The Austrian Academy of Sciences (in German Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften) is a legal entity under the special protection of the Republic of Austria.
According to the statutes of the Academy its mission is to promote the sciences and humanities in every respect and in every field, particularly in fundamental research. In 2009, the Austrian Academy of Sciences was ranked 82nd among the 300 topmost research institutions in the world, based on its internet presence, by Webometrics Ranking of World Research Centers.
The Academy of Sciences has established over 25 institutions. In 2012, a reorganization prompted the outsourcing of various institutions to Universities as well as mergers.
In the field of human science, there are the Institute for the Study of Ancient Culture which is well-known for the analysis of excavation results in Carnuntum and Ephesos, as well as the Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research, the Institute of Culture Studies and Theatre History and others.
The biggest facilities however focus on natural science: The Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (which is operated in cooperation with Boehringer Ingelheim), the Gregor Mendel Institute, the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, the Acoustics Research Institute and the Space Research Institute.