Collaboration with other institutes

PBL has ongoing collaborations with national and international institutes, such as universities, the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) –and with national and international institutes that do comparable work. This page provides information on a number of these institutes.

National partners

Colleges of further education


Research institutes

Specialised organisations

Umbrella organisations

Advisory boards

European partners

European Commission (EC)

PBL works for the European Commission in several fields. This concerns projects that are aimed to support policy-making, as well as research projects to expand the knowledge base.

DG Climate action

For a number of years now, PBL has been leading a consortium of European research institutes for DG Climate Action, to respond to knowledge questions and support Europe in international climate negotiations. In addition, PBL is involved in the exploration of financial instruments for implementing climate policy.

DG Environment

PBL has conducted several projects in support of policy, including a framework contract on the environment and the economy.  

DG Research and Innovation

Within the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), PBL is conducting various research projects, such as ADVANCE (energy and climate modelling), COMBINE (climate scenarios) and PATHWAYS (sustainability transitions). PBL is also involved in several proposals for the Horizon 2020 research programme.

DG Regional and Urban Policy

PBL conducts research projects in the fields of smart specialisation and the competitive positions of regions.

Joint Research Centre (JRC)

JRC is the in-house research institute of the European Commission. PBL collaborates with JRC in the fields of smart specialisation and the competitive positions of regions.

European Spatial Planning Observation Network (ESPON)

ESPON is the research programme for spatial development and policy on European level. It presents current and future developments in various fields, such as the economy, traffic, demography and the environment. Furthermore, ESPON also conducts spatial impact analyses with respect to EU policy. ESPON also conducts research at the request of national governments (with a minimum of 3 countries per subject). Research is conducted via tenders by transnational project teams. PBL is the ESPON contact point for the Netherlands. PBL contact person: David Evers.

European Environment Agency (EEA)

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has the task to provide relevant and reliable information on the climate and the environment for the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the EU Member States and the general public. The EEA does this by analysing the environment and environmental trends in connection with the pressure exerted by economic and social forces. In addition, the EEA develops scenarios, conducts policy assessments and quality evaluations of environmental data. It also coordinates the European environment information and observation network (EIONET). PBL, as the National Focal Point (NFP), is the contact point for the EEA and, as such, coordinates the Dutch network of experts and data suppliers to the EEA. PBL contact persons for NFP is Kees Schotten.

European Network of the Heads of Environment Protection Agencies (EPA)

PBL is a member of the European Network of the Heads of Environment Protection Agencies (EPA).  This is an informal network of directors of European environmental institutes. It was set up and is supported by the EEA (see above). The network meets twice a year to share visions and experiences around the implementation of environment policies, monitoring and assessments, and new relevant developments. A number of working groups are active in various fields, under the EPA network.

Heads of European Nature Conservation Agencies (ENCA)

PBL is a member of the network of the Heads of European Nature Conservation Agencies (ENCA). This network meets annually, to share experiences on policy and scientific fields and to further mutual collaborations. Strategic visions are developed, best practices are exchanged and the scientific basis of decision-making is strengthened. ENCA strives to be a forum for dialogue, offering support to the affiliated institutes and to enhance leadership. It operates analogous to the EPA network.

Europe’s long-term biodiversity, ecosystem and awareness research network (ALTER-Net)

ALTER-net, the Long-Term Biodiversity, Ecosystem and Awareness Research Network, is Europe's ecosystem research network. It is intended to exchange experiences and enhance collaboration. It consists of members from 27 institutes from 18 EU Member States, with the aim of integrating their individual work and knowledge. They present biodiversity changes and analyse the underlying causes, study the impacts on ecosystem services, and inform both the general public and decision-makers. ALTER-net is the continuation of a Network of Excellence of the European Union, and since 2009 is funded by the participating institutes themselves. Activities include the exchange of knowledge via conferences, facilitation of setting up EU-funded joint research projects and an annual summer school for young researchers.

European research institutes

PBL collaborates with various European research institutes, particularly within projects for the European Framework Programme and Horizon 2020. A few examples are presented below.

  • Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM): The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) conducts research in the fields of sustainable development and global governance. PBL collaborates with FEEM in a number of European projects, such as FP7 projects PATHWAYS, ADVANCE and LIMITS.
  • Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK): The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) conducts research on climate change and its consequences. PBL collaborates with PIK on various fields, including integrated assessments and vulnerability analyses. A large part of the collaboration takes place within European projects such as FP7 ADVANCE.
  • International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA): IIASA is an Austrian research institute funded by a large number of countries to develop knowledge on global development and environmental issues through applied systems analysis. PBL has been working with IIASA on a large number of projects for some time now, including those in the fields of climate policy, air pollution and integrated assessment. Examples include projects around the IMAGE model (funded by DG Research of the European Commission) and collaborations around the RAINS model. 
  • Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
  • Openness

Other international organisations

  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 
    PBL works on the CIRCLE project, together with the environmental directorate of the OECD. This project presents the consequences for economic development of resource use and environmental degradation. Subsequently, it looks at policy options to limit their negative feedback. PBL has also contributed to an earlier project; the 'OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050'. On occasion, PBL collaborates with the OECD in fields such as biodiversity, air quality, and the greening of taxation.
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) .
    The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) carries out various environmental tasks on behalf of the United Nations, coordinating the implementation of environmental agreements, and publishing a variety of reports on the state of the environment at various levels. In the past, PBL has collaborated in various UNEP global environmental outlooks and, in this respect, is UNEP's oldest collaborating partner. In the most recent outlook (GEO-5), several PBL staff were involved in the scenario chapter, as well as in a coordinating role. Furthermore, PBL is involved in the UNEP Resource Panel (both via participation in the panel and with support in the form of advice and research).
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
    The objective of IPCC is to assess the risks of climate change, based on the scientific literature, and publish the results in assessment reports in order to support the policy process. The panel consist of hundreds of experts from all over the world, from universities, research centres, enterprises, and environmental and other organisations. Various PBL researchers contribute to IPCC reports in Working Group 1 (climate knowledge), Working Group 2 (impacts and adaptation) and Working Group 3 (mitigation), as well as in the Synthesis Report in the role of lead author and contributing author. In addition, PBL also contributes to the development of scenarios used by IPCC. PBL's predecessors also housed the Technical Support Unit of Working Group 3, during the IPCC's Third and Fourth Assessment Reports.
  • The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). 
    IPBES has the objective to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES). In this way IPBES contributes to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being, and sustainable development. PBL hosts the IPBES Technical Support Unit (TSU) for scenarios and modeling of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The TSU supports the IPBES task force on scenarios and models, that guides and supports IPBES expert groups on assessing scenarios and modeling studies. Furthermore the TSU catalyzes the development of new scenarios for biodiversity and ecosystem services by the broader scientific community. In addition, PBL researchers have been working as authors on various IPBES assessments, such as
    •  the methodological assessment on scenarios and models for biodiversity and ecosystem services  (2016),
    •  the thematic assessment on land degradation and restoration (2018),
    •  the regional assessment for Europe and Central Asia on BES (2017) and
    •  the global assessment on BES (2019).Fifth Assessment Report.