Researchers are working around the globe to generate new knowledge for a sustainable future. Thanks to the “Pathways to Sustainability” funding initiative, 136 researchers from 37 countries, including Austria, can carry out transdisciplinary projects.

Answers to global challenges such as the climate crisis require the knowledge and cooperation of researchers from all over the world. To enable even more researchers to produce new knowledge in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the FWF is supporting the international “Pathways to Sustainability” funding initiative of the Belmont Forum. Thirteen new research networks involving 37 countries can now get started—including two teams with Austrian participation.

The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is a partner of the “Pathways to Sustainability” funding initiative of the Belmont Forum. In the first cycle of this international call, 13 research networks working around the globe have been awarded a total of €2.5 million in funding. The aim of the funding initiative is to establish new transdisciplinary research networks to develop innovative solutions for achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The transdisciplinary call focuses on engaging social stakeholders in order to be able to implement and apply the research results as quickly as possible.

Funding for two Austrian-led projects

Among the 13 funded projects, two are led by Austrians. Environmental economist Christian Folberth of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) with his team (including Franz Sinabell / WIFO and Thomas Schinko / IIASA) and colleagues from Brazil, Morocco, Turkey, and South Africa will explore new ways of making agricultural production more sustainable. These include new indicators for measuring sustainability more accurately and for improving our understanding of socio-economic and ecological dimensions. This project will bring together researchers from six regions of the world as well as various disciplines.

In the second project, environmental scientist Barbara Willaarts will work together with complexity researcher Piotr Magnuszweski (both IIASA) as well as colleagues from France, Senegal, and South Africa to analyse the interlinkages between individual UN Sustainable Development Goals. The “SDG-Pathfinding” project aims to develop capacities and tools to successfully initiate transformation pathways on the political and social level. “Living labs” are designed to closely integrate stakeholders into the project.


Overview of all awarded projects

Belmont Forum


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