The Austrian Science Fund FWF has formed together with European research funding organisations a network called Weave to harmonise programmes for international cooperation and to create extensive opportunities for collaboration on basic research.
FWF has established together with eleven other European research funding organisations a new network for the purpose of funding cross-border research projects. As part of the “Weave” initiative, researchers from two or three countries can carry out closely integrated, joint research projects. Many existing, mostly bilateral programmes for funding cross-border projects will be merged together into Weave. In addition, the cooperation will also lead to a number of new trilateral forms of collaboration. Proposals will be processed according to the lead agency procedure, meaning that only one of the participating funding organisations is responsible for reviewing the proposal and making a funding recommendation, while the funding is done separately by each respective national funding organisation.
New opportunities for cross-border research
In a first step, FWF will incorporate its cooperation with the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) as well as the CEUS cooperation with the research funding organisations from Poland (NCN), the Czech Republic (GACR), and Slovenia (ARRS) into Weave. In addition, FWF is cooperating with funding organisations from Belgium/Flanders (FWO) and Luxembourg (FNR) as part of Weave. All the current bilateral funding opportunities will be integrated seamlessly into Weave. It will also lead to many new constellations of trilateral collaboration, such as the cooperation between Austria, Germany, and Poland. The existing cooperation with DFG as part of the “SFB” (special research programmes or collaborative research centres) and the “Research Groups” programmes are not part of the transition to Weave and will continue as usual.
The FWF’s next step will be to extend the collaboration to other Weave partner organisations from Norway, Sweden, Croatia, and Belgium/Wallonia over the next few years. Weave is also open to other research funding organisations joining the network.
More flexibility in the application process
In comparison to the existing cooperation agreements, Weave not only offers new possibilities in terms of the constellation of countries but also more flexibility in choosing the lead agency. For the first time, applicants are free to choose the lead agency, independent of, for instance, the distribution of funding between the participating countries.
With the launch of Weave, FWF is taking another major step in its internationalisation efforts. Since the development of the lead agency procedure by FWF, DFG, and SNF in 2008, this procedure has been adopted by many funding organisations throughout Europe and beyond. Weave aims to establish this form of close cooperation on a wider basis, thus enabling the participating funding organisations to make an important contribution to creating one European research area.
You can find detailed information on the application process in the “Information for Applicants”, the link to which can be found in the respective country section here.