International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Founded in 1972, IIASA is an international scientific institute that conducts policy-oriented research into problems that are too large or too complex to be solved by a single country or academic discipline. Problems like climate change that have a global reach and can be resolved only by international cooperative action. Or problems of common concern to many countries that need to be addressed at the national level, such as energy security, population aging, and sustainable development. Funded by scientific institutions in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe, IIASA is also independent – completely unconstrained by political or national selfinterest.

Company details

Schlossplatz 1 - A-2361 , Laxenburg , Austria

Locations Served

Business Type:
Research institute
Industry Type:
University / Academia / Research
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis is a scientific research institute located in Laxenburg, near Vienna, Austria.

Founded in 1972, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) conducts policy-oriented research into problems of a global nature that are too large or too complex to be solved by a single country or academic discipline.

IIASA is sponsored by its National Member Organizations in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Its research is independent and completely unconstrained by political or national self-interest.

IIASA uses advanced systems analysis to conduct policy-oriented research into the most pressing areas of global change  –  energy and climate change, food and water, poverty and equity  – and their main drivers

The 2011-2020 Research Plan distinguishes three major global problem areas facing humanity today where concentration and intensification of research by IIASA scientists is most likely to yield the most productive results.

These three global problem areas are:

  • Energy and Climate Change
  • Food and Water
  • Poverty and Equity

This work is supported by research into the drivers of the transformations taking place in our world – population, technology, and economic growth.

All IIASA research is policy-relevant and geared toward provision of robust solutions to the challenges of international, regional, and national policy and governance.

The methodology used at IIASA since the foundation of the Institute in 1972 is advanced systems analysis. Both methodology and data are constantly updated and refined in-house to respond to emerging research needs.

IIASA is located in the inspiring surroundings of the Schloss Laxenburg (Laxenburg Castle) on the edge of beautiful and extensive park grounds.

Working Environment

The small market town of Laxenburg is just 20 kilometers from the center of Vienna, Austria, one of Europe's most beautiful cities, ranked first world-wide in terms of standards of living in a 2009 world-wide survey by the William M. Mercer Institute.

Employee Benefits

IIASA employees enjoy an attractive package of benefits which include among others:

  • A competitive salary which is exempt from taxation in Austria (subject to the principle of income aggregation);
  • A generous annual leave allowance;
  • Non-contributory group accident insurance coverage;
  • Tax free shopping privileges;
  • Partial reimbursement of private school fees for schooling in Austria or for German language tutoring of children enrolled in public schools.

Scientific and professional staff hired from international locations also receive relocation allowances and paid home leave.

Employee well-being

We are strongly committed to a working environment that promotes equality, diversity, and tolerance and take the well-being of our staff very seriously. The Institute provides lots of amenities to its employees to ensure a pleasant and healthy working environment. We have
our own catering facilities and a subsidized restaurant offering a choice of international and Austrian specialties daily (Monday through Friday). We have a fully equipped gym, tennis courts, lunchtime yoga and keep-fit classes, and a visiting occupational physician.

Social Activities

Thanks to the IIASA Staff Association (STAC) and its enthusiastic Social Committee, the IIASA community enjoys all manner of social and cultural gatherings. Here to name but a few of these activities:

  • Canadian pancake breakfast;
  • American Independence (July 4th) celebrations;
  • Wine tasting trips;
  • Staff soccer and volleyball matches;
  • Triathlon;
  • International dinner;
  • Thanksgiving lunch;
  • Christmas lunch/ball.

Founded to promote East-West scientific cooperation during the Cold War. Today, addressing the global challenges of the 21st century.

In October 1972 representatives of the Soviet Union, United States, and 10 other countries from the Eastern and Western blocs met in London to sign the charter establishing the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). It was the culmination of six years’ effort by US President Lyndon Johnson and USSR Premier Alexey Kosygin, and marked the beginning of a remarkable project to use scientific cooperation to build bridges across the Cold War divide and to confront growing global problems on an international scale.

In the 1970s most research organizations focused on national issues. Few encouraged researchers from different countries or disciplines to work together for the greater good. To achieve its ambitious research vision, IIASA would have to break down the barriers between nations and disciplines. This it did, building international interdisciplinary teams that used advanced systems analysis to study innumerable global challenges, both long-standing and emerging. For example, a study on water pollution carried out by a team of IIASA chemists, biologists, and economists in the 1980s is still the basis of modern water policy design in Japan, the USA, and the former USSR.

The refurbished Schloss Laxenburg near Vienna was made available by the Austrian government shortly after the foundation of IIASA in 1972. The Schloss has been the Institute's home for nearly four decades.

When the Cold War ended, IIASA’s sponsoring countries could have said 'mission accomplished' and disbanded the Institute. However, as well as helping foster mutual understanding among scientists from East and West, IIASA had shown the scientific benefits of different nationalities and disciplines working together toward common goals. This approach has been widely imitated, for example, in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme.

Thus the Institute remained and, in the 1990s broadened its mandate to achieve a greater global focus. Today IIASA brings together a wide range of scientific skills to provide science-based insights into critical policy issues in international and national debates on global change, with three central research focuses.

IIASA has 20 National Member Organizations (NMOs). NMO countries account for over half the world’s population (59%) and production (63%). They include not only the world’s four largest economies, but also some of fastest-growing economies in the developing world.