The Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) is an international, PhD-granting, interdisciplinary research institution dedicated to cutting-edge basic research in the life, physical, mathematical, and computer sciences. IST Austria was established by the federal government of Austria and the state government of Lower Austria and was inaugurated in 2009. Following the implementation of the ambitious development plan, about 90 research groups will be working in a highly modern environment by 2026, modeled after international examples such as the Max Planck institutes, ETH Zurich, and the Weizmann Institute of Science.


Committed to pursue excellent science

The scientists are organized into independent research groups, each headed by a Professor or a tenure-track Assistant Professor. The Institute chooses which fields of science to enter based solely on the availability of outstanding individuals. It will pursue a direction of research only if it can compete with the best in the world. The Institute is evaluated regularly by leading international scientists and science administrators.

Research excellence and promise are the exclusive hiring criteria for all scientists at IST Austria—from doctoral students to professors. The graduate school at IST Austria educates doctoral students from around the world to become research scientists. The decision to promote an Assistant Professor to Professor with a permanent contract is based entirely on an evaluation by international experts of the scientific achievements of the Assistant Professor. 

IST Austria fosters an interdisciplinary scientific atmosphere: The Institute offers one PhD program with courses for graduate students in all fields of the natural and formal sciences. Hierarchical and separating organizational structures, such as departments, are avoided.  Employees currently come from more than 50 nations.


First President of the Institute is Thomas A. Henzinger, a computer scientist and former professor of the University of California at Berkeley and the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is supported by Vice President Michael Sixt, who oversees the operation of the scientific service units. The administration of IST Austria is led by Managing Director Georg Schneider.

More information on IST Austria can be found at, where you can also sign up for the Institute’s quarterly newsletter.


Bridging science and industry - Tech Transfer & Tech Park


Under the umbrella of TWIST, IST Austria has launched a series of initiatives to support IST researchers interested in developing their ideas towards commercialization. We facilitate the exchange with industry, support young entrepreneurs, and help students and postdocs make informed career decisions. While we recognize the long-term nature of technology transfer activities, now is the time to implement appropriate policies and foster an innovative culture on campus.

IST Austria’s IP policies are clear: all intellectual property from inventions of our scientists rests with IST Austria and is actively developed in a cooperative way between the inventors and the Institute, for the benefit of both.

We support the exchange with industry; companies we brought to campus include Amazon, Airbus, Bosch, or TTTech.

In order to provide the resources to develop promising ideas for commercialization, IST Austria has introduced the TWIST Fellowship program, which allows its scientists to dedicate time to translational research.

IST Austria supports the development of IST Park, a science and technology park for research-intensive enterprises, adjacent to campus, through a joint venture with Ecoplus, the business development agency of Lower Austria.



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