The Research Institute – Digital Human Rights Centre conducts basic scientific research from an interdisciplinary perspective and deals with fundamental and human rights issues in the information society. This includes legal and technical aspects of data protection and data security as well as social and ethical aspects in the area of evaluation and impact assessment of new technologies.

We are at the forefront of recent developments such as big data and artificial intelligence, as well as network and information security, cybercrime, privacy by design, fintech, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), privacy enhancing technologies such as federated learning, and legal informatics. We also conduct research into the social implications of social control and deal with information ethics.

The results of our work are presented to the interested public in academic publications and lectures. We develop methodologically sound recommendations and decision-making aids for politics, administration and society.

Ongoing research projects

CERTIFIER aims to improve the inclusion of informal volunteers in crisis and disaster response through digital certification of competencies of volunteers.
It applies a holistic approach to the competence-based inclusion of volunteers. CERTIFIER utilizes digital innovations like Self Sovereign Services to document, validate, and verify volunteers’ competencies and coordinate them in the context of disaster response.
The Proof of Concept to be developed in the Project CERTIFIER includes interfaces to existing systems within volunteer management (e.g., “Team Österreich”), a support-bot to register, document and verify competencies, a competence-based overview of available volunteers for authorities and organizations, and the opportunity for administration of verified competencies by the volunteers themselves. CERTIFIER applies a user-centered approach, that assigns the control over data to the users.
CERTIFIER builds on previous findings and concepts, such as the “Freiwilligenpass” of the Austrian ministry of social affairs, and the kiras-funded project CIVolunteers. It includes demands of authorities and first relief organizations in the context of civil protection and provides volunteers with the opportunity for self-presentation and verification of their profiles.
To increase usability, user acceptance, and sustainability of the solution, CERTIFIER examines the framework conditions for the digital certification. According to the holistic approach, CERTIFIER pays special attention to the organizational, legal, ethical, and social requirements for a competence-based inclusion of volunteers. By doing so, it supports volunteer inclusion in the formal disaster response without friction and provides volunteers with the opportunity to administrate and employ their profile in non-disaster times.
Duration 01.11.2023 – 31.10.2025
Financed by Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH
Funding framework KIRAS, Kooperative F&E-Projekte, KIRAS Kooperative F&E-Projekte 2022
Project Lead AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Project partners NOUS Wissensmanagement GmbH
Research Institute AG & Co KG
Universität Linz
Johanniter Österreich Ausbildung und Forschung gemeinnützige GmbH
Disaster Competence Network Austria – Kompetenznetzwerk für Katastrophenprävention
Bundesministerium für Soziales, Gesundheit, Pflege und Konsumentenschutz
OSSBIG Austria (Open Source Software Business Innovation Group)
FAIR-AI addresses the research gap created by dealing with society-related risks in the application of AI. In particular, it focuses on the requirements of the upcoming European AI law and the obstacles to its implementation in the day-to-day development and management of AI-based projects and its AI law-compliant application. These obstacles are multi-faceted and arise from technical reasons (e.g., intrinsic technical risks of current machine learning such as data shifts in a non-stationary environment), technical and management challenges (e.g., the need for a highly skilled workforce, high initial costs, and project management-level risks), and socio-technical application-related factors (e.g., the need for risk awareness in the application of AI, including human factors such as cognitive biases in AI-assisted decision making). In this context, we consider the detection, monitoring, and, when possible, anticipation of risks at all levels of system development and application as a key factor. In this regard, FAIR-AI follows a methodology to disentangle these types of risks. Rather than demanding a general solution to this problem, our approach takes a bottom-up strategy by selecting typical pitfalls in a specific development and application context to create a collection of instructive, self-contained use cases, which are implemented in research modules, to illustrate the intrinsic risks. We go beyond the state of the art to explore ways of risk disentanglement, prediction, and their integration into a recommender system capable of providing active support and guidance.
Duration Start: 01/2024
Financed by Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH
Funding framework Call 2023
Project Lead AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Project partners Fachhochschule St. Pölten ForschungsGmbH
Brantner Österreich GmbH
Fabasoft R&D GmbH
DIBIT Messtechnik GmbH
onlim GmbH
Fachhochschule Technikum Wien
Research Institute AG & Co KG
Siemens Aktiengesellschaft Österreich
Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Fachhochschule Salzburg GmbH
JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien
eutema GmbH
Semantic Web Company GmbH
Women in Artificial Intelligence Austria (Frauen in Künstlicher Intelligenz Österreich), kurz: Women in AI Austria, WAI Austria
MD meinDienstplan GmbH
Austrian Standards International – Standardisierung und Innovation
Technische Universität Wien
Fachhochschule Burgenland GmbH
SCHEIBER Solutions GmbH
Software Competence Center Hagenberg GmbH
Virtual twins may be used as prognostic tools in precision medicine for personalised disease management. However, their training is a data hungry endeavour requiring big data to be integrated across diverse sources, which in turn is hampered by privacy legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation. Privacy-enhancing computational techniques, like federated learning, have recently emerged and hold the promise of enabling the effective use of big data while safeguarding sensitive patient information. In dAIbetes, we build on this technology to develop a federated health data platform for clinical application of the first internationally trained federated virtual twin models. Our primary medical objective is personalised prediction of treatment outcomes in type 2 diabetes, which afflicts 1 in 10 adults worldwide and causes annual expenditures of ca. 893 billion EUR. While healthcare providers are becoming increasingly effective at targeting diabetes risk factors (e.g. diet or exercises), no guidelines as to the expected outcome for a given treatment for a specific patient exist. To address this urgent, yet unmet need, the federated dAIbetes technology will harmonise existing data of ca. 800,000 type 2 diabetes patients of 4 cohorts distributed across the globe, and learn prognostic virtual twin models. Those will be validated for their clinical relevance and applied in clinical practice through a dedicated software. We aim to demonstrate that our personalised predictions have a prediction error that is at least 10% lower than that of population average based models. This federated virtual twin technology will enable personalised disease management and act as a blueprint for other complex diseases. Our consortium combines expertise in artificial intelligence, software development, privacy protection, cyber security, and diabetes and its treatment. Ultimately, we aim to resolve the antagonism of privacy and big data in cross-national diabetes research.
Website [coming soon]
Duration Start: 01/2024
Funding Europäische Kommission
Funding Framework Horizon Europe
Project Lead Universität Hamburg, Institute for Computational Systems Biology, Germany
Project Partners Research Institute AG & Co KG,
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, USA
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
Gnome Design Srl, Romania
tp21 GmbH, Germany
SBA Research Gemeinnützige GmbH, Austria
Universita Degli Studi Della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Italy
Universita Degli Studi Di Roma La Sapienza, Italy
Medizinische Universität Wien, Austria
Semmelweis Egyetem, Hungary
Joslin Diabetes Center, USA
Region Stockholm, Sweden
HYBRIS is a research project dealing with hybrid threats. Hybrid threats aim to influence the beliefs and attitudes of selected target groups through online coordinated operations in order to mobilise them to take action that can affect the physical and digital infrastructure. These threats cross the traditional competences of Austrian security agencies and require cooperation between them. Disinformation is an integral part of these threats and it is important for security agencies to respond appropriately by creating and disseminating counter-statements based on facts and trustworthy information. The processing of large amounts of data and the automation of information evaluation by AI systems are of great importance in this context. HYBRIS aims to structure unstructured data using Artificial Intelligence to provide a comprehensive overview of essential information.
Duration  Start: 01/2023
Financed by Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH
Funding framework Call 2021
Project lead
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Project partners Research Institute AG & Co KG,,
Universität für Bodenkultur Wien,
Artificial Researcher IT GmbH,
Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung

