Evaluation of the Austrian Space Strategy 2012-2020

In cooperation with KMU Forschung Austria and VDI/VDE-IT, inspire research evaluated the Austrian Space Strategy 2012-2020. Since 1975 Austria has participated in ESA programmes. Since 2002, the Austrian ESA involvement has been supported by the national funding programme ASAP (Austrian Space Applications Programme). In addition to an online survey of the funding recipients of the ASAP programme, the evaluation included a Delphi survey and bibliometric analyses of the scientific output of Austrian space research in the period 2012-2018.
Final report

Research at Universities of Applied Sciences

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) inspire research gives strategic advice and support to the BMBF funding action „Strong Universities of Applied Sciences – Stimulus for the Region“ (FH-Impuls). The funding action provides financial support to research-active Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) that aim to strengthen their research priorities in collaboration with regional industry partners. The funding action supports projects with a high potential for (economic) exploitation and transfer in the region and a high potential to contribute to a focused UAS research profile.
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Expectations of Austrian applicants in M-ERA-Net Calls for Proposals

M-ERA.NET is the European network for the coordination of national and regional research programmes in the field of "Materials Research and Innovation". The aim of the network is to support transnational partnerships of research institutions and companies in all fields of knowledge and application of modern materials science. In the face of increasingly growing numbers of Austrian applicants in recent years, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) has tried several approaches to support the largest possible number of qualitatively excellent project applications. inspire research analysed the rationale of Austrian companies and research institutions when participating in M-ERA-Net projects in relation with the national funding criteria for M-ERA-Net projects.

Instrument evaluation of the BMVIT Endowed Professorship

In 2014, the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) set up the BMVIT Endowed Professorship instrument. By providing funding for Austrian universities to appoint outstanding researchers as new full professors the instruments aims to establish new topics at Austrian universities that are of particular strategic relevance for Austria as a location for innovation. In cooperation with KMU Forschung Austria, inspire research evaluated the BMVIT Endowed Professorship instrument and derived recommendations for further improving the design of the funding instrument.
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Patent services for students

The Austrian Patent Office offers students at Austrian universities who are writing theses on technical subjects specific free of charge patent search services. With the so-called “Patent Scan”, the Patent Office wants to support students in identifying patentable technical solutions and novelties in their theses and, if reasonable, to have them protected. In addition, the Patent Scan shall provide students with relevant patent literature that can be considered in their theses. inspire research conducted interviews with students who had requested thhe Patent Scan in the past in order to improve the design and implementation of the Patent Office's services for students.

Assessment of the "R&D Infrastructure Funding" Programme

The FFG programme "R&D Infrastructure Funding" aims to support the research profile and strategic planning of Austrian universities and research institutions. The programme also gives companies the opportunity to establish and expand commercially used R&D infrastructures in accordance with EU state aid regulations. inspire research analysed the experiences with the first two Calls for Proposals of the programme and made suggestions for the redesign of the administrative and content-related application requirements and for the improvement of the proposal selection criteria.
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Laura Bassi 4.0 - Women create equal opportunities in digitalisation

On behalf of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), inspire research conducted an assessment of the 1st Call for Proposals of the FFG funding programme "Laura Bassi 4.0 - Women create equal opportunities in digitalisation". The assessment focused on questions regarding the comprehensibility of the call topic and the attractiveness of the funding and networking offers. The results of the assessment formed recommendations to better address the target group of the programme and to optimise the funding requirements and funding conditions according to the target group.
Final report

Concept evaluation of the TECXPORT initiative

In 2017, the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) launched the TECXPORT initiative to support Austrian technology providers in international technology transfer and technology export. inspire research evaluated the concept and the implementation of the initiative. Based on the results, inspire research came up with proposals for improving the design and the implementation of the the TECXPORT initiative.
Final report

Needs analysis Software Register

On behalf of the Austrian Patent Office, inspire research, in cooperation with Technopolis Austria, analysed pros and cons for the establishment of a software register at the Austrian Patent Office as a registry for software. By means of focus groups and a survey among software producers in Austria, inspire research investigated whether software developers expect advantages in the enforcement of copyrights through a public register and what demand a public software register could expect.

