IPROMO 2018 Summer School: Bioeconomy in mountain areas – an opportunity for local development  



According to the European Commission, bioeconomy “…encompasses the production of renewable biological resources and the conversion of these resources and waste streams into value-added products, such as food, feed, bio-based products and bioenergy.” This topic is particularly relevant to mountain areas, where the marginality and fragility of systems pushes the communities living there to cope by implementing optimized energy systems, processing fluxes and managing natural resources. 

Bioeconomy brings together various sectors of the economy that produce, process and reuse renewable biological resources, such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and bioenergy production. In order to better accomplish the aims of these sectors, adequate policies are needed to face the current socio-environmental challenges (e.g. growing food demand, climate change) with the new – or renewed – approach of bioeconomy by applying the principles of circular economy, waste recycling and green industrial policies.  

In addition to societal and economic aspects, environmental issues such as waste reduction, soil protection and climate change mitigation are a main focus of the bioeconomy discussion. A sustainable bioeconomy cannot be conceived without the proper management of biological resources, respecting the regeneration levels of all natural resources. In this context, soils are a fundamental factor in the transition towards a sustainable bioeconomy. Society depends on fertile soils and their long-term maintenance because of the various ecosystem services they provide.  

Bioeconomy is complex and involves several scientific disciplines, industry sectors and policy areas. Because of this complexity, research and surveys supporting the monitoring of bioeconomy and the analysis of its impact are necessary in order to better adapt its principles to a continuously changing society and world.




The IPROMO summer school will focus on several aspects that contribute to the fruitful management of mountain areas in the framework of bioeconomy, ranging from environmental conservation and water supply, to income generation and food security. Particular emphasis will be placed on the importance of a participatory approach whereby local communities and authorities closely cooperate. A field trip to Aosta Valley (in cooperation with the Institut Agricole Régional) will allow participants to discover different examples of mountain resources management. The interrelations between climate change and other global challenges and mountain areas will be discussed during the course and working groups will be formed, allowing participants to share their knowledge and build a network of experts.


Structure and Venue


The summer school will be held in two charming Italian alpine venues – Ormea, northwest Italy, and Pieve Tesino, northeast Italy – with field trips to the surrounding areas. The course can accommodate approximately 30 participants, whom will be selected among officers, researchers and technicians dealing with bioeconomy from all over the world. 

Activities will begin on 18 June 2018 with an overview of the course and end on 2 July 2018 with a closing ceremony. The course will include lectures, seminars, group work and field trips. The lecturers will be experts from the UN system, universities, international organizations and NGOs.  

The activities in Ormea will be organized by the University of Turin (DISAFA-NatRisk), in collaboration with the CNR-IRPI, the Institut Agricole Régional and with financial support from the City of Ormea.  


The activities in Pieve Tesino will be supported by the Centre of Alpine Studies of the University of Tuscia, the City of Pieve Tesino, the Community of Valsugana and Tesino and the Autonomous Province of Trento. 


Basic information


Scientific Directors:

Professor Michele Freppaz - Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (DISAFA) - Interdepartmental Research Centre on Natural Risks in Mountain and Hilly Environments (NatRisk), University of Turin, Italy

Professor Giuseppe Scarascia Mugnozza – Department of excellence “Biotechnology, AgroFood, Forests and Landscape” (DIBAF), University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy

Programme coordinator:

Rosalaura Romeo - Mountain Partnership Secretariat, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy

Chair and course managers:

Danilo Godone - Geohazard Monitoring Group, CNR IRPI, Turin, Italy

Tommaso Chiti - Consortium on Environmental Research, CURSA, Rome, Italy (local focal point)


Official course language:



Excellent command of English
Advanced scientific degree 

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