The theme represents the physical components of interrelated systems providing commodities and services essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions. The infrastructure needs are bound to evolve continuously with regards to the geographical, demographical, and political developments.
Industry theme includes the areas of technology, finance, information, materials, analysis, and synthesis, as well as the application of social sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering design to specify, predict, and evaluate the results to be obtained from industrial processes.
Development theme focuses on rural poverty, improvement of the quality of life, and social and economic development of rural areas and highlights both the need for studies in gender and development and the integration of gender analysis and gender relations.
Water theme broadly covers the following areas: Agricultural Water: Rural water supply and sanitation; Irrigation and drainage, Coastal Water: Protecting vital coastal ecosystems, Urban Water: Urban water supply, sanitation and wastewater management, Water Resources: Water resources development and management; Hydropower; Watershed and wetlands protection, Extreme Events and Risk Management: Floods and droughts; Climate variability and change.
Energy theme looks at the energy resources both at global and regional scale, the accessibility, distributional aspect, and infrastructure for energy sources and address key energy carrier issues and aims to deliver effective energy services with the least implications to the environment.
Environment theme looks for solutions to environmental problems, water supply and sanitation, wastewater treatment and disposal systems, air pollution, solid and hazardous wastes, waste minimization, and life cycle assessment, environmental impact assessment and management.