Australian scientists join global change research community

By October 23rd, 2012

Australia has joined the research organisation the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) which specialises in the application of advanced systems analysis to examine the complex systems which are at the heart of today's global challenges, specifically energy, water, food, climate change and population growth.

Membership of IIASA, which is based in Europe, offers Australian research agencies coordinated access to networks of national science academies, research organisations and networks and also supports the efforts of many Australian research organisations, including CSIRO, to grow international partnerships and collaborations.   

“I am confident that our membership of IIASA will provide a very positive platform to further strengthen Australia’s global connections in these critical areas for humanity.”

Dr Megan Clark, CSIRO Chief Executive

The CSIRO will be the National Member Organisation that represents Australia on the governing council.

In welcoming the announcement, CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Megan Clark said there were significant synergies to be realised bringing together IIASA and CSIRO’s systems science, especially in the areas of water, energy, climate and food.

“I am confident that our membership of IIASA will provide a very positive platform to further strengthen Australia’s global connections in these critical areas for humanity,” Dr Clark said.

“How effectively we respond to the challenges of, for example, food supply or water management in the Southern Hemisphere requires a deep scientific understanding of the biophysical interdependencies but also the connectivity between environmental, economic and social factors. It also requires that we understand how our region of the world is connected to other regions. Systems science offers the opportunity to understand this complexity and potentially offer options for resolving some of these global challenges.”

IIASA Director and CEO Professor Pavel Kabat said formalising the collaboration between IIASA and Australia through CSIRO would provide a host of benefits.

“IIASA’s expertise in global modeling and international integrated assessments will help to strengthen CSIRO’s already well-established international networks. Similarly, CSIRO’s researchers will bring Australian expertise to the global research questions that IIASA analyses,” Professor Kabat said.

“National Member Organisations, play a significant role in defining the Institute‘s organisational and research strategy. They also play a critical role in building networks between IIASA and the research and policy communities within their respective countries and we look forward to enhancing existing ties and establishing new relationships with Australia.”

Australia’s membership of IIASA will strengthen the linkages between research organisations in the southern hemisphere and importantly strengthen Australia’s science linkages with research communities in the Northern Hemisphere including China, Japan and the US. While IIASA was founded as an institute linking scientists in Eastern and Western Europe and the USA during the Cold War, it has grown into a uniquely international institute with a global perspective.

Australia becomes the 20th member of IIASA, joining 19 other National Member Organisations who represent all regions of the world.

About IIASA:

IIASA is an international scientific institute that conducts research into the critical issues of global environmental, economic, technological, and social change that we face in the twenty-first century. Their findings provide options to policy makers to shape the future of our changing world. IIASA is independent and funded by scientific institutions in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

IIASA’s twenty national members include Austria, Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Russian Federation, South Africa, Sweden, Ukraine, and the USA.

Media resources

Click image for high resolution version