In European research policy, people often look to Austria because we have something that other countries lack. Namely, a platform where all actors in the evaluation of research and technology policy gather and exchange ideas,” explains Klaus Schuch, Managing Director of the fteval platform and Scientific Director of the ZSI – Centre for Social Innovation.

The Austrian Platform for Research and Technology Policy Evaluation (fteval) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. But what exactly is evaluation and why do we need it? The short answer from Sonja Sheikh, chairwoman of the association and managing director of ACR – Austrian Cooperative Research is: “To make sure we have good research policy!” “Especially during the Corona crisis, we all realised how important research and development are for society and how much current research results influence our everyday lives. To ensure that research and technology policy is evidence-based, the fteval platform has existed for 25 years. Together with ministries, agencies, evaluators and research institutes, it works on the continuous further development of the evaluation culture in Austria and thus also contributes to a better research and technology policy,” Sonja Sheikh continues.

The RTI policy evaluations were carried out by member organisations of the platform. “In contrast, fteval itself, as a neutral reflection and learning platform, does not evaluate. For 25 years, we have been gathering experience on how research and technology policy can be reviewed for its effectiveness and is committed to the further development of evaluation expertise in Austria. We do this by organising evaluation trainings, setting standards for good evaluation practice and regularly discussing progress in the field at its own international conference. Underlying this is the undivided view that evaluations are important for making good policy and thus using our tax money as effectively as possible“. Klaus Schuch explains the work and functioning of the Platform.

This year, the fteval platform is awarding the Evaluation Talent Award for the first time together with the Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development. The prize will be awarded in the course of the REvaluation Conference during the anniversary celebration of the fteval platform. The aim is to honour the good work done by young evaluators to further improve research policy and to make the talents visible in the international expert community that the conference gathers.

Media representatives wishing to attend the Anniversary Enequete and Award Ceremony on Friday, 6 May at 11:30 a.m. may accredit themselves by sending an email to