Economic and ecological effects of changes in agricultural field size

Together with colleagues from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences inVienna, Lund University, the Bavarian State Institute of Agriculture and the University of Würzburg, Stefan Kirchweger has published a paper on “Do improved pollination services outweigh farm-economic disadvantages of working in small-structured agricultural landscapes? – Development and application of a bio-economic model” in the journal Ecological Economics. Using a spatially explicit landscape model, it is shown that an increase in agricultural field sizes leads to a significant decrease in pollination by wild bees and thus to lower yields on pollinator-dependent crops. This has a negative effect on agricultural revenues. In contrast, it is shown that the management of larger fields results in lower production costs and that this cost reduction is higher than the decrease in revenues. It is concluded that economic incentives and innovation will be needed in the future in order to manage small-scale farming structures profitably.

You can find the publication here.


STUDIA 50th anniversary

STUDIA celebrates its 50th anniversary on 4 October 2019. In 1969 Johann Millendorfer founded the study group for international analyses. Since then, many people have contributed to the success of this research institution: Employees, members of the board and association, business and research partners, sponsors, communities and public institutions. At locations in Vienna, Laxenburg and Schlierbach, STUDIA has dedicated itself to system analysis and supports those responsible in politics, business and society.

Program (inlcuing broadcasts of selected items):

  • Come together
  • Welcome address (Mag. Johannes BRANDL, Spes GmbH, Member of the Upper Austrian Landtag Dr. Christian DÖRFEL, Superintendent Dr. Gerold LEHNER)
  • Hans Millendorfer and his life(DI Heidrun FILZMOSER, Professor i.R. Dr. Gerhart BRUCKMANN)
  • STUDIA employees and current projects (DI Hannah POLITOR, DI Dr. Stefan KIRCHWEGER)
  • “The dawn of life – Why the culture of cooperation determines prosperity”, keynote address (Erik HÄNDELER, Wirtschaftsjournalist, Germany)
  • broadcast

  • Panel and audience discussion (Fritz AMMER, Zeitbank 55+, Mag. Bettina LANCASTER, Mayoress and Federal Councillor, Dr. Dieter GOPPOLD, District Governor, Mag. Doris STAUDINGER, Entreprenuer)
  • Closing statement and outlook (Dipl.-Math. Wolfgang BAASKE)

Managing director of SPES Mag. Johannes Brandl
Managing director of SPES Mag. Johannes Brandl

Superintendent Dr. Gerold Lehner
Superintendent Dr. Gerold Lehner

Gave an inspiring keynote speech: Erik Händeler
Gave an inspiring keynote speech: Erik Händeler

Erik Händeler presents LILA principles
Erik Händeler presents LILA principles

DI Heidrun Millendorfer talked about her father Dr. Johann Millendorfer
DI Heidrun Millendorfer talked about her father Dr. Johann Millendorfer” width

DI Peter Jungmeier (right) introduced the STUDIA researchers DI Hannah Politor and DI Dr. Stefan Kirchweger (middle). At the left side: freelancer DI Eva Seebacher
DI Peter Jungmeier (right) introduced the STUDIA researchers DI Hannah Politor and DI Dr. Stefan Kirchweger (middle). At the left side: freelancer DI Eva Seebacher

The audience
The audience

Dr. Johannes Pfaffenhuemer, Bezirkshauptmann Dr. Dieter Goppold, STUDIA Obmann Dipl.-Math. Wolfgang Baaske, Landtagsabgeordneter Bgm. Dr. Christian Dörfel
Dr. Johannes Pfaffenhuemer, Bezirkshauptmann Dr. Dieter Goppold, STUDIA Obmann Dipl.-Math. Wolfgang Baaske, Landtagsabgeordneter Bgm. Dr. Christian Dörfel

STUDIA Obmann Dipl.-Math. Wolfgang Baaske, Gretl Millendorfer, Christiane Underberg
Head of the Board of STUDIA Dipl.-Math. Wolfgang Baaske, Gretl Millendorfer, Christiane Underberg

Michael Stüve and Gretl Millendorfer
Michael Stüve and Gretl Millendorfer

Im Gespräch: STUDIA Obmann Dipl.-Math. Wolfgang Baaske and Prof. i.R. Dr. Gerhart Bruckmann
Head of the Board STUDIA Dipl.-Math. Wolfgang Baaske and Prof. i.R. Dr. Gerhart Bruckmann

Discussions at the buffet (Maria Baaske, BSc., Ondrej and Paola Gelnar, v.l.n.r.)
Discussions at the buffet (Maria Baaske, BSc., Ondrej and Paola Gelnar, v.l.n.r.)

