The Labex

The Labex ITTEM – Innovations andterritorial transitions in the mountains – brings together researchers from nine laboratories in humanities and social sciences. Encouraging a global approach, it accompanies public action in the mountains through projects built with the actors of the territories, with a view to sustainable development.

Winner of the “Laboratory of Excellence” call for projects in March 2011 as part of the “Investments for the future” program, the ITTEM Labex has been renewed for five years from 2020 to 2024. It is the only Labex to humanities and social sciences led by the University of Grenoble Alpes. It re-examines territorial and environmental issues from the double angle of innovation and transition: socio-economic changes and planetary environmental upheavals, declined at the local level.

/ © Leïla Shahshahani

The link between research and territories, central to the Labex ITTEM project

The transitions under way involve profound changes and are transforming human relationships with nature and society. Observing these transitions means trying to understand how they enable us to respond to the major challenges facing mountain territories: climate change, increasing resource scarcity, biodiversity loss, energy production and use, mobility, tourism, migration, housing and governance. 

Comme ils l’ont fait par le passé, les territoires de montagne savent faire preuve d’innovation, mettant en œuvre des processus d’adaptation face aux défis contemporains. Ces territoires sont ainsi pensés comme des “laboratoires” et “démonstrateurs” de premier plan pour observer, analyser les dynamiques de changement en cours et expérimenter des solutions et des propositions.

The Labex ITTEM develops partnerships with actors across the region including local authorities, natural and national parks, private companies, socio-professional organizations and nonprofits. Together, these actors work with researchers to determine research objectives. The Labex ITTEM then mobilizes scientists in target disciplines to study the themes identified in the co-constructed projects. It seeks to bring concrete answers to decision-makers that will help them elaborate transition strategies and critically examine their choices.

The actions and reach of Labex ITTEM

The Labex ITTEM is an international resource center for research in the humanities and social sciences applied to mountain environments. Its links with numerous foreign organizations and researchers ensure its international influence, throughout the Alpine arc and beyond.

Labex ITTEM's actions are divided into several areas: support for research programmes and funding for theses and post-doctorates, educational workshops or internships for students from various disciplines; organisation of meetings between researchers and local stakeholders; development of partnerships with academic or socio-economic actors in France and abroad; publication of works, etc.

In addition to the work carried out by its community of member researchers, the Labex ITTEM’s actions also rely on a support team of four people who carry out the following missions: project coordination, socio-economic valorisation and education, international cooperation and scientific valorisation, and communication.
This team’s offices are located in the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme - Alpes, in the heart of the Grenoble campus.