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General Principles of Technology Transfer at Austrian UniversitiesEdit


In Austria relevant IP matters are covered by the “Patents Act 1970”, latest revision of 2005, including the relationship between an employer and an employee. Employee means salary and wage earners of every kind. According to § 7 (1) an employer has the right to obtain ownership for an invention if it is a service invention and if a written agreement (with the employee or a collective agreement) exists. For inventions of public employees no separate written agreement is needed. The state has the right to obtain ownership. (§ 7 (2)) § 8 states that the employee shall be entitled to a reasonable special compensation for assigning to the employer an invention made by him.


According to § 106 Universities Act inventions made at an university in the course of federal employment or training or employment or training by such university, shall be subject to the Patents Act, and the university shall be deemed to be the employer under section § 7 (2) Patents Act. That means that University can claim rights for service inventions without the need for a separate written agreement between university and university member.

Objectives of UG2002

The mission of the Austrian universities is to serve academic research and teaching, and the advancement, appreciation and teaching of the arts, and thereby to contribute to the personal development of the individual, and to the welfare of society and the environment. Universities are public educational institutions which, in their research and research based teaching, are directed towards the advancement of knowledge and new approaches to the arts. Through the common efforts of teachers and students, working in enlightened scholarly communities, they assist individuals in their striving for the education and autonomy conferred by scholarship. They promote the advancement of junior academics, which goes hand in hand with the acquisition of academic and artistic abilities and qualifications, and methodological skills, with the goal of helping a society in transition to master the challenges it faces in a humane and gender equal fashion. To enable them to respond to the constantly changing demands made on them in organisational, academic and personnel management terms, the universities and their governing bodies shall constitute themselves under conditions of the greatest possible autonomy and self-administration.

Principles of UG2002

The guiding principles to be observed by the universities in pursuance of their objects are:

1. freedom of scholarship and teaching (art. 17 Basic Law on the General Rights of Citizens, Imperial Law Gazette [RGBl.] No. 142/1867) and freedom of scholarship and art, the dissemination of the arts and their teaching (art. 17a, Basic Law on the General Rights of Citizens);

2. interaction between research and tuition, the advancement, appreciation and teaching of the arts, and scholarship and art;

3. diversity of academic and art theory, methods and doctrines;

4. freedom of study;

5. attention to the requirements for entry to professional careers;

6. student codetermination, particularly in respect of studies, teaching quality assurance and the application of university fees;

7. national and international mobility for students, graduates, and university academic and art staff;

8. collaborative relationships between members of the university;

9. equality of the sexes;

10. equality of opportunity;

11. special attention to the needs of the handicapped;

12. efficient, economical and expedient management of the universities’ finances.

Commercial exploitation of intellectual property

§106(1) All university members shall have the right to independent publication of academic papers and works of art. When research findings or work serving the advancement and appreciation of the arts are published, university members who have contributed to such work shall be named as co-authors.

§106(2) Inventions in the meaning of section 7(3) Patents Act, BGBl. No. 259/1970, made at a university in the course of federal employment or training or employment or training by such university, shall be subject to the Patents Act, and the university shall be deemed to be the employer under section 7(2) Patents Act.

§106(3) All inventions shall be promptly reported to the rectorate. The rectorate shall inform the inventor within three months if it intends to claim title to the invention in its entirety or rights to the use thereof. Otherwise the inventor shall be entitled to such rights.

Public Funding Agencies for research and innovationEdit

Offices of Technology Transfer from Public Research InstitutionsEdit

The main technology transfer office of Austria is held by Austria Wirtschaftservice Gesellschaft mbH (“aws”) with its department Tecma ( aws ( is owned by the Republic of Austria. Being Austria’s specialised bank for business promotion, aws handles a multitude of promotional programmes developed by the federal government. Tecma is in charge of patent exploitation and supports and accompanies researchers, inventors and companies in marketing promising innovations.

Within the project uni:invent ( Tecma assisted the Austrian University to install local departments. Their resposibility is to help academic inventors and to support technology transfer.

Technology Transfer Surveys or PapersEdit

National Research and Innovation Plan

On December 13, 2002 the Austrian Council has presented its National Research and Innovation Plan (NRIP) to the public. It adresses the political decision makers on national and regional level, the institutions performing research, the RTD-funding organisations and all other relevant representatives of the national innovation system. (

Transfer of Knowladge and Technology in Austria(2003)

A study of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology highlightens the current status quo of knowledge and technology transfer in Austria.

Related AssociationsEdit

Other topicsEdit

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