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Vienna, 22 February 2012 Future of IST Austria on a solid foundation Fekter: "Strengthening Austria's international competitiveness over the long term.“

In a press conference held on 22 February 2012, Minister of Finance Dr Maria Fekter, Minister of Science and Research Dr Karlheinz Töchterle and Governor of Lower Austria Dr Erwin Pröll declared their agreement over continued expansion of the top research institution, the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria. "In its three years of operation, IST Austria has impressively demonstrated that the confidence placed in the Institute to date is more than justified," remarked Finance Minister Fekter on the agreement reached with IST President Thomas Henzinger.

As a result, the Institute of Science and Technology Austria in Klosterneuburg – which is devoted to fundamental research and the training of postgraduate scientists – is receiving from the federal and regional governments a long-term financing pledge of c. EUR 1.4 billion. Between 2017 and 2026, the federal government will be providing the Institute in total with a maximum of EUR 990 million, while the regional government will provide EUR 368 million, part of the money being tied to the raising of third-party funds as well as the fulfilment of quality criteria. With regard to the financing negotiated for the period beyond 2016, once more a so-called "15a Agreement" is to be concluded between the federal and regional governments. "This Agreement documents that the federal government is planning for the long term, which means beyond election cycles. With the upcoming decisions in the Council of Ministers and National Assembly, the Agreement will come into force," declared Fekter.

Fekter stressed in particular the significance of the Agreement for Austria as a centre of scientific and economic activity and also referred to the targeted offensive measures comprised in the current reform package, which will lead to more research and thus a strengthening of Austria's international competitiveness. "As much as I argued in many areas in the reform-package negotiations for structural reforms, naturally I also attached importance to offensive measures in industries of the future. For top-quality fundamental research forms the basis for future innovations, which will have a long-term effect on economic growth. Through this Agreement, we have laid the foundation for future prosperity," concluded the Minister.