Services to Science

The Wuppertal Institute is a world-renowned think tank with a strong reputation and 25 years of experience in working for society as a whole, for policy makers and businesses. Knowledge about the overall system meets inquiry into desirable goals and the transformation required to get there. Our research is trans-disciplinary and drives change.

We make basic research relevant, place our scientists in strong research networks and lobby for changes in the scientific system to increase its societal relevance.

Russian state library
Transformative knowledge goes beyond the results from separate disciplines. It emerges from lively exchange with the knowledge and experiences of actors and is tuned to societal "grand challenges". Photo: Lyudmila Zinchenko / Saltimages / laif
The limits of scientific disciplines

The challenges of climate change and the environment transcend the boundaries of scientific disciplines. They call for tight cooperation between natural and technical sciences with the humanities and social sciences in shaping the transformation. While many scientists remain locked into their historic structure and the internal logic of their discipline, the Wuppertal Institute has always been a proponent of such interdisciplinarity.

Transformative Knowledge

The Wuppertal Institute does not stop at being interdisciplinary in theory and research practice. Our research analyses and supports sustainable transitions using a trans-disciplinary approach. This means integrating not only knowledge from all required disciplines but also knowledge of the stakeholders involved. We draw upon extensive knowledge of the system in question. We then develop visions and thereby knowledge on the desirable goals. To create knowledge on transformations towards those goals we use experiments in real-world laboratories. This approach has allowed us to use and develop many innovative methods.

Scientific Partner

Scientists and research institutions find the Wuppertal Institute to be an experienced and open partner for collaborative research in many areas of sustainability. We cooperate with many international research bodies and often coordinate large consortiums. Our aim is always to test and spread scientific research in the real-world triangle of business, policy and society.

Think Tank and Research Projects

The Wuppertal Institute depends on external funding for concrete projects. This means we need to create value for our clients, offering well-founded and practical solutions. We receive some basic funding from the province of Northrhine-Westfalia. This allows us to preserve our scientific independence and gives us the opportunity to target long-term challenges that might not be included in our regular projects. Support from foundations further enables this independent research, including a growing PhD programme that is attracting brilliant young scientists and contributing to different fields.

Scientific Exchange

With countless publications, lectures and conference talks the Wuppertal Institute is contributing to the scientific community and exchanging ideas with our collegues. We are a member of various research networks (IPCC, Ecornet, LCS-RNet ...) . Many of our scientists are also active in research and teaching at various universities worldwide.

The Wuppertal Institute is taking a position in the debate about changes in the German scientific system. We believe research and teaching needs to do more towards a just and sustainable transformation, working in a trans- and interdisciplinary way.

You would like to be part of this endeavour and are considering joining our team? Then take a look here.


Some project examples for scientific co-operation, capacity building and development of methods.