The FWF is an institution established under Austrian federal law (Research and Technology Funding Act, or FTFG).
The FWF was established under Art. 2 FTFG for the purpose of funding non-profit-oriented research designed to generate new insights and to expand and advance scholarly knowledge.
Art. 2b FTFG defines the FWF's duties as follows:
a) Promotion of scholarly research efforts in any suitable manner for individual or multiple physical or legal persons;
b) Administration of the funds allocated to the FWF in accordance with their designated purpose (Art. 2a);
c) Annual submission of a report on the activities of the FWF in the past calendar year and on the state of scholarly research in Austria (Art. 2), as well as the FWF's expected requirements for the upcoming calendar year, including a long-term forecast of the requirements of scholarly research, with particular attention to its cultural, social, economic and ecological significance. This report is to be presented to the Federal Minister of Science and Research by March 31 each year;
d) Raising public awareness of the significance of scholarly research and of research funding, in particular through new forms of participative communication;
e) Administration of research grants and execution of programmes on a contractual basis on behalf of and for the account of the Austrian federal government using the funds allocated for this purpose;
f) Participation in joint European and international programmes and funding instruments within the scope of the FWF's activities and as instructed by the federal minister in charge of the FWF.
The full text of the Research and Technology Funding Act (FTFG) can be retrieved from the Austrian Federal Chancellery's Legal Information System (in German).