Overview of research at IIASA

The IIASA mission is to provide scientific guidance to policymakers by finding solutions to global problems through applied systems analysis in order to improve human wellbeing and protect the environment. 

Figure 1. The IIASA research framework

IIASA has a long and successful history of developing systems-based, integrated solutions and policy advice for some of the world’s most pressing problems, including energy resources, climate change, environmental pollution, land use and sustainable development, risk and resilience, and population growth. These multiple dimensions require a unique approach that can link diverse complex systems. The IIASA research framework, discussed in detail in the Research Plan 2016-2020, shows how the institute can provide the holistic, systems analysis approach that is needed (Figure 1).  

The previous IIASA research framework was divided into problem areas (e.g., energy and climate) and their drivers (e.g., economic and population growth) and impacts (e.g., environmental degradation). However, problems, drivers, and impacts are closely related elements of systems analysis, and advances in scientific understanding have shown that integrating drivers and impacts can give insights into innovative new solutions.

This framework provides both the foundation for the institute’s research direction over the next five years and the necessary flexibility to modify IIASA activities to accommodate changing scientific or policy priorities. 

IIASA impact

Research Programs

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Last edited: 22 June 2017


Kaboré I, Moog O, Ouéda A, Sendzimir J, Ouédraogo R, Guenda W, & Melcher AH (2018). Developing reference criteria for the ecological status of West African rivers. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 190 (1) DOI:10.1007/s10661-017-6360-1.

Zhang J, Balkovic J, Azevedo L, Skalsky R, Bouwman AF, Xu G, Wang J, Xu M, et al. (2018). Analyzing and modelling the effect of long-term fertilizer management on crop yield and soil organic carbon in China. Science of the Total Environment 627: 361-372. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.01.090.

Nurmi T, Parvinen K, & Selonen V (2018). Joint evolution of dispersal propensity and site selection in structured metapopulation models. Journal of Theoretical Biology 444: 50-72. DOI:10.1016/j.jtbi.2018.02.011.

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313