IIASA Research Projects

The more than 200 scientists and other experts at IIASA work in partnerships with research institutions around the globe on scores of research projects, many of which are listed here:

Age and Cohort Change (ACC)

The ACC project studies age, cohort and international variation in workers' productivity, and estimates and projects changes in religiosity by demographic characteristics in all countries in the world. More

Advanced Model Development and Validation for Improved Analysis of Costs and Impacts of Mitigation Policies (ADVANCE)

ADVANCE aims at evaluating and improving integrated assessment models that are used for developing strategies to deal with climate change mitigation and other global challenges. The improved models will be applied to an assessment of long-term EU climate policy in a global context, and the newly developed methods and datasets will be disseminated as open access resources. More

Assessing Climate Change Impacts on China’s Agro-Ecosystem

Researchers are creating a multi-scale agro-ecosystem model by combining two leading crop models, allowing for an analysis of both farm-level and regional agricultural dynamics that will assist in developing strategies to climate change-induced changes to China’s agriculture. More

Assessment of Climate Change Mitigation Pathways (AMPERE)

AMPERE researchers are using state-of-the art models to develop long-term strategies and scenarios to find economically feasible ways to lessen the global impact of climate change. More

Analyzing the Energy Dimensions of Poverty

The ENE Program is analyzing how improving access to modern energy carriers and technologies in developing countries can potentially improve human health and well-being. More

Livestock Production Scenarios (AnimalChange)

AnimalChange creates scenarios that project 20 and 40 years into the future to allow policymakers to see what impact climate change is likely to have on livestock production in Europe, Northern and sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. More

Austrian Panel on Climate Change (APCC)

An in-depth assessment of the effects of climate change on Austria is underway and should support mitigation and adaptation strategies for the future. More

Achieving Low Carbon Economies (Attainability)

By identifying which barriers to achieving deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can be removed by changing policies and economic incentives, the Attainability Project is pinpointing the best short- and long-term responses available to policymakers. More

Earth Observation in the Balkans (BalkanGEONet)

BalkanGEONet is designed to strengthen existing Earth Observation research and participation among the Balkan countries and encourage those countries not yet involved to join the GEO initiative. More


The EU-funded BESTGRID project works towards modernizing and expanding the current European electricity grid for the integration of a growing share of electricity from renewable sources. More

Carbo Extreme: Extreme Weather Impacts on Carbon Sinks 

European ecosystems help stabilize the atmosphere by soaking up significant amounts of the carbon in fossil fuel emissions, but researchers are concerned that the effectiveness of those carbon sinks might be diminished by expected increases in extreme weather. More


The CATSEI-project (acronym for the above title) studies the impacts of China’s vigorous agricultural transition, on the country itself, as well on its trading partners, the EU in particular. It follows a quantitative approach, supplemented by qualitative investigations. The quantitative research takes as point of departure the Chinagro-I policy simulation model developed in the earlier CHINAGRO project. More

Re-engineering Cities for Good (CFG)

The project examines how a city’s infrastructure can be re-engineered to restore the natural ecosystem services that existed on the land before the city was built. More

Climate Change and Natural Disasters (CHANGES)

Global warming is expected to alter natural disaster patterns in Europe, and CHANGES researchers are modeling those anticipated changes to assist emergency preparedness officials and to train young scientists in the risk management skills needed to respond to future disasters. More

Development, Climate Change and Clumsiness

Policy disputes over the most effective way to use development aid to cope with climate change are best resolved with solutions that are clumsy, not elegant. More

Policy Instruments for Decarbonizing Energy (Climate Governance)

The Climate Governance project compares the potential of alternative policy instruments at national and regional scales to decarbonize the world's energy supply. More

Impact of European Union Consumption on Deforestation

The EU is a major importer of food and timber products from countries with significant deforestation rates, and these European trade and consumption patterns may cause deforestation in distant lands. More

Artificial World for Forecasting (Dream Valley)

The Project develops a cross-disciplinary modeling and assessment framework. It consists of two parts: Dream Valley simulator and A3 framework. The Dream Valley simulator simulates complex dynamical systems, while the A3 framework implements and tests methods for forecasting their future behaviors.  More

European Consortium for Modelling of Air Pollution and Climate Strategies (EC4MACS)

EC4MACS provides scientific and economic analyses of policies in support of Europe’s Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution and the European Climate Change Programme in order to better understand how to further reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. More

