Austrian Academy of Sciences (OEAW)
The Austrian Academy of Sciences
Representative to ERA-AGE:
Prof. Dr. Beatrix Grubeck-Loebenstein, Director of the Institute for Biomedical Aging Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
Prof. Dr. Arnold Suppan, Secretary General, Austrian Academy of Sciences
National Coordinator Details
Institute for Biomedical Ageing Research
Austrian Academy of Sciences
Tel: 0043 512583919 50
Founded in 1847 and presently employing more than 1100 people, the Austrian Academy of Sciences is funded by the Federal Government. Its mission is to support all fields of science with an emphasis upon basic research. It is a leading research and research funding institution in Austria and a key funder of ageing research. The Academy's research programme is strategically planned through the funding of research institutes, units and commissions as well as within the framework of research programmes and collaborations with national and international institutions.
Since the late 1980s a strategically planned programme on ageing research has been a thematic priority. The programme focuses upon basic biomedical research on ageing and led to the foundation of the Institute for Biomedical Aging Research (IBA) in Innsbruck in 1992.
The IBA has the following specific research goals:
- To help to prevent age-related functional losses. Such losses are, for instance, alterations of the skin (wrinkles), lower muscle tones, decreasing function of the sensory organs (eyes, ears), of the vascular and the immune system. This is where gerontology has to analyse aging processes at a cellular level and to elaborate the mechanisms which are responsible for these age-related dysfunctions. Measures decelerating age-related functional impairments will improve the quality of life in old age.
- To fight age-related diseases such as infections, urogenital tract diseases, tumours, Alzheimer's, dementia, and atherosclerosis. A better knowledge of the aging-process of each organ system is a prerequisite for the prevention and healing of these conditions. The results will also be applicable for the development of new diagnostic tools and therapeutics.
The scientific activities of the Institute are reviewed biannually by a board of national and international experts.
The Austrian Academy of Sciences also funds the Vienna Institute of Demography that regularly performs ageing research. Its research focuses on the description, analyses and projection of the ageing structure of the Austrian population, of the demographic structure, living arrangements and health status of the elderly population. Another focus lies on the consequences of demographic ageing and the intergenerational relationships.
As an ERA-AGE partner the Academy coordinates the activities of the Forum with other key funding bodies of ageing research in Austria: Federal Ministries (FM for Science and Research, FM for Education, Arts and Culture, FM for Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection, FM for Health, FM for Transport, Innovation and Technology, FM for Women and Civil Service), the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG). National Forum Meetings are designed to raise awareness for the importance of continuous and coordinated funding activities in the field of ageing research.