The project “GeoCrow” deals with how military forces can obtain highly topical and relevant information about a future operational area and how this information can be presented visually. Virtual globes such as Google Earth enable the exploration of topographical features, but local and current information relevant to operations cannot be directly displayed on maps. However, the Federal Ministry of Defence needs such information for missions abroad, where it may be difficult to obtain local information. Therefore, unstructured data on the internet is searched for valuable information, which is then semantically enriched and categorised to enable a positionally accurate representation. The results are visualised in a virtual reality environment to enable the emergency services to explore the operational area. The project will be tested and evaluated on the basis of two operational scenarios.

Duration 2023/02 – 2025/01
Financed by Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH
Funding framework FORTE, FORTE, FORTE – Kooperative F&E-Projekte 2021/2022
Project Lead
Technische Universität Graz
Project partners Research Institute AG & Co KG
Universität für Weiterbildung Krems
Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung
Technische Universität Wien
Semantic Web Company GmbH

In the EU, 1 in 35 women and 1 in 23 men will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer (CRC) in their life span (ca. 340,000 cases and 156,000 deaths in 2020) causing an annual economic burden of ca. 20 billion EUR. Identifying CRC early enables better treatment options. Screening usually entails a quantitative faecal immunological test (FIT) to predict the need of colonoscopy for the detection of colorectal lesions, an expensive and invasive procedure.

We aim to predict this need with specificity increased by >20 percentage points by using metagenomic microbiomes. We hypothesise that computational microbiome profiles extracted using artificial intelligence (Al) technology will allow for optimised personal therapy stratification. However, clinicians do not have access to broad microbiome data.

