Public research infrastructure database – research and innovation through open collaboration



Policy areas

Organisation name Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF)

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Contact person: Dr. Thorsten D. Barth


In response to the growing need for collaboration and resource optimisation in research infrastructure development, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung – BMBWF) initiated a project to establish a public research infrastructure database. This project stemmed from the limitations of a previous internal database, which was not publicly accessible and hindered efficient information sharing among researchers, institutions and funding bodies.


The ‘Public Research Infrastructure Database’ serves as an information platform that grants access to research infrastructures, and fosters their application in scientific research and industrial contexts. It pursues four key objectives. First, the database aims to enhance access to research infrastructure capabilities and encourage their utilisation. Second, it strives to inform strategic decision-making processes for infrastructure development. Third, it assists with both internal and external infrastructure tenders. Finally, it functions to create a visible portfolio of the research infrastructure within the Austrian research landscape.

Operating as a collaborative platform, the database aligns with the principles of open science, open innovation and knowledge valorisation by means of extracting economic value from knowledge by making it accessible to others.


Developed collaboratively by the BMBWF, the Austrian Economic Chamber (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich – WKO) and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Wirtschaft – BMAW), the public research infrastructure database was launched online in 2016. The project utilised traditional project management methods with a total budget of approximately €160 000 from 2015 to 2023. This budget covered technical development by an external IT company, while leveraging existing BMBWF resources such as staff expertise, software programs and server infrastructure.

With over 100 research institutions voluntarily contributing information on over 2 200 research infrastructures, the database has become a valuable resource for the Austrian research community. This data informs strategic decision-making for future investments, a contribution recognised by the Austrian Administration Award in 2021.

The project’s integration into the Austrian RTI Strategy 2030 (RTI – research, technology and innovation) and the Austrian Research Infrastructure Action Plan 2030 ensures its long-term sustainability. Furthermore, the database’s open access nature allows it to serve as a transferable model for other countries facing similar challenges in research infrastructure coordination.

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