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December 4, 2023

ISTA Congratulates Tom Henzinger

Prof. Thomas A. Henzinger now Chair of new Austrian Research Council

The Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) congratulates Thomas A. Henzinger on his appointment as chairman of the new Austrian Council for Research, Science, Innovation, and Technology Development (FWIT Council). Henzinger is professor of computer science and founding president of ISTA. He handed over the latter position to molecular biologist Martin Hetzer in January 2023.

Thomas A. Henzinger, now chairman of the new Austrian Council for Research, Science, Innovation, and Technology Development, on the campus of the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) in Klosterneuburg. © Peter Rigaud / ISTA

The FWIT Council (in German: FWIT-Rat) is an independent legal institution under public law that will advise the Austrian Federal Government on matters of research, technology, and innovation policy. It has 12 members and replaces the earlier Austrian Science Council and the Council for Research and Technology Development (RFTE).

Henzinger, who is also a member of the ERC Scientific Council and holder of the Cross of Honor for Science and Art of the Republic of Austria, is now also the founding chairman of this new body.

ISTA President Martin Hetzer comments: “I think it is only fitting that Tom—who has already brought ISTA from its humble beginnings with a handful of employees in 2009 to a world-class research institute with over 70 research groups and around 1000 people—is now once again at the start of a new institution. On behalf of the entire Institute, I would like to congratulate him warmly. We wish him and the other members of the Council every success. Their task is of great relevance for science and for Austria in general.”

Tom Henzinger himself explains: “I would like to thank the federal government for the trust they have placed in me. I am looking forward to this new task and hope to be able to make a further contribution to strengthening Austria as a location for research and innovation. Especially in difficult times, it is important to strive for forward-looking research policies that are supported by both, reliable continuity and timely new impetus.”

In addition to Chairman Thomas Henzinger, the FWIT Council members include computer scientist Johanna Pirker (Graz University of Technology), historian Barbara Stelzl-Marx (University of Graz), science researcher and former President of the European Research Council (ERC) Helga Nowotny, President of the Association of Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America (ASciNA) and neurologist Dietrich Haubenberger, Evotec CEO Werner Lanthaler, the physicist Monika Ritsch-Marte (Medical University of Innsbruck), the Managing Director of Austrian Cooperative Research (ACR) Sonja Sheikh, the Swedish innovation expert Sylvia Schwaag-Serger, the co-founder and CEO of TTTech Georg Kopetz, the former Managing Director of the Climate and Energy Fund Theresia Vogel, and the social scientist Jörg Flecker (University of Vienna).


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