Bahir Dar University aspires to be one of the top ten research universities in Africa by 2025. To achieve this grand vision, the university established a number of research institutes in various disciplines and strengthened its postgraduate programs particularly the PhD programs.

In line with this vision, the Institute of Economic Research (IER) is established by the university in the year 2012 to promote research excellence in economics, development and allied disciplines.  The institute’s first director was the late Dr Tewedros Bekafa who was the President of Debre Markos University and also served the Amhara National Regional State in various capacities.

Immediately after formation, IER undertook a couple of grand research projects addressing development issues of the Amhara region. Particularly research studies were conducted on multidimensional poverty measurement and analysis in both rural and urban parts of the Amhara region. These studies were very insightful and disseminated to policy makers of the Amhara region in regional workshops. Other regional studies of grater importnance were the challenges and opportunities facing manufacturing industries in the Amhara region. Since the country and region is in GTP II which promote the structural transformation of the economy from agriculture to manufacturing industry, this study is has much valuable input for the regional policy makers. IER also conducted outside consultancy projects for a couple of regional bureaus such as Amhara Bureau of Trade and Industry, UNICEF, Amhara Region Revenue and Tax Authority, among others. The institute staff also conducted a couple of community service projects. The most visible one is the study conducted by the staff on the contribution of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project being undertaken on the Abay River on promoting saving culture of the people through government bond scheme.

Currently a lot of projects are undergoing by the institute which are funded by Bahir Dar University and outsiders. The institute is striving its best to put a visible footprint in solving the development challenges of Amhara region and beyond.