The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)
The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) is the one-stop shop national funding agency for industrial research and development in Austria. All FFG activities aim to strengthen Austria as a research and innovation centre on the global market. Thus, the FFG helps to assure jobs and wealth sustainably as well as to make a lasting contribution to the strength of the Austrian economy.
The FFG is wholly owned by the Republic of Austria and subsidized by the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) and the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW). As a provider of innovation enabling services, the FFG is also active on behalf of other national and international institutions.
Involvement in Eureka and CELTIC-NEXT
As part of its activities, FFG supports Eureka as an initiative to encourage collaboration between organisations across Europe and beyond in the near-market development of new and innovative advanced technology products, processes and services. With this strong market orientation, Eureka complements
the EU’s strategic research programmes. The flexible Eureka programmes offer multiple opportunities for SMEs, large companies, universities and research organisations.
Eureka Clusters like CELTIC-NEXT are industry-led initiatives that focus on technology areas of strategic interest. Projects are driven by communities of large companies, SMEs, universities, research institutions and end users. The aim is to promote development of new products and applications through networking and to strengthen the European economy on the world market.
FFG actively supports CELTIC-NEXT and provides the required funding to Austrian companies, in line with the distributed public-private partnership model that Eureka clusters employ. Likewise, FFG funding schemes play an important role in generating new knowledge, developing new products and services, and enhancing competitiveness in the global marketplace. They make it easier, or possible, to finance innovative projects, and help to absorb the risks involved in research.
Information about the process for submitting a successful project proposal and funding conditions in Austria can be found on the FFG’s CELTIC-NEXT page at: https://www.ffg.at/europa/eureka/cluster/celtic-plus
Case study – CELTIC project ASUA
A good example of a successful CELTIC project with Austrian participation is ASUA, a collaboration between 8 consortium partners from 5 countries dedicated to Advanced Sensing for Urban Automation. The research work of the two Austrian consortium partners Geodata Ziviltechnikergesellschaft and Montanuniversität Leoben included the development of a system for the introduction of Smart City technologies in urban tunnel construction. The system called UrbMics is composed of (i) a multifunction box (UrbMics box) for local storage, intelligent processing and wireless transmission of monitoring data of a tunnel construction site, (ii) a wireless sensor network (UrbMics WSN) as well as (iii) an associated web-based information and control center (UrbMics center) to control the multifunction boxes and manage their data. In the project, the components have been specified, planned, developed, implemented and tested and validated on an ongoing, urban tunnel construction site. For this, Smart City application scenarios defined within the framework of the CELTIC project have been designed and implemented. The UrbMics platform is integrated into an ASUA reference platform and has also been used by other CELTIC project partners to validate their technologies.
Figure 1: Two UrbMics box field prototypes prepared for construction site installation, left: with, right: without built-in UrbMics WSN components).
The Austrian end result are operational prototypes of the systems UrbMics box, UrbMics WSN and UrbMics center and field tests of the prototypes.
Figure 2: Integration of the UrbMics overall system into the UARP (Urban Automation Reference Platform).
Figure 3: Web interface of the UrbMics center, map showing 3 UrbMics boxes and 6 sensor positions).
Austria, as one of the founding members of Eureka, takes over the chairmanship of the network in 2020/2021 and will pave the road “Towards a New Eureka”. Accordingly, in the upcoming year the network will prioritise the further development of Eureka’s programmes, global outreach and internal cooperation. All core activities of the Austrian Chairmanship are built around the celebration of 35 years of Eureka. Thereby, one of the important topics is the revitalization of the Eureka Clusters. The goal is to renew the successful Eureka Clusters model to provide the best opportunities for global RDI in the time to come. Likewise, at FFG we look ahead to a bright future with CELTIC-NEXT and the projects generated in this programme.
› Further information
› FFG website – https://www.ffg.at/en
› CELTIC project ASUA – https://www.celticnext.eu/project-asua/