Defence Research FORTE

Verteidigungsforschung FORTE
Photo: Security Research and Technology Transfer

In 2018, the proven system of national research funding programs was expanded to include the national defence research program FORTE. In close coordination with KIRAS, FORTE explores those defence-relevant research topics that are not possible at KIRAS.  KIRAS & FORTE are intended to adapt Austria's security measures for the challenges of the 21st century.

The Austrian defence research funding program "FORTE", which is under the program responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF), supports national research projects and is complementary to the numerous competencies available on the regional and national level to avoid unnecessary duplication. The BMF has tasked the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) with program management for the FORTE program.

  • In terms of content, the defence research program primarily helps the Ministry of Defence (BMLV) and the Austrian Federal Armed Forces to maintain and expand their ability to innovate.
  • By clearly prioritising the future capabilities that are necessary for the development of the Austrian Federal Armed Forces, "state-of-the-art" research is made possible.
  • In contrast to the basic system of research in the Austrian Federal Armed Forced (contract research and departmental research), FORTE is operated as a classic research funding program in the field of competitive research - with the special feature that the program is the responsibility of the BMF and is financed by it, while the BMLV and the Austrian Armed Forces act as a specific theme-dominant military user and expertise provider. FORTE thus represents a joint implementation task for BMF and BMLV.

The defence research program FORTE is geared exclusively to the military core area and covers all those research topics relevant to security policy that cannot be addressed by the national security research program KIRAS. FORTE must therefore be considered and implemented as complementary to KIRAS, as

  • this subject matter is either decidedly excluded according to the KIRAS programme document (KIRAS has a civilian programme focus with a clear demarcation from armament and defence research - i.e. no armament research) or
  • the Austrian Armed Forces, as a military user and provider of expertise, have a thematic unique selling point that is not a priority of other security-relevant users and providers of expertise, but it is nevertheless absolutely necessary for the Austrian Armed Forces to fulfil their tasks.

FORTE should therefore on the one hand increase Austria's defence readiness through research contributions in the field of defence technology and at the same time improve the chances of success for Austrian participants in the European Defence Fund (EDF).


Department for Security Research and Technology Transfer
Radetzkystraße 2, 1030 Vienna

Dr. Ralph Hammer
Telephone: +43 (1) 51433 506130

Mag. Lukas Siebeneicher
Telephone: +43 (1) 51433 506325