Transport research in Austria is determined by a scope of national research and innovation policy and transport policy. R&D is one of the seven strategic areas of the National Reform Programme. The National Reform Programme is where Member States report progress against The Europe 2020 Strategy.
Transport policy is defined by strategic and programme documents at national and European level. The EU Action plan and Directive on Intelligent Transport Systems, for example, sets out a strategy for implementing an intelligent transport system consistent with guidelines for Austria, and defines priority areas of action. Other relevant policy documents are:
At the highest political level, the two committees dealing with research are:
- Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development, which advises on all matters relating to research, technology and innovation;
- Austrian Science Board, which is the main advisory body on all university-related matters.
At federal level, two ministries have responsibility for research and technology policy:
- Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW);
- Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) is responsible for developing transport policy.
Transport research is funded through the general research funding, dedicated transport research programmes, and available European and international research funds. At national level, funding for research, technology and innovation is managed by three agencies on behalf of the ministries:
- Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the main body promoting fundamental research;
- Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), the main funding body promoting applied research and development;
- Austria Wirtschaftsservice (AWS), specialised in funding innovation projects in companies, and hosts the secretariat of the National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development.
The following organisations are responsible for the institutional framework and funding:
- Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG);
- Austria Wirtschaftsservice (AWS) - The Austrian Science Board;
- Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development;
- Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF);
- Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT);
- Austrian Cooperative Research (ACR).
Current funding sources and programmes include:
- Mobility of the Future (MOTF) (2012-2020) - Mission-oriented research and development program to help Austria create a transport system designed to meet future mobility and social challenges;
- Take Off (2015-2020) – Support to the Austrian aeronautics and air transportation technologies sectors;
- ASFiNAG Road Safety Programme 2020 – Helps increase road safety and decrease number of casualties on motorways and expressways;
- Klimaaktiv Mobil - the National Action Programme for Mobility Management - Offers financial support for Austria’s cities, municipalities, businesses, associations and, for the first time, also private persons in the framework of the common BMNT-BMVIT action package for e-mobility with renewable energy. In addition to e-vehicles, klimaaktiv mobil further supports mobility management and alternative fuels and drives, such as biofuels.
- Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF) - the largest private-non profit organisation funding R&D in Austria. It supports basic research performed mainly by Vienna-based research teams in a number of thematic priority programmes.
- National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development - finances research, technology and development in Austria, especially research activities that promise to have a long-term benefit, as well as interdisciplinary research. The financial means of the National Foundation are allocated to federal funding agencies, according to the annual decisions of the Foundation's board. The agencies on their part then allocate these budgets to programmes/projects through a variety of actual funding programme addressing research institutions and companies.