Evaluation of certain business areas of the Carinthian Agency for Investment Promotion and Public Shareholding (BABEG)

The Carinthian Economic Development Fund (KWF) commissioned inspire research to evaluate the governance structures and the service activities in the business areas aiming at the support of non-university research and development in the province of Carinthia ("Carinthian Research"), Industry 4.0 and foreign investment promotion of the the Carinthian Agency for Investment Promotion and Public Shareholding (BABEG). In the evaluation inspire research drew up proposals to improve the governance structure between KWF and BABEG and to align the services offered by BABEG with the innovation policy goals of the State of Carinthia.

Research Award Programmes of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

In co-operation with convelop cooperative knowledge design gmbh inspire research evaluates the Research Award programmes of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The award is granted to outstanding academics from outside Germany in recognition of the researcher's entire achievements to date. The award winners are invited to spend a period of up to one year at a research institution in Germany for joint research activities with German partners. The evaluation focuses on the Research Award programmes‘ impact on stimulating and strengthening research collaborations and networking between the award winners and researchers in Germany.
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Evaluation of the Pilot Call “Ideas Lab 4.0”

With the 2018 Pilot Call Ideas Lab 4.0 the FFG Austrian Research Promotion Agency stimulates the creation of new interdisciplinary teams among (academic) researchers and industry in order to fast-track applied R&D projects aimed at product or service ideas that benefit society. Over a couple of days the participants in the Ideas Lab, coming from various research fields and professional backgrounds, generate ideas and form project teams in order to flesh out the projects and apply for funding. A group of mentors provide support and advice to the participants during the Ideas Lab. At the end of the Ideas Lab, the mentors also recommend the most promising projects for public funding. inspire research evaluates the pilot call regarding the Call’s objectives innovativeness, interdisciplinarity and setting-up new collaboration networks.
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Interim evaluation of the „Production of the Future“ R&D funding programme

On behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) an evaluation team of convelop creative knowledge design GmbH and inspire research carried out the interim evaluation of the Production of the Future R&D funding programme of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation & Technology (BMVIT). The interim evaluation covered both the design and the implementation of the programme since its start in 2012. The evaluation team also collected empirical data on the programme’s impacts on access to knowledge and human resources, economic and scientific outcomes and overall competitiveness. The evaluation was carried out with the particular view on assessing the effectiveness of new funding instruments such as financing of endowed chairs, pilot factories and lead projects.
Final report

Evaluation of ICT R&D programme funding

The Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) has been funding ambitious collaborative R&D and innovation projects through several thematic programme lines in the field of information and communication technology (ICT). One particular characteristic of BMVIT’s ICT R&D programme funding is the linkages to related European funding activities in key technology areas such as microelectronics and embedded systems, but also in response to societal challenges such as demographic change. BMVIT commissioned inspire research to evaluate its ICT R&D programme funding beginning in the year 2002. The evaluation provides recommendations for further strengthening the programmes’ implementation and presents evidence on the structural impact of BMVIT funding on the Austrian ICT R&D landscape.

Process support for the development of action areas in Horizon Europe

On behalf of the Division EIP European and International Programmes of FFG Austrian Research Promotion Agency, inspire research provided support to EIP in developing a proposal for priority actions regarding the support measures for the European framework programme "Horizon Europe" 2021 to 2027. inspire research assisted the EIP team in preparing and conducting a series of internal workshops. The results of the workshops were summarised in a proposal on the action areas for support services for Austrian actors in Horizon Europe.

