Brussels, 22 Sep 2006
Never has so much money been invested in science and research in Austria as in 2006, the country's Minister for Education, Science and Culture told journalists on 21 September. Science and research are benefiting from almost one euro in six, she said, citing studies showing that Austrians support this investment. 'The research budget has thus increased in Austria from 1.88 per cent in 1999 to 2.43 per cent in 2006, while the EU average remains at 1.9 per cent,' said Ms Gehrer. The increase is partly due to the 'package of measures for research', which saw a €3 billion envelope for research until 2010, fiscal incentives for businesses involved in research, the creation of a research and development (R&D) council and the construction of a new research institute.
Moreover, surveys show that Austrians support investment in research, according to the minister. Some 90 per cent of 4,500 respondents questioned recently agreed that Austrian scientists are making progress possible, while 89 per cent said that they see scientists as achievement-oriented.
Some 83 per cent of those questioned said that scientists are doing research in areas of interest for the economy. Two-thirds of respondents also recognised that researchers work under better conditions today than was the case five years ago.