In October 2021, Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (CUAS) started a cooperation with Hohe Tauern National Park (HTNP, Carinthian part), where interaction of research and education drives the collaboration. The cooperation is anchored by the CUAS research group SIRaD (Sustainable Innovation Research and Development), which is largely responsible for initiating and accompanying social, technical and economic innovation processes in the region. Sustainable innovations should generate a growing awareness among different stakeholders in the discourse between science and practice, thus promoting regional development.
The goals of both CUAS and HTNP are to establish a long-term collaboration in order to open up new perspectives and provide a renewed scope for action for the region and the province of Carinthia. International cooperation is expected through the broad network of the UNESCO Chair. Particular emphasis shall be placed on strengthening the image of the national park, its cultural, natural and economic significance and on increasing its visibility and perception in the national and international context through regular activities in the form of inter- and transdisciplinary exchange and impulse formats.
The synergies and networks of both institutions in the fields of education and research in natural sciences and technology form the foundation for sustainable innovations in regional development. A central element in the cooperation is the annual “Expedition Hohe Tauern National Park,” which provides for a multi-day tour of the region by a small, diverse group consisting of local actors and scientists from various disciplines. The contents of the expedition are processed in several steps and evaluated using methods of empirical social research as well as transdisciplinary methods. The outcome will be diverse conversations in the national park region that are scientifically facilitated and sustainably supported.
The results will be presented in the region, at national and international conferences and published in various journals. The publication of a book series based on the “Expedition Hohe Tauern National Park” is planned.
Financed by: Province of Carinthia and the European Union