Founder and history of STUDIA

The founder Johann Millendorfer

Johann Millendorfer _Portrait

Univ. Prof. Dr. techn. Johann Millendorfer (1921 – 2001)

Millendorfer was a pioneer of systems analysis and the founder of the study organisation Studiengruppe für Internationale Analysen. He made important contributions to empirical social research and to the effective forecasting of social and economic systems. Born in Vienna in 1921 he studied physics and began his career as an industrial research engineer. After eleven years in industry he turned to the study of social sciences and economics. With his technical expertise he developed the methodology fort he applied systems analysis of society. He founded STUDIA, as an institution dedicated to examining technology, the economy, society and values through international comparisons. The focal issues in Millendorfer‘s work included the major process of transformation following the end of the Iron Curtain and the growing crisis in agriculture in the wake of the continuing development of agricultural technology. Millendorfer taught systems analysis at the Technical University of Graz and political sciences at the University of Vienna.
Important fields of work: the significance of education for efficiency and the creation of value in an economy (University Virginia/USA)
Publications: Prognoses for Austria (1973), the Contours of Change – Strategies for the Future on the Fall of the Iron Curtain (1978)


  • 1969 founding of the Studiengruppe für internationale Analysen (STUDIA)
    as a study group in the Austrian Research Foundation for Development Cooperation (ÖFSE) in Vienna
    Important fields of work: education as a production factor, macro-psychological research into the family and its role in Europe, “Sick Giants – Healthy Dwarves, Cooperation, competition and the division of labour between large-scale and small enterprises
  • 1982 STUDIA moved to Laxenburg (Lower Austria) as a branch of the Joanneum Research Institution, Graz. Cooperation with the Institute for the World Economy* (Kiel, Germany), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis IIASA (Laxenburg) and with the Research Department of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. Support for this work was provided by the Austrian Chancellor Josef Klaus and the President Rudolf Kirchschläger, as also by the Secretary General of the Federation of Austrian Industrialists Herbert Krejci and by the CEO of the Raiffeisenlandesbank Christian Konrad.
    STUDIA is concerned with long-term development perspectives, in particular those with a long wavelength and having extensive ranges and impacts. The downturns in these result from constraints. What are referred to as LILA principles are developed against this background. STUDIA has recognised and explored the remarkable and growing significance of rural space for industrialised society. The work of STUDIA has received recognition form many leading scientists including Donella Meadows (Club of Rome), John Richardson (The American University), Paul Neurath (sociology), Jan Tinbergen (Nobel Prize winner) and Gerhart Bruckmann (statistician).
    Publications: Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der Marktwirtschaft in Entwicklungsländern (1983), Long Waves, Growth Retarding Factors and Paradigms of a New Upswing (1987) LINK
  • 1992 re-structured as a financially independent research institution “Studienzentrum für internationale Analysen” with headquarters at Schlierbach (Upper Austria) in SPES Zukunftsakademie, a research organisation founded by Millendorfer. The Chairman is District Governor Dr. Knut Spelitz, the Scientific Director is Wolfgang Baaske. The new start was supported by the Province of Upper Austria, the Upper Austrian Chamber of Commerce, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Federation of Austrian Industrialists.
    Important work is carried out on regional development, agriculture, administration and economic policy.
    Publications: Externe Effekte der bäuerlichen Landwirtschaft in Bayern (1192), Strukturuntersuchung der Erzdiözese München und Freising (1997), Aufbruch zum Leben (2002)
  • 2002 Wolfgang Baaske is Chairperson of STUDIA, Bettina Lancaster a board member. STUDIA works at the interface of research and practical implementation. Our headquarters in a small rural community provides the direct access and perspective for many important issues: in agriculture and forestry, energy and local supply functions, industry and tourism, local authorities and administration, education and the infrastructure, the environment and the arts. The issues addressed include the defining of quality of life in a rural context? The establishing of how this quality can be achieved and extended? Determining who is required for the process of acceptable implementation? Establishing what inputs technologies and institutions can make? STUDIA has become increasingly international in its work and scope. We participated in our first EU project in 1998: “Holistic integration of renewable energy”. In the subsequent two decades we have been partners in over 20 European (research) projects, as well as taking a leading position as highly successful applicants and international project coordinators. We work together with enterprises and associations, state organisations, the local and regional authorities, universities and tertiary education facilities. We support them in developing their strategies and products for the future.
    Publications: Gendergerechte Planung einer Kleinbiogasanlage (2015), Sustainability appraisal of residential energy demand and supply – a life cycle approach including heating, electricity, embodied energy and mobility (2014), Verwaltungsreform mit größeren und leistungsfähigeren Gemeinden (2013), Sustainability Effects of the Austrian Programme for Rural Development 07/13 (2011), Robust variable selection with application to quality of life research (2010), Agriculture as a success factor for municipalities (2009), Evaluating local commitment for employment (2004), Biogas Powered Fuel Cells (2004) LINKs