Message from the Council Chair and the Director General

In 2017, IIASA continued its mission of building excellence and strengthening capacity in systems analysis research by engaging in projects involving the development of new models and tools or the modification of some of its existing instruments. The strong relationships and collaborative partnerships that the institute has nurtured with research funders, academic institutions, policymakers, and individual researchers in its national member organizations, also provided valuable input to help shape the future of our changing world and provide realistic policy options for putting the world on a sustainable path.

Highlights from projects undertaken at IIASA in 2017 include, to name but a very few, restructuring financial networks to reduce systemic risk, understanding armed conflicts, meeting ambitious climate mitigation targets, and exploring possibilities for risk pooling in global breadbaskets. These and many other highlights from across the institute are available in this Annual Report.

The institute continues to attract and retain exceptional talent and currently has more than 830 research partner institutions in member countries. In 2017, 382 researchers from 48 countries worked at IIASA, while 2,421 associates and scholars visited the institute to do research, collaborate with research programs, and to attend IIASA-organized events. The research done at the institute resulted in 611 publications, of which 396 were peer-reviewed journal articles written in collaboration with over 1,600 coauthors from 159 institutions in 65 countries and regions.

The flagship Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) once again provided an opportunity for students from around the world to work with some of the leading scientists in their fields, with 49 participants from 26 countries included in the 2017 cohort. Since 1977, over 1,920 young scientists from 87 countries have benefitted from the program, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017. The occasion was marked by a two-day conference attended by YSSP alumni, Council members, and distinguished scientists from outside of IIASA, who were invited to continue their ties with the institute, and consider the past and future of the YSSP. In addition, in 2017, 27 postdocs had the opportunity to enhance their skills in systems analysis, and IIASA scientists hosted or coordinated 98 events worldwide, including a number of workshops and activities specifically aimed at building capacity in the field.

Apart from engaging in excellent research, IIASA continues to play an important role in building bridges across political divides through science. In 2017, the institute was privileged to welcome Israel as a new member and successfully continued to collaborate on projects across the world, including in, among others, the greater Eurasian space and the Arctic.

The work of IIASA is made possible through the generous support of a range of organizations and individuals that share a belief in the principle that finding long-lasting solutions to the complex challenges faced by humanity today requires scientific expertise that is free from national interests. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our member countries and all our donors, for their continued support and generosity in 2017. We are truly grateful for their commitment to the mission of the institute.

Michael Clegg                                      Pavel Kabat
Council Chair                                       Director General and CEO


The IIASA mission
is to provide scientific insight and guidance to policymakers worldwide by finding solutions to global problems through applied systems analysis. In this way, the work helps to improve human wellbeing and protect the environment.
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