Department of Innovation and Digitalisation in Law

The Department for Innovation and Digitization in Law is part of the Faculty of Law at the University of Vienna, the oldest and largest faculty of law in the German-speaking world. The University of Vienna is strong in research and enjoys high international visibility (rank 85 in the Times Higher Education Ranking for Law in 2021 ). Law has been taught here for more than six centuries. Today, the Faculty of Law comprises more than 10,000 students and about 600 employees. The Department for Innovation and Digitization in Law was founded in October 2017 to embrace the opportunities and meet the challenges posed by the digital transformation. Currently (October 2020) the Department consists of about 35 researchers from all over the world and is still growing. In particular, we expect that the two full professors who are currently heading the Department (Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Forgó and Prof. Dr. Christiane Wendehorst, LL.M.) will soon be joined by two additional full professors and their research teams. We conduct research on all aspects of information technology from a legal and interdisciplinary perspective. A focus is on areas such as data protection and data law in general, on legal issues related to artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, the platform economy, e-commerce, and consumer protection. Most of the topics are dealt with from a European and/or comparative perspective. The department is involved in a number of research collaborations with world-renowned institutions, such as the European Law Institute, the American Law Institute, and the Austrian Academy of Sciences. It is a partner in more than ten major European research projects and manages grants amounting to several million Euro in this context. The heads of the Department serve on numerous advisory bodies, such as the Austrian Data Protection Council, the Austrian Bioethics Commission, or the Data Ethics Commission of the German Federal Government. They advise, among others, the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the federal governments and parliaments in Austria and Germany.

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