One of the ideas behind the initiative is to make the most of the knowledge available in the modelling community. A lot of experiences with use of models are acquired over time, but there is a lack of proper mechanisms to transfer these experiences so that they are used in modelling and in the decision making process. One of the roles of the initiative is to help establish such mechanisms. Thus, the series of conferences can be said to deal with improvement of "modelling culture" in Europe. Two topics are very central to the conferences:

  • How can we pool experiences and encourage re-use of our work?
  • Which measures can we take in order to assure that assessments based on modelling are considered trustworthy?
There are many aspects of this such as: ensuring that models are scientifically sound; model validation; guidance to ensure proper use of models; promotion of good practices and elimination of bad practices; quality assurance with respect to model development; establishment of reference problems; comparability of input and output; ensuring proper exchange of experiences. For more background information see: Ten years of Harmonisation activities: Past, present and future (paper presented at the 7th Harmonisation conference in May 2001). Other useful information can for instance be found in the paper Improving modelling culture: Obstacles and opportunities, which gives various practical advice on resources, which modellers can benefit from in their daily work. It was presented by the chairman of the Harmonisation initiative, Helge Olesen, at the 14th conference in 2011.