20 Years B&C Private Foundation

Fostering Entrepreneurship in Austria

2021 Houska Prize

Submission open from 1 January to 31 March 2021

The B&C Private Foundation

The purpose of the B&C Private Foundation is to foster entrepreneurship in Austria. All of the decisions taken by the B&C Group are weighed against this overarching goal.

The Austrian Private Foundations Act (Privatstiftungsgesetz, PSG) enacted in 1993, provides the legal basis for setting up private foundations in Austria. The legislature’s primary goals for the act were as follows:

      • Keeping Austrian wealth in the country
      • Preventing estates from being broken up
      • Creating incentives for investment of foreign wealth in Austria
      • Securing jobs in Austria

 

In line with the legislature's intentions, the B&C Private Foundation offers long-term ownership and secure development opportunities for Austrian industrial companies in which it holds or acquires direct or indirect investments.

This approach allows the B&C Group to make a significant contribution to the long-term commercial success of its core investments and, in turn, play an important role in fostering the development of Austria as a location for industry, while also helping to retain the future of corporate headquarters in the country – irrespective of any changes in ownership and other third party business or political interests.

Duties of the B&C Private Foundation

Fostering entrepreneurship in Austria

The B&C Private Foundation’s core objective is to foster entrepreneurship in Austria. This primarily takes the form of long-term investments in Austrian industrial companies. The B&C Private Foundation exercises its function as a core shareholder through its subsidiaries.

They provide their core investments with planning security at shareholder level, while exercising shareholder rights responsibly and in the interests of the respective companies. The subsidiaries also support the members they nominate to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the supervisory boards.

The B&C Private Foundation fosters Austria’s development as a business location through numerous initiatives aimed at improving the commercial and legal framework, with a specific focus on the Houska Prize, law and economics, endowed professorships and raising economic literacy.

 

Funding activities

Improving conditions for business

Houska Prize: awarded annually by the B&C Private Foundation, the Houska Prize is given in recognition of outstanding business-related research projects. With a total prize money of EUR 500,000 shared between the winners, the Houska Prize is Austria’s largest private research award.

Law and economics: the B&C Private Foundation has been a supporter of the annual Wiener Unternehmensrechtstag, an event that focuses on current business and capital market developments, since 2012.

Endowed professorships: the B&C established two endowed professorships to promote innovative research at life science universities in Austria: Autonomous Systems at TU Wien, partnered by TTTech, and Non-Ferrous Metallurgy at the University of Leoben, partnered by AMAG.

Economic literacy: following the establishment of the MEGA Bildungsstiftung (MEGA Foundation for Education) in partnership with the Berndorf Private Foundation, the B&C Private Foundation has sharpened its focus on fostering economic literacy with the specific aim of enhancing general business know-how and life skills among young people in Austria.

Beneficiaries

Permanent beneficiaries are R2B MEGA Bildungs-Privatstiftung (MEGA Foundation for Education) and Commitment Privatstiftung. Furthermore, one-off benefits are granted to specific projects and initiatives on an ongoing basis, especially to the winners of the annual Houska Prize.

In pursuing B&C Private Foundation’s purpose, the beneficiary is the Austrian general public insofar as anyone could be concerned by the fostering of Austrian entrepreneurship, therefore in particular Austrian enterprises and entrepreneurs.