National Research Development Programme KIRAS (Security research program) Austria

Established in 2005 by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology; KIRAS was the first national security research programme within the EU. The name originates from ancient Greek and combines the words "kirkos" (circle - being a metaphor for the holistic concept behind KIRAS) and "asphaleia" (security).

Since its introduction, the initiative has been based on a broad and circumspect notion of security, giving due consideration to socio-political, economic and cultural developments not only on a national level but also Europe wide.

In line with this idea, KIRAS promotes national research projects which correspond to the strategic objectives of the programme, namely

  • to improve the subjective perception & objective level of security of Austrian citizens
  • to support the generation of knowledge needed for security Policy
  • to promote security related technology leaps
  • to support the growth of the Austrian security Industry
  • to achieve excellence in security research and
  • to integrate relevant societal questions in every project

In this context, the first thematic priority addressed by KIRAS is the protection of critical infrastructures in areas such as: energy, communication & information, financial- and health system, food, water, transport as well as public security and administration. The programme is furthermore characterized by a mandatory inclusion of end users as well as an obligatory integration of humanities, social sciences and cultural studies.

The permanent accompanying evaluation of KIRAS confirms that societal aspects are deeply embedded in KIRAS projects. Questions on societal issues, like the acceptability of newly developed security solutions, are taken into consideration during the whole project lifecycle and therewith represent an integral part of the research work. The evaluation likewise confirms a strong application focus and end-user emphasis within supported projects. This integrative approach ensures demand-driven research and therewith fosters the development of marketable technological products and services.

The success of the program is strongly reflected by its economic effects in terms of induced added value and job creation - assuring that public money is spend in a reasonable and efficient manner.


Staff Group for Security Research

Radetzkystraße 2
1030 Vienna

Ralph Hammer
phone: +43 1  711 62 - 652109
fax: +43 1 711 62 - 653130

Lukas Siebeneicher
phone: +43 1 711 62 - 653125
fax: +43 1 711 62 - 653130

published at 15.04.2020, Kommunikation und Service (Abteilung Präs. 5)