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18 Jun 2020

Austria publishes Final Report on Implementation of Austrian ERA Roadmap

On 18 June 2020, Austria presented its Final Report on the Implementation of the Austrian ERA Roadmap. The national “Austrian ERA Roadmap 2016 – 2020“ had been adopted by the Austrian Council of Ministers in April 2016. The report presented at the "Europa Forum Forschung" in Vienna is released only a few weeks before the European Commission is due to present its Communication on the future of the European Research Area and takes stock of the measures and objectives that Austria had decided to undertake in 2016.

The intention of the “Austrian ERA Roadmap” was to modernise the Austrian research and innovation system by means of targeted structural reforms, and to make it more open towards other EU partners. The starting point for the Austrian Roadmap were the seven European-wide priority areas that were considered essential for further developing the European Research Area. With its Roadmap, Austria undertook to implement national measures, supplemented by qualitative and quantitative monitoring of the priorities, in consideration of European requirements. In addition to an evaluation of the indicators for all priorities, the final report on hand also takes stock of the measures and milestones agreed on in the “Austrian ERA Roadmap”. The reform efforts of the past years are taking effect, as can be seen from individual indicators, but also from concrete outcomes:

Reform Priority “Reform of the Austrian RTI System”

  • Increase of return flow of funds from Horizon 2020 to more than € 1.5 billion to date.
  • Improvement of RTI system by systematically establishing an evaluation culture, as well as implementing the respective outcomes.
  • Pioneering achievements in the field of “innovation-friendly public procurement”.

Reform Priority “Joint Programming”

  • Pilot phase for networking platforms in the field of the Grand Challenges.
  • Inter-ministerial alignment with regard to strategies, measures and programmes.

Reform Priority “European Research Infrastructures”

  • Participation in 10 ESFRI Roadmap research infrastructures.
  • Establishment of a research infrastructures database.
  • Launch of two calls on research infrastructures for universities and digitalisation.

Reform Priority “Labour Market for Researchers“

  • 43 Austrian institutions sign the Charter & Code of “HR Excellence in Research”.
  • Increase in number of research positions in Austria published on EURAXESS.
  • Organisation of regular EURAXESS Austria network meetings.

Reform Priority “Gender Equality”

  • Preparation and implementation of manual for equality and diversity management at universities and universities of applied sciences.
  • Increase in gender competence at higher education institutions and gender competence in research and teaching.
  • FEMtech and w-fFORTE as success programmes for supporting women in the field of RTI.

Reform Priority “Open Science and Innovation”

  • Development of an Open Innovation Strategy.
  • Successful establishment of “Knowledge Transfer Centres” for ensuring knowledge transfer between universities, non-university research organisations and the private sector.
  • Improvement of strategies for protecting intellectual property within the framework of the Third Mission.

Reform Priority “International Cooperation”

  • Adoption of the “Strategy for International Cooperation”.
  • Establishment of a Round Table for networking between Austrian stakeholders with regard to “Beyond Europe”.
  • Successful start of the “Africa Initiative”.

In order to round off this final report, the document also presents success stories from each reform area. Facts and figures are available in depth in a dashboard on the FFG website at: https://eupm.ffg.at/. This report should be seen as supplementing the monitoring carried out by the European Commission through the “ERA Progress Report 2018”. It is also intended to provide valuable experience for the consultations on the reform agenda of the ERA after 2020. In addition, the report underlines the importance of continuous reforms in the national research and innovation system for a united Europe that benefits all RTI players. 

The Final Report can be downloaded here.

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