The Centre is a collaboration among the World Population Program of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (VID/ÖAW), the Demography Group and the Research Institute on Human Capital and Development of the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU). In late 2010, a letter of understanding was signed by these three pillar institutions defining the terms for this collaboration under a common roof.
The Centre combines the partners’ strengths in the fields of demography, human capital formation and analysis of the returns to education. It builds on a highly successful collaboration that has already generated significant scientific advances. “Human capital” refers to the human resource base in terms of the number of people and their changing structure by age, gender, location, education, health status, cognitive skills and other relevant characteristics. The group's intent is to provide a sound scientific foundation for decision-making at various levels. Scientific advice and guidance are ensured by its International Scientific Advisory Board.
The Wittgenstein Centre aspires to be a world leader in the advancement of demographic methods and their application to the analysis of human capital and population dynamics. In assessing the effects of these forces on long-term human well-being, the group combines scientific excellence in a multidisciplinary context with relevance to a global audience.