With Microb-AI-ome, we will develop a novel kind of computational stratification technology to enable microbiome-enhanced precision medicine of CRC. Metagenomic microbiome data to date is distributed over many national registries, and privacy regulations are hindering its effective integration. With Microb-AI-ome, we will overcome this barrier by establishing the first privacy-preserving federated big data network in CRC research.

We will integrate isolated, national databases into one international federated database network – rather than a cloud – covering metagenomes for over 5,000 individuals screened for CRC, and an expected total of 100,000 by 2026. Microb-AI-ome ensures that no sensitive patient data will leave the safe harbours of the local databases while still allowing for the classification of clinical CRC phenotypes, which we will demonstrate in clinical practice allowing regulatory bodies to adopt evidence-based guidelines.

Our consortium combines expertise in CRC and its treatment, microbiomics, artificial intelligence, software development, and privacy protection to close the gap between privacy and big data in international medical research.

Website [coming soon]
Duration Start: 04/2023
European Commission – Horizon Europe
Project Lead
Universität Hamburg, Institute for Computational Systems Biology, Germany
Projektpartner University College Cork, Department of Microbiology, Ireland
Gnome Design Srl, Romania
tp21 GmbH, Germany
Research Institute AG & Co KG, Austria
Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, MetaGenoPolis, France
Assistance Publique Hôpitaux De Paris, Hôpital Avicenne Service de Gastroentérologie, France
Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and National Cancer Screening Service, Department of Gastroenterology, Ireland

Only very few drugs show significant benefit across the general patient population due to imprecise targeting. As a consequence, often symptoms of a disease rather than its molecular cause are treated. REPO4EU aims to develop a platform for the data-driven recommendation of drug repurposing candidates.

REPO4EU’s goal is to build and grow an industry-level European online platform for validated precision drug repurposing with a global reach. This platform will operate as the go-to data hub for key information, training resources, matchmaking and cooperation in drug repurposing.

The platform will provide extensive expertise throughout the whole value chain in drug repurposing: from freedom-to-operate analysis to intellectual property protection and business development, health technology assessment, ethics and data governance considerations.

Duration Start: 2022/09
Financed by
European Commission
Funding Framework
Horizon 2021, Horizon Europe
Project Lead
University Maastricht
Project partners
show all partners

Research Institute AG & Co KG
Concentris Research Management GmbH
Universität Wien
Genesurge GmbH
Stalicla R&D S.L
Universität Hamburg
Technische Universität München
Invicol GmbH
Sciomics GmbH
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid
Dihesys Digital Health Systems GmbH
Mucke Hermann
Hander & Hjarna AB
Australo Interinnov Marketing Lab
Region Stockholm
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Universitätsklinikum Bonn
Arega Medical Nederland B.V.
Gnome Design Ltd
3D PharmXchange
Stichting Radboud universitair medisch centrum
Academisch Ziekenhuis Maastricht
ScienceOpen GmbH
BioLizard nv
Universidade do Porto
Machine2Learn B.V.
Universität Zürich

The goals of RAIDAR include research into methods and approaches for the quantitative collection and evaluation of the democracy-threatening content of hate on the net and radicalisation. The development of a data science platform for the semi-automated and versatilised analysis of large data sets from different sources. The research of approaches and methods for the automated classification of content with regard to paragraphs which, from a criminal law perspective, can be assigned to hate on the internet and radicalisation. The innovation of RAIDAR consists in the development and definition of indicators, metrics and methods for the quantitative and qualitative evaluation of online hate and radicalisation. The application of the research field LegalAI to the application area of online hate is considered a specific innovation.

Duration Start: 2021/10
Financed by FFG
Funding framework KIRAS
Project management AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Project partners Semantic Web Company GmbH
Research Institute AG & Co KG
Linzer Institut für qualitative Analysen
Bundesministerium für Justiz

The aim of the KIIS project is to create an intelligent system that provides prison staff with the best possible support in their daily work. To this end, a multimodal approach is being pursued that makes greater use of anonymizing sensor technologies.

Ensuring security and order in Austrian prisons is a core task of the Austrian penal system. In particular, protecting those directly involved in the prison system, i.e., detainees and staff, from physical and psychological violence is essential. In 2019, there was an average of one physical assault on staff in Austrian prisons per day and more than two reported criminal acts between prisoners per day.

