Mountain Sustainability: Transforming Research Into Practice
The mountain.TRIP project, funded through the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme, started in November 2009 and ran for 24 months.
The consortium was coordinated by the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Institute of Mountain Research: Man & Environment), and also involved the Mountain Research Initiative, Euromontana, EcoLogic (Germany), Jagiellonian University (Poland), and the CMS.
The goal was to provide stakeholders, end-users and practitioners with readily accessible and understandable forms of research-based information relevant to sustainable development in mountain regions. mountain.TRIP started where other EU projects have finished, translating research findings into useful information and developing relationships between users and researchers. EU research projects generally focus on elucidating truths, not on communicating these truths to practitioners or the interested public.
Research projects often produce valuable results, methods, tools and instruments, but at the end of the project neither time nor money remain to disseminate these results among practitioners and to the interested public. Furthermore, research results usually exist in forms recognized by the research community but not easily or quickly assimilated by communities of practice.
The main outputs of mountain.TRIP were:
- a communication platform containing a social network (mountain.COMMUNITY)
- a data base on mountain-related EU-funded projects (mountain.PROJECTS)
- a handbook on how to find results of European mountain research (mountain.SEARCH)
- a collection of short videos (mountain.TUBE)
- a wiki-tool (mountain.WOCUR)
In addition, research results were transformed into practical tools tailored to the daily needs
- of the practitioners in mountain regions through developing tutorials, flyers, poster-exhibitions, a toolkit, instructive videos and a section how science sells:
- The DIAMONT tutorial provides information on how to use the pan-Alpine database on statistical data (NUTS 5 level), steering instruments of sustainable mountain development and best practices across the entire Alpine Arc.
- A set of brochures on "Carpathian fine food - from your farm to everyone's table" demonstrates how the findings of an EU project (EuroMARC) can be made useful for practitioners in a specific country (Romania). The brochures have been produced by communication professionals and not, as is often the case, by a research team. They considered communication basics and included short statements in a direct language, checklists, and useful addresses within Romania.
- The mountain food video, available in eight languages, gives an instructive insight into a development strategy in mountains achieved in the EuroMARC project. Smaller producers working in Europe's mountain regions create some truly unique and incredible products. Yet, they often face significant challenges in marketing, distributing and selling their products. This animated video introduces ideas and approaches to marketing mountain products.
- A set of posters and an informative brochure on the OLIVERO project on the sustainable production of olives, is another example of research results transformed to the level of practitioners in a specific region. The posters are shown to the public in various regions of Andalucia.
The project also produced recommendations for funding strategies, research agendas, formal requirements, communication tools, formats and improvement of project documentation on the CORDIS database. This document contains three texts: a long version, a short version and a roadmap to follow in the future.