Protected areas increasingly need to become the hubs and drivers of sustainable development. Innovation processes play a major role in this. Innovations in protected areas need to be presented to a specialist public and recognised in the context of an international competition. The University of Klagenfurt and E.C.O. are developing the concept for a competition of this kind. The contributions to the competition should be discussed in a virtual forum and assessed and ranked by eminent experts. The presentation of the winners and innovations should stimulate thought, experimentation and participation. In this way new approaches, techniques and model projects will find their way more quickly into the everyday life of protected areas. This would enable the areas to cope better with their wide variety of functions. The development of the competition is being supported financially by the Lebensministerium.