GFZ German research centre for geo sciences

Research Institute for Sustainability

The Research Institute for Sustainability (RIFS) conducts research with the aim of investigating, identifying, and advancing development pathways for transformation processes towards sustainable societies in Germany and abroad. The Institute joined the Helmholtz Association in 2023 and is affiliated with the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences.

Its research approach is transdisciplinary, transformative, and co-creative. The Institute cooperates with partners in science, political and communal institutions, the business community, and civil society to develop solutions to sustainability challenges that enjoy broad public support.

Its central research topics include the energy transition, climate change and socio-technical transformations, as well as sustainable governance and participation. A strong network of national and international partners and a Fellow Programme supports the work of the Institute.

Research Units

  • Plenty of people cross at a crosswalk.
  • Solar collectors in an arid area.
  • Robot finger touches vegatation finger in "Michelangelo style".
  • People sitting in a circle and discussing.
  • Compass in the head of a man drawn on old yellow paper.
  • Sustainability in CAPS on a collage of laptops on a gray table.
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