Impacts of Short-Lived Air Pollutants (ECLIPSE)

ECLIPSE is conducting research to increase knowledge about emissions of ozone and aerosols, which act as short-lived climate forcers, and identify concrete, cost-effective abatement measures. More

Eco-evolutionary Dynamics of Living Systems

This project will improve models for assessing the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of living systems to allow a better understanding of human-induced impacts on the biosphere   More

Eco-evolutionary Vegetation Modeling and Management

The development of eco-evolutionary models will allow scientists to better understand how plants around the world respond to climate change and disturbances such as fires and grazing. More

Economics of Climate Change Adaptation in Europe (ECONADAPT)

The ECONADAPT project provides user-orientated methodologies and evidence relating to economic appraisal criteria to inform the choice of adaptation actions using analysis that incorporates cross-scale governance under conditions of uncertainty. More

Improving Earth Observation Methodology (EGIDA)

EGIDA is a technical project to create a standard methodology to support GEOSS, the Global Earth Observations System of Systems, through development of evaluation processes, assessment indexes, and databases. More

Energy Use Impacts on the Environment (EnerGEO)

EnerGEO assesses the current and future impact of energy use on the environment by linking environmental observation systems with the processes involved in exploiting energy resources. More

Energy and Economic Development

Access to energy and electricity are fundamental to meeting basic human needs, and they also spur growth in income and improvements in wellbeing. IIASA researchers are studying how access to energy supply affects people’s lives and livelihoods, and how to provide energy services equitably. More

Energy and Infrastructure

Developing countries’ demand for infrastructure, including roads, electrical grids, and public water systems, is growing rapidly. Building and maintaining that infrastructure requires energy, but how much?  More

Operating Energy Efficient Buildings (EnRiMa)

The project consortium is developing a Decision Support System to assist operators of complex buildings manage energy needs in a more efficient, less costly, and less CO2-intensive manner. More

Equitable Governance of Common Goods

A project to improve the regulation of open resources by translating successful small-scale, bottom-up regulations to large-scale, top-down regulations More

EuroGEOSS — A European Approach to GEOSS

EuroGEOSS contributes to the international effort to create the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) by making existing systems that gather data on forestry, drought, and biodiversity interoperable and easier to use. More

Evolutionarily Sustainable Consumption

The evolutionary consequences of fishing affect a host of heritable traits in fish populations, and IIASA researchers are developing a toolkit to allow scientists to assess these impacts. More

Weather Forecasts and Soil Data for African Farms (FarmSupport) 

FarmSupport is developing an application to provide farmers in Ethiopia and Kenya with weather forecasts and soil moisture information to help them make better agricultural decisions.  More

Flood Resilience

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Zurich Insurance Group have established a collaboration alliance to launch a new project on Community flood resilience. More

Modeling the Structure of Forests

The Forest Structure project is creating a model that, by encompassing a broad scale that runs from individual trees up to entire forests, will allow researchers to better understand the impact of climate change, major disturbances, and succession on forests. More

Future Impacts of Climate Change (FutureSoc)

FutureSoc is an effort to define the consequences of climate change on future human societies and examine the ability of those societies to cope with the coming changes. More

Air pollution control strategies for Chinese cities with co-benefits for climate (GAINS-City)

By linking tools developed by Chinese researchers with IIASA’s GAINS model, the project connects data about urban air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions to allow Chinese officials to develop clean air policies for Chinese mega-cities that also lead to lower greenhouse gas emissions. More

Interactions in Economic Sectors (Game Dynamics)

The goal of the Game Dynamics Project is to better understand the highly complex dynamics of interactions between players acting in different sectors with no set behavior patterns. More

Global Energy Assessment

The Global Energy Assessment (GEA), launched in 2012, defines a new global energy policy agenda –  one that transforms the way society thinks about, uses, and delivers energy.  Involving specialists from a range of disciplines, industry groups, and policy areas, GEA research aims to facilitate equitable and sustainable energy services for all, in particular the two billion people who currently lack access to clean, modern energy. More

Using GEO for Early Warning and Food Security in East Africa (GEOSAF)

GEOSAF researchers will create short-term soil moisture forecasts using several crop growth and soil moisture models. More

Reducing GHG Emissions Uncertainties (GESAPU)