Head of the Board of STUDIA Dipl.-Math. Wolfgang Baaske explains the regiona mobility project EBIM to DI Alois Aigner (right)
Head of the Board of STUDIA Dipl.-Math. Wolfgang Baaske explains the regiona mobility project EBIM to DI Alois Aigner (right)

DI Dr. Stefan Kirchweger and DI Otto Hofer (BMNT)
DI Dr. Stefan Kirchweger and DI Otto Hofer (BMNT)

Einladung zum Workshop “Landbewirtschaftung und Naturschutz auf Almen und Bergwiesen”

am Donnerstag den 08.07.2021 von 14:00 bis 16:00 Uhr im SPES Schlierbach

Veranstalter: STUDIA Schlierbach und Institut für Agrar- und Forstökonomie BOKU Wien im Projekt LANA:

Welche Besonderheiten haben Almen und Bergwiesen in der Region Eisenwurzen? Wie sollten sie gestaltet werden? Kann die Bewirtschaftung und der Naturschutz in Einklang gebracht werden?

Almflächen und Bergwiesen zeichnen sich durch eine vielfältige Bewirtschaftung und einzigartige Flora und Fauna aus. Ihr gesellschaftlicher Wert als Natur- und Kulturgut ist hoch. Im Projekt LANA erforschen wir die unterschiedlichen Erwartungen an die Almflächen und Bergwiesen in der Region Eisenwurzen. 

STUDIA Schlierbach und die BOKU Wien laden Sie ein, ihr Wissen und Ihre Erfahrungen einzubringen und die zukunftsfähigen Eigenschaften unserer Almen und Bergwiesen aufzuzeigen. Nehmen Sie teil mit Ihrer Expertise in Natur und Landwirtschaft, Haltung, Bewirtschaftung von Almen und Bergwiesen oder in Ihrer Verantwortung in der öffentlichen Verwaltung, in Tourismusverbänden … Besonders herzlich willkommen sind Interessierte aus der Bevölkerung.

Kontakt: Stefan Kirchweger
Anmeldung: wenn möglich erbeten bis 05.07.2021


Project title:
Regional analysis of the economic effects as a driver for the implementation of climate strategies – on the example of the KEM Murtal (Climate and energy model region Murtal)

Project partners:
Akaryon GmbH


Dr. Günter Wind, Ingenieurbüro für Physik

Energieagentur Obersteiermark GmbH

Goal of the project:
Regional economic effects are an argument for the implementation of climate strategies. Regional leaders are often faced with the task of justifying projects and overcoming resistance. Typically, however, there are no well-founded figures on the effects. In cooperation with the KEM Murtal, scenarios for the implementation of climate strategies and economic linkages in the region are being developed with the help of a survey of businesses in the region and during two participatory workshops. The mapping of material and energy flows and the regionalisation of the input-output analysis determine the regional economic effects – and reflect the results back to the region.

Companies, responsible persons and the population are to be won over with well-founded arguments for investments in climate protection. This innovative approach is transferable to other regions.

A wide range of dissemination of the results is achieved through a publication of the results and the “Guide for Replication” as well as presentations at KEM professional events or at events of the Regional Development (e.g. LEADER).

Investments in renewable energies and energy efficiency increase regional value creation and create jobs. How much this amounts to in the Murtal region is determined on the basis of the energy potentials and economic interdependencies in the region and put into figures.

The project highlights the regional anchoring of the production sectors and service industries. Customers increasingly appreciate the regional value of companies, which is also an important part of raising awareness for climate protection.

