The Wuppertal Institute's core mission is to undertake research and develop models, strategies, and instruments for transitions to a sustainable development. The Institute conducts this mission through work at all geographical levels – from local to global.

The Wuppertal Institute's international research contributes, among other things, to overcoming the climate crisis, implementing measures to turn mobility around and developing starting points for sustainable production and consumption. To this end, the researchers look at the entirety of the sustainability challenges and question today's structures and development trends as well as future solution options. The Institute focuses on analysing global value chains and their effects on energy and resource consumption, the design of transformation paths, the development of technology markets, and the organisation of knowledge exchange.

Following a transformative approach in their research activities, the Institute’s researchers engage in trans-disciplinary and multicultural teams that develop, implement, and evaluate models, strategies and instruments to address global and context-specific sustainability challenges.

Having a transformative character, research activities of the Institute are dedicated to concretely supporting and facilitating transformation processes. The main working areas at the international level are among others the energy and industry system transitions, the global climate governance, the low-carbon urban transformation (including mobility), the sustainable production and consumption, and the circular economy.

Graphic: Wuppertal Institute's international research

Since its foundation, the Wuppertal Institute has been working on an international level and has built up an extensive network of partners in science and practice. In its projects the Institute cooperates with regional and local partners and supports the exchange of experience. The Institute's long-standing international research particularly embraces the following key directions:

  • Analysing and evaluating technical and social innovations multi-criterially
  • Facilitating knowledge exchange on sustainable transformation at different levels (i.e. among local communities, cities, regions and countries
  • Developing training programmes and knowledge tools to strengthen technical and management capacities of different stakeholders
  • Supporting decision-making by systematically developing sustainable transformation strategies and instruments for national and local stakeholders
  • Fostering innovations by engaging in multi-stakeholder processes to analyse frameworks for their implementation at national, regional and local level
  • Supporting multilateral cooperation
  • Contributing to the empirical research on sustainability transformation in different countries around the world
  • Designing and implementing real-world laboratories and participatory structures

In sum, engaging in international research activities allows the institute to better understand and address transformation challenges on a global level and within specific regional contexts and to develop targeted solutions on this basis. It facilitates the input of relevant transformation knowledge into political arenas at several levels; from specific advice to a single civil society organisation or company through recommendations to national policy processes up to guidance for shaping intergovernmental mechanisms to promote transformation processes.

Going forward, the Institute's international research will continue to build on its longstanding experience, strong and diverse networks, and trans-disciplinary approach to advance its mission, hand in hand with the Institute's local, regional, and national research.

The Wuppertal Institute's diverse funders and clients include:

  • German federal ministries and state agencies
  • United Nations
  • European Union
  • Multilateral development banks
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Businesses and their associations
  • Municipalities and utilities
  • Foundations, associations and institutions

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The Research Map gives you a quick overview of the selected Institute's international projects focused outside Europe. Please click on a pin for more information and a link that will take you to the project's website. The Research Map will regularly be updated and supplemented.

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