The aim of the project is to investigate how new technologies from the field of artificial intelligence can be used to reduce the workload of prison staff and better protect both staff and detainees. To this end, an innovative multi-modal approach is being taken, applying insights from the emerging research area of Privacy Preserving Machine Learning (PPML). Already during the acquisition of sensor data, privacy preservation is ensured by increasingly relying on anonymizing sensor technologies. Specifically, 3D and thermal sensors, as well as “wearables” will be used; conventional RGB cameras will only be activated context-sensitively if the identification of persons is unavoidable for security reasons. The designed system is open; future extension by other modalities (such as audio or any IoT devices) is also enabled. The different data sources are merged into a consistent fusion model to capture complex behavioral patterns. In addition to critical events – such as health-related events – that require immediate intervention, the system also captures other events that may seem unremarkable when viewed in isolation. These include non-verbal interaction or physical contact. These are stored in an event graph and thus allow the analysis of (among other things, aggression-related) behavior patterns even over longer periods of time. Furthermore, this approach establishes a connection to the concept of “Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI)”, which is becoming increasingly important, and enables the development of an overall system that presents not only useful but also comprehensible conclusions to the end user. In addition, the technology in question will be subjected to a comprehensive impact assessment. This includes an empirical needs and risk analysis as well as a legal examination and critical ethical discussion of the admissibility of such applications under fundamental and human rights law.

Duration 10/2021 till 09/2023
Funded by
FFG / KIRAS, Project number: 879744
Project Lead
Computer Vision Lab, Technische Universität Wien, Institut 193/1
Project partners Bundesministerium für Justiz
CogVis Software und Consulting GmbH
PKE Holding AG
Research Institute AG & Co KG

There are over 7 000 known rare diseases. Between them they affect up to 36 million people in the EU alone, and they will affect 1 in 17 people during their life time. Many rare diseases are severe, long-lasting and affect multiple parts of the body. Yet getting a diagnosis takes an average of eight years, during which the patient will go through countless consultations, tests, misdiagnoses and ineffective treatments, even as their condition continues to worsen.

The aim of Screen4Care is to dramatically shorten the time it takes rare disease patients to get a diagnosis and treatment. It will do this through two avenues.

Firstly, the project will drive the genetic screening of newborn babies using genetic testing and advanced genomic technologies. The genetic testing of newborns makes sense because just over 70 % of rare diseases have a genetic cause, and a majority of rare diseases affect children.

Secondly, the project will design new artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to identify rare disease patients early on in their disease via electronic health records. The project will also develop a repository of AI ‘symptom checkers’ to help patients who are already waiting for a diagnosis. Both of these AI tools will speed up the diagnosis of older rare disease patients.

In addition, Screen4Care aims to establish a digital infrastructure and ecosystem to engage patients, parents of newborns and caregivers as equal decision-makers in the diagnosis process. The ecosystem will provide an open innovation platform, which allows for continuous data collection and information exchange, aiding the development of next-generation diagnostics and enabling physicians, patients and relatives to make informed decisions at an earlier stage.

The ambitious project brings together experts with a wide range of expertise, including genetics, data management, ethics, and cybersecurity as well as the rare disease patient community. Ultimately, the project hopes to have a real impact on patients’ lives by shortening the time taken to diagnose rare diseases. For patients, this will result in a better quality of life thanks to faster access to not only effective treatments, but advice on things like lifestyle adjustments, family planning and genetic counselling – important elements given the genetic nature of many rare diseases.

Duration 10/2021 to 09/2026
IMI/EFPIA in kind; Grant agreement number: 101034427
Project Lead
Pfizer Ltd, UK
Project partners Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Basel, Switzerland
Illumina Cambridge Limited, Great Abington, United Kingdom
Lysogene, Neuilly sur Seine, France
Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland
Novo Nordisk A/S, Bagsvaerd, Denmark
Pfizer Limited, Sandwich, Kent, United Kingdom
Proqr Therapeutics Nv, Leiden, NetherlandsSanofi-Aventis Recherche & Developpement, Chilly Mazarin, France
Takeda Pharmaceuticals International AG, Glattpark-Opfikon (Zurich), Switzerland
Bulgarian Association For Personalized Medicine, Sofia, Bulgaria
Charite – Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Consorzio Futuro In Ricerca, Ferrara, Italy
Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Fundacio Centre De Regulacio Genomica, Barcelona, Spain
Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft GMBH, Wien, Austria
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft Zur Forderung Der Wissenschaften Ev, Munich, Germany
Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu, Rome, Italy
S.A Research Gemeinnutzige GMBH, Wien, Austria
Syddansk Universitet, Odense, Denmark
Universita Degli Studi Di Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy
Universita Degli Studi Di Siena, Siena, Italy
Universitaet Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Universitaetsmedizin Goettingen – Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen – Stiftung Oeffentlichen Rechts, Goettingen, Germany
Universitatsklinikum Bonn, Bonn, Germany
Universitatsklinikum Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
University College Dublin, National University Of Ireland, Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Univerzita Karlova, Prague 1, Czech Republic
Uppsala Universitet, Uppsala, Sweden
Bulgarian Association For Promotion Of Education And Science, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Eurice European Research And Project Office GMBH, Saarbrücken, Germany
Findzebra Aps, Copenhagen NV, Denmark
Gnx Data Systems LTD, Tel Aviv, Israel
Research Institute AG & Co KG, Vienna, Austria
Sitem-Insel AG, Bern, Switzerland
Eurordis – European Organisation For Rare Diseases Association, Paris, France

