The Strategy for Research, Technology and Innovation of the Austrian Federal Government shows a strong commitment to continue the Austrian path towards becoming a European "Innovation Leader". Its chapter "International Positioning" underlines the importance of a strategic approach to the European Research Area as well as to international cooperation in STI. The Strategy for Research, Technology and Innovation aims at further developing and better coordinating pan-Austrian activities for a concise RTI Foreign Policy towards defined priority regions. To make full use of the opportunities resulting from the cooperation with emerging economies like China, India, etc. and research intensive countries like the USA, the interministerial Working Group ‘Internationalisation and RTI Foreign Policy’ (WG 7a) was set up by the high-level RTI Task Force of the Austrian government. WG 7a "Internationalisation and RTI Foreign Policy" aims at:
- Coordination and Implementation of an Austrian Foreign RTI Policy (together with Working Group 7b “Austria and the European Research and Innovation Area 2020”)
- Development of recommendations for strategic actions to be taken to foster RTI cooperation with EU third countries
- Discussion of an Austrian Position in European Strategic Fora like the "Strategic Forum for International S&T Cooperation SFIC“
Starting in the first half of 2012, a stocktaking exercise on the internationalisation strategies of Austrian RTI ministries and stakeholders was carried out. In a second phase, the Austrian RTI sector was analysed and compared with international "Best Practice" examples of similar countries. A Workshop with international experts gave further input to the definition of priority regions and countries for international cooperation. During the entire process the major Austrian RTI stakeholders were involved in the strategic process. In July 2013, WG 7a published its strategic recommendations entitled “Beyond Europe – The Internationalisation of Austria in Research, Technology and Innovation“ and submitted it to the high-level RTI Task Force of the Austrian government. At the moment, the WG 7a is aiming at implementing the recommendations of this report.
The members of Working Group 7a are representatives of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology, and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs.