University of Stuttgart / ZIRIUS


Address /
Contact person

Seidenstr. 36
70174 Stuttgart, Germany
Prof. Ortwin Renn, ortwin.renn(at)


As interdisciplinary research center 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 and 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.


Key Business / Risk Area

Business Areas:




Infrastructure & Construction


Social science & humanities



Industrial Technologies





Risk Areas:

Risk Governance

Industrial Risk

Environmental Risks

Occupational Risks

Financial Risks

Social/Societal Risks

Health Risks

Asset Integrity Risks (RBI etc.)

Life Cycle Analysis

Standards and Regulations















Main Products / Services

The central task of the Center is to stimulate, coordinate and conduct research projects on the following topics:

  • Research on risk analysis, risk management and risk communication in the context of globalization and mutual interdependence with a focus on environmental, climate and health risks.
  • Innovation research on the socio-economic and institutional conditions of (technological) innovation processes, as well as on the economic, political, social and cultural conditions, including risks and opportunities, of socio-technical transformation processes.
  • Exploration and communication of the connections between ecological, economic, social and cultural expressions of future sustainable energy paths. 





Key Projects
(running or just finished)



Why we joined EU-VRi?

University of Stuttgart (ZIRIUS) is a Founding Member of EU-VRi.