Transdisciplinary research is particularly suitable for dealing with socially relevant, complex problems that are associated with a high degree of uncertainty, as it is often the case in the context of issues of new technologies, sustainability, health, social justice and equality. Transdisciplinary approaches go beyond the analysis of problems, are solution-oriented, and aim to improve the real-world impact of science. A key element is the inclusion of non-scientific partners on an equal footing. They play a key role in the creation of knowledge in the project right from the start by contributing their problem views, their knowledge and their experience to research. This makes it easier to understand the complexity of problems and the diversity of the real world environment and to reconcile different values and preferences in order to reach broadly supported solutions.

For more information, please contact Sandra Karner.

Our projects on this research approach

IFZ supports Forum Urbanes Gärtnern (FUG) to establish a competence center for socially inclusive, urban food production. This competence center will combine the following components: production basics (resources and seeds), educational activities (in-school, out-of-school), social gardening and solidarity-based food production.

PLANET4B is a transdisciplinary research project, aiming to understand and influence decision making affecting biodiversity. We rely on biodiversity for our very existence – it provides us with the basic ecosystem services that allow us to survive and thrive. Yet human lives and the biosphere itself are under threat due to the loss of biodiversity occurring at a global scale, and at an accelerating pace. Despite the mounting scientific evidence on the importance of biodiversity, it still takes a back seat to political and other agendas.

Through action-orientated and participatory research the cooperation between 16 partners will collect and analyse theories, methods and good practices to bridge the gaps in knowledge and effective decision making.

The project "Creating STEM" ("MI(N)T gestalten") tries a new approach to attract more young women from the Salzkammergut region to STEM professions (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

The goal of the PROTEA project is to foster a vivid collaboration of industry, research and gender experts from IFZ to develop and implement the benefits of 3D-printing of prostheses, taking into account gender and diversity aspects. 

The project VEKIAA investigated how the workplace integration of digital assistants based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be done in the most responsible way possible.

The project deals with the question, whether and to what extent social/community gardening can contribute to food justice: How especially socially stigmatised people can improve their access to and consumption of healthy food (= sustainably produced food, balanced, "healthy" nutrition) or how this can be improved structurally.

The project explores the question, how the modell of the cooperative can improve different food supply schemes such as community supported agriculture or food cooperatives in order to make the access to regional food equally attractive for everyone. Some of the ideas should be set in practice.

Within the project, a concept for an intended, small-scale urban agriculture in the north of Graz is developed. A focus is on a socio-economic business model and on regenerative farming practices.

Mountains cover 36% of the European area and have an important role in the provision of public and private goods. Despite their relevance in both ecological and socioeconomic terms, we lack updated and comparable knowledge about many aspects of these regions affecting their management and sustainability.

The Triester neighbourhood centre (association "Illusions") and the IFZ are currently dealing with the question how the supply of regional, environmentally friendly and affordable food in the Triester neighbourhood can be improved.

FIT4FOOD 2030 will develop solutions to the challenges of current food systems such as hunger, malnutrition, obesity, climate change, resource scarcity and waste, in line with the European Commission's Food2030 strategy. Two levels are addressed in the form of "labs": policy frameworks by means of ‘policy labs’) and practice Formby means of ‘city labs’ and ‘food labs’. Various actors are networked via a multi-actor platform.

This qualitative study explores current challenges of women in leadership positions in times oft he COVID-19 pandemic.
What did female leaders experience and which practices and strategies did they use to react?
The result is a dispositional analysis, including various positions and organisations, which will create the base for a larger study in 2021.