Mountain Innovation Fair 2023

Mountains INNOVATE: a collaborative space sharing the spirit of innovation for climate change adaptation and sustainable mountain development

  • English
  • Date: 23-25.10.2023
  • Place: NOI Techpark - Bolzano Italy
  • Typology: Mountain Innovation Fair 2023
  • Info:

    The Mountain Innovation Fair will be hosted at Eurac Research by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations University through the UNU-EHS Global Mountain Safeguard Research (GLOMOS) programme, with funding from the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC).

Dealing with remoteness, a rugged environment, exposed to natural hazards and a fast-changing climate, mountain areas have always been challenged to keep dynamic in sustaining their livelihoods and surrounding environment. Continuously, unique solutions are being developed and implemented, proving that demanding living conditions can be turned into engines of innovation. But how about sharing and exchanging practical experiences to unleash the full potential of sustainable pathways?

The Mountain Innovation Fair is planned to offer a buzzing, interactive and collaborative workspace to exchange on challenges and successes of innovative approaches, with lively discussions and practical demonstrations. Out-of-the box thinking, novel approaches and facilitating wider access to innovations are at the core of the Fair. Meet your peers, learn about and co-create mountain innovations with a potential for replication in various regions and contexts.

Mountain Innovation Fair© | Oscar Diodoro


Monday 23 October 2023

15:00 - 18:00

NOI Techpark, Seminar Room 1

Set up material (e.g. Poster, Model, Product, Images, etc.)

18:00 - 20:30

Sheraton Hotel

Mountain Aperitivo: Icebreaker and Get-Together

Facilitation: Sabine McCallum (UNEP) and Stefan Schneiderbauer, (UNU-EHS & Eurac Research - GLOMOS)

Tuesday 24 October 2023

8:30 - 9:00 am

NOI Techpark Foyer



NOI Techpark Seminar room 2

Opening ceremony

  • Roland Psenner, President of Eurac Research
  • Harald Egerer, Head of Office, UNEP Vienna Programme Office
  • Ulrich Stofner, Head of Directorate Europe, Innovation, Research and Communication, Province of South Tyrol
  • Robertina Brajanoska, CEO at Macedonian Ecological Society
  • Nina Shatberashvili, Executive Director Sustainable Caucasus
  • Sam Kanyamibwa, CEO Albertine Rift Conservation Society
  • Sandra Wibmer, Senior Advisor Environment and Climate Austrian Development Agency

Facilitation: Eurac Research


NOI Techpark Seminar room 2


Challenges and innovations for adaptation to climate change and sustainable mountain development
Anja Blacha, Mountaineer, explorer and investor


NOI Techpark Seminar Rooms 2 + 1

Meet your peers

10:15 - 11:45

NOI Techpark Seminar Rooms 1

Marketplace: Presentations of innovative approaches 3 groups á 30 min


NOI Techpark Seminar Rooms 1


12:00 - 13:30

NOI Techpark Foyer


13:30 - 16:00

NOI Techpark Seminar Rooms 2 + 3

Small groups (5-6):
Workshops for co-creating mountain innovation presentations along thematic clusters

Facilitation: UNEP, Eurac Research, UNU-EHS

16:00 - 17:30

NOI Techpark Laboratories

Visit to laboratories on-site (divided in two groups)

  • TerraXcube
  • Renewable Energy
17:30 - 24:00

Free evening | Explore Bolzano

Wednesday 25 October 2023

09:00 - 10:00 am

NOI Techpark Seminar Room 1

Echo from Day 1 and announcements

PeakTalk Innovative Funding and Environments for adaptation to climate change sustainable mountain solutions

10:00 - 11:00 am

NOI Techpark Seminar Room 2 + 3

Workshops to finalize innovation presentations for adaptation to climate change and sustainable mountain development

11:00 - 12:00

NOI Techpark Seminar room 1

Aim High Presentation:

Innovative approaches for adaptation to climate change and sustainable mountain development

12:00 - 12:30

NOI Techpark Seminar room 1

Mountain Innovation Award Ceremony

Facilitation: Mountain Research and Development team, CDE Bern

12:30 - 12:45

NOI Techpark Seminar room 1

Wrap up by Eurac Research, UNU-EHS, UNEP

12:45 - 14:00

Open lunch

14:00 - 22:00

Field trip to innovative approaches in Caldaro/ Termeno

Learn about aquaponic and biodynamic farming and an invitation to a dinner in Caldaro/ Termeno

Thursday 26 October 2023


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angelo-moleele-urrowgc_x2w-unsplash© unsplash - angelo-moleele-urrowgc
© unsplash - philip-swinburn
Erosion Control Azerbaijan© - Sustainable Caucasus
Erosion Control Azerbaijan2© - Sustainable Caucasus
Vineyards Georgia© - Sustainable Caucasus

What to expect?