Completed research projects

The digital revolution, in particular big data and artificial intelligence (AI), offer new opportunities to transform healthcare. However, it also harbors risks to the safety of sensitive clinical data stored in critical healthcare ICT infrastructure. In particular data exchange over the internet is perceived insurmountable posing a roadblock hampering big data based medical innovations. FeatureCloud’s transformative security-by-design concept will minimize the cyber-crime potential and enable first secure cross-border collaborative data mining endeavors FeatureCloud will be implemented into a software toolkit for substantially reducing cyber risks to healthcare infrastructure by employing the world-wide first privacy-byarchitecture approach, which has two key characteristics: (1) no sensitive data is communicated through any communication channels, and (2) data is not stored in one central point of attack. Federated machine learning (for privacy-preserving data mining) integrated with blockchain technology (for immutability and management of patient rights) will safely apply nextgeneration AI technology for medical purposes. Importantly, patients will be given effective means of revoking previously given consent at any time. Our ground-breaking new cloud-AI infrastructure only exchanges learned model representations which are anonymous by default. Collectively, our highly interdisciplinary consortium from IT to medicine covers all aspects of the value chain: assessment of cyber risks, legal considerations and international policies, development of federated AI technology coupled to blockchaining, app store and user interface design, implementation as certifiable prognostic medical devices, evaluation and translation into clinical practice, commercial exploitation, as well as dissemination and patient trust maximization. FeatureCloud’s goals are bold, necessary, achievable, and paving the way for a socially agreeable big data era of the Medicine 4.0 age.

Runtime Since 2019/01
Financed by European Commission
Funding framework Horizon 2020
Project management Technische Universität München
Project partners Research Institute AG & Co KG
Phillips Universität Marburg
Medizinische Universität Graz
Syddansk Universitet
SBA Research
Universiteit Maastricht
Concentris Research Management GmbH
Gnome Design
The goal of the KRYPTOMONITOR project is to develop generic cryptoasset analysis methods that support the analysis of smart contracts and off-chain transactions in addition to native cryptocurrency transactions.

The resulting tools are intended to enable effective law enforcement through new forensic analysis techniques and provide a fact-based decision-making basis for assessing potential risks and enforcing regulatory measures.

Orthogonally, legal and regulatory questions related to tokens will be answered, standards for effective data exchange will be specified, and qualification standards will be set through training measures.

Runtime since October 2020
Financed by FFG
Funding framework KIRAS
Project management
Project partners Research Institute AG & Co KG
defalsif-AI addresses the problem of disinformation – colloquially “fake news” – in connection with attacks on  democracy or the public’s trust in democracy.

The primary project outcome is the demonstration of a proof-of-concept (PoC) for the analysis of digital content on the Internet, which enables an initial assessment of text, images, video and audio for credibility/authenticity and thus lays the groundwork for further recommendations for action. Screening and monitoring tools – which record topics, trends, accumulations or anomalies in the dissemination of information on the Internet in core government processes – are included. Individual media objects, as well as entire web pages on the surface web (e.g., news sites) and social media (e.g., Twitter) will be considered.

The implementation will be subject to an interdisciplinary evaluation among the stakeholders involved in the project. Further research will focus on the delivery and generation of multimodal training and testing data.

From the legal, humanities and social sciences side, a comprehensive analysis of the practical requirements as well as an assessment of potential risks and socio-political implications will be carried out.

