Research institutes

Maastricht Sustainability Institute (MSI)

With the integration of the Maastricht Sustainability Institute (formerly known as ICIS), within the School of Business and Economics (SBE), not only a new name has been chosen, but also an active contribution to SBE’s 'Vision 2025' is foreseen in which Sustainable Development, Digitisation, and Globalisation are focal areas.

As sustainability scientists, we aim to support sustainable development at the local and regional levels, thus contributing to global sustainability too. Because sustainability challenges are complex and normative, we opt for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches in which we collaborate with different disciplines and stakeholders. We master a diversity of theories and methods to work at the interface of science, policy and society. Knowledge brokering, boundary work and action-research are concepts that suit us well. Our research is scientifically sound and societally relevant.

Furthermore, our expertise is reflected in our sustainability education at bachelor, master and PhD level. Our multidisciplinary staff and international student group form a close-knit learning community.

In addition to our international and national orientation, we are committed to addressing sustainability issues in the region by means of our Maastricht Sustainability Hub.

Maastricht Sustainability Institute, your knowledge partner for sustainable development!


Interested in our newsletter Sustainability Science and Policy?


  • Work Health and Career: woman in office stretching out

    'The (gas) price of working from home is too high for employee and society'

    Monday, November 7, 2022

    'The (gas) price of working from home is too high for employee and society'. According to Linde Kattenberg en Martijn Stroom in Parool.

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  • huntjens

    Citizens can do more for a better climate than they think

    Thursday, October 27, 2022

    Citizens can do more for a better climate than they think, according to Professor Patrick Huntjens

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  • unesco_world_higher_education_conference

    dr. Maud Huynen participated in the UNESCO World Higher Education Conference

    Monday, June 6, 2022

    Last month, dr. Maud Huynen participated in the UNESCO World Higher Education Conference (WHEC2022, May 18-20, Barcelona). Together with colleagues from various universities,  she hosted a round-table session relating to the work and experiences within the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) Education in a Warming World research consortium (including the associated report and podcast series). The WHEC2022 conference also provided a platform for several global initiatives and events relating to sustainability in higher education.

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  • MSI: frontrunner in sustainability

    Monday, May 30, 2022

    Are we really making progress towards the sustainable transition? One thing is clear: if we’re not, it’s not the fault of sustainability science.

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  • Patrick Huntjens wins Nautilus Book Award

    Monday, May 16, 2022

    Patrick Huntjens, Professor of Governance of Sustainability Transitions at Maastricht University, has won the Nautilus Book Award 2022 with his book 'Towards a Natural Social Contract'. 

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    Three years later… What are the habits and routines of our ENERGISE-households?

    Tuesday, April 12, 2022

    Already three years ago, two challenges were introduced to a certain group of households in Maastricht and in Roermond: to reduce indoor temperature to a maximum of 18 °C (‘heating challenge’) and half the number of weekly laundry cycles relative to a baseline (‘laundry challenge’). In this article, we summarise the results.

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  • water

    Project meeting TransB

    Tuesday, April 12, 2022

    On May 25 2022, the first physical meeting of the research project TransB took place at Fifth in Eindhoven. During the meeting, researchers from Maastricht University (UM),  the University of Amsterdam (UvA), KWR and Bram Heijkers from Platform STAD met to discuss a toolbox for multiple value creation

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  • Kick-off nieuw BIPV(T)-innovatieproject voor de renovatiemarkt: BIPV(T) GEEFT MOOI ENERGIE!

    Tuesday, April 12, 2022 Read more
  • UM researchers stimulate the regional circular economy transition

    Tuesday, March 22, 2022

    Researchers at UNU-MERIT, the Maastricht Sustainability Institute and the Department of Chemical Engineering of Maastricht University have obtained a 1.5 million euro grant to contribute to an EU-funded project on plastic packaging recycling.  The EU is allocating a total budget of 9.6 million euros for the SYSCHEMIQ project as part of the Horizon Green Deal programme. The project is intended to facilitate the systemic transition to a circular economy in the region.

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  • patrick_huntjens.jpg

    Prof. Dr. Patrick Huntjens appointed Professor of Governance of Sustainability Transitions

    Monday, June 21, 2021

    In May 2021, Prof. Dr. Patrick Huntjens was appointed Professor of Governance of Sustainability Transitions, which is a Personal Chair at Maastricht Sustainability Institute (MSI) of the School of Business and Economics (SBE).

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MSI works from sustainability science, an emerging field trying to bring together science, policy and society to find answers to sustainable development challenges and to formulate new pathways to contribute to sustainability.

MSI researchers are involved in the conceptualization of sustainable development (making it operational in a meaningful way); the study of systems of governance (how sustainability issues are taken up by different actors); evaluating sustainability initiatives in business, policy and civic society; and theorizing and empirical analysis of innovation trajectories and sustainability transitions.

Research Lines

  • Sustainable Urban Development
  • Social Innovation and Transformation
  • Partnerships for Sustainability Certification

Go to Research Projects


The Maastricht University Graduate School of Sustainability Science & Policy (MUST) is based at MSI, which offers a PhD programme and Master programme to study the complex challenge of sustainable development in an international and interdisciplinary ambience. MSI provides also sustainable development courses at Bachelor level for other units at Maastricht University.

The PhD programme offers the opportunity to specialise in a sustainable development topic. In the Master programme special attention is paid to sustainability assessment in the broader context of innovation and governance for sustainable development.

Topics MSI focuses on:

  • health and environment
  • biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • energy, transport and climate
  • eco-innovation
  • sustainable business models
  • sustainable urban development
  • global certifying partnerships for agricultural commodities

ICIS International Centre for Integrated assessment and Sustainable development