The institute’s fundamental international and interdisciplinary approach is reflected in the research activities being undertaken. Environment, sustainability and society are issues being focused on in numerous ways. Research projects currently in progress are concerned with, for example, the use of microbial bio-catalysers in the European paper industry; the establishment of new, environment-oriented courses of study at educational institutions in Poland, the Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan; with the sustainable, border-crossing use of mountain meadows in the Zittau Mountains; and border-crossing flood protection; with the planning of a large constructed wetland water treatment system in Cambodia as well as with the use of fungal biodiversity in Vietnamese rainforests. Other research projects, for example, deal with introducing modern e-learning concepts to Saxon’s universities, are concerned with innovation management (represented by a chair endowed by local businesses) and international management at German and East-European universities or detailed, specific issues in the social sciences which are connected to the globalisation process and European unification. The Chair for Social Sciences houses the renowned German Network of Business Ethics (DNWE) as well, which has broad contacts to central and eastern European partners in industry and research.
The research projects at IHI Zittau are funded by the European Union, the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Environmental Foundation (DBU), the State of Saxony, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), to name a few. In today’s world the acquisition of external funding is absolutely necessary for a university to maintain high quality in its research and, consequently, in its teaching as well.