The main objectives of ADC are poverty reduction, peace and human security, and the protection of the environment.
Austria considers worldwide collaboration with agricultural research institutes in the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) to be a key to effective poverty reduction.
In addition to sustainable agricultural production and natural resource management, protection of biodiversity and mitigating and adapting to climate change are increasingly important concerns.
Individual research and development institutions working with individual ministries and CGIAR centres collectively make up Austria's contribution to ARD. Without a single coordinating authority or set of standards, research takes many forms, but it is largely pursued with an eye to application within the strategic objectives of ADC. Many Austrian researchers work closely with CGIAR projects. The Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) has been the country's representative in the CGIAR since 1985, and directly supports many of its centres. BMF allocates these funds based on a regular monitoring process carried out by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).
The Commission for Development Issues (KEF) at the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD) is a special body promoting high levels of interaction between the research community and actors working in development cooperation. The Commission serves as a contact point and intermediary body for domestic and foreign organisations seeking research assistance on development issues.
As the Austrian representative to the CGIAR, the Ministry of Finance provides funds directly to centres through the World Bank in Washington, DC. The selection processes, and consequent allocation of funds to individual research centres, follows the findings and recommendations of ADA. Austrian researchers also cooperate often with CGIAR centres on an ad hoc basis.
The Ministry of Finance granted a total amount of € 1.8 million to CGIAR institutions for bilateral research projects globally.
KEF granted a total of € 140,000 to research institutes globally.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW) cooperation in the ERA-Net ERA-ARD granted € 30,000 for research institutes in Africa in 2010.
Some of the autonomous actors in Austria's agricultural research landscape are the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna (BOKU), the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), the University of Innsbruck, and Joanneum Research.
In addition to the Ministry of Finance, ADA, and KEF, ministries cooperating in ARD projects include BMLFUW, the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs (MFA), and the Federal Ministry of Education, Research and Culture (BMBWK).
Austria's contribution to the CGIAR, its most significant investment in ARD, is targeted at ten centres: CIP, ILRI, IITA, Bioversity International, ICARDA, CIAT, IWMI, CIFOR, ICRISAT and AfricaRice.
Austria’s bilateral development cooperation under the ADC is concentrated in a few priority regions and partner countries in Central America, West Africa/Sahel, East Africa, Southern Africa, Himalayas/Hindu Kush, South Eastern Europe/West Balkans, South Caucasus and the Middle East.
KEF supports applied research projects in developing countries aimed at the alleviation of poverty. The formalised priorities are few, with no limitations regarding subject matter, but the expected results of projects must serve specific development goals. They should also offer solutions for urgent issues of sustainable social or economic development, and must serve to safeguard or improve the status of the environment. KEF is partner in the ERA-Net Africa and supports transnational research projects related to transnational calls.
BMLFUW within its research programme PFEIL 10 (2006-2010) and PFEIL 15 (2011-2015) supports research projects as partner in the ERA-Net ERA-ARD I and II and related transnational calls.
The OeAD, together with the Austrian Latin American Institute (LAI), implements a new ADC program for the promotion of academic partnerships between North and South, the new “Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education and Research for Development (APPEAR), 2010-2014“. The main programme objective is strengthening institutional capacities in education, research and management in the key ADC regions in the South through academic partnerships with Austrian academic institutions and Master’s and PhD programmes; the thematic focus includes rural development, poverty reduction, environment and natural resources.
The fact that researchers, administrators and civil society are actively involved in Austria's contribution to ARD through ADA and KEF ensures some harmonised priorities despite the lack of central coordination
This country profile has been commissioned by EIARD (the permanent ARD coordination platform between the European Commission, Member States of the European Union, Norway and Switzerland) as part of a series providing an overview of policies and support for agricultural research for development by EIARD member countries. EIARD is not responsible for any omissions and inaccuracies contained within this document and the information is only correct up to the date of publishing (August 2011).