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About ZIRIUS

Stuttgart Research Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies



In line with the other interdisciplinary research centers ZIRIUS acts as a bridge between the departments and disciplines. Its major goal is to conduct problem-oriented research projects and to pursue a transdisciplinary approach to tackle complex research challenges.

The center was founded in 2012 by the University of Stuttgart. The previous Research Unit on Risk Governance and Sustainable Technology Development (ZIRN) has been integrated into the center.

ZIRIUS envisions technical and social change such as the energy transitions towards sustainable practices as a dynamic interaction of interdependent systems consisting of:
  • Technology
  • Governance
  • Organization
  • Behavior
The understanding of the interaction of these components requires the cooperation of:
  • Natural and technical sciences to explore the technological characteristics and their interaction with natural processes;
  • Economics (for the efficient design of the change process);
  • Social and cultural studies (to understand the behavior of individuals and groups regarding the change processes and the preconditions of an effective transition governance).
ZIRIUS aims at contributing to a better understanding of the complex interaction between technology, governance, organization and behavior in the context of technological and social change.