OeAW members are engaged in the activities of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS); an academy that aims at advancing science systems in developing countries. In 2015, the OeAW hosted the annual conference of TWAS with about 300 scholars from 58 states, especially from developing and emerging countries.
The largest international science conference of TWAS, held in a different location each year, took place at the OeAW from 18–21 November 2015. The emphasis was on scientific exchange between the northern and southern hemisphere and the development of bilateral cooperation.
Over 70 specialist presentations provided insights into current research in cultural studies and the social sciences, medicine, chemistry, biology, physics and several other scientific disciplines. The presentations also served as input for in-depth discussions on issues such as sustainability and innovative research policy, Austria as a site of research and technology and its potential role as a model for other regions, new instruments of research and scientific contributions to global food security.
The conference in Vienna was initiated by Chunli Bai, the president of TWAS and the Chinese Academy of Sciences and by Anton Zeilinger, president of the OeAW.
TWAS is a global science academy and an UNESCO cooperation partner and is one of the most important networking platforms consisting of renowned scholars. It is primarily dedicated to the worldwide promotion of research and scientific promotion and consists of over 1,100 members from 90 countries selected on the basis of scientific excellence, 85 per cent of whom are from developing and emerging countries. Its members include a total of 16 Nobel laureates.