Collective Approach of Research and Innovation for Sustainable Development in Highlands

Funding: European Commission, H2020-MSCA-RISE
Total eligible costs: 2,484 Mio €

Duration: Jan. 2020–Aug. 2025

Lead-Partner: IGF

Project leader (IGF): Oliver Bender

Project coordinator (IGF): Fernando Ruiz Peyré

Project staff (IGF): Kevin Klar, Asja Gollo

Highlands.3 website

The HIGHLANDS' goal is to contribute to Inclusive Sustainable Development in Highlands (ISDH) through collective and impact driven Research & Innovation (R&I), based on capacity building, sharing of local-global knowledge, experience, and tools. It will drive a co-innovation process through secondments and research and innovative sessions (R&IS) involving public/private and non-academic partners, to build a shared vision of ISDH, enhance the capacities of researchers, managers, users, policymakers, thus bridging the gap between research and development.

The project activities will be organized in five integrated work packages (WP):

  • Coordination & management (WP1);
  • Methodology & training for ISDH analysis (WP2);
  • Analysis and modelling ISDH diversity/potential (WP3);
  • Building an interactive decision-support ISDH platform (WP4);
  • Communicating about HIGHLANDS, and sharing HIGHLANDS’ results to ensure their adoption (WP5).

HIGHLANDS is supported by a network of 42 institutions including 30 partners from Europe (33% non-academic), and skilled and motivated female and male researchers and local stakeholders. The work plan will run 8 successive R&IS (5 in Europe, 3 outside) to promote the exchange among participants as a foundation for innovation. Each R&IS will build upon collective learning principles and a holistic systemic approach, exposing participants to a wide range of world views that will encourage experimentation with practice. Each R&IS will focus on a particular aspect of sustainable highland development and will include collective learning, collaborative research, and capacity-building on data collection/analysis, modelling.

To complement the R&IS, long-term secondments will be implemented for researchers and practitioners to deeply train and work together on specific issues identified by the consortium. Collected data on ISDHs will be stored in an online collaborative and interactive decision-support platform that will then be transferred to existing mountain networks.