The exact knowledge of the natural environment and its impact on external influences, the assessment of the dangers to man and ecosystems, as well as the development of solutions that take account of technical, economic and legal aspects require an interdisciplinary and cooperative approach involving several partners involved. Research activities are carried out by working groups in close collaboration with selected research facilities (setting up networks depending on the issues addressed) and, in conjunction with administrative institutions and affected bodies in each country or region. These working groups are composed of German and French scientists of various disciplines.
DFIU research primarily involves the techno-economic analysis and assessment of emission reduction techniques and production-integrated environmental protection measures, the analysis of energy systems, the development of operational, national and international, across company's borders strategies for emission reduction, as well as the development of closed-loop systems and strategic, operational production planning. Current research topics include renewable energies, CO2 emissions trading, energy and material use of biomass, energy and resource efficiency in various industrial sectors, and risk management.
The interdisciplinary approach to project processing is characteristic of the institute. The externally funded research is carried out a.o. for the UNECE (the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe), the European Union, the Federal Environment Agency, the state of Baden-Württemberg, ADEME / France, various ministries such as BMBF and BMWi, foundations and industry.