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Nationally funded Projects

As participatory and user-centered innovation spaces, living labs play a key role in shaping transformation processes in the field of sustainable energy use. Their effectiveness is largely determined by the acceptance and participation of the stakeholders involved. In the sensitive area of intelligent building use, including sustainable living, the confluence of Big Data, networked IoT technology and highly personal living space in the interplay of different particular interests creates a highly complex field of tension. Against this background, the GreenTechLab project team from Prof. Wendland is developing standards for the design of the legal, organizational and technical framework of Open Data-oriented Living Labs for sustainable energy use for residential and office buildings. As a comprehensive 360° concept, the standards developed will form the basis for the planned development of a third-generation Living Lab as a central component of networked Smart City solutions.

Dr. Anderwald´s FWF project analyses and evaluates the legal dimension of the creeping consumption orientation of the Austrian tax system from a legal point of view, based on financial studies on the economic effects and functioning of a consumption-oriented tax system. In a second step, the project will adress the question of how a consumption-oriented tax system and its implementation in Austria could be legally structured. Possible ecological effects of a consumption-oriented tax system will also be taken into account.

The aim of this interdisciplinary study, that includes jurists, climate economists and transport experts, is the conception of a "mobility law" which, as the core of a climate-friendly Austrian transport law, has to ensure a decisive legislative contribution to the achievement of climate neutrality in 2040. The project has been funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology and is led by Prof. Schulev-Steindl and Prof. Marko.


Cold stores were built in Styria partly with funds from the Marshall-Program. At the time, these buildings were institutions of modern stocking, but were also used to socialize. The team, led by Prof. Ziegerhofer, was able identify about 350 local cold stores, 50 of which are still in use. The project will focus on people and their stories related to cold stores, as well as the influence of this institution on the every day life of rural people, for example in relation to stockpiling and cooking techniques.

The HERAS+ project aims to strengthen the research capacities of young Kosovar researchers. Thematically, it addresses questions of independence and accountability of international judges in a post-conflict country like Kosovo and what standards can be applied to courts with international composition. The project has been funded by the Austrian Development Agency and it is led by Prof. Oberleitner.


The project, funded by the Province of Styria and led by Dr. Harzl, aims to deepen the cooperation between Tomsk Oblast and Styria through reciprocal short stays, integration of students and a joint publication. The project will problematize the structural crisis in the relations between the EU and Russia, expressed in different legal approaches to sovereignty, human rights and Europeanization. The universities of Graz and Tomsk are expected to initiate a scientifically stimulating process through reciprocal short stays, the integration of students and a joint publication. 


The expert opinion to be prepared on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) evaluates the Austrian Climate Protection Act, against the background of the government program "Out of Responsibility for Austria" on the subject of climate protection. The team of Prof. Schulev-Steindl will pay special attention to the following points: Targets for climate protection and their definition; Development of measures and mechanisms for additional measures; Governance concept with a focus on the National Climate Protection Committee (NKK); Climate protection accountability mechanism. In addition, a brief legal comparison with the German Climate Protection Act and the British Climate Change Act will be made.


REASON, funded by the Province of Styria, first traces the extent to which policymakers in the Covid-19 crisis based their actions on statistical modeling. Based on this, the team of Prof. Eisenberger examines which legal requirements for such modeling can be derived from the democratic, constitutional and liberal principles of the constitution. The results will lead to a legal policy proposal that can be used in practice and successfully reconciles the innovative potential of statistical modeling with the requirements of a liberal constitutional state.

As a major employer, universities are role models in many respects, but they also need to keep pace with the changes in the world of work 4.0 by implementing digitization measures in the area of personnel law. Different legal sources apply to different groups of employees, some of which are structured very differently. The aim of the project, led by Prof. Löschnigg and financed by the Chamber of Labour, is to identify opportunities and risks in relation to digitization measures in university personnel law in the context of a publication and to develop concrete proposals for the introduction of new digital solutions and the expansion or improvement of existing digitization strategies.


Successful and thus sustainable prevention and crisis management in the Corona crisis require a modern, adequate legal framework that strengthens regional resilience by granting appropriate competencies and in this context offers legal certainty to authorities and institutions, but also to individuals, in the use of digital infrastructures. In the project Global Pandemic - Regional Resilience, funded by the Province of Styria and led by Prof. Schulev Steindl und Prof. Marko, the existing legal framework and governance structures for control and crisis management in the province of Styria are to be comprehensively and systematically evaluated for their strengths and weaknesses, and options for strengthening regional competencies in this area are to be developed.


Not least in view of the significant rise and further increase in social, nursing and health care costs in Austria (and other countries in Europe), the financing of these costs has become a major topic of public debate and a major challenge for political leaders. Financing is of course a question of expenditure design, but also a question about distribution of costs and financing among different bearers. The "Agenda white - green" of the new Styrian Provincial Government of December 2019, states that "The system of bearing costs in the social sector via the social welfare associations is to be evaluated, taking into account the audit results of the Court of Audit.".This research project, led by Prof. Poier and financed by the Province of Styria, will analyse the issue of cost bearing and focus on the cost-sharing of municipalities from a legal perspective and in a country-wide comparison of the Austrian provinces.


In the course of the process of reforming the municipal structure in Styria, many municipalities were surveyed. Data show at least 150 events: Some of them were official referendums according to the Styrian People´s Rights Act (Volksrechtgesetz), while others were informal surveys. From a scientific point of view, these surveys are interesting because they are closely related in time and were conducted on the same topic. The large number of such surveys provides a much greater degree of representativeness than is usually the case in studies of direct democracy events in Austria. Building on the largely existing raw data of these surveys, the planned study, financed by the Province of Styria and led by Prof. Poier, aims to analyze the content of the initiative, timing, process, motives, outcome and impact. In particular, the comparison of formal and informal surveys is expected to yield interesting results

The aim of this FWF Project led by Dr. Pichler, is to examine the cultural history of dealing with values and norms using the example of the thematic spectrum "Law" (law - justice - breaking the law) in the cultural history of heavy metal music. Since the emergence of its own metal cultural scene, the topos of rebellion in the sense of 'Breaking the Law' (a song title by Judas Priest from 1980, which is still considered to be identity-forming for heavy metal) has been a cement of the scene that has not been examined so far. In the emerging global field of 'metal music studies', this perspective is new and promises new insights. As a case study, the project examines the Graz and Styrian metal scene since 1980.

This research project, funded by the Austrian Academy of Science and led by Ms. Lily Zechner, is analysing how the application of substantive VAT law and VAT enforcement work for innovative and internet-based business models. Since VAT has to be assessed against the background of economic reality, it can in principle adapt to changes in the economy. Moreover, due to the harmonization of VAT law across the EU, intra-European transactions can be well covered. Up to now, tax enforcement has been largely supported by intermediaries who mediate between the individual economic participants. Traditional state intermediaries could be eliminated in the future as a result of the direct networking of private individuals via the Internet and, in turn, new intermediaries that mediate between taxpayers and the state could emerge. If the sales tax - which is particularly high in revenue - does not adapt sufficiently to economic developments or if the substantive law cannot be enforced, this could have far-reaching consequences for state financing.

Object of funding is a fundamental investigation of accounting law influences on the principles of good corporate governance. The research project led by Prof. Zollner aims at a systematic analysis of the relevant body of law including economic approaches at post-doctoral level. The funding from the B&C Private Foundation is intended to create a post-doctoral position at the University of Graz.

Research Management


Maddalena Vivona

Universitaetstrasse 15/A3
8010 Graz

Phone:+43 316 380 - 6814

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