ESPRIT apply, as well as the Supplementary Application Guidelines for this subject-specific funding.


  • Decision by the alpha+ Stiftung based on a recommendation by the Scientific Board
  • €900,000 in funding provided by the Foundation; if the required funding amount for an approved project exceeds this amount, the FWF will cover the difference.
  • First decision in May/June 2024
  • Presented at the 2024 START/Wittgenstein Award Ceremony

Application information

Funding institution

alpha+ Stiftung Foundation of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), funded by a donation from American entrepreneur Patrick S. Dumont, Austrian Science Fund (FWF)



Inquiries and contact

Gerit Oberraufner (she/her)
+43 676 83487 8606

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