Energy R&D 2023: Public Expenditures in Austria

Public spending on energy research totalled 310.8 million euros in 2023. The figure for 2021, by far the highest ever recorded in Austria, was therefore exceeded.

Bibliographic Data

Energy Research Survey 16/2024
A. Indinger, F. Bettin, M. Rollings
Publisher: BMK
German, 150 pages

Content Description

Public spending on research, development and demonstration projects in the energy sector totalled 310.8 million euros in 2023. By far the highest figure ever recorded in Austria in 2021 was thus exceeded, with an increase of 96.3 million euros (an increase of 44.9%) compared to 2022.
As in previous years, the "Energy efficiency" area is in first place with expenditure of 121.5 million euros, an increase of 12.8% compared to the previous year. This is followed at a considerable distance by the areas of "Hydrogen and fuel cells" with 61.5 million euros (a doubling compared to 2022) and "Other cross-cutting technologies and research", where funding has increased six-fold to 61.6 million euros. The "Other power and storage technologies" area received 31.1 million euros (-8.4 %) and "Nuclear fission and fusion" 1.4 million euros (-10.7 %). In the "Fossil fuels" sector, investments rose to 3.9 million euros, which is particularly attributable to the topic of CO2 capture and storage (CCS).

77.7% of the expenditure presented in this report in 2023 is direct funding from funding bodies (federal government, federal provinces, funds). The federal ministries provided 136.3 million euros for programmes in 2023, the majority of which (107.6 million euros) can be attributed to the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK). The Climate and Energy Fund increased the investments by a third to 62.3 million euros. The expenditure reported by the federal provinces totalled 9.8 million euros, with Upper Austria leading the way with 7.0 million euros. The category "FFG basic programmes" contributed 7.2 million euros. The Austrian Science Fund FWF almost quintupled its funding to 25.7 million euros.

The remaining share of 22.3% is accounted for by in-house research at research institutions financed by federal or state funds. The Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and Silicon Austria Labs dominated the use of own funds in energy research at non-university research institutions with 27.1 and 22.2 million euros, respectively. The reported expenditure of own funds by universities (including Institute of Science and Technology – ISTA) rose to 17.2 million euros. By far the highest expenditure came from the Vienna University of Technology (12.7 million euros). Expenditure from the universities of applied sciences' own funds also increased slightly and totalled 1.5 million euros in 2023.

Over 1,400 projects and activities were recorded in 2023, with 44.1% of the funds being used for applied research. Expenditure on experimental development accounted for 28.9%, while that on initial demonstration was 14.7%. At 12.3%, investment in energy-related basic research is the category with the smallest share in this analysis.

In 143 out of 316 of the projects commissioned by or via the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) in 2023, at least one woman is active in a leading role in the consortium, as revealed by an additional analysis. In 2023, slightly more projects were led by women than in previous years: 69 projects or one in five projects. On average, these female project managers were responsible for smaller projects than their male colleagues; the gap in terms of project volume widened again in 2023 compared to the previous year. The proportion of female technicians in the projects has continued to rise and amounts to 20.5%. The respective proportions vary greatly between the topics being worked on and the programme lines providing funding.

The complete study is only available in German:

Energieforschungserhebung 2023 - Ausgaben der öffentlichen Hand in Österreich. Erhebung für die IEA