Donation of millions from VERBUND to ISTA


VERBUND CEO Michael Strugl and ISTA President Thomas Henzinger announced today that VERBUND AG will support the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) with a donation amounting to €5m. In recognition of this donation, a dedicated professorship bearing the title “VERBUND Professor of Energy Science” will be set up on a permanent basis: the first holder of this title is materials scientist Maria Ibáñez.

Michael Strugl: “The transformation of the European energy industry towards a completely renewable system demands our total commitment and combined power of innovation. VERBUND is delighted about this long-term cooperation with ISTA, an outstanding flagship project of domestic research that is also highly regarded around the world and sets standards. The fundamentals for the technologies of tomorrow are being developed here, which will enable reliable and sustainable future development. Then there’s that fact that the donation will not only support ISTA, but also the domestic industry and research location. The donation is thus in line with the CSR strategy of VERBUND.”

Maria Ibáñez is a multi-award-winning materials scientist, whose career took her from Barcelona via Caltech in the USA and ETH Zürich in Switzerland to ISTA in Klosterneuburg. Ibáñez works on the development of new functional nanomaterials with the aid of precise, artificially constructed nanocrystals as elements and investigates their properties. In this way, Ibáñez is creating a new generation of materials, whose components and functionalities can be defined in advance. In addition to performing basic studies on nanocrystal synthesis and surface chemistry, it is her group’s goal to develop the basis for highly efficient, low-cost thermoelectrical materials that could ultimately be used in energy storage.

ISTA President Thomas Henzinger: “The donation from VERBUND is an exemplary demonstration of how excellent organisations in science and industry can look for and find contact with one another in a natural way. The support enables ISTA to continue its consistent journey to the top of the world in basic research. With its donation, VERBUND is making an impressive statement about the funding of outstanding achievements with big potential for the future; entirely with the strategy of this leading domestic company in mind.” 

The donation is another significant milestone of the Capital Campaign of ISTA presented in June 2022. Within the scope of this campaign, the research institute has set itself the goal of achieving an endowment of €100m by 2027. The endowment serves to secure the excellence and independence of ISTA for the long term and is underpinned by donations. To date, a total of €30m in donations has been collected in this campaign.

Ingun Metelko Ingun Metelko

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