Research Strategy 2020 - Discussion Platform - Austrian Council for Research and Development

MontenaSoft Portfolio

Research Strategy 2020 (Forschungsstrategie 2020) was an extraordinary interesting and exciting project that incorporates political issues with social capabilities of web. It is a platform that empowers broad public to discuss about research strategy of Austrian government: from politicians, state officials and university professors to interested public like journalist and individuals. Therefore, it marks a remarkable experiment in social and political interaction.

MontenaSoft was thrilled by the opportunity and has developed the visual identity (as well as Drupal platform) that provides a backbone of the research policy shaping process.

Basically, all documents (especially legal one) are made of chapters and paragraphs. The main idea was to provide a way for the community to discuss about specific paragraph, and through the process of discussion to take the influence on document content. Principally, anyone can take a part in the process of discussion and also vote about specific part of document. This is a very nice supplement to the idea of representative democracy: the parties interested in domains of research and technology will have the opportunity to discuss and challenge 'official' positions in the process of their creation. Therefore, this system could be also understood as a document collaboration system, governed through a community shaped politics-in-making.

Technically, coordination documents’ paragraphs and chapters have been conducted through the hierarichal_node module (since original idea of organizing documents through Book module was not completely applicable). The hierachical_node module has proved to be very useful in providing simple solutions to hierarchical organization of complex content (although we have applied numerous patches to the module, most of the issues we needed to solve was compatibility problems with Drupal 6). Besides, we have also added some nice Web 2.0 possibilities through intensive JavaScript usage (especially for voting and commenting).

After finishing the Research Strategy 2020 project, we are more then convinced that advanced Web Project should be made in Drupal; Drupal is and will surely stay our platform of choice in the project to come.