Follow our e-learning course.

Develop your own coastal adaptation strategy by learning key methodologies and techniques.

The IMCORE project ran from 2008 to 2011 and was funded under the EU Interreg IVB programme.

Access or download overviews, tools, techniques and examples of visualisation tools, educational tools, legal and policy tools, future scenario techniques, etc

Practical tips for following the IMCORE approach to planning to adapt to coastal climate change 

Institutional capacity


To effectively coordinate an adaptation process, local or regional authorities need to:

  • Learn and capture knowledge and experience
  • Enhance problem solving
  • Balance power among interest groups

This can be done as an organisation or as a partnership or network. In the 9 IMCORE case studies the approach was to establish expert couplets between authorities and research organisations.

An expert couplet is defined as "an innovative model of partnership, whereby regulators, practitioners and research organisations co-operate and collaborate with each other to support capacity-building and policy development for coastal management".


READY - Why build Institutional Capacity

ready We have identified some of the benefits in developing and maintaining Expert Couplets:
  • Increase the problem solving capacity of your organisation
  • Develop the knowledge and skills required to adapt
  • Facilitate the development of joint information management systems
  • Gain credibility, trust and neutrality
  • Address vulnerability while recognising and dealing with uncertainty
  • Work towards improved and knowledge-based local management
  • Grounding of research efforts an production of applied knowledge


STEADY - A few tips before you start

steady TIP 1: Get the right organisations involved. Assess your capacity as a couplet. Be aware of the knowledge and skills that will be required to achieve your goals.

TIP 2: Build on existing relationships. Consider building on previous experiences with specific academic or practitioner partners.

TIP 4: Shared goals. Be aware that there are differences in motivations and time-frames between academics and practitioners. The collaboration should be focused on what you want to learn and achieve as a couplet.

TIP 5: A two way process. Bear in mind that both parts need to benefit from and contribute to this relationship; it is not just about the academic providing expertise. Knowledge is a process that feeds on the views and expertise of the parts involved.

GO! - How to build capacity?


Find useful ideas and receive some feedback on key aspects for effective collaborative work between academics and authorities, by taking our 10 minute diagnosis and guidance online questionnaire.

Working through these indicators and guidelines allows for a candid appraisal of, and constructive reflection on the ECN working relationship (including the role and perceptions of external parties) – which provides a basis for a more effective ECN.

CMRC, University College Cork, Ireland

Broader partnerships and networks were set up or used for the adaptation process. See examples of these: the Severn Advisory Group (SECCRAG), the North East England ForeSea and Coastal Network, the East of England All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), the Cork Harbour Forum, etc.



Click here to assess how effective your collaboration between authority and research is VIDEO: Val Cummins explains what the Expert Couplets Nodes are and how they can be useful for coastal adaptation processes

VIDEO: Joana Veiga gives us 3 recommendations for effective collaboration between practitioners and researchers in expert couplets.






This learning portal brings together the results and lessons learned from the IMCORE project. This project was funded under the Interreg IVB programme from 2008 to 2011.

 footertransparent updated