Sustainable prosperity in rural areas
As a globally unique research institution of agricultural economics, the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO) focuses primarily on the penetrating processes of change, and the ongoing developmental deficits of the agricultural and food economy and of rural areas in Central and Eastern Europe. IAMO uses the knowledge gained from this research to tackle the comparable economic and social challenges in Southern Europe, the expanding European Union, and Central and Eastern Asia. The Institute sees itself as a constructive force in international research into agricultural economics. Its research studies are published in recognised academic journals and debated at renowned international conferences. It acts as a forum of exchange, thereby promoting the linking up of research at an international level, and dialogue between leaders from the academic world, politics and business. The Institute also uses its capacities and position for the qualification of academics. In this respect there is a particular focus on supporting young academics from the regions studied. Through its international orientation and cooperation with other teaching and research institutions, especially with Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, IAMO is helping strengthen the position of Halle as an academic centre.
Economic and social challenges
In spite of great efforts and much success, the development of the agricultural and food economy in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and of Central and Eastern Asia is still far behind that of Western industrial nations. In some instances it is following its own, very specific, development paths. There is also a huge gulf in the level of development between successful and stagnating regions within individual countries and between countries. Many rural regions have only few employment opportunities and some suffer from extreme poverty, leading to systematic migration and a gradual aging of the population. These developments – determined not least by impediments of economic policy and institutions – are a result of an insufficient change in agricultural structure as well as untapped productivity and innovation reserves in enterprises within the agricultural and food economy. What is more, product and factor markets often only function in a limited way, and the coordination of the relations of economic exchange need substantial reorganisation. At the same time, international political and economic processes of integration mean that the global challenges of competition, environmental protection and technological progress are becoming ever more important for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe as well as for the transition countries bordering on the East. The agricultural and food economy as well as the policy of the expanding European Union are also affected directly by these developments.
Research and transfer of knowledge
The Institute considers itself to be a leading international centre of expertise which scientifically tackles the pressing economic and social challenges in the agricultural and food economy and the rural areas of Central and Eastern Europe, and of the transition economies bordering on the East. By applying and developing recent economic theories and research methods, IAMO makes a substantial contribution towards the understanding of, and improvement in, business ideas, processes of competition and innovation, structural and institutional change, the development of economic and regional policy measures, and living conditions in rural regions.
IAMO does not just direct its research to the academic community, but also to political and business leaders, international organisations and the public. Research findings are published in recognised journals of economics and agricultural economics, and are discussed at renowned international academic conferences. A wider circle of interested parties is kept informed via the daily press, specialist journals, the radio and the Internet. The transfer of research and knowledge in the regions under study is important here. The research activity of the Institute is supported by well-known national and European institutions of research funding, and integrated into national and international research networks.
Efficiency and quality management
The Institute’s strategic orientation and research management incorporates the areas of expertise of staff members in close cooperation with IAMO’s international scientific advisory board. Strategic management instruments allow the combination of the greatest possible research freedom with targeted and autonomous work in project groups. They also ensure that IAMO sets out its key research areas clearly, and in a way which addresses both the problems in hand, as well as the parties involved. In accordance with the profile of the Leibniz Community, the quality of the Institute’s work and findings is guaranteed by regular internal and external appraisals.
IAMO faces the national and international research competition with an efficient organisation. Up-to-date analysis of institutional, economic and political upheavals means that IAMO needs flexible and adaptable structures. The key principles behind the Institute’s work are flat hierarchies combined with particular support for the independent research of young academics and systematic supervision of Ph.D. students.
IAMO creates a climate of creativity and competition. The atmosphere is marked by personal integrity and fairness in dealings with each other. The Institute practises equal opportunities for men and women and implements measures to enable the compatibility of family and career.