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Klement Tockner, FWF President © FWF/Lusser

Words of thanks and recognition for the Vice Chancellor from the FWF President. Implementation of the research billion still remains the top priority.

The Austrian Science Fund FWF regrets the resignation of Vice Chancellor and Science Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner, announced unexpectedly on 10 May. In Vice Chancellor Mitterlehner the FWF has had a constructive and dedicated partner for the advancement of basic research in Austria ever since he took over the science agenda.

In a first reaction, FWF President Klement Tockner, in this position since September 2016, honoured this good and staunch co-operation: “From the start, the discussions with Vice Chancellor Mitterlehner were marked by a high level of trust, mutual appreciation and great substantive depth. Regrettable as the decision now taken by the Vice Chancellor may be for the FWF and the Austrian science community, we must respect and accept it.”

Tockner also addressed words of thanks to the Ministry and Mitterlehner’s immediate staff. “Apart from thanking the outgoing Minister of Science, I would also like to express our heartfelt gratitude to his dedicated team on behalf of the FWF”, continued Tockner. According to Tockner, the successful restructuring of the FWF budget and the recently pledged top-up via the research billion represent major achievements of the last few years.

At the same time, Tockner has an initial message for the potential successor at the Science Ministry. Tockner considers that the financial pledges for the benefit of science made by the Federal Government – to wit the “research billion” – have to be implemented regardless of the person who occupies the post of Science Minister. “The boost provided by this step is not only an extremely positive signal to the science community but also essential for making Austria a competitive research location”, notes Tockner and adds: “The chosen path needs to be pursued consistently.”

The FWF President sees no reason to waver in his optimism for the future. “At the FWF we put our faith in the positive and extremely constructive co-operation with the Ministry of Science and the Minister’s office”, concludes Tockner.


Marc Seumenicht
Head of Public Relations and Science Communication

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