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08 Jul 2022 by Ludwig Boltzmann

LBG and BMBWF sign first performance agreement

Agreement on funding for the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft with increased focus on medicine, new institutes and funding programme for clinical research.

Science Minister Martin Polaschek, LBG President Freyja-Maria Smolle-Jüttner and LBG Vice President Georg Winckler signed the first performance agreement (Leistungsvereinbarung, LV) between the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft (LBG) and the Republic of Austria on July 7. Per the agreement, the LBG will have a total of 18.15 million euros at its disposal for innovative, socially relevant research for the period 2022-23. In addition, a funding programme was launched: The new “Clinical Research Groups” (KFG) are intended to advance research at Austria’s medical universities.

“The performance agreement clearly strengthens the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft, and we are increasing the budget by more than a quarter. But we are also setting another milestone: for the first time, a funding programme for clinical research groups will be created, supporting academic clinical research in Austria. This is an important step that will broaden the research landscape in Austria even more,” says Minister of Education, Science and Research Martin Polaschek.

“We are very pleased that with the signing of these agreements we can continue our work and finally implement the realignment planned since 2020. By focusing on health sciences, we can make full use of our strengths in this area and achieve further professionalisation and increase in quality,” says Freyja-Maria Smolle-Jüttner. “Especially with the Clinical Research Group, which is unique in Austria, we are creating room for groundbreaking innovations in the field of medicine. The research landscape is thus strengthened in one of the most important fields of the future.”

Ludwig Boltzmann Institute

The LBG is a research institution with a thematic focus on medicine and the life sciences as well as the humanities, social and cultural sciences. In Ludwig Boltzmann Institutes, it develops and tests new forms of cooperation between science and non-scientific actors such as companies, the public sector and civil society with academic and applied partners.

Future institutes will be founded in a pilot phase with a view to innovative research in the field of medicine and health sciences. Under the motto “People, not Projects”, there will be a stronger focus on excellent scientists (Principal Investigators) who generate new questions and carry out research at a consistently high level. The resulting creative freedom should enable translational top-level research at the very highest level. Collaboration with host institutions and partner organisations will also be intensified and placed on a new footing.

Clinical Research Groups (KFG)

With the new funding programme “Clinical Research Groups”, the LBG will promote clinical research at medical universities in Austria. The focus is on investigator-driven clinical studies for the treatment of diseases and/or patient-oriented clinical and translational research (bench-to-bedside). In addition, young clinical scientists are specifically promoted through training and qualification measures in order to optimise the prerequisites for later leadership positions.

a. From left: LBG Vice President Georg Winckler, LBG President Freyja-Maria Smolle-Jüttner and Science Minister Martin Polaschek at the signing of the performance agreement. (c)BKA/Regina Aigner