Maastricht University (UM), celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2016, is one of the youngest and, with a respective share of nearly 50 and 40 percent of students and academic staff from abroad, one of the most international universities of the Netherlands. The Times Higher Education World University Ranking credited the excellency of research and teaching activities at UM with the 88th overall and 6th world rank of “100 under 50” in 2015. Distinctive features of UM are an inter- and transdisciplinary approach to knowledge development and a student-centred, problem-based approach to learning. 3,000+ academic staff, including 430+ professors, are working within and often across six faculties (Medicine & Life Sciences, Psychology & Neurosciences, Business & Economics, Law, Arts & Social Sciences, and Humanities & Sciences), creating a total revenue of € 378 million in 2014.
The International Centre for Integrated Assessment and Sustainable Development (ICIS) is hosted at the Faculty of Humanities and Sciences since 1998. The diverse and complementary expertise available at the institute centres thematically around sustainable energy, mobility, water, import products and health. ICIS researchers have a background in the social and/or the natural sciences and collaborate on a project-basis with a variety of stakeholders from research, policy, business and society on the local, regional, national and international level. In particular, methods for participative governance, joint knowledge production, technology implementation and conceptual-theoretical advancement are developed and applied in relation to sustainable urban environments, mobility concepts, renewable energy technologies, public-private partnerships and resource consumption reduction. To equip the next generation with knowledge and skills to tackle ‘wicked’ sustainability problems, teaching staff seeks to carry latest research methods and results into ICIS’ MSc programme on Sustainability Science and Policy and involves students in ongoing research projects where possible. Of additional relevance in the context of the ENGERISE-proposal are the experience and established working relations of ICIS staff with relevant stakeholders in the context of ‘sustainable urban lab’ projects.