The opportunity to attend more international conferences and workshops - with a Rückenwind funding bonus, private partners support the academic careers of young researchers. Since 2020, this has helped 18 researchers expand their international networks. Now, the alpha+ Foundation's Rückenwind initiative has gained a new partner: law firm Binder Grösswang.
A generous helping of curiosity, plenty of freedom, and a strong will – quantum physicist Anton Zeilinger has been driving ground-breaking basic research for over 40 years. The Nobel Prize in Physics not only honours an exceptional scientific career, but also shows the potential of Austria as a science and research location, given the right framework conditions. These conditions also include funding from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), which has supported Anton Zeilinger and many of his colleagues from the very beginning.
The Nobel Prize Committee has awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics to Alain Aspect (France), John F. Clauser (USA), and Austrian physicist Anton Zeilinger for their research in the field of quantum physics. The Nobel Prize is the world’s most prestigious scientific distinction and is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Wolfgang Pauli was the last Austrian researcher to win the Nobel Prize in Physics, in 1945.
The new Emerging Fields funding programme, the second pillar of the Austrian excellence initiative excellent=austria, is set to launch. For the first time, teams from all areas of basic research are invited to tackle entirely new research ideas and break free of established approaches. The programme focuses particularly on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary projects, as well as arts-based research. Up to €6 million euros in FWF funding is available to the individual teams; the call for proposals runs until 1 February 2023.
Despite the research successes during the Covid pandemic, people’s confidence in science has declined. How can we regain and strengthen the public’s trust? In a breakout session organised by the FWF and the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research entitled “Whom to trust? The Challenge of Being Excellent, Relevant, and Trustworthy” at this year's Forum Alpbach, a panel of highly-qualified experts discussed the fraught relationship between science and society and strategies to counter it.
Science and research are currently booming. From the Mars mission to mRNA vaccines – today’s researchers are consistently delivering successful results. But excellent output is not enough to create trust. Science as a guarantee of expertise is increasingly being viewed as just one voice among many. What is causing this doubt? Resolving the confidence crisis: Federal Minister of Education, Science and Research Martin Polaschek and FWF President Christof Gattringer talk with experts from science and practice at the Alpbach Technology Talks on 26 August 2022.
Six months after the launch of the Quantum Austria Funding Initiative, the first research teams funded by the Recovery and Resilience Facility NextGenerationEU are ready to get to work. The programme allowed the FFG to approve €20 million worth of funding for a comprehensive high-performance computing project, while the FWF is providing a total of €3 million to fund ten university research projects in Graz, Innsbruck, and Vienna.
In its most recent round of approvals, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) has granted funding to a total of 147 new research projects throughout Austria. Twenty innovative research ideas in the 1000 Ideas Programme account for approximately €3 million worth of funding, and €8.7 million have been allocated to the START and Wittgenstein Awards. Fifteen researchers successfully applied for funding from the ESPRIT programme, and 11 women were awarded a Richter Grant. Eleven research teams made it into the final round for Clusters of Excellence funding.
Basic research is all about discovering new things. But for researchers, breaking completely new ground is not always without risks. The Austrian Science Fund’s 1000 Ideas Programme was created to support high-risk research at Austria’s research facilities. After the third call for proposals, 20 new projects have been selected for approximately €3 million worth of funding.
More and more regions in the world are suffering from extreme weather events caused by the climate crisis. The provision of drinking water is becoming a problem with far-reaching consequences in affected areas, necessitating innovative scientific approaches, models, and methods. Thus, 34 funding agencies, including the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), are calling on researchers to submit transnational projects as part of the European “Water4All” initiative.
The FWF Board endorsed the recommendation of an international jury and thus paved the way for eleven teams to compete in the final selection round for a “Clusters of Excellence” grant. The decisions on Austria’s future beacons of basic research will be made at the beginning of 2023.
In addition to the Wittgenstein Award, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) also conferred this year’s START Excellence Awards. From a field of 99 applicants, the jury chose six researchers in a very competitive selection process.