Project duration:
March 2021 to July 2021

Stefan Kirchweger

Wolfgang Baaske


Project title:
Land management and nature conservation on alpine pastures and mountain meadows – a participatory economic observation (LANA-Partizip)

For centuries Austria’s landscape has been shaped by agriculture. Agriculture is thus mainly responsible for shaping the living space in rural regions and the resulting cultural landscape. In alpine regions, farming extends to high altitudes and is also of considerable importance on alpine pastures. Especially there one finds a unique flora and fauna. To preserve this flora and fauna and to ensure these special habitats for plants and animals, some alpine pastures and mountain meadows in Austria have been included in the zones of Natura 2000 areas, nature reserves and national parks.

This can result in land use regulations for agriculture that do not always correspond to the prevailing management of the land. Such restrictions on use can take different forms with different management prohibition periods. The clash of different strategies for the conservation of the cultural and natural goods of the alpine pastures can lead to conflicts of use. Since both nature conservation and agriculture are supported with public funds and alpine pastures are a point of attraction for tourists, societal expectations play a decisive role in the design of utilisation strategies and support measures. The aim of this project is to gain a better understanding of societal expectations regarding the use of alpine pastures and mountain meadows. In particular, agriculture and nature conservation are to be better harmonised in order to achieve an optimum of both goods. The knowledge gained should lead to a sustainable development of these regions and increase the value of alpine pastures and mountain meadows in society. It facilitates agricultural management with respect to the amenities of the alpine landscape and the sustainability of its production. The demands of residents and visitors can then trigger local value creation and the building of resilient regional supply.

02/2021 – 07/2022

Project partner:
Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Economics, BOKU

Project lead:
Stefan Kirchweger, STUDIA

Commissioned and financed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism and the Office of the Upper Austrian Provincial Government, project number (101558)


Im Projekt ZEAFOLU (null Emissionen aus Land- und Forstwirtschaft und
anderen Formen der Landnutzung in der OÖ Eisenwurzen und darüber hinaus) sollen auf Basis eines biophysischen Biomasseflussmodels und gemeinsam mit Stakeholdern potentielle Handlungsoptionen aufgezeigt werden, die in einer Null-Emissionsstrategie umsetzbar sind. Unterschiedliche Optionen der Landnutzung (Flächenbedarf, Landnutzungsintensität, Technologie, Ernährungsweise und Biomassenachfrage) werden unter Berücksichtigung von Effekten auf Biodiversität, Volkswirtschaft und Wohlbefinden systematisch analysiert. Solche Analysen sind durch komplexe Handelsverflechtungen und die räumlichen Entkopplung von Produktion und Nachfragen komplex und schwierig, insbesondere wenn es darum geht konkrete Schlussfolgerungen auf kleinräumlicher Ebene zu treffen. Aus diesem Grund verfolgt ZEAFOLU ein vereinfachtes Design, welches vier räumliche Ebenen einer Null-Emissionsstrategie der Landnutzung systematisch verbindet: (a) die ländliche Region Eisenwurzen, (b) die nationale Ebene Österreich, regional unterteilt; (c) die Ebene der 28-EU-Mitgliedstaaten und (d) die globale Ebene, untergliedert in elf Weltregionen. Die letzten beiden Ebenen dienen im Besonderen der Analyse der Bedeutung von internationalen Handelsströmen für die Erreichung des Null-Netto-Emissionszieles auf regionaler Ebene und für gesamt Österreich.

Projektpartner: Institut für Soziale Ökologie, BOKU Wien

Gefördert durch: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Dr. Ignaz- Seipel Platz, 1010 Wien, Österreich

Kontakt: Stefan Kirchweger

Concrete energy system transformation

Concrete energy system transformation – regionally integrated with resource / energy and value added potential

The main objective of the project is to be able to easily survey regional renewable resources, to illustrate them clearly, to optimise their use and to show the (regional) economic and ecological value added.

