More interdisciplinary science: Green light for additional institutional funding of PIK

10/19/2023 - From interdisciplinary basic research to scientific policy advice: the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has received the green light from the committee of the Joint Science Conference (Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz, GWK) of the German federal and state governments for its plans to expand the institute. The additional institutional funding will strengthen its expertise topics by securing investment for three cutting edge and so far little-researched topics. At the same time, the integration of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) will establish a policy research hub at the interface between research and policy from 2025 onward.
More interdisciplinary science: Green light for additional institutional funding of PIK
Photo: Mirko Schneider/PIK

"In a consistent development of its strategy to research the governance of global commons within planetary boundaries, PIK can not only draw on more than 30 years of experience, but also further expand its expertise through new pioneering topics and an expanded focus on the social sciences - from knowledge to impact," says Johan Rockström, one of the scientific directors of PIK and Earth system researcher. "We are extremely pleased to receive the signal to continue PIK's success story by integrating the MCC and strengthening innovative investment areas. In the future, evidence-based knowledge and relevant policy options can be provided to decision makers along the entire knowledge value chain," explains Ottmar Edenhofer, also scientific director of PIK and a climate economist.

From knowledge to impact with pioneering research topics and evidence-based policy advice

In the last regular evaluation by an international commission of experts appointed by the Leibniz Association, PIK was rated excellent for its "research of outstanding quality" and "highly demanded policy advice". The "very successful and comprehensive change process" for the further development of the institute through the joint appointment of the scientific directors from the natural and social sciences, Johan Rockström and Ottmar Edenhofer, as well as the appointment of an administrative director with Bettina Hörstrup, was already highlighted.

With the positive signal for the approval of additional funding, the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change will become a part of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research as of 2025. For eleven years, the MCC, as an independent institute, has already combined high-level economic and social science analyses with a structured approach at the interface of science and policy. The integration puts PIK's social science research on par with its natural science research in terms of quality and capacity. At the same time, the strengthening of three investment areas complements PIK's proven portfolio of services with pioneering research topics such as Earth system resilience in the Anthropocene, distribution issues and human well-being, and even artificial intelligence.

Official approval by the Joint Science Conference is scheduled for autumn 2024, tied to decisions for the following fiscal year. Approval of the strategic special budget would secure additional basic funding of about 3.8 million euros per year for the institute, starting in 2025.


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