Runtime since October 2020
Financed by FFG
Funding framework KIRAS
Project management AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Project partners Research Institute AG & Co KG
Due to the unstable political situation in crisis areas in the Middle East and Northern Africa, further migration movements to Europe are to be expected. In order to be able to assess these developments in the best possible way, it is necessary for the user to have new methods for monitoring, early detection and trend analysis of migration movements, based on the fusion of information from satellite images, open sources and social media from the North African region. The objectives are i) satellite image analysis, for the identification of groups of people and vehicles, ii) analysis of heterogeneous data sources from open source and social media, iii) fusion of information from different locations and times for the trend analysis of migration flows and for easy visualization. These are mainly achieved by means of new deep learning methods, taking into account the legal and ethical framework.
Runtime since January 2019
Financed by FFG
Funding framework KIRAS
Project management AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Project partners Research Institute AG & Co KG
Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik
International Centre for Migration Policy Development
Bundesministerium für Inneres – BM.I
Donau-Universität Krems
Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung
Two current developments require new forensic methods and solutions in order to continue to track the digital trail of money in investigations: the establishment of cashless societies, the increasing importance of virtual currencies of the post-Bitcoin era (e.g.: Monero, Zcash) and the significant increase in illegal activities in Darknet marketplaces.
The goal of the VIRTCRIME project is therefore to develop new algorithms and solution methods for the prosecution of criminal transactions in virtual currency systems of the post-Bitcoin era, taking into account illegitimate activities in Darknet marketplaces. The resulting tools will be based on the results of previous projects (e.g. BITCRIME) and can thus be used by stakeholders in an early project phase and validated in the context of ongoing investigations. Orthogonally to this, new criminological procedures and prosecution approaches will be developed and also the legal prerequisites and consequences will be fundamentally researched.
Runtime January 2018 till July 2020
Financed by FFG
Funding framework KIRAS
Project management
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Project partners Research Institute
Universität Innsbruck
Xylem – Science and Technology Management GmbH
VICESSE – Vienna Centre for Societal Security
The Internet of Things (IoT) is driven by technological opportunism, which is characterized by ubiquitous connectivity and makes the creation of meaningful technology for people a major challenge. While some applications successfully create added value for people, businesses and society, others remind us that not everything that is possible should be realized. COMPASS aims to provide a guiding compass for the vast space of possibilities opened up by IoT to ensure the development of innovative applications that are valuable, meaningful, empowering and trustworthy, maximizing their benefits and reflecting responsible innovation. This will provide a tool to assist enterprises in developing value-driven technology and policy makers in designing appropriate regulatory frameworks, and to help research identify knowledge gaps and define future agendas accordingly. IoT as a component of the Next Generation Internet (NGI) is particularly relevant in this context, as the opportunities and problems of today’s Internet are further intensified by the growing distribution and widespread availability of IoT systems.
Runtime October 2018 till November 2019
Financed by FFG
Funding framework IKT der Zukunft
Project management AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Project partners Research Institute
Österreichische Computer Gesellschaft (OCG)
Universität Wien
Technische Universität Wien
With the help of FLORIDA, a flexible, semi-automated system is to be created which will support the authorities responsible for public security administration, such as the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counter-Terrorism (BM.I.BVT), in investigating, providing evidence and clarifying the situation following attacks. In the course of the project, RI is analysing the legal framework with the aim of complying with fundamental rights and constitutional barriers through the design as well as through technical and organisational accompanying measures.
Runtime October 2016 till February 2019
Financed by FFG
Funding framework KIRAS
Project management AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Project partners Research Institute
PKE Electronics AG
Linzer Institut für qualitative Analysen
Bundesministerium für Inneres
The rapidly advancing digitalization of all areas of life and business also brings with it new threat scenarios. In this situation, information exchange, knowledge building and, above all, collaboration are the best means of keeping pace, and dedicated “Computer Emergency Response Teams” (CERTs) or “Computer Security Incident Response Teams” (CSIRTs) have a special role to play.
An essential prerequisite for a well-functioning CERT is a staff qualified for the tasks. In addition to appropriate technical personnel (for the core tasks of the CERT), staff with legal competence and PR specialists are also important to increase the visibility of the CERT. In addition to technical competence, these personnel must also have management and leadership skills to coordinate in case of incidents. This increases personnel costs, as experienced and resilient personnel is usually required.
Since there is currently hardly any practical experience regarding the design of such an SME CERT, a feasibility study should be carried out to examine the possible applications, tasks, resource requirements and relationship to existing WKO initiatives.
The present study was able to show that an SME CERT can both cover a substantial need and can be integrated into the existing CERT landscape. The representative survey of 400 companies conducted as part of the study confirmed this and also showed that the WKO would be widely accepted as a provider of such a CERT.
The survey also showed that SMEs generally commission an external service provider to handle IT incidents. This confirmed the assumption that the addressing of IT specialists by an SME CERT would in turn indirectly reach SMEs. The recommendation that was then developed and confirmed by interviews is therefore that the SME CERT should address its tasks in the area of information and awareness to all SMEs via broadly based communication channels. However, direct support in the event of IT incidents should be reserved for IT and IT security service providers.
Runtime September 2017 till December 2017
Financed by Wirtschaftskammer Österreich
Funding framework Machbarkeitsstudie
Project management REPUCO Unternehmensberatung GmbH
Project partners Donau Universität Krems, Zentrum für infrastrukturelle Sicherheit
SBA Research GmbH GmbH
REPUCO Unternehmensberatung GmbH
Research Institute
INTEGRAL Markt und Meinungsforschung
Regina Senk, Medien- und Kommunikationsexpertin

This study deals with the issue of network blocking by Internet access providers for the purpose of preventing copyright infringement on the Internet. The work focuses on the idea of establishing a central “clearing agency” to ensure a balance of interests between copyright on the one hand and freedom of information and freedom of opinion on the other. The aim is to evaluate the concept of a “clearing agency” and to formulate the fundamental conditions of such an institution. The study postulates the principle of “clearing rather than blocking” and therefore considers Internet blocking by the access provider as the ultima ratio. Accordingly, as a prerequisite for an Internet blockage, at least the (failed) attempt to hold the content provider or the host provider responsible must be proven.

