Fig. 2. Creating an enabling environment for effective sustainability research at universities. Universities might change incentive systems and adapt quality criteria for evaluating job applications and grant proposals for research funding, and push to change peer review of scientific performance. Universities can also build up research capacities for increased problem orientation, interdisciplinarity, and partnerships. First, professional services (comparable to technology transfer offices or corporate communication units) aid researchers through professional advice and training. Second, institutional structures may be changed, e.g., through the formation of interdisciplinary research departments. Third, students and researchers may be educated to develop the particular skills needed for novel types of research activities. Outreach needs to change from unidirectional knowledge transfer to reciprocal knowledge exchange. Each of these changes can be implemented at the level of system optimization (fine tuning and adapting the existing system) or system innovation (fundamental system changes).

Fig. 2