IIASA is an international research institute that advances systems analysis and applies its research methods to identify policy solutions. IIASA conducts policy-oriented research into issues that are too large or complex to be solved by a single country or academic discipline. This includes pressing concerns that affect the future of all of humanity, such as climate change, energy security, population ageing, and sustainable development.

IIASA and science diplomacy: The very conception of IIASA is an important act of science diplomacy. It was established in 1972 to develop scientific cooperation across the Cold War divide upon the unprecedented bridge-building initiative of US President Lyndon B. Johnson, supported by Soviet Prime Minister Alexey Kosygin. The Institute provides a neutral platform for scientists and decision-makers to discuss global challenges and how scientific insights and tools can help to resolve emerging problems.
IIASA Strategy 2021–2030 “Reducing footprints, enhancing resilience. Systems science for transformations to sustainability” sets a number of objectives for the Institute in the area of science diplomacy.