ASA Projects

Ongoing externally funded projects 

Resource nexus for transformation to circular, resilient, and liveable cities in the context of climate change (RECREATE)

Urban metabolism is a model to study the flow of energy and resources as they enter cities, how they are used and consumed, and how they exist cities as wastes. By studying urban metabolism, we can get a better understanding of how resources are used and ways to reduce negative environmental impact. As the fraction of people living in cities continue to expand around the world, urban metabolism analysis can help decision makers develop cities to become resource efficient, climate friendly, resilient and equitable. More

Simulating the environmental and socio-economic effects of shared autonomous electric vehicles: the case of Vienna (SIMSAEV)

The transport sector has accounted for 28% of the CO2 emissions in Austria in 2015, more than half of which are due to passenger cars. Unlike most other sectors, emissions from the transport sector are still increasing. In order to fulfil the ambitious goals set by the Paris Agreement and to act in line with the sustainable development goals (SDGs), these emissions will have to be reduced substantially. More

Scaling-up green finance to achieve the climate and energy targets (GreenFin)

The Austrian government  launched its climate and energy strategy in 2018 aimed at decarbonizing  production and consumption and  creating opportunities for green growth. Recent research shows that Austria is facing the challenge of aligning its greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions to the EU2030 targets and a green investment gap has to be filled. There is an urgent need to understand the conditions for an effective scaling-up of green finance in the Austrian economy and financial market, while avoiding trade-offs for economic competitiveness and financial stability. More

An empirical analysis of environmental inequality in the EU (EnvIneqEU)

For over thirty years, environmental justice has been a thriving research field in the United States.  However, until recently, similar research has neither been conducted  for most European countries nor  for the European Union as a whole. More

Agent-based models to inform economic policies on migration (ABM2Policy)

Unanticipated migration inflows can have positive and negative economic and social consequences depending on policies implemented by the recipient country to cope with the manifold challenges. Model-based scientific assessments of in-migration on a country's national economy are hence needed, as is meaningful stakeholder deliberation of alternative policies to support the integration of refugees in ways that contribute to resilient and sustainable societies. More

Climate resilient policy-led bioeconomy pathways (BIOCLIMAPATHS)

The EU is in the process of developing and implementing bioeconomy strategies to foster the transition from a fossil fuel-based to a renewable, biobased economy. Filling in a major knowledge gap, BIOCLIMAPATHS project develops the first interdisciplinary methodological framework that contains the whole logic flow of the knowledge development process.  More

NDI Think Tank Action

The goal of the NDI Think Tank Action is to enhance regional cooperation in the Northern Dimension area through science diplomacy, capacity building and people-to-people contacts. This Action supports EU’s Northern Dimension framework that aims at promoting dialogue and cooperation between the EU, Russia, Norway and Iceland and supporting the EU Arctic policy. More


Austria has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 with a view on meeting the 1.5°C and 2°C target set out in the Paris Agreement of 2015. This however requires a significant transformation of societies at all levels and in all sectors.  More


Co-Inform project deals with the phenomena of misinformation and its impact on decision-making processes. Misinformation is a common problem for all media but it is especially exacerbated in the digital social media due to the speed and ease with which it can spread. More


EconTrans takes an innovative integrated approach to address challenges that are deeply interlinked: reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and coping with fundamental transformations triggered by disruptive technologies. The spatial focus of EconTrans is on Austria, while its emissions perspective and policy embedding is globally consistent. More

Platform Value Now

The Platform Value Now project funded by Finland’s Strategic Research Council focuses on understanding the fast emerging platform economic ecosystems, their value creation dynamics and requirements of the supportive institutional environment. It analyzes economic ecosystems with systems tools and develop new methods for platform-centric economic ecosystems management. More

Cross-cutting research

Dynamic vegetation models: the next generation

Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) are invaluable for understanding the biosphere. However, as currently implemented by the international research community, these models suffer from a challenging accumulation of uncertainty. This project aims to address this problem by developing the foundations of a new generation of models centered on a “missing law” – adaptation and optimization principles rooted in natural selection. More

Systemic Risk and Network Dynamics

The Systemic Risk and Network Dynamics project will examine how different types of systems, ranging from financial to ecological and beyond, are at risk of cascades of failures. As well as assessing this risk, this cross-cutting project will develop tools to help prevent such events. More

Future initiatives

Challenges and Opportunities of Economic Integration within a Wider European and Eurasian Space

The international research project “Challenges and Opportunities of Economic Integration within a Wider European and Eurasian Space” focuses on plausible futures of economic cooperation in the Greater Eurasian space and interplay between different integration processes in the region. A particular specific aim of the project is to discuss, analyze, and critically evaluate diverse issues related to economic cooperation between countries and blocks within the Eurasian continent covering the European Union, the Eurasian Economic Union, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia, and their neighbors. More

System Analysis Forum projects

Economic migration, capital flows, and welfare

This research project funded through the Systems Analysis Forum (SAF) aims to better understand the interaction between labour flows and capital flows in an economy. This work will help to improve the assessment of welfare dynamics and evaluate policies that can lead to higher levels of economic welfare. More

Navigating the Pareto front: Understanding economic – environmental tradeoffs under value diversity among stakeholders

This research project funded through the IIASA’s Systems Analysis Forum (SAF) explores methods of finding efficient, consensus-enabling solutions reconciling competing goals of diverse agents with potentially unequal bargaining positions. More

