The Instituut vóór Duurzame Ontwilkkeling vzw (IDO vzw; in English: Institute for Sustainable Development, a non-profit association) was founded on 7 September 2011 in Bruges. The non-profit association is located at the ‘Southern North Sea’ and stands for ‘Solidarity in space and time’: these directly indicate the association's two baselines.

The IDO vzw can be considered as heir to the projects on sustainable development that have been carried out since 2007 in the bosom of the Regional Centre of Expertise Southern North Sea (RCE-SNS), that was established at the end of  2007 by the United Nations University - Centre for Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) in Bruges. As an interregional RCE for the Belgian, French, British and Dutch regions that border the Southern North Sea, the focus was on education for sustainable development.

With the operationalization of sustainable development however, ‘know-how’, ‘say-how’ and ‘do-how’ are all vital. The core task of the IDO vzw is to contribute to the first component (‘know-how’): scientific research. In this way, the Institute can provide input in ‘education’ (‘say-how’) or ‘implementation’ (‘do-how’), by taking initiatives themselves or via third parties.

The Institute makes its expertise and experiences available to stakeholders that also wish to collaborate in this. To this end, various lines of research are (further) developed.