Research in the more than ten years since the Kyoto Protocol has shown that the methods used to measure and inventory greenhouse gas emissions have significant uncertainties and gaps. GESAPU is intended to reduce the uncertainties of GHG emissions in Poland and Ukraine. More

Sources and Sinks for Greenhouse Gases (GHG-Europe)

GHG-Europe is analyzing European agricultural and forestry lands to determine both the sources and sinks for three major greenhouse gases and determine what percentage of those gases is anthropogenic. More

Water Futures and Solutions

The Water Futures and Solutions initiative is a ground-breaking study into sustainable solutions to meet local, national, and global water challenges. It is looking for additional partners from the development, business, and scientific community. More

Global Economic Growth and Optimization

Using systems analysis tools to examine the drivers of economic growth, this project is developing economic scenarios to determine how best to achieve sustainable development. More

Management of Heterogeneous Dynamical Systems

The project’s goal is to understand the heterogeneous interactions of the parts of large socioeconomic systems that function across many sectors and are driven by multiple agents. More

Household Energy Transitions

Many people rely on traditional and polluting forms of fuel like wood and coal that contribute to health problems and air pollution. How do people make choices about fuel and appliances, and how can policies encourage people to switch to cleaner fuels? More

Integrated Analysis and Modeling of Land Use Efficiency and Security under Rapid Agricultural Transformation due to Urban-Rural Dynamics in China

This joint project of the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) develops an integrated methodology for investigating the interplay between urban development and ecological stress in rural mountain areas in China. More

Integrated Modeling of Management Solutions for Robust Food, Energy, and Water Security

The project, which provides policy advice to Ukraine, investigates how the complex linkages and differences between agriculture, energy, and water security can be sustainably developed and coordinated at both the spatial and temporal scales, given the potential systemic risks involved. More

Integrated modeling of food, water, and energy

This project develops new and advanced models, methods and tools for  supporting robust decision-making for complex problems under deep uncertainties, an interlinked spatio-temporal, multi-agent decision environment, and systemic risks.  More

Climate Change and Agricultural Productivity (ISAC)

High-frequency, high-resolution imaging from new satellites is providing detailed agricultural information that will allow scientists to better monitor the impacts of drought and climate change on crops and model future agricultural productivity under different climate change scenarios. More

KIRAS Project: Resilience, Social Networks, and Austrian Security

Monitoring resilience – Development of a software-supported method for the network-based analysis and measurement of social cohesion and resilience of critical systems using Austria as an example The inevitability of surprises is a key feature in systems thinking, and the ability to persist through disturbances is a function of resilience. This project links resilience concepts from diverse scientific disciplines to develop a measure of resilience for Austria’s critical systems. More

Life Cycle Impacts of Goods, Services, Activities (LC-IMPACT)

The LC-IMPACT project is developing methods to assess the environmental life cycle impact of a vast number of goods, services and activities. The assessments examine the environmental costs of such things as erosion caused by land use and threats from toxic substances used in production processes. More

Restructuring Systems to Limit Climate Change (LIMITS)

LIMITS is examining how to fundamentally restructure energy systems and land-use management practices on a global scale in order to limit warming from climate change to two degrees Celsius. More

Evaluating Black Carbon Cuts in Finland (MACEB)

IIASA researchers are using the GAINS model in a partnership with Finnish scientists to develop a tool by which the climate effects of reducing black carbon emissions from different economic sectors can be evaluated. More

Cutting Greenhouse Gases in Europe

IIASA researchers are using the GAINS climate model to support the European Commission’s effort to reduce greenhouse gases by 20 percent and significantly increase renewable energy use in Europe by 2020. More

Clean Air Strategies for Europe

IIASA’s Mitigation of Air Pollution & Greenhouse Gases Program (MAG) is using its modeling tools to identify strategies to assist in meeting European Union’s clean air goals. More

Integrated Assessment Modelling for negotiations under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP)

IIASA's Mitigation of Air Pollution & Greenhouse Gases Program develops modeling tools that identify strategies for European efforts to control air pollution in a cost-effective way. More

Linking Disasters for Risk Reduction (MATRIX)

Natural disasters are typically treated as individual incidents, but scientists are developing methods to link events such as earthquakes and landslides to enable policy makers to take more effective risk reduction measures. More

Creating Policy Tools for Climate Change Adaptation (MEDIATION)

MEDIATION uses case studies to provide European policymakers with   scientific information and technical tools to develop improved climate change adaptation policies More

