FOKUS – Institute for Cultural- and Media Economics was founded in 1997 in order to serve the three purposes: first to establish a platform for the exchange of ideas, second the co-ordination of new research projects and third, to serve as a nexus between academia, the arts, public administration and governments. The mission of FOKUS is to provide a forum for presentations and discussions of current research and developments in cultural economics and economics of copyright. During the past twenty years FOKUS organized numerous international symposia, workshops and debate series. These events brought together specialists from within Austria and from abroad to discuss specific aspects of cultural policy. The symposia intended to stimulate the exchange of ideas between active participants as well as to provide a constructive contribution to the public discourse.
In 2001, the FOKUS project line was installed as a framework for research activities and the participation in artistic projects. The first project carried out within this new structure was “de-fine arts. The Uses of Definitions in Cultural Economics” and was followed by many co-operations with artistic projects. The most recent one is the Citizen Artist Incubator – CAI, a EU-funded project under the Creative Europe programme. Currently FOKUS carries out a report on digitalization of media and culture in the EU commissioned by the Ministry for Art and Culture.