Energy Research Survey – Public Spending in Austria Between 2009 and 2011

Since 2003, the Austrian Energy Agency has been collecting data about public spending on energy research in Austria, commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Traffic, Innovation and Technology.

The membership of the International Energy Agency (IEA) obliges Austria to collect data annually on all Austrian research and development projects in the energy sector.

Since 2003, the Austrian Energy Agency has been collecting data of public spending with regard to the energy research in Austria. This refers to subsidies, respectively research commissions, from:

  • the Federal Ministries
  • the climate and energy funds
  • the countries
  • the Fund for Promoting Scientific Research (FWF)
  • the Austrian Research Promoting Society (Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH (FFG)
  • the Municipal Loan Consulting (Kommunalkredit Public Consulting (KPC)
  • the Austrian Economy Service (Wirtschaftsservice (aws))

as well as to their own research financed with Federal and country means at:

  • research institutions outside of universities
  • university institutes
  • and universities of applied sciences.

The data is evaluated by the Austrian Energy Agency and checked for plausibility. The results are discussed with the client, the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technologies (BMVIT).

Highlights of the Survey 2009 (published in February 2011) – distinct orientation towards renewable and energy efficiency

  • Public expenditure for energy research in Austria in 2009:  92.3 million Euros.
  • An increase of 30 % resp. 21.1 million Euros compared to 2008.
  • Federal Ministries 27 million Euros, of which 80 % BMVIT.
  • Climate and Energy funds, also in 2009, the unit with the highest expenditure (30.8 million Euros), insignificant increase compared to 2008.
  • FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency) transacts 62.7 million Euros in 2009.  FFG basic programmes have tripled its expenses to 9.6 million within one year.
  • The expenses of the Science Fund (FWF), for energy-related fundamental research, amount to 1.2 million euros, considerably less compared to the past years.
  • The aws Austrian Economy Service quoted in 2009 for the first time energy-related R&D expenses of 1.6 million euros, further projects of a similar extent were awarded within the scope of programmes for the Federal Ministries.
  • Federal country expenses: 8.3 million euros. Vienna being the front runner with almost half of the expenses.
  • Universities: 7.1 million euros. Major portion TU Vienna and Graz.
  • Research institutions outside of universities: 5 million euros, more than half of the expenses by AIT – Austrian Institute of Technology.
    Universities of applied sciences: 1.6 million euros of own means for R&D.

Subjects

  • 40.6% of expenses went to the “energy efficiency” section, overtaking the section “renewable energy carriers” in 2009 with 35.3%. These two subjects clearly represent the priorities of the publicly financed energy research in Austria.
  • The areas with the largest expenses are bio energy with 20 million euros, as well as the R&D questions relating to energy efficient buildings (planning, materials, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, lighting etc.) with about 15 million euros.
  • More than three quarters of the means were used for applied research, 16% for experimental development. Fundamental research amounted to 5%.
  • Within the scope of this survey, about 900 projects, respectively activities, with reference to energy research were surveyed and evaluated.

The report (unabbreviated version) incorporates detailed evaluations according to:

  • subject matter
  • institutions: government, countries, sponsors, universities and universities of applied sciences, research outside of universities
  • international comparison
  • percentage of energy research expenses compared to other indicators (GDP, research expenses)
  • EC returns from various R&D programmes (7RP, IEE, RFCS) 
  • expense estimates of the private industry (based on the data from "Statistic Austria").

This annual survey not only represents an international obligation, but also permits to show the importance of the energy research for Austria, as well as placing emphasis on designing and checking certain focal points. At the same time, certain trends should be recognised in due course. 
The present survey relates to prerequisites of the International Energy Agency (IEA) as well as to the standards of the Frascati Manual (OECD).

Current publication of the research survey

The BMVIT published the energy research survey 2009 on their Website in February 2011.