BOKU has made a deliberate effort not to define its own range of competencies along strict disciplinary lines. The alternative path that we have chosen is very much a bottom-up approach and is organised according to theme. The core areas of research and research strengths at BOKU, as well as the underlying third-party strategies, are represented using six competence areas. BOKU’s fields of work can be consolidated into three key focuses that also represent central societal challenges (focuses pursuant to Section 13 of the Universities Act (Universitätsgesetz, UG) 2002): 

  • Protecting habitat and quality of life 
  • Managing natural resources and the environment 
  • Protecting food and health

Working within the overall competence areas defined as strategic elements of the development plan, the choice of which research areas to pursue is a continuous bottom-up process that all researchers at BOKU contribute towards as part of their research project proposals. This means that BOKU expressly welcomes innovative new approaches to research. Disciplinary excellence should contribute towards inter- and transdisciplinary approaches. The goal of BOKU is to combine research excellence where it is understood as hypothesis-driven, mainly knowledge-oriented foundational research with applied (i.e. problem and solution-oriented) research. As well as tackling crises (e.g. loss of biodiversity, climate change), this also includes solutions for global challenges (e.g. sustainable development, efficient use of resources, One Health).