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Explore the solutions developed by the Alpine Space projects to make the Alps a better place!

The Interreg Alpine Space programme is engaged in promoting projects that will improve live in the Alps in four thematic areas. The first prioirty is to develop an innovative alpine Space. The second priority aims at creating a low carbon Alpine Space. The third one aims at a liveable Alpine Space. Finally, the fourt goal is to make the Alpine Space a well governed area.

Learn more about each priority by clicking on the image, and about each project by clicking on their respective links.

The Alps, an innovation lab

We dream of an Alpine Space where people living in remote mountain areas have easier access to services and where innovative SMEs and start-ups can fully unleash their potential. Between 2014 and 2020, we have turned this dream into 22 co-funded projects.

11 projects have devised novel approaches to social innovation. Such are CoNSENSo and PlurAlps, which have successfully tackled elderly healthcare and migrants´ integration respectively. CoNSENSo’s model, which has helped 5.000 seniors to keep their independence, was also very useful to face consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in some involved municipalities, while the 11 new integration actions tested by PlurAlps have provided useful benchmarks on how to make local resources accessible to newcomers and ease integration.

Another 11 projects have helped create the conditions for an increased competitiveness of Alpine businesses in different ways. S3-4AlpClusters has created an S3 innovation model to overcome the barriers to effective smart specialisation strategies. BE-READI ALPS has created a one-stop-shop model for business support services catering to SMEs. SmartVillages has explored digital and participatory innovation, creating a toolbox for digitally facilitated co-creation in mountain villages. Last, projects like HEALPS2 and AlpBioEco have developed new products and services in traditional sectors (i.e. tourism) and new ones (i.e. bioeconomy). 

 

Towards climate friendly Alps

We dream of a climate neutral, unpolluted Alpine space, where resources are used sensibly and circular economy is the way of life. 17 co-funded projects on energy-saving, renewable sources and low carbon transport have helped us come closer to this goal.

Some projects have helped municipalities overcome the lack of competences and of economic resources, which often hinder energy saving and circular strategies: the toolbox for circular economy deployment created by Greencycle and the inter-municipal approach to energy management tested by PEACE_Alps are two such examples. Other projects unveiled new clean energy options: GRETA’s map, for instance, shows where, in the Alps, geothermal energy is a viable option for heating villages and remote buildings.

Greener human and freight transport are also key aspects to tackle. To make cross-border intermodality easier, Linking Alps has created an information exchange service that lets people find all information about public transport through their usual journey planner; to increase the use of e-vehicles in the Alps, E-moticon has worked to harmonise e-mobility and e-charging systems. SaMBa, instead, has focused on behaviour change, explaining how to design effective pricing- and reward-based campaigns. On the freight transport side, AlpInnoCT has opened the way to substantially improve the efficiency of intermodality by applying production industry methods and ICT solutions.

 

A home to know, protect and enjoy

We dream of an Alpine Space where people know, protect and valorise their natural and cultural heritage. 18 co-funded projects have gone this direction.

As climate change threatens the Alps in many ways, several projects have focused on adaptation and risk reduction, also highlighting the protection functions of ecosystems. For instance, ADO’s drought observatory helps Alpine authorities better face drought-related risks; by studying more than 10 000 rock falls and the protective role of forests, RockTheAlps has created a protection forests map, enabling the integration of forests in rock fall protection policies; AlpES has mapped ecosystem services throughout the Alps and has proposed harmonised assessment methods.

Natural and cultural landscapes are linked to people’s identity and represent much needed recreational spaces. LOS_DAMA! has searched for ways to protect green peri-urban areas from urban sprawl and find balance between conflicting uses, like recreation, preservation of ecosystems and agriculture. trAILS takes up the challenge of reviving abandoned industrial areas while saving the memory of the past, through co-creation processes and tailored transformation strategies. YOUrALPS has strived to get youth to care for the Alpine heritage, protect and valorise it. Its Alpine school model, based on hands-on activities, ICT and outdoor learning, lets kids know and take ownership for the Alpine landscape, biodiversity and culture.

 

Working together to improve Alpine governance

We dream of an Alpine Space where issues are tackled in an effective, efficient and coordinated way and where citizens can have their say in the decisions that most affect them. To make this dream come true, we co-funded 6 projects, which worked to ease transnational cooperation, develop multilevel governance approaches, and involve citizens in policymaking.

One of the hottest issues regarding citizen engagement is youth participation. To help municipalities that are struggling with youth involvement, GaYA proposes alternative approaches by which the most common issues can be overcome. Devising effective models of stakeholder interaction is also key in climate adaptation governance. GoApply has defined and tested a set of effective participation formats and provided the knowledge necessary to include climate change adaptation into relevant sectoral policies.


The goal of creating an Alpine research and development area is, instead, the focus of ARDIA-NET, whose partners strive to design a cross-regional funding framework in order to stimulate cross-border cooperation and trans-regional smart specialisation strategies.