Changes afoot at ARC

Management shake-up planned amid concerns over political influence at Austrian Research Centers

Jane Burgermeister(
Aug 10, 2005

The Austrian government is planning to reorganize the management structure of the Austrian Research Centers (ARC), a move that scientists hope will result in more power moving to the scientific director, and away from a management team with strong political links.

The ARC in Seibersdorf is the largest government-funded organization undertaking applied research in Austria, with an annual budget of €100 million. Its 700 employees work mainly on information technology and the life sciences, including projects such as biosensors.

The centers are currently run by Helmut Kruenes, a former defense minister belonging to the far right Freedom Party (FP)–whose entry into a coalition government in 2000 triggered sanctions from the European Union–as well as a scientific director, Erich Gornik.

The Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology–which runs the ARC–has commissioned a report from the Malik Management Institute in St. Gallen, Switzerland, on whether the current management structure...

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