The aims of the Mountain Innovation Fair are

  • to connect mountain stakeholders and innovators from mountain regions worldwide, focusing on the South Caucasus, the Carpathians, Southeast Europe, the Alps, East Africa, and Southern Africa
  • exchange on and learn from practical experiences with promising innovative approaches for climate change adaptation and sustainable mountain development
  • offer a creative space where interregional dialogue will be inspired by collaborating on a common innovative approach in a workshop setting
  • facilitate development of new innovative ideas contributing to achieving the 2030 Agenda in mountain areas and
  • award one mountain innovation with seed funding to be adapted and applied in other mountain regions.

Participants from countries eligible for Official Development Assistance can apply for funded participation. For more details see “Costs and Funding” below.

Date and Venue

The 2.5 - day physical Mountain Innovation Fair is scheduled to take place on 23-25 October 2023 in Bolzano/ Bozen, Italy.

Covid-19 disclaimer - Should the global Covid-19 pandemic make it impossible to organise the Mountain Innovation Fair on site, alternative scenarios (postponement or online organization) will be proposed by the hosting organisations.

Who can participate?

The Mountain Innovation Fair welcomes a limited number of selected participants upon registration. The organisers are looking for professionals and experts working on and with innovations in mountain areas, especially with the following backgrounds:

The target groups include:

  • Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) working in mountain areas
  • Community-based and non-governmental organizations
  • Development practitioners
  • Investors, donours, and impact funders
  • Policy stakeholders and representatives from competent authorities
  • Researchers and scientists with a focus on innovation in mountain areas

The organisers aim for a gender-balanced representation.

The Mountain Innovation Fair gathers experts mainly from the following mountain regions:

  • South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia)
  • East Africa (Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda)
  • Southern Africa (Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique South Africa)
  • European Alps (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia, Switzerland)
  • Carpathians (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Ukraine)
  • South-Eastern Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo (ref. UNSC Res. 1244), Montenegro, North Macedonia)

Please submit your application (registration below) and share your innovation. It should be related to sustainable development and climate change adaptation efforts in mountain regions. The thematic emphasis of the fair is on:

  • Water,
  • Natural hazards and climate risk reduction,
  • Agriculture,
  • Energy
  • Mountain tourism

The selection of innovations to be presented at the Mountain Innovation Fair will be based on transparent eligibility criteria, including environmental, social and human rights considerations, by an independent Selection Committee.

A Mountain Innovation Award (seed funding) will be presented to the most innovative and scalable approach of the Fair.

Selection Criteria

The criteria taken into account by the Selection Committee are:

  • Regional coverage: Implemented in mountain areas in one or more of the target regions

  • Thematic coverage: Applied to one or more of the Fair’s themes: water, natural hazards and climate risk reduction, agriculture, energy and mountain tourism

  • Purpose/Relevance: Sustainable mountain development challenge(s) addressed by different measures (e.g. technical, nature-based, educational, etc.)

  • Impact: Proven positive change(s) achieved by applying the novel approach

  • Direct benefits and co-benefits Promoting ecological, economic and/or social benefits and showing synergy with and offering co-benefits with a range of sustainable mountain development topics

  • Value: Amount of beneficiaries for whom the novel approach creates value

  • Inclusiveness: Providing equal access to opportunities and benefits of the innovation

  • Stakeholder involvement: Engagement with stakeholders who are affected by implementation or help influence positive change

  • Feasibility: Implemented on relevant timescales, realistic in terms of resources available (human and financial) and tailored to the actors and their capacities needed

  • Scalability: Potential for adjustment, replication or upscaling in other geographic, social or sectorial contexts (even though as such customized and tailored to specific regional/local circumstances)

  • Sustainability: Mechanisms introduced to ensure long-term sustainability for implementation in terms of human capacities and financial resources

  • Adherence to human rights labour standards, and environmental standards, in alignment with the UNEP Environmental and Social Sustainability Framework

  • The Selection Committee will also take into consideration the motivation and expected benefits of the applicants.


Thank you for your contributions.The registration is closed!

Costs and Funding

There is no fee associated with participation in the Mountain Innovation Fair. The Mountain Innovation Fair is supported by the project “Promoting Innovations for Sustainable Development in Mountain Areas” (PRIMA), funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation.

Participants from countries that are applicable for Official Development Assistance (as defined here) can apply for funded travel and daily allowances. Support will be provided by UNEP for travel arrangements including for visas, if required, for entering into the Schengen area. Applicants from countries not applicable for Official Development Assistance will have to cover their own costs for travel and accommodation.


For information about the Fair, please write an e-mail to the organizing committee at: mtinnovationfair@eurac.edu

Organizing team:

Eurac Research and UNU-EH GLOMOS programme

Stefan Schneiderbauer, Head of UNU-EHS GLOMOS, Bolzano office

Eleonora Musco, Policy Expert, Eurac Vienna Representing Office

Paola Fontanella Pisa, Programme Associate at UNU-EHS GLOMOS, Bolzano office


Matthias Jurek, Programme Management Officer

Sabine McCallum, Associate Programme Management Officer

Ansgar Fellendorf, Climate change and mountain governance expert

Supporting Regional Institutions:

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