Danube:Future Project

Danube:Future is a project endorsed by the Alps Adriatic Rectors’ Conference (AARC), and the Danube Rector’s Conference (DRC). It aims at developing interdisciplinary research and education in the DRB simultaneously as a basis for the solution of pressing environmental issues and a sustainable future of the region.

The project addresses the Danube Strategy developed by the European Commission in multiple ways, potentially contributing to all 4 pillars : as a project of enhancement of knowledge it is based in Priority Area 7 “To develop the knowledge society :research, education and ICT”, with an aim to contribute to the goals of Priority Area 2: Results will be useful for the restoration and maintenance of the quality of waters, for the management of environmental risks and for the preservation of biodiversity, landscapes and the quality of air and soils.  Within Pillar  1, a particular contribution can be to culture and tourism. Danube:Future is an investment into people and skills, therefore also connected to Priority Area 9 of Pillar 3. A comparative perspective with other river basins (e.g. Po, Seine, Rhône) will bring knowledge and methodological skills from existing research teams into the project.


Danube:Future activities are planned in order to

·         have a lasting effect on research and teaching in the humanities in the region, bringing young scholars to the forefront of international research.

·         break new ground by identifying “pathways to sustainability” on the basis of interdisciplinary, international research. The development of this new method will be complemented by networks of integrated case-studies, as all sustainable development is at the same time local and global. Comparisons with other river basins sharpen the eye for the specificity and globality of the challenges for a sustainability transition.

·         lead to a series of policy-level recommendations ready for implementation by local, regional and national government bodies.

·         create a living heritage by making the environmental and cultural heritage of the DRB visible and bringing it into the context of sustainable development.

The Project acts trough both Research and Capacity Building Modules, as following explained

Research Modules

The DRB has a troubled political and environmental history. Environmental problems abound and impede economic growth and sustainable development. Interdisciplinary approaches taking into account the long-term legacies of this troubles history with a strong focus on the humanities and social sciences. 

The number of potential topics is huge. To mention just a few potential contributions, the evolution of transportation networks and their future improvement, ways to deal with the legacies of toxic sediments and cultivation histories could be important. Likewise, the effects of nationalism and wars on present societies and future development are of great importance for sustainable development.

The project proposals developed during the first DIAnet International School demonstrated the possible scope. They ranged from sustainable resource use via bio-bricks, green and integrated transport by enhancing motorail train and car-trains for tourism, water quality improvement and recreation with floating islands, tourism and cultural heritage by restoration of inland waterways and the development of Decision Support Systems monitoring and improving wellbeing

Capacity Building Modules


The DIAnet international schools offer a unique learning environment. Young researchers from all DRC and AARC universities interested in the sustainable development of the Danube River Basin with particular emphasis on the roles of natural and cultural heritage are trained to apply for funding in competitive programs in the wide field of inter- and transdisciplinary sustainability studies.

The thematic focus of capacity building projects takes existing initiatives and frameworks dealing with sustainable development research into account. 

In the future, PhD scholarships, PhD-Schools, trainings for museums and cultural heritage professionals, trainings for conservation offices and institutions, and institutional capacity building for green jobs – Start-up – trainings, regional institutions (e.g. Slow Food coop.), and the strengthening of regional networks/NGOs will be furthermore developed.


Project type
  • other territorial cooperation
Country of the coordinating institution
Contact details
E-Mail: coordinator@danubefuture.eu
Geographical focus
  • Danube Region
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Humanities
  • Natural Sciences
January 2013 - December 2020

Entry created by Desiree Pecarz on December 3, 2013
Modified on April 25, 2014