Institute of Science and Technology Austria


Institute of Science and Technology Austria

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name = Institute of Science and Technology
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established = 2007
type = Public
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city = Klosterneuburg
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country = Austria
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website = http://www.ist-austria.ac.at/

The Institute of Science and Technology Austria (I.S.T. Austria) is an institute of basic research located close to Vienna (Austria). The draft concept was developed by the Austrian physicist Anton Zeilinger in 2002. Preparation work started in 2007. The concept includes
* a focus on science and technology
* an interdisciplinary approach
* an independent and long-term strategy
* the entitlement to award PhDs

Models for I.S.T. Austria are internationally renowned institutions such as the Weizmann Institute (Rehovot, Israel) and the Rockefeller University (N.Y., USA). First class, curiosity-driven research is the core value of the concept. Scientists are encouraged to pursue their own goals and their own ideas (not restricted by government or economic interest). According to the development plan 40 to 50 research groups with approximately 500 scientists should be working on the campus by the year 2016. The language at the institute is English. Positions for the first president, professors and tenure track professors were advertised in Autumn 2007. First appointments are due in 2008.

History

The decision of the Austrian government in Spring 2006 to establish I.S.T. Austria caused some controversy within the scientific community inside and outside of Austria due to the lack of proper planning and independence from political influence. An international committee was then invited to develop recommendations for the establishment of the research institute. The members of the committee, Haim Harari (President of the Weizmann Institute, 1988-2001), Olaf Kübler (President of ETH Zurich, 1997-2005) and Hubert Markl (President of the Max Planck Society, 1996-2002), developed a blueprint which served as the basis of legislation that was passed in parliament with the support of the then ruling parties ÖVP and BZÖ plus the then oppositional SPÖ. The compliance of the recommendations of the committee led to rising support for the project from the scientific community and the public. Preparation work by the administration team started in 2007 on the site of a former psychiatric hospital in the Vienna Woods in the province of Lower Austria.In mid of 2008, neuroscientist Tobias Bonhoeffer was announced in media to be the first president of the institute. Shortly after this announcement, however, Bonnhoeffer rejected the position.

Organisation

The Board of Trustees is the supreme body of I.S.T. Austria. It consists of seven scientists, nominated by science funding and advisory institutions, and seven representatives of the public, nominated by federal and provincial institutions, Claus Raidl being the chairman and Anton Zeilinger vice-chairman.

Scientists:

* Catherine Cesarsky (Directeur de recherche à la Direction des Sciences de la Matière (DSM), CEA-Saclay)
* Alice Dautry (President Institut Pasteur, Paris)
* Haim Harari (former President Weizmann Institute, Rechovot)
* Eric R. Kandel (Columbia University New York, Nobel laureate Medicine 2000)
* Olaf Kübler (former President ETH Zurich)
* Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, (Secretary General, European Research Council)
* Anton Zeilinger (Vienna University)

Public representatives:

* Alexander Hartig (Board member Constantia Industries AG)
* Gisela Hopfmüller (Department head „Knowledge and Contemporary History“ at Austria’s public broadcasting corporation ORF
* Alfred Ötsch (CEO Austrian Airlines AG)
* Claus Raidl (CEO Böhler-Uddeholm AG)
* Wolfgang Ruttensdorfer (CEO OMV AG)
* Elisabeth Stadler (Board member Raiffeisen Versicherung AG and FinanceLife Lebensversicherung AG)
* Hansjörg Tengg

Until the first president is appointed the executive functions are managed by the Executive Board with its six members, a subcommittee of the Board of Trustees chaired by Haim Harari.

The Scientific Board oversees the search for the scientists and will eventually develop into a Professorial Committee. It is chaired by Olaf Kübler.

External links

* [http://www.ist-austria.ac.at Official webpage I.S.T. Austria]
* [http://www.ostina.org/content/view/2335/730/ Article from Bridges, e-zine published by the Office of Science and Technology]
* [http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v448/n7150/full/448112b.html Article from Nature on first steps of appointing scientists]


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