Simulation Games as New Methods for Understanding Stakeholder Interaction and Decision-Making in Complex Systems

A research project which uses social simulation as a new method to examine stakeholder cognition and interaction, and explores how gaming-based empirical observations may be used in quantitative analysis. More

Exploratory Topics

National Systems Mapping of Well-being

Well-being as the highest policy priority of any nation: a systems analysis. Well-being, happiness, quality of life or life satisfaction are the ultimate goals of any human, regardless of status, profession, wealth, religion, or nationality. So far, however, there is no "policy" for happiness in any country; rather, well-being is an emerging property of the national economic and social systems. The question then becomes: How can policymakers leverage the national subsystems and their interactions to increase well-being of all? The answer to this question is surely not simple, but one where systems analysis is a suitable methodology. ASA researchers explore this issue at ASA in partnership with relevant institutions.  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

Completed externally funded projects 

Water Nexus Policy Strategic Planning

Water is a truly cross-sectorial resource that has an impact on population well-being, economic growth, and the environment. Developing resilient (“no-regret”) water strategies given conflicting interests and great uncertainty is of the highest importance for the sustainable development of any country. Feasible policies should reconcile conflicting interests of different sectors and different stakeholders and should take a proper account of immense uncertainty about the future availability of water resources and key factors, which impact it. More

Strategy of sustainable industrial development of Kyrgyzstan

Growing globalization increases the interconnectedness of countries embedded in complex supply and value chains. Countries also become increasingly interdependent through transnational transport corridors, the exchange of information and knowledge investments and migrant flows, etc. The future of the Kyrgyz Republic - a small, landlocked and open developing economy - is heavily influenced by global and regional geopolitical and geoeconomic processes. More

Middle East North African Sustainable Electricity Trajectories (MENA Select)

This project investigates the socio-economic impacts, risks and opportunities, and potential for conflict, of different electricity scenarios and power production technologies in several countries within the MENA region. More

Linking Climate Change Mitigation, Energy Security and Regional Development in Climate and Energy Model regions in Austria (LINKS)

Focusing specifically on Austria's 'model regions', the project aims to provide insights into the implementation of the Austrian government’s previous target to become energy self-sufficient by 2050. More

Optimal Research and Extraction Policy Towards a Backstop Technology

This project contributes to the theory of optimal control and to the literature on endogenous economic growth. In pursuit of this dual aim the project  contains a theoretical part that develops a methodology for finding approximate solutions to the type of optimization problem formulated above and an applied part in which this methodology is used to find an optimal allocation of labor and exhaustible resource in a model of endogenous growth constrained by a non-renewable resource. More

International Foresight Academy

The International Foresight Academy is the first organization to bind together Foresight activities around the globe and from contrasting cultural and political contexts. As the Mapping Report of the European Foresight Monitoring Network (2009) has documented, Foresight is used differently in various regions of the world. Foresight activities vary according to sponsors and customers, meth- ods used, topics explored, actors involved etc. They vary also with regard to their functions in political strategy formulation of modern democracies. More

Energy Efficiency and Risk Management in Public Buildings (EnRiMa)

Within this EU-funded project, a dynamic stochastic optimization model was proposed to support robust management of energy provision in public buildings. More

Optimization of Resource Productivity for Sustainable Economic Development

This research project focuses on analysis of resource productivity as one of the major drivers of economic growth, closely associated with environmental pressures and playing an increasingly significant role in Asia and in Latin America.  More

Spatio-temporal Uncertainty Assessment of GHG Emission Inventories with the Specific Focus on Austria and Ukraine

The focus of this 2-year research is on learning, more specifically, on the spatio-temporal assessment of uncertainty in GHG emission inventories and how our knowledge increases in terms of predictability across space and time, and whether our insights into learning will eventually allow to better handle (reduce?) uncertainty in prognostic emission scenarios or, more generally, scenarios of global change. More

Toward Handling Uncertainty in Prognostic Scenarios: Advanced Learning from the Past (Prognostic Uncertainty)

The objective of this 1-year, call-winning proposal is to advance our insights in retrospective learning in order to better handle (reduce?) uncertainty in prognostic scenarios; in particular, to provide a reference (standard), which is readily understandable and which prognostic modelers can use in order to inform experts as well as non-experts about the “predictive” power, and its limitation, of their models. To our knowledge, such a reference is not applied at all. More

Open Source Model for Analyzing Austria’s Transition to a Low Carbon Society by 2050 – a Research Plan (ClimTrans2050)

ClimTrans2050 addresses the requirement to design and implement mitigation and adaptation measures to meet very long term greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction commitments. More

Agent-based Modeling for Korean Strategic Foresight

This project jointly run by STEPI (Science and Technology Policy Institute, Seoul, Korea) and ASA, IIASA aims to provide foresight into possible consequences of several major shocks which may hit the economy of South Korea.   More

Knowledge Based Climate Mitigation Systems for a Low Carbon Economy (COMPLEX)

The transition to a low carbon economy by 2050 will involve irreversible step-changes in the cultural, economic and natural domains. COMPLEX develops new modelling tools and decision-support systems to support communities across Europe working to make the transition to a low-carbon economy. 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

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

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 Robust Solutions for Food, Energy, and Water Security Management

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

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Last edited: 31 January 2020


Elena Rovenskaya

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Advancing Systems Analysis Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 608


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