R&D Benchmarking of University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria

The University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria (FH Upper Austria) commissioned inspire research to conduct a benchmarking study of R&D input and R&D output indicators comparing FH Upper Austria with other leading universities of applied sciences in Austria and Germany and with selected Austrian research universities. Among the input indicators considered are funds for R&D and R&D personnel; among the output indicators scientific publications and R&D collaborations with national and international partners in academia and industry. The benchmarking mainly drew on a comparative bibliometric analysis of the institutions‘ research output, which allowed, for example, conclusions regarding the development of certain publication patterns over time.

FFG- Multi-Annual Work Programme 2018-2020

The FFG Austrian Research Promotion Agency develops its activities to promote research, technology, development and innovation in line with its Multi-Annual Programmes. In order to identify thematic contributions for the upcoming Multi-Annual Programme period 2018 – 2020 FFG organised focus groups with external experts. inspire research provided support to the design and the analysis of the focus group results.

Action plan for embedding gender mainstreaming and diversity management at Austria’s universities of applied sciences

Commissioned by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, convelop and inspire research developed an action plan to better embed gender mainstreaming and diversity management at Austria’s universities of applied sciences. To develop a realistic action plan, convelop and inspire research worked closely with the universities of applied sciences, the Association of Austrian Universities of Applied Sciences’ Working Group on Gender Mainstreaming and Diversity Management and the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy’s Staff Unit for Gender and Diversity Management.

BRIDGE Evaluation

Das Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) contracted inspire research and KMU Forschung Austria to evaluate the BRIDGE funding programme. BRIDGE funds basic science research projects at universities and other public research organisations that demonstrate realistic application prospects. Companies participate in these projects either financially, or non-financially by giving advice and guidance. BRIDGE project funding aims to facilitate the transfer of basic science results into industrial applications.


Hannover Messe is the world’s leading industrial technology show, and for many companies among the most important fairs to present innovative manufacturing and production technology. In particular, Hannover Messe is among the worldwide leading industrial digitalisation exhibition venues. Aim of this feasibility study on behalf of the Austrian Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) was to collect information on the requirements and strategies of companies and regional governments concerning their participation in the Hannover Messe, to assess options for a joint Austrian Industry 4.0 stand at Hannover Messe 2018 and to define specification requirements for further planning.

Digitalisation and Services

The FFG Austrian Research Promotion Agency commissioned inspire research to design and document a workshop on “Digitalisation and Services” in the framework of the Smart & Digital Services Initiative of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW). The workshop participants discussed approaches to future funding priorities and support actions to fully exploit the potential of digitalisation-driven services in the economy and in society.
Documentation of the workshop

Support for Clinical Trials by SMEs

Since 2012 the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) supports with the funding priority KLIPHA clinical trials (phase I and phase II) that are carried out by SMEs in collaboration with clinical centres in Austria. FFG contracted inspire research to assess the results and impacts of KLIPHA funding so far. The assessment draws conclusions with regard to the effectiveness of the KLIPHA funding concept.
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Applied R&D Funding in Switzerland

inspire research supported the Swiss Federal Audit Office EFK Swiss Federal Audit Office EFK in evaluating the long-term impacts of R&D project funding by the Swiss Innovation Agency KTI (since 2018 innosuisse). Based on case studies and questionnaire survey results, the evaluation informed the EFK on the key facilitating and impeding factors for achieving the goals and objective of KTI’s R&D project funding activities.

Alexander von Humboldt Professorship

In collaboration with Technopolis Austria and the University of Vienna, inspire research evaluated the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship programme. With prize money amounting to up to five million euro, the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship is the most highly-endowed research award in Germany and draws top international researchers to German universities. The evaluation provides evidence on the structural impacts of the Humboldt Professorship programme on the nominating universities and research institutions.
Final Report

Active and Assisted Living Programme

The European Commission invited Anton Geyer to join the expert panel for the interim evaluation of the Active and Assisted Living Programme – ICT for Aging Well (AAL Programme). The AAL Programme is the trans-governmental funding activity of more than 20 countries to create better conditions of life for the elderly and to strengthen the industrial opportunities in Europe through the use of information and communication technology (ICT).
Final Report