We create a digital toolbox for the development of integrated energy concepts for local and regional managers and planners with

  • A strong energy map software for the localization of measures, e.g. power plants etc. (including the calculation of land requirements and potential energy yields),
  • <

  • the coupled optimized energy conversion calculator REsys for comparison of demand and application over time and the process network synthesis PNS for the (not only economic) optimization of a technology network,
  • integrated energy demand data,
  • a standardised communication and process design for the economic implementation of projects involving stakeholders in energy system transformation processes
  • new functions for strong local climate models as well as for
  • with functions for the determination of costs and benefits and an assessment of the value added of energy system transformation measures from a (regional) economic perspective.

The Consortium:
akaryon – coordinates the project, collaborates on the mathematical models, is responsible for common data structures and develops some of the tools for the toolbox, based on the tool REsys, which was conceived and launched in recent years together with Dr. Günter Wind and Dr. Horst Lunzer, both of whom are also involved in the project.
Strateco OG – introduces the optimization tool PNS and leads the work with the users.
IBBD – will contribute climate models and data.
STUDIA – will provide cost, benefit and value added analyses.
TU Vienna and BOKU Vienna – will contribute data and modelling on the energy supply and demand side as well as know-how in the field of communication and process design.

The project is supported by the FFG in the COIN conveyor rail.

There is the possibility for municipalities, regions, planners, consultants within the framework of this project to participate in workshops, to try out the toolbox or to go through an energy concept development process with it.
If you are interested please contact Petra Busswald from akaryon:






Project title:
Low emission commuting with smart micro public transport services (EBIM-ÖV)

Project partner:
FH OÖ Forschungs und Entwicklungs GmbH, Research Group: Networks and Mobility

Project aim:
The basic aim of this project is to establish a scientific and technical basis für a broadly accepted micro public transport service for solving the first and last mile problem. As a result, we expect a reduction of individual traffic in the respective rural areas, particularly along the highly frequented commuter roads, and a reduction in CO2 emissions concomittant therewith.

Project procedure:
A detailed description of the project can be found here at FH OÖ.

Project period:
01/2019 – 12/2020

Stefan Kirchweger

The project is funded through the structural programm „Investitionen in Wachstum und Beschäftigung Österreich 2014-2020″, with funds from the European ERDF(European Regional Development Fund) and the Austrian state Upper Austria.



InnoForESt – Innovations in Forest Ecosystem Services

Project title: Smart information, governance and business innovations for sustainable supply and payment mechanisms for forest ecosystem services

InnoForESt seeks to spark a transformation of the European forest sector by stimulating innovations for the sustainable supply and financing of forest ecosystem services.

The overarching objective of InnoForESt is to steer policies and businesses through the establishment of new actor alliances and payment schemes in the forestry sector demonstrating the feasibility of alternative income streams from forest ecosystem services not yet harnessed by traditional markets. InnoForESt has established four specific objectives to be targeted:

  • synthetizing information on forest ecosystem service provision
  • understanding success factors of novel policy and business models
  • upgrading, upscaling and mainstreaming
  • provisioning of policy and business recommendations

The expected impacts of InnoForESt are

  • enhanced coordination in policy making
  • development of novel policies and business processes
  • increased incentives for the sustainable supply of essential forest ecosystem service
  • sustainable production of wood and non-wood forest products

Why InnoForESt?
Forests are the backbone of our environment and our livelihood. They are a habitat for numerous plant and animal species, a place of recreation and an attraction for tourism. Forests filter air and water, prevent avalanches and landslides. They store carbon in trees and soils and thus protect our climate. And last but not least, they supply valuable wood as a sustainable renewable resource. In science, these advantages are referred to as “forest ecosystem services”. Securing their supply in the future requires new and unconventional approaches in forest management, in the economy in general and supporting political measures.
The InnoForESt project aims to identify, improve and disseminate promising innovative ideas that will benefit forest and forest-related enterprises, citizens and future generations.

