Founded in 1972, IIASA is an international scientific institute that conducts policy-oriented research into problems that are too large or 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 that need to be addressed at both the national and international level, such as energy security, population aging, and sustainable development. Funded by research funding agencies in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe, IIASA is independent and unconstrained by political or national self-interest. The IIASA mission is to: Provide insights and guidance to policymakers worldwide by finding solutions to global and universal problems through applied systems analysis in order to improve human and social wellbeing and protect the environment.

IIASA is comprised of nearly 400 mathematicians, social scientists, natural scientists, economists, and engineers from 50 countries carry out research at IIASA in Austria, at the heart of Europe. These range from world renowned scholars—six Nobel Prize laureates have worked at IIASA—to young scientists just embarking on their careers. In addition, research networks consisting of almost 4,600 associated and visiting researchers from 99 countries collaborate with the institute, including collecting and processing local and regional data for integration into advanced scientific models developed at IIASA. It is through such scientific collaboration that IIASA is building bridges among countries.