COMET – Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies

Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies
The national programme COMET (Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies) was launched in 2006. The competence centres programmes are internationally recognised as best-practice model and have been among the most successful technology policy initiatives in Austria.
Owner of programme / investor
Target group SME, Large enterprises, Universities, Universities of applied sciences, Competence centres, Research facilities
Topic Service Innovations, Society, Information technology, Human resources, Life sciences, Materials and production, Mobility, Security, Environment and energy, Further issues, Space
Type of service Funding
Förderinstrument C8 Z Kompetenzzentrum, C9 PJ Strukturaufbau - Projekte
FFG Unit of organisation Structural programmes
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Since 1998 the Kplus, K_ind, and K_net competence centre programmes have been implemented in 45 centres and networks in Austria in order to build up key research competences through cooperation between science and industry, providing a network of hubs offering high quality research.

Since its start, COMET has regarded itself as an innovative successor to these programmes. The fundamental motivation behind extending COMET beyond 2016 is to develop new expertise and encourage greater internationalisation as a sign of excellent cooperative research. Bundling these competences within a single centre and defining promising/emerging fields of research via science - industry collaboration shall stimulate new research ideas, encourage technology transfer, and strengthen the innovative capacity of companies. This should result in the creation of new product, process and service innovations. Seen in this light, COMET is playing a key role in the task of strengthening Austria as a research and business location.

The programme lines

The COMET Programme is implemented in 3 programme lines. The programme lines “COMET Centre (K1 and K2)” and “COMET Project” (formerly “K-project”) have been complemented by a “COMET Module” line, which aims to establish new promising/emerging fields of research of particularly high-risk.

Programme line COMET Centre (K2)

K2 Centres aim to focus existing competences and develop new competences by collaborating with international researchers of renown, scientific partners and companies in a joint strategically oriented research programme at the highest level. K2 Centres are characterised by extremely ambitious research programmes. They define new promising/emerging fields of research and differ from K1 Centres by carrying out research of particularly high risk. They drive internationalisation as a characteristic of excellent research. Benchmarking with the best must be ensured on a continuous basis. K2 Centres encourage collaboration with top international scientists and companies. Structured career models offer high-potential researchers from Austria and abroad optimal development and career prospects. > Programme line COMET Centres (K2) (in German)

Programme line COMET Centre (K1)

K1 Centres aim to develop and focus competences through excellent cooperative research with a medium to long term perspective. They conduct research at top international level and stimulate new research ideas in their fields. Continuous international benchmarking must be ensured. They contribute to initiating product, process and service innovations with a view to future relevant markets. K1 Centres consolidate their competences by establishing relevant human resources being further developed via structured career models. > Programme line COMET Centres (K1) (in German)

Programme line COMET Projects

COMET Projects aim to carry out high-quality research in science - industry collaboration. They are characterised by a medium-term perspective and clearly defined topics having the potential for further development. COMET Projects contribute to initiating product, process and service innovations. COMET Projects open access to the COMET Programme for new consortia and topics. They may also develop into COMET Centres over the long term. > Programme line COMET Projects (in German)

Programme line COMET Module

The new programme line COMET Module aims to establish promising/emerging fields of research and thus new fields of expertise to strengthen Austria’s position as a research location, preparing for future challenges. COMET Modules are characterised by research of especially high-risk. COMET Modules are thematically defined research areas which carry out excellent top-level research to open up new topics being way beyond the state-of-the-art. This is to enable research with particularly high-risk. Incremental research is not the aim of COMET Modules. > Programme line COMET Module (in German)
The FACTSHEETs of expired K-Centres and K-Projects can be found here


COMET is sponsored by the Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) and the Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW), which are following up on the success of their previous competence center programmes. The Austrian provinces also support COMET with additional funds.

The Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG is responsible for the management of COMET.