Runtime November 2016 till December 2016
Financed by ISPA
Funding framework ISPA
Project management Research Institute
Project partners Research Institute

The concept of HEAT (working title ‘Catalogue of actions for the evaluation of anti-terror laws’) was based on the third demand of the citizens’ initiative, which was organized in preparation for the “collective challenges” to data retention organized by the AKVorrat. The demand, which was supported by 106,067 people, called for a comprehensive evaluation of all anti-terror measures (laws) in Austria in terms of an “overall accounting” of all surveillance powers. HEAT provided the first steps of such an overall evaluation with the elaboration of the scope of the evaluation, the methods as well as the criteria and practically represented the continuation of the initiative after the successes in the fight against data retention. This “specification” is intended to help governmental and civil organizations to identify excessive and thus potentially unconstitutional surveillance powers, so that debates on surveillance laws can take place in a much more structured and factual manner in the future. Detailed planning and formalities for the project were carried out in fiscal year 2014. The start of the first work package, which consists of the formal survey of the legal situation, was also in fiscal year 2014. Research Institute was responsible for all legal issues as well as for the interdisciplinary consolidation of the legal, technical and social science aspects.

Link: HEAT – Handbook for the Evaluation of Anti-Terror Laws in Austria.

Runtime November 2014 – August 2016
Financed by AK Vorrat, IPA
Funding framework “NetIdee”-Förderung
Project management Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung (
Project partners Research Institute

The KIRAS funded study CERT-Komm I dealt with the framework conditions of CERTs and identified those factors on which a stable and successful communication between CERTs depends. Based on these results, different modelling approaches and technical possibilities were examined.
Based on the results of the CERT-Comm I study, the aim of the present project CERT-Comm II is to develop a communication model for CERTs among each other and with private sector partners. This involves joint information and knowledge management in the context of defence against typical threat scenarios that are classified as particularly dangerous. Two representative use cases were therefore selected: botnet combat and the defence against APT attacks (Advanced Persistent Threats). These examples are used to demonstrate how the developed communication model works. In order to ensure that the communication model also fulfils the necessary requirements with regard to confidence building, endogenous and exogenous risk factors, as well as general conditions for establishing cooperation, qualitative factors will be operationalised quantitatively by means of surveys in the course of the project.

Runtime January 2015 till June 2018
Financed by FFG
Funding framework Kiras
Project management SBA Research
Project partners
Research Institute
Donau Universität Krems
Universität Wien
IKARUS Security Software

The aim of the bilateral cooperation project with Germany is to develop different interlocking concepts and technologies of effective prevention and intervention against human trafficking from a multidisciplinary and inter-institutional perspective in order to make them available for training, intervention and conceptual purposes in the fight against human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, with a view to social-space-oriented community and prevention planning, specialised counselling centre work and police investigations. In this project, Research Institute as a partner takes on research tasks in connection with legal issues, on the one hand on trafficking in human beings with regard to the Austrian legal situation, on the other hand on all  questions of data protection as well as the technological design of assistance instruments within the framework of the requirements of fundamental rights.

Runtime October 2014 till September 2017
Financed by FFG
Funding framework KIRAS
Project management Donau Universität Krems
Project partners
Research Institute
Österreichisches Innenminsterium (BM.I)
Deutsches Innenministerium
Universität Tübingen
Universität Vechta

There is often a strong discrepancy between the objective security situation and the subjective feeling of security. This discrepancy is based less on objective risks than on subjectively and situatively perceived uncertainties, the spatio-temporal distribution of which can be analysed. In contrast to conventional surveys, the experience of security can now be captured cost-effectively and at the same time located in space and time by using mobile communication devices (smartphones).

The aim of the project is to create a corresponding software application for smartphones (TOPOS-App), with which the personal feelings of the users on site as well as their socio-demographic key data can be collected. The TOPOS project is being carried out in close cooperation with the Wels municipal police command and will be integrated into their current project activities.

The results of the evaluation (among other things in the form of visual security situation pictures) will form the basis for future-oriented measures and necessary improvements to increase the general feeling of security.

