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The IÖW – Research for a Sustainable Economy

The word “and” is crucial

We need an economy which secures prosperity and conserves resources; energy systems which are reliable and relieve the burden on the climate; products which are useful and safe; food which is tasty, affordable and healthy. To achieve this we need a science which takes this “and” into consideration. The IÖW is an expert in this field.

Living Science

At the IÖW, scientists from different disciplines work together in teams – economists and engineers, sociologists and psychologists. Their common task is to recognise and identify the causes of social challenges and develop possible solutions. With curiosity and expertise, conviction and independence. Research design and methods are individually tailored to each project. We analyse, question, sift, assess, design, evaluate; we advise, convince and shape – always remaining close to practical applications. For our cooperation with political decision-makers, economic protagonists, farmers or NGOs we can draw on knowledge of the environment, long-standing contacts and a large network of national and international cooperation partners. We are thus able to develop options for action which can really be implemented.

Future Topics

Pioneering spirit and tradition – that is also what the IÖW stands for. It takes a lot of experience to recognise what will be tomorrow’s topic. And it takes pragmatists and visionaries, specialists and idealists to find new solutions to tomorrow’s challenges. We have been dealing with issues of the future for more than 30 years, coming up with constantly new and frequently unusual answers. Today we are working on topics such as sustainable corporate management, climate-friendly energy systems, new technologies and sustainable consumption. And using the knowledge we acquire in the process to work our way rapidly and thoroughly into new topics. That is the only way for science to remain alive. You can find an overview of our research projects here.


It is not only our technical competence and methodological knowledge which is constantly growing but also the IÖW team itself. Many of our staff members have been with the IÖW for a long time – they have shaped the Institute and its work over a period of many years and made the IÖW what it is today. But we also place great emphasis on promoting young talent. Consequently, young scientists repeatedly join the Institute to support our work and gain extra qualifications. And we are proud when they stay.

In addition to the pure research work, many of the IÖW staff are active in various bodies and work groups, many of them are also shareholders.


The IÖW has been around for more than 30 years – that is a long time for an independent research institute. It proves that competence and innovative thinking, assured direction and flexibility are also required on the “research market” and that we can safeguard our independence with these strengths – also financially. As an independent institute the IÖW receives no permanent basic subsidies.

The IÖW’s clients and sponsors come from many different sectors of society. In recent years we have been able to obtain a large proportion of our projects from the public sector, but also from corporations, associations and private foundations. Cooperation with international partners and clients such as the European Union or the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have become both enriching and a regular feature.

Annual Report

Please find further information on the IÖW in our annual report. 

Download (pdf, 2MB)


IÖW main office
Potsdamer Str. 105
D-10785 Berlin
Phone: +49-(0)30 - 884 59 4-0
Fax: +49-(0)30 - 882 54 39
E-mail: mailbox(at)