Social-ecological Research (SÖF)

The establishment of the funding prirority Social-Ecological Research (SÖF) marked the transition from environmental research to sustainability research within the BMBF...

Junge Pflanze mit Erde in Händen gehalten (yaruta/Thinkstock)
Young plant in hands
photo: yaruta/Thinkstock

The establishment of the funding priority Social-Ecological Research (SÖF) in 1999 marked the transition from environmental research towards sustainability research within the BMBF. Society-related sustainability research has become a major component of the BMBF’s “Research for Sustainable Development” (FONA) framework programme. This research concludes that sustainable development can only be achieved by linking innovations in natural sciences and engineering with social innovations.

Societal transformation processes guided towards a sustainable development are a key subject of the SÖF funding priority. It generates knowledge for sustainability transformations such as the energy transformation, sustainable urban and rural development, climate protection and adapting to climate change, and the transition to sustainable economic practice. An additional aspect is the promotion of young scientists by junior research groups.
Due to its complexity, SÖF follows the approach of a learning programme. It is further developed in a transdisciplinary manner in the form of an agenda-process. 

For current funding measures and projects see "Measuers" at the bottom of this page.