Options Magazine, Winter 2023: The Austrian Research Promotion Agency has ranked IIASA as one of the top participants in the Horizon Europe Programme, reflecting the institute's commitment to addressing pressing global challenges and advancing sustainable solutions.

The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) is the national funding agency for industrial research and development run by the federal government of Austria. Due to the Agency’s scope of work, the FFG has access to information on the performance of different institutions within the country with regard to different research projects and collaborations, as well as technological trends at the European level.

According to the FFG EU-Performance Monitor data from February 2023, IIASA ranked fifth in terms of Horizon Europe Programme participation among all Austrian organizations, including both university and nonuniversity research organizations. The FFG also identified IIASA as the most active participant from all Austrian nonuniversity research organizations. Other organizations sharing the top positions include the University of Vienna, the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU).

“These achievements reflect the extensive international scientific network of IIASA and the fact that we are addressing some of the most timely and policy-relevant topics,” says IIASA Interim Deputy Director General for Science, Wolfgang Lutz. “We strive for constant improvement and scientific excellence in line with the institute’s vision for 2021 to 2030 — to be the primary destination for integrated systems solutions and policy insights to current, emerging, and novel global sustainability challenges, threats, and opportunities.”

Horizon Europe is a scientific program of the EU, which provides funding for research and innovation projects. It facilitates collaboration and provides additional capacity for research and innovation to develop, support, and implement EU policies. Its primary objective is to support the creation and distribution of knowledge and technologies to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and tackle global challenges. Horizon Europe provided vital funding for a  broad multiplicity of IIASA research projects, focusing on sustainability, climate neutrality, biodiversity preservation, air pollution, demography, and other fundamental global issues. In 2022 alone, Horizon Europe provided over EUR 15 million of funding for IIASA projects. Some of the projects coordinated by IIASA and funded by Horizon Europe include:

  • CircEUlar — a new four-year project aiming to develop circular pathways for a low-carbon transition in the European Union.
  • LAMASUS — a project aiming to produce tools and design processes allowing EU policymakers to assess the impacts of future climate change and land use policies ahead of their implementation.
  • ForestNavigator — a project helping to assess the climate mitigation potential of European forests and forest-based sectors and inform the public authorities on the most suitable approach to forest policy and bioeconomy.

By Vladimir Tarakanov