The platform fteval was founded in 1996 with the aim to contribute to more evidence in technology policy. The overall aim is to achieve “a better common understanding between administrators, funders and evaluators." This included the discussion and development of best practices and a discussion of methods, an exchange of experience with other European countries on expert level as well as the discussion on the importance of standards of the European Union for Austria.
In order to further support the evaluation culture in Austria and to inform about new developments in the RTI system, which are relevant for evaluation, the platform has developed a broad portfolio of activities and support offers. Within the framework of regular events - such as the country series organised in cooperation with the BMWFW and the WWTF - national and international experts in the area of RTI policy and evaluation are invited for an exchange of ideas. With irregular intervals, international conferences are held on the evaluation of RTI policies, which support an exchange between science and practice. The latest one was the Open Evaluation Conference, for which we were able to win 60 presenters and 250 participants from all five continents. The ‘fteval inside: fteval insight’ event series is a particularity within the portfolio, as member organizations invite each other to present their activities with a self-selected thematic focus and discuss them in an informal framework. This is the Platform’s only internal event format.
The Platform’s most long-standing product is the fteval Journal for Research and Technology Policy Evaluation, which arose from the earlier so-called "Newsletter". The journal contains both practical and academic contributions to the topic of RTI policy evaluation and contributes to supporting and safeguarding this discourse across the various stakeholder groups. In more than 40 editions of the journal more than 200 articles were published, predominantly in English. Thematic special editions as well as open editions provide a broad thematic framework.
The fteval standards of evaluation in research and technology policy form an important building block for the further development of the evaluation culture. These serve to provide a reference framework for the evaluators, the commissioning bodies and those who are evaluated. The standards aim also to achieve a higher degree of commitment and security for all stakeholders. The standards were developed by the member organisations in a joint process, which started with the institutionalisation of fteval in 2002. The current version of the standards is from 2012. They have been revised in a collaborative process.
A further central activity of the platform is the collection and publication of the Austrian evaluation reports in a specially designed repository. The availability of some 300 evaluation reports, studies and strategic documents on the website of the platform contributes to the transparency and visibility of the activities in this policy area. In addition, the platform regularly organises trainings, is available for specific consultation and participates in national and international exchange of knowledge through participation in relevant events of other organisations.
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