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OSTA Scientist Network and ASciNA Activities

Bridges vol. 30. July 2011 / News from the Network: Austrian Researchers Abroad

The OSTA network of Austrian scientists & scholars abroad was established by the Office of Science & Technology (OSTA) 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 OSTA, an independent association - ASciNA (AustrianScientists and Scholars in North America) - was founded in 2002 with local chapters being established throughout the US and Canada. For further information about ASciNA please visit:


Annual Austrian Science Talk @ New York Academy of Sciences on September 10, 2011


ast11_small.jpgOn September 10, 2011, the annual Austrian Science Talk will take place again, this time in New York City at the New York Academy of Sciences. The Austrian Science Talk offers Austrian scientists and researchers in North America a unique opportunity to learn about recent R&D policy developments in Austria and Europe. The conference also provides information about various career and funding opportunities, or how to facilitate research collaborations between the two continents. Every year the Science Talk attracts about 100 Austrian researchers and scientists from all disciplines and corners of North America, thus providing an ideal platform for discussion, interaction, and networking with peers.

The motto of the Austrian Science Talk 2011: Austria - On Its Way to Becoming an Innovation Leader?

In the past few years, Austria has demonstrated an impressive talent for catching up in terms of its performance in research, development, and innovation. Austria's R&D quota has increased in the past ten years from 1.94 percent to 2.79 percent of the GDP, which propels the country into the ranks of Europe's top performers in innovation. Now Austria's innovation system faces the challenge of joining the ranks of innovation leaders by 2020.

Experts from the Austrian government, universities, research institutes, and industry will discuss with scientists attending the Austrian Science Talk how Austria can best utilize its potential in the fields of human capital, basic research, venture capital markets, etc. in order to take the vital step towards becoming an innovation leader, and to overcome future social and economical challenges.


Austrian Science Talk 2011: Austria - On Its Way to Becoming an Innovation Leader?

Strengthening the cooperation between science and industry is an important element in achieving this goal. For the first time, as a result of a cooperation with the Austrian Trade Commission in the United States, executives of Austrian subsidiaries in the United States and Austrian scientists based in North America will be brought together the evening preceding the AST. The networking event Austria Connects Business and Academia will take place at the Neue Gallerie in New York.

Also, in an award ceremony following the Austrian Science Talk on the evening of Saturday, September 10, Secretary General Friedrich Faulhammer and ASciNA -President Peter Nagele will hand out the ASciNA Awards 2011, sponsored by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science and Research.

Registration for the Austrian Science Talk is now open. A limited amount of funding for hotel expenses is available for Austrian scientists who wish to attend the Science Talk. For further information, and to apply for a hotel grant, please visit:


The Austrian Science Talk 2011 is organized by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology and the Office of Science & Technology at the Austrian Embassy in Washington.


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ASciNA Chapter Activities

ASciNA Chapter Greater Washington, DC


Dr. Gerhard Koenig: Elected President of ASciNA Chapter Greater Washington, DC.


During recent months, life in ASciNA's Greater DC area was shaped by the approaching departure of our chapter president, Dr. Dietrich Haubenberger, whose tenure was filled with a broad range of activities. After living for 3½ years in DC, he and his wife, Dr. Simona Bianconi, will seek new challenges back home in Vienna. To coordinate ASciNA activities in the greater Washington, DC, area, Dr. Gerhard König, a computational chemist from Styria and currently a visiting fellow at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH, was unanimously elected as the new chapter president on May 31. He will be supported in this function by Ruth Pfeiffer and Traudl Robinson. Nevertheless, the monthly series of ASciNA talks have continued with lectures by Dr. Alessandra Handisurya, National Cancer Institute of the NIH, who captivated the audience with a very visual and illustrative presentation on "Human Papillomaviruses – Molecular Adjuvants for Vaccine Development." To put a spotlight on the fast-growing group of scientists in Baltimore, the ASciNA lecture in May was held at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Dr. Peter Rainer presented his work at the Johns Hopkins University regarding "Molecular Mechanisms in Heart Failure – The Role of TRPC channels." After this premiere, we are looking forward to more events in Baltimore.