During the 1950s, the Graz universities urgently needed major investment in large-scale scientific equipment, such as mainframe computers, nuclear reactors and electron microscopes. Since the federal government was not able to provide this essential but expensive equipment, the provincial government of Styria stepped into the breach – under the condition that the research was to be carried out via a separate legal entity in close cooperation with the universities. This led to the establishment of four associations (Verein zur Förderung der Elektronenmikroskopie, Rechenzentrum, Reaktorinstitut, Institut für Tieftemperaturforschung), which provided the foundation for the modern research organisation now known as JOANNEUM RESEARCH.
In the late 1960s these four associations were merged into one umbrella association, Forschungszentrum Graz, which was renamed Forschungsgesellschaft Joanneum in 1984. During this period, the range of research areas covered was continuously extended by establishing additional institutes.
The organisational structure of an association, however, proved inadequate for properly administering and managing the increasing number of institutes. As a result of economic problems, the association was turned into the limited liability company Forschungsgesellschaft Joanneum GmbH in 1987 and one year later adopted its current name, JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH.
Our company derives its name from Archduke John (1782-1859), who was deeply interested in the natural sciences, engineering and the practical aspects of life. He founded among others, the Styrian provincial museum Landesmuseum Joanneum, the University of Leoben and Graz University of Technology. His enquiring mind, his persistence and his close links to Styria make him the ideal patron of this modern Styrian research enterprise. To this day, JOANNEUM RESEARCH remains committed to the Archduke's principle of combining science with practice.