Institutional investors have their sights set on ETFs, potentially funneling billions of dollars into the growing investment vehicle in the years ahead.

According to the 8th annual Greenwich Associates U.S. ETF Study, institutional investment demand for ETFs will continue to grow for 2018 and into 2019 as institutional investors prep their portfolios for a return to volatility and the shifting interest rate environment.

“As U.S. institutional investors ready their portfolios for the return of volatility and the end of the ‘Goldilocks’ market, they are increasing their investments in exchange-traded funds and integrating ETFs more deeply into their portfolio management and investment strategies,” according to Greenwich Associates. “Over the past 12 months, U.S. institutions have become increasingly concerned about the risks of market volatility in the face of a rising rate environment and the many unknown variables associated with the shift to a new and unprecedented era of ‘quantitative tightening.'”

Related: 5 Bond ETFs Enjoying a Great 2018

Consequently, a growing number of institutions are utilizing smart beta ETFs as way to help hedge portfolios against the volatility, notably factor-based or multi-factor investment strategies that incorporate academically proven market factors to limit downside risks while maintaining upside potential.