Started in 2002, the Integrated Modeling Project was, at the beginning, a Joint Research Program underwritten by ENEA and IIASA (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxemburg, Austria) and funded by the Italian Ministry of Environment, the Land and the Sea. The aim was to develop a national scale model, characterized by the same functions as the continental scale RAINS Model (Regional Air Pollution Information and Simulation).
The creation of a system for Integrated Assessment Modeling, based upon a methodology consolidated and recognized at international level, was the main objective of the research project. At the same time the peculiarities of the Italian territory, considering the complexity of meteorology, geography, industrial production, technology etc, were correctly represented into the modeling suite. The Integrated System was able to support the policy makers, on the basis of a robust scientific knowledge, in developing policies to contrast the Atmospheric Pollution, consistently with the decisions taken at international level, in the frame of the European Union and/or UN Conventions like the Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP).
Since many years, IIASA is playing the role of Technical Body of the LRTAP Convention and it is performing an integrated assessment analysis, as contractor of the EU Commission, for the qualification and revision of the EU Directives on Air Pollution.
In 2005, the GAINS Integrated Assessment Model (GAINS, Greenhouse Gas - Air Pollution Interactions and Synergies) started in order to further extend RAINS Methodology to the greenhouse gases (GHGs), aiming at considering synergies and tradeoffs between Air Pollution and Climate Change.