Zero Emissions Award – Pioneering the Green Revolution

New research findings will be essential if we want to achieve climate neutrality in Austria by 2040. For this reason, the alpha+ Foundation of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) invites researchers from all disciplines to submit proposals for the new “Zero Emissions Award.” The funding is intended to help close knowledge gaps, find groundbreaking approaches, and spur innovation. The Zero Emissions Award enables researchers from all scientific disciplines to carry out pioneering research projects in the field of renewable energies and the energy transition in Austria.

To be eligible for funding, research projects must address one of the following topics:

  • Pioneering research/excellent basic research in all scientific disciplines to promote innovation in the field of renewable energies and the energy transition 
  • Research on the technological framework conditions required for widespread implementation of the energy transition 
  • Behavioral research on the use of renewable energies

Target group 
Qualified researchers in all disciplines who are working in one of the areas listed above. The research must be relevant to the goal of improving and advancing one of these fields.

Funded through the alpha+ Foundation
The Zero Emissions Award is funded by the alpha+ Foundation of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) thanks to a donation from Patrick S. Dumont, an American entrepreneur with Austrian roots. Funding will be awarded in accordance with the FWF’s internationally recognized quality assurance procedure.

The FWF was the first public research funding agency in Europe to establish a nonprofit foundation to provide Austria's researchers with more opportunities in basic research through private grants. The objective of the FWF’s alpha+ Foundation is to create new research grants based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on addressing the climate crisis and supporting the careers of highly talented young researchers. 

Please click here for more information.

Requirements, duration, and amount of funding
Applications for this call can be submitted to the programs Principal Investigator Projects and ESPRIT.

Requirements for applicants as well as the scope and duration of the funding correspond to the application guidelines of the programs Principal Investigator Projects or ESPRIT.

An additional form describing the proposal’s relevance to the topic of the call must be submitted on elane (see Supplementary Application Guidelines (pdf, 73KB)).

Specific information on the call
For Principal Investigator Projects funded by the Foundation, the general project costs are increased to 15%. ESPRIT projects receive 10% more budget. 

Applications submitted for this call are not subject to the restriction on the number of projects in progress (pdf, 68KB)

Submitting the application

  • Call opens: June 15, 2023
  • Call closes: no set deadline, but assuming the review process is complete, the Foundation will decide on all applications submitted by October 16, 2023, in May of 2024 (see also Supplementary Application Guidelines (pdf, 73KB)).
  • The guidelines and forms required for submitting a Principle Investigator Project or an ESPRIT project apply for this call. All applications must be submitted on the FWF’s electronic submission portal (elane).


  • By the Board of the Foundation upon the recommendation of the FWF Scientific Board
  • First decision in May/June 2024
  • Presentation of the award planned during the START/Wittgenstein Award ceremony

The alpha+ Foundation is providing €900,000 in funding for the first call. If the required funding amount for an eligible project exceeds the amount available, the FWF will cover the difference from its own budget. 

Excellently reviewed proposals that cannot be funded through the alpha+ Foundation will be funded directly by the FWF; however, the call-specific provision on general project costs does not apply to these applications.