Labex ITTEM – Innovations et transitions territoriales en montagne – brings together researchers from nine humanities and social sciences laboratories. Encouraging a global approach, it supports public action in the mountains through projects built with local stakeholders, with a view to sustainable development.

Winner of the “Laboratory of Excellence” call for projects in March 2011 as part of the “Investissements d’avenir” program, Labex ITTEM has been renewed for five years, from 2020 to 2024. It is the only human and social sciences Labex supported by Grenoble Alpes University. It reinterprets territorial and environmental issues from the dual angle of innovation and transition: socio-economic mutations and global environmental upheavals, applied at local level.

/ © Leïla Shahshahani

The link between research and territories, at the heart of the Labex ITTEM project

The transitions underway involve profound changes, transforming man’s relationship with nature and society. Observing these transitions means trying to understand how they can help to meet the major challenges facing mountain regions: climate change, resource scarcity, loss of biodiversity, energy, mobility, tourism, migration, living and governance.

As they have done in the past, mountain regions know how to innovate, implementing adaptation processes in the face of contemporary challenges. These territories are thus seen as leading “laboratories” and “demonstrators” for observing and analyzing the dynamics of change underway, and experimenting with solutions and proposals.

Labex ITTEM forges partnerships with a wide range of local players: local authorities, national and natural parks, businesses, socio-professional organizations and associations, etc. Researchers and players work together to define research objectives, and Labex ITTEM then mobilizes scientific disciplines in line with co-constructed projects. The aim is to provide decision-makers with concrete answers to help them draw up their transition strategies and question their actions.

Action and influence of Labex ITTEM

Labex ITTEM is one of the world’s leading resource centers for research in the human 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 activities are multi-faceted: support for research programs and funding for theses and post-doctorates, educational workshops and internships for students from a variety of disciplines; organization of meetings between researchers and local players; development of partnerships with academic and socio-economic players, in France and abroad; publication of works, etc.

In addition to the community of member researchers, Labex ITTEM’s activities are supported by a four-person support team responsible for project coordination, socio-economic development and training, international cooperation and scientific promotion, and communication.
The team is based at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme – Alpes, at the heart of the Grenoble campus.