The Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development has just published a study on “increasing private funding for “R&D” (the study actually is in German, it is available from http://www.rat-fte.at/tl_files/uploads/Studien/Publiktionen/2012_Strategien%20zur%20Erhoehung%20der%20privaten%20Forschung.pdf). The study has been done by Hannes Leo.
During the last decade, Austria’s RTI (Research, Technology and Innovation) System developed further: some say that Austria closed the gap between being an “innovation follower” and the group of “innovation leaders” (IMHO we have not quite closed that gap but still, the direction is right and the dynamics were good!).
Much of that development was due to public funding – what is being analysed in the study is the current state of private funding in Austria (and Europe) and how private funding could be increased.
In the study, Hannes Leo starts by analysing the situation of private funding (“sponsoring” one might even say) in general. It is shown that the landscape in Europe is not as elaborated as in the US; and even within Europe there are tremendous differences. From that perspective, Leo argues for an enormous potential in Austria: there are private foundations but there is (yet) no philanthropical culture as in Germany or Switzerland: for instance, private and non-private foundations donate in Austria 4 EUR per inhabitant (and year): in CH the corresponding value is EUR 109; and in DE EUR 183(!). And therefore, if that gap was closed in would be of great benefit mostly to basic research – which anyway is a sector that has somehow been neglected and only recently gets more attention.
So, in conclusion, what do we need to increase philanthropical funding in Austria? According to Hannes Leo, we need
- better legal regulations for private foundations
- increased network activities between foundations, i.e., more exchange, etc.
- better public relations for private foundations
Overall, an interesting study well worth reading!
Add comment August 5th, 2012