Structural change of the Finnish Economy – a Systems Approach

The research initiative aims at increasing the systemic understanding about the impact of global trends and unforeseeable shocks on the Finnish national economy and regional economies as well as producing science-based tools for practical policy planning, which will support sustainable regional growth in the volatile global environment; such planning that minimizes the need for the special corrective actions in the future and that maximizes the sustainability of regions. More

Creating Synthetic Knowledge for Complex Systems (Model Integration)

The Model Integration Project will overcome the limitations of current integrated models in studying complex systems and develop simpler models that can create synthetic knowledge and describe complex systems from different perspectives. More

Options Market and Risk-Reduction Tools for REDD+ (NORAD OMRRT REDD+)

The NORAD OMRRT REDD+ project contributes to rapidly scaling up demand and supply for REDD+ credits and builds momentum and opportunity for the creation of positive incentives for global forest protection in future carbon markets and other climate policies. More

Envisioning Paradigm Shifts in Society (PASHMINA)

The PASHMINA project used complex modeling to create scenarios that envision changes in the use of energy, transportation, land, and the environment 20 to 40 years into the future. More

Atmospheric Aerosol Chemistry and Climate Change (PEGASOS)

The goal of PEGASOS is to enhance our understanding of the interactions of climate and atmospheric chemistry in the past, present and future. More

Poverty Traps

To escape from poverty traps that are caused by natural disasters, low-income households need assistance from public and private partnerships that are informed by risk analysis and based on local needs.  More

Impacts of Glacial Retreat in the Andes (PRAA)

PRAA uses pilot projects in three Tropical Andes countries to help local ecosystems and economies better adapt to the many impacts of the rapid glacier retreat underway throughout the region. More

Impact of Technological Change in Europe (PROSUITE)

PROSUITE is a collaboration to develop the tools needed to predict the impact technological changes will have on Europe’s environment, economies, and social institutions over the next several decades. More

Quantifying the indirect land use change impact of biofuels consumed in the EU (ILUC)

In an assignment for the European Commission, a consortium of Ecofys, IIASA and E4tech will use the GLOBIOM model to assess indirect land use change impacts of conventional and advanced biofuels consumed in the EU. More

Reassessing Ageing from a Population Perspective (Re-Ageing)

The Reassessing Ageing from a Population Perspective (Re-Ageing) project will develop new approaches to the study of age and ageing that are appropriate for 21st century conditions. More

recharge.green – balancing Alpine energy and nature

The recharge.green project helps to consider whether the production of renewable energy at a particular location in the Alps is worth it from the conservation point of view. More

Accelerating Cuts in Greenhouse Gases (RESPONSES)

RESPONSES was a project to develop strategies that enable European Union countries to accelerate cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and better adapt to environmental, social, and economic disruptions caused by climate change. More

Improving Landslide Risk Responses (SafeLand)

SafeLand was a response to the growing risk of landslides in mountainous regions of Europe due to climate change-related increases in overall rainfall, concentrated rains over short periods, more extreme weather, and increased snowmelts in Alpine regions. More

Seven Shocks and Finland

The project is investigating the implications of seven different shocks on Finnish society, and will create a portfolio of actions that could increase the resilience in responding to the shocks. More

Systemic Risk and Network Dynamics

This project will deepen the understanding of cascading failure in networks and develop ways to lessen the risks of collapse and improve recovery. More

Systemic Risks, Security, and Robust Solutions 

The project develops new and advanced models, methods, and tools for supporting robust decision-making for complex problems under deep uncertainties, interlinked spatio-temporal multi-agent decision environment, and systemic risks. More

Vision and Transition Pathways towards a Low Carbon Green Korea

How can countries transition to sustainable economy? What would it look like? What changes are needed? And how could those changes be implemented?  South Korean and IIASA researchers are collaborating on a new project to find the answers that policymakers need.  More

Drivers of Extreme Events

The goal of this project is to understand mechanisms leading to extreme events in complex dynamic, with special attention paid to the risk of cascading failure in networks. More

Assessment of Northern Eurasian Forests (ZAPAS)

The ZAPÁS project is intended to make space-based biomass inventory assessments more reliable for boreal forests of Northern Eurasia. More

Print this page

Last edited: 03 March 2014

Research Partners

IIASA works with a wide range of research partners across the globe

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