Runtime October 2013 till September 2014
Financed by FFG
Funding framework KIRAS
Project management Institut für Rechts- und Kriminalsoziologie (IRKS)
Project partners Stadtpolizeikommando Wels
SYNE Marketing & Consulting GmbH
queraum. kultur- und sozialforschung | Giedenbacher Stadler-Vida OG
Subcontracted partner Research Institute

In the course of the two EU-funded predecessor projects ILECUs I and II, a network of so-called  International Law Enforcement Coordination Units (ILECUs) was established in the countries of the Western Balkans under the leadership of the Austrian Federal Criminal Police Office (“BK”). These units serve as central coordination and communication hubs between various institutions of national and international law enforcement. This will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of international police cooperation in the fight against cross-border organised crime. Within the framework of the projects, the ILECUs were linked to form an active network through regular meetings and the creation of a joint training platform, which also resulted in an overall increase in police and judicial cooperation between the target countries.

Within the framework of ILECUs III, now under the direction of the Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights (BIM), the aspect of data protection has for the first time become more important. On the basis of existing regulations (EU, CoE, Interpol Agreement), experts from the BIM and Research Institute are working out an overview of the legal data protection framework with regard to international police cooperation and to what extent this legal framework is to be taken into account in the ILECUs strategy. By preparing a guide on the topic of “data protection” in the context of victim protection and human trafficking and by conducting data protection training modules, the project participants from the target countries will be sensitized to the important topic of data protection and provided with the necessary know-how.

Runtime February 2013 till April 2015
Financed by Austrian Development Agency (ADA)
Funding framework Österreichische Entwicklungszusammenarbeit (OEZA)
Project management Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Menschenrechte
Project partners Research Institute
Österreichisches Bundeskriminalamt (.BK)

Strengthening people’s trust in (secure) IT systems is one of the key issues of the information society of the present and near future. The subjective and objectively verifiable need for “security” in dealing with ICT has never been greater than today, and the trend is rising. This applies to all areas of life, both business and private. The due Technology Roadmap study responds to the social concern to strengthen trust in information technology in the long term by surveying the relevant technological developments, the foreseeable and presumed trends for the next ten years and the strategies specifically focused on trust and IT security. The roadmap study is intended to serve as a reference for the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) for the elaboration of the research funding priorities in the “ICT of the Future” programme.

Runtime September 2014 till February 2016
Financed by FFG/BMVIT
Funding framework IKT der Zukunft
Project management IDC Central Europe
Project partners Research Institute
FH St. Pölten
Universität Wien
Österreichische Computer Gesellschaft (OCG)

Within the framework of an EU project aimed at a more effective implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (GRC) at national level, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights is developing a training concept and a corresponding manual for judges, lawyers and other representatives of the legal professions. The handbook and the trainings aim at making the rights guaranteed by the Charter more tangible for the national scope of application and thereby increasing their relevance in legal practice. Together with Doris Obereder, a judge in the Fundamental Rights Section of the Austrian Judges’ Association, Christof Tschohl conducted the training courses for judges of the courts of first instance and the highest courts as well as representatives of the senior public prosecutors’ offices using the “tandem” method.

Runtime 2014 till February 2015
Financed by EU-Commission
Funding framework
Project management Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Menschenrechte
Project partners Research Institute

Within the framework of the project – based on a secure identity – a concept for the realization of an e-health app on a smartphone is to be created. Based on the existing ID infrastructure of the e-card (GINA boxes, o-card, etc.), a demonstrator app will be used to show that it is possible to transfer the functionalities of the e-card to the smartphone in a secure and user-friendly way, and in the best case to map additional use cases beyond the current possibilities of the e-card. RI acts as subcontractor and analyses the legal framework.

Runtime November 2015 till November 2017
Financed by FFG
Funding framework KIRAS
Project management Research Industrial Systems Engineering (RISE)
Project partners Österreichische Staatsdruckerei GmbH
Donau-Universität Krems
Österreichische Ärztekammer

Possible failures and malfunctions of information and communication technologies (ICT) can quickly have considerable negative consequences, especially in the area of critical infrastructure, and can assume nationally relevant dimensions. In the SCUDO project, an exercise process tailored and optimised for Austrian companies is being tested, with which crisis management can be simulated and the suitability of corresponding international standards can be checked. One of the main objectives of the SCUDO project is the planning and execution of several emergency exercise scenarios with corporate partners from the critical infrastructure.

As an associated partner, the Research Institute is not formally involved in the project, but there is a connection through staffing and / or the assumption of certain functions, e.g. advisory board.

Runtime December 2012 till August 2014
Financed by FFG
Funding framework KIRAS
Project management Thales Austria GmbH
Project partners SBA Research GmbH Internet Verwaltungs- und Betriebsgesellschaft m. b. H.
Zentraler Informatikdienst der Universität Wien (ZID)
Universität Wien, Arbeitsgruppe Rechtsinformatik
Infraprotect GmbH
REPUCO Unternehmensberatung GmbH
Bundesministerium für Inneres
Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung und Sport