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?


  • umio

    A Circular Economy Approach

    Thursday, October 1, 2020
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  • nancy_bocke

    CIRCULAR X: new EU-funded project on Circular Service Business Models

    Tuesday, April 21, 2020

    Lead by Professor Nancy Bocken, CIRCULAR X will develop a new field of research on experimentation with circular service business models (CSBMs) in the transition to a circular economy.

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  • nancy_brocken

    Prof. dr. Nancy Bocken appointed as Professor Sustainable Business

    Wednesday, March 4, 2020

    Prof. dr. Nancy Bocken is appointed as fulltime Professor Sustainable Business at the Maastricht Sustainability Institute – School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University as from 1 March 2020

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  • energise

    Small change, big impact

    Thursday, February 20, 2020

    Can you reduce the room temperature of your home and still feel comfortable? Can you keep up the habit of doing fewer loads of laundry? Yes and yes, according to the findings of the ENERGISE project, which challenged 300 households in eight countries to reduce their energy consumption.

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  • greenspace

    Urban greenspace as motor for exercising, meeting and relaxing

    Wednesday, February 12, 2020

    Last year, the Maastricht Sustainability Institute joined forces with the public health service (GGD) of Zuid Limburg to investigate the influence of 'green in the neighborhood' on the health of residents in Maastricht.

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  • MSI

    Subsidy awarded to 'RuimteGIDS': towards an environment that stimulates healthy behavior

    Tuesday, January 14, 2020

    ZonMw has awarded a four-tonne subsidy to the South Limburg consortium "Making space for health in the city" (RuimteGIDS).

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  • Visietheek

    Pop-up store Visietheek: shopping your own dream centre

    Wednesday, November 27, 2019

    More than 100 enthusiastic and curious citizens from Meerssen (municipality north of Maastricht) visited the Visietheek, a pop-up store in Meerssen on November 21st. Each one of them shopped his or her personal dream centre for Meerssen together, built on inspiring examples from elsewhere.

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  • Fair-trademark muddle

    Many medals make a muddle

    Monday, November 18, 2019

    “Fairtrade labels are meant to safeguard our values and turn them into verifiable standards,” explains Ceren Pekdemir from UM’s International Centre for Integrated assessment and Sustainable development (ICIS). “They have an effect on the wages and training farmers receive – but not to the extent consumers would hope.”

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  • klimaatmars

    Marching together to save the climate

    Thursday, September 19, 2019

    Global climate change is an issue that Arthur Bribosia (UCM) and Marion Meyers (DKE) feel very strongly about. Strong enough to take action. Last May, they got 3000 people out on the street to join the first climate march in Maastricht. For the next march, scheduled for 20 September, they’re hoping for 5000 participants.

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  • Sustainabul

    Maastricht University 6th in SustainaBul ranking

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019

    Starting in 2012, the SustainaBul (which is a pun, as a ‘bul’ is the degree you receive when graduating from university) has ranked the sustainability of the Dutch higher education institutions. The ranking is organised every year by Studenten voor Morgen, a Dutch student initiative. Participating institutions have to fill out a questionnaire to assess the sustainability level of their research, education, business management and integral approach. This month the results from the ranking of 2019 were presented.

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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