Unanimity at the FH Research Forum: We must shape the future of research together!

This year's research forum of the universities of applied sciences was opened with a high-calibre panel. Christoph Neumayer (IV), Iris Filzwieser (ACR, Mettop), Sebastian Schlund (Fraunhofer Austria), Sandra Stroj (Research FH Vorarlberg) and Ulrike Prommer (FHK President, IMC Krems) discussed the role of universities of applied sciences in the Austrian research landscape.

All participants agreed that Austria must drive innovation faster in the future. It is important to translate research results into concrete products and services more quickly in order to generate a positive effect for Austria's value creation. Austria is currently being overtaken by other countries. In the view of the panellists, there is an urgent need to break down existing reservations between basic research and application, to network more closely across sectors and to cooperate. Application-oriented research institutions in particular have the important expertise in this context to utilise research results in innovations. It is precisely this type of research that the public sector must support more strongly in future.

"Research at universities of applied sciences brings together basic research and application. Our researchers know how to recognise socially usable solutions in research results. Our potential here is far from exhausted. But we lack the sustainable means to participate in this important social process to the extent necessary. The politicians responsible for research are called upon to act," says FHK President Ulrike Prommer.

In fact, universities of applied sciences are increasingly having to refrain from applying for funding, reject offers to participate in international consortia and even withdraw from approved project funding. The main reasons for this are the lack of own funds, rising infrastructure costs and the excessive bureaucracy of research controlling. The urgency of sustainable funding for research at universities of applied sciences is becoming ever more apparent.

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