Detailed project description
Throughout Europe, forest stakeholders are exploring new ways to reconcile the provision of forest ecosystem services with societal demands and economic necessities. A selection of six European initiatives forms the core of the project. They serve as good and successful practical examples, as network partners for exchange and as case studies for scientific analysis.
The project brings together 16 partner organisations from nine EU countries. The consortium includes forest and environmental administrations, wood processing and consulting companies, hunting associations, forest enterprises, landowners and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as European universities and research institutes. All partners are experienced in researching and developing novel policy and business models for forest ecosystem services. Through the close interaction of research and practice, InnoForESt will identify promising examples for the provision of diverse forest ecosystem services, learn from them and explore their opportunities and limitations.

The project also aims to explore the potential of transferring innovation to other regions or countries across Europe. The main aim is to identify influencing factors and framework conditions for a reliable establishment of innovation. Novel networks of actors within and outside the forestry sector will develop recommendations for decision-makers in politics and practice. Our networks are open to further innovators and ideas. In each case study region, “platforms for innovation” will be established. They are intended to facilitate cooperation and knowledge transfer. We invite all those who (want to) deal with innovation for the provision of forest ecosystem services to participate in our project activities.

Future project activities

  • Internationale project meeting von 29. – 31. October 2019

Previous project activities
So far, interviews with stakeholders, focus groups and two workshops have been conducted in the Eisenwurzen research region. The resulting innovation ideas as well as the workshop protocols and keynote speeches are available for download here.

Project partners
Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde, HNEE, Deutschland / Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V., ZALF, Deutschland / Suomen ympäristökeskus, SYKE, Finnland / Università degli Studi di Trento, UNITN, Italien / Centrum transdisciplinarnych studiicetio N.O., CETIP SK, Slowakei / Forstliche Versuchs- und Forschungsanstalt Baden-Württemberg, FVA, Deutschland / Universiteit Twente, UT, Niederlande / Lunds Universitet, ULUND, Schweden / Universität Innsbruck, UIBK, Österreich / European Landowners Organization, ELO ASBL, Belgien / Studienzentrum für internationale Analysen (STUDIA), Österreich/ Suomen metsäkeskus – Finlands skogscentral, FFC, Finnland / Stiftung Akademie für Nachhaltige Entwicklung Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, ANE, Deutschland / Provincia autonoma di Trento, PAT, Italien / IREAS, Institut pro Strukturalni Politiku OPS, IREAS CZ, Tschechische Republik / Universeum AB, Universeum, Schweden

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 under the Grant Agreement number 763899, InnoForESt project, within the Innovation Action.
Budget: 4,019 Mio. EURO
Procet duration: 11/2017 – 10/2020

Wolfgang Baaske

Twitter: @ InnoForESt

Meals on Wheels

“Meals on wheels” all over the Kirchdorf district

SHV_stella-de-smit-516866-unsplash_Photo by Stella de Smit on UnsplashTo be able to live within one’s own four walls as long as possible is an important concern for most elderly people. Meals on wheels is an important offer that makes this wish a reality. “If my mother is not cared for, she must go to the nursing home” This statement is often heard in the social counselling centres of the social welfare association Kirchdorf (SHV).
This is because the offer in the communities of the Kirchdorf district is highly varied. Kremsmünster, for example, is already celebrating the 30th anniversary of its meal service in 2019. Here and in other communities, committed volunteer deliverers take care of the supply. Many communities in the district, on the other hand, are still “white spots” on the supply map. However, the number of older and elderly people is also increasing in these communities. In addition, there are large differences in the prices for menus and deliveries.
Thus the SHV Kirchdorf started a project at the beginning of the year to develop a districtwide service covering the whole area. STUDIA is currently assessing the needs and the existing services in all municipalities of the district. Based on these results – taking into account the successful models that already exist in the district – a concept is to be developed that will enable a complete supply of “meals on wheels” for the entire district at uniform prices and framework conditions. This model will be tested in a pilot region at the beginning of 2020.

Quote Dr. Goppold (Chairman SHV Kirchdorf): “We are very proud of the existing initiatives. The staff do a lot to provide for our elderly at home. However, we would like to be able to provide for all people in need in the district and therefore make the offer better known. We also want to make use of synergy effects and develop approaches for further services.”

Contact: Hannah Politor