OST Network & ASciNA Activities

bridges vol. 12, December 2006 / News from the Network

The OST network of Austrian scientists & scholars abroad was established by the Office of Science & Technology (OST) at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC, and focuses on the outreach of government-related agencies to Austrian scientists in North America. Its main objective has been to support the scientific community with information and specific advice wherever necessary and requested.

Encouraged by the OST, an independent association - ASciNA (Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America) - was founded in 2002 with local chapters being established all over the US and Canada. For further information about ASciNA please visit www.ascina.at.

OST Network Activities

Dr. Henrietta Egerth, director of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency
On October 4, the OST and Professor Martin Nowak, head of the program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University, hosted an evening discussion followed by a buffet dinner in honor of Dr. Henrietta Egerth, director of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

On October 24, the OST hosted a lunch buffet at the City University of New York (CUNY), following an "Information Meeting on Programs for Cooperation in Higher Education and Research between the European Union (with a special focus on Austria) and the United States of America." During this meeting, Dr. Philipp Steger, the Austrian Science Attaché to the US and Canada, presented the OST and its services. Other representatives from Austria spoke about R&D opportunities within the EU Framework Program.

Mag. Weitgruber & Dr. Stoklaska at Embassy:
Roundtable Discussion with Austrian Scientists

On October 25, the OST welcomed Mag. Weitgruber and Dr. Stoklaska, a delegation from the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science, Education and Culture (BMBWK), at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC. The same evening, a roundtable discussion was held at the Austrian Embassy allowing Austrian scientists and the delegation to discuss current developments in Austrian R&D policy. In addition, the OST organized a dinner for the delegation to provide an opportunity for the members of the delegation to interact with American colleagues.

Krampus Goes US
On December 5, the OST and ASciNA hosted an event, "Krampus Goes US," at the Austrian Embassy in order to provide Austrian Scientists from the DC area with a networking opportunity, and to wrap up the activities of the network for the current year. On this occasion, Philipp Steger was awarded a lifelong honorary ASciNA membership for his support for ASciNA.

ASciNA Activities

ASciNA Washington, DC
Contact: Ruth Pfeiffer at greater.DC(at)ascina.at

On November 8, 2006, the ASciNA Chapter of Greater DC organized a lecture by Sonja Scholz, from the Laboratory of Neurogenetics/ Laboratory of Immunogenetics, National Institute on Aging, NIH, entitled "Whole Genome Association Studies."

On December 15, the chapter co-hosted with the OST a "Krampusfeier" (see OST events above).

In 2007, the Greater Washington Chapter's lecture series will continue with a presentation by Florian Mueller from the Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression, National Cancer Institute, NIH. The exact title will be announced soon.

{access view=guest}Access to the full article is free, but requires you to register. Registration is simple and quick - all we need is your name and a valid e-mail address. We appreciate your interest in bridges.{/access} {access view=!guest} ASciNA Greater Boston
Contact: Christine Mrakotsky or Klaus Podar at greater.boston(at)ascina.at

It was a busy fall for the AScinA Chapter of Greater Boston. Besides regular meetings the second Thursday of each month, it also held special events with Dr. Egerth of the Oesterreichische Forschungsfoerderungsgesellschaft and with Dr. Seitinger from the Austrian Business Agency.
Additionally, our very own ASciNA "brains" have been contributing actively with excellent topics this fall (see list below). The chapter closes out the year with its traditional Christmas Party on Dec. 8, at Fisher College in the heart of Boston, and wishes all its members "Frohe Weihnachten und Guten Rutsch!"

The first chapter meeting of the New Year will be on Jan. 11, 2007. Please see the chapter Web site at www.ascina.at for updates, or contact Christine Mrakotsky and Klaus Podar at greater.boston(at)ascina.at for further information.

Recent events:
September 14, 2006 - Dr. Heinz and Susanne Seitinger (MIT): "Father-Daughter Talk: Working at the MIT Media Lab."
October 4, 2006 - Dr. Henrietta Egerth, Austrian Research Promotion Agency, "Research Promotion in Austria."
October 12, 2006 - Dr. Philip Walther (Harvard): "Quantum teleportation and Quantum computers: A brief journey into the crazy world of quanta."
November 9, 2006 - Dr. Matthias Wolf (Harvard Medical School): "On the Structure of Macromolecules - Electron Cryomicroscopy and x-ray Crystallography of HIV, HPV, and Calcium Ion Channels."

ASciNA Pacific North
Contact: Julius Halaschek-Wiener at pacific.north(at)ascina.at

The Vancouver Group of the ASciNA Pacific North Chapter enjoyed a fantastic Oktoberfest organized by Dr. Dieter Fink at the end of September. Scientists and students from around the globe joined the chapter for a traditional Austrian Oktoberfest, which included a keg of home-brewed beer and Austrian Hefeweizen, home made Sturm, Salzstangerl, Gulasch, Sachertorte, etc. It was a great evening where Dieter showcased Austrian culture and cuisine to a large group of people, who admired him dearly for his outstanding cooking, baking, brewing, and fermenting skills.

halaschek_julius_small The Austrian (research) community in Canada also welcomes Julius Halaschek-Wiener Jr., who might become a next generation Austro/Canadian Scientist in North America. Julius, Jr. was born on November 16, 2006, in Vancouver. The whole chapter wants to extend its very warm welcome to little Julius.

The chapter is planning to organize its last meeting for 2006 at the beginning of December. Please check the ASciNA Web page for details.

ASciNA Canada, Montreal
Contact: Gregor Kos at gregor.kos(at)mcgill.ca

The Montreal Chapter usually holds monthly meetings in a bistro in the Plateau Mont-Royal area. However, its last meeting included a visit to Werner Göbl's current workplace, the International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research (BRAMS), which is affiliated with the University of Montreal, McGill University, and the Montreal Neurological Institute.Werner Göbl, who is a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University, utilizes an automated Bösendorfer piano that is capable of recording and replaying a pianist's piece. The acquired data can be used to
analyze the player's movements on the piano.

ASciNA members also participated in a cocktail party organized by Christoph Grabmayr of the Austrian Trade Commission, and had the opportunity to interact with representatives from Austrian companies who were in town for a congress, and other Austrians living in Montreal.

More visits and presentations will follow in the coming months, so meeting times and dates will vary. See the ASciNA Canada Web page or contact Gregor Kos (gregor.kos(at)mcgill.ca) for further details.

ASciNA Greater Bay Area
Contact: Susanne Pangratz-Fuehrer, Sonja Schmid, Monika Trebo at ascina(at)gmail.com

kabarett_caption On October 28, 2006, the chapter gathered on the occasion of the Austrian National Holiday (October 26) in the garden of the Halama family in San Jose. About 40 Austrians from all different parts of Northern California joined the informal holiday party. Everyone brought some typical - delicious - Austrian food and the main attraction was certainly the suckling pig. Later that evening, Mario Herger showcased some scenes from his Kabarettprogramm (cabaret program) and everyone enjoyed nice discussions with good glasses of wine in front of the fireplace.

On November 17, the Austrian Business Agency (ABA) invited the Greater Bay Area ASciNA chapter to a business lunch in Palo Alto, hosted by ABA North America Director Hans Nagl, and ABA Business Development Director Gisbert Mayr. Two presentations by Bernhard Lehner (Austrian CPA and CEO of Lehner & Partner Tax Consultants, Baden, Austria) and Helmut Poschinger (CEO of IM2, Klagenfurt, Austria) showcased the incentives and benefits of business start-ups in Austria, especially in the area of research and development.