The IRGC Academic Network

The International Risk Governance Council (IRGC; is a non-profit and independent foundation whose purpose is to help improve the understanding and governance of systemic risks that have impacts on human health and safety, on the environment, on the economy and on society at large.

In 2003, the Swiss State Secretariat for Education and Research recommended to the Swiss Parliament that IRGC should be established as an independent and international body to bridge the increasing gaps between science, technological development, decision-makers and the public. This organization would act as the catalyst for improvements in the design and implementation of effective risk governance strategies. In June 2003 IRGC was formally founded in Geneva as a private foundation under Articles 80 and onwards of the Swiss Civil Code.

From 2003-2012, the State Secretariat, led by Dr Charles Kleiber (chairman of the Board of IRGC 2010-2012) supported IRGC financially as a multi-stakeholder and transfer institution, to enable bridges between science, policy making and the private sector.

Since June 2012, IRGC is hosted by the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). A collaboration agreement has been agreed from 1st January 2013. This strengthened cooperation with academia will allow IRGC to continue and further develop its science-based approach in collaborating closely with scientific experts and in expanding its academic network.

IRGC is currently organized as a decentralized network of institutions participating in and benefiting from its work on risk governance. IRGC’s network structure of public, private and scientific institutions involved in risk governance is supported by its Foundation Board, Scientific and Technical Council (S&TC) and Advisory Committee. Academic network affiliation agreement have been agreed or are being discussed with the following institutions in the following regions:

  • EPFL, Center on Risk Analysis and Governance (CRAG) Lausanne, Switzerland
  • IRGC Portugal,, as a consortium of research institutions, as coordinated by the Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research, IN+, at IST, Lisbon.
  • The Helmholtz Alliance ENERGY-TRANS, Germany

North America
  • Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Department of Engineering and Public Policy, USA
  • Indiana University, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, USA
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Program on Emerging Technologies, USA

  • Center for Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), India
  • Tsinghua University, School of Public Policy and Management

About IRGC Portugal

IRGC Portugal is a research platform integrating competencies and articulating stakeholders towards improving our understanding of emerging risks with relevance to Portugal and fostering the design and implementation of knowledge-based policies relevant to human health and safety, the environment, the economy and society at large. It operates as a think-tank aiming to anticipate major risk issues and providing risk governance policy recommendations for key decision makers, in particular those related to science and technology in Europe and throughout Portuguese speaking countries.

IRGC Portugal is established as a research consortium engaging, in the launch phase, 5 Associate Laboratories and the two main Portuguese engineering schools (Instituto Superior Técnico, IST-UTL, in Lisbon and Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, FEUP, in Porto), but is planned to evolve towards a larger collaborative platform involving other research units and Associate Laboratories, business corporations and non-governmental organizations.

The setup of IRGC Portugal is being supported by FCT through the funding of a dedicated research team as well as the launching of activities. The initial consortium is as follows:

Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research (IN+), - see +,

LARSyS - see +,

Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering of Porto (INESC Porto) - see +,

Institute of telecommunications (IT, through IT Porto) - see +,

Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering (IBB) - see +,

Institute for Health Research and Innovation (I3S) - see +,