Dr Gerald Bast (*1955) is president of the University of Applied Arts Vienna since 2000. After Studies in law and economics he earned a Doctorate in Law, worked at the Federal Ministry of Higher Education and at Ludwig Boltzmann Research Society. He is member of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences, and editor-in-chief of the book series ”Art, Research, Innovation and Society”. As university president he initiated various new programs focusing on cross-disciplinary teaching and research, like “Social Design – Arts as Urban Innovation”, “TransArts“, “Art and Science”, “Cross-disciplinary Strategies – Applied Studies in Art, Science, Philosophy and Global Challenges” and a PhD program in artistic research. He founded the “Angewandte Innovation Lab” at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, accentuating the role of the arts in innovation processes by facilitating cross-disciplinary intellectual and aesthetic intercommunication between art, science & technology, economics and politics, and he initiated an annual 2-million-€ grant program for artistic research at the Austrian Science Fund.
He published in the fields of university law, university management as well as educational and cultural policy, including the future of education in the Digital Age. He has been lecturing on the role of art-based knowledge for societal and economic innovation, and on the future of Higher, among them Johns Hopkins University Washington D.C., Columbia University New York City, Tsing Hua University Beijing, TongJi University Shanghai, University of Auckland, City University Hong Kong, University of the Arts Utrecht, Lakit Kala Akademi New Delhi, the European Culture Forum Brussels, University of Porto and NTU Singapore.