A spring full of energy!
14 20
Issue 8: April 2016
Low Carbon

Interreg Alpine Space is full of energy this spring!


The programme has received 113 expressions of interest in the first step of the second call for project proposals. The selection of applications for the second step will take place at the beginning of June. Keep posted!


The four projects approved in the priority "Low Carbon Alpine Space" are working full power on complementary solutions to energy challenges (see "New projects in the Alpine Space - feel the energy").


EUSALP Action Groups have been very active as well over the past weeks and tell us more about their planned actions for the next month (see "What's up EUSALP?").

New projects in the Alpine Space – feel the energy!
The four projects approved in the priority low-carbon Alpine Space are working on complementary solutions to the challenges of energy efficiency and sustainable energy.

On the one hand, GRETA and PEACE_Alps work on the supply side. 

While GRETA concentrates on the technical inquiry, promoting the potentials of near-surface geothermal resources, PEACE_Alps offers support to the policy level for the implementation of their decisions and plans supporting the use sustainable energy and measures for energy efficiency. 


On the other hand, THE4BEES looks at the demand side. Reversing the approach, the project partners start from the premise that "energy is consumed by people and not by buildings", and focus on behavioural change to save energy. 


CESBA_Alps widens the horizons. The project develops a tool to assess the level of sustainability in territories (communities, regions...) through a set of performance indicators.


The four projects underline the importance of a bottom-up approach, assuming that the involvement of stakeholders is the first and most important step towards change. 



CESBA Alps, GRETA and PEACE_Alps recently kicked off their activities.


The CESBA Alps consortium met on 21-22 March in Lyon to illustrate the project`s setting within the CESBA initiative and discuss the upcoming tasks to achieve a harmonised system for the sustainability assessment of territories. The moderators used the CESBA sprint method throughout the meeting, resulting in a very interactive and productive working atmosphere. Laura Schutt, project coordinator, and Markus Berchtold, communication manager couldn't agree more: "The kick-off meeting was a great start for our project. We saw cooperation in action: all partners contributed with valuable inputs, eager to meet the ambitious targets of CESBA Alps."


GRETA held a kick-off meeting on 23-24 March in Munich, marking the start of three years of work on the potential of near-surface geothermal energy in the Alpine Space and its integration into energy plans. The aim of the meeting was to reinforce a common understanding of GRETA`s objectives, to discuss the work plan and introduce the first case studies in pilot areas. “The GRETA project kick-off was an important meeting to sharpen up the common sense of the forthcoming activities and an excellent opportunity to meet all the passionate partners in person” says Fabian Böttcher from the lead partner organisation. 


The partners of PEACE-Alps had their first meeting on 5-6 April in Kranj, Slovenia. "The peculiarity of our project is to pool needs and provide centralised solution to support local authorities in implementing their sustainable energy action plans" says Ellen Esser, project coordinator. After a nice warm up with presentation videos, the partners showed their first achievements. They brainstormed on ways to cooperate, not only to improve collaboration within the project in its bottom up approach, but also to ensure synergy with other projects. 


What's up EUSALP? EUSALP action group leaders meet Alpine Space projects

This section of the newsletter is a virtual dialogue between EUSALP Action Group leaders and the Alpine Space projects. What are the mutual expectations? What can be done together?

Action Group 9: To make the territory a model region for energy efficiency and renewable energy

Action Group 9 of the EUSALP (AG9) kicked off their work programme on 09 March 2016 (photo taken at the kick-off meeting), in Bolzano, Italy. Action group leader Ulrich Santa from the CasaClima agency, tells us more:



Interreg Alpine Space: Now that the kick-off has taken place, what will be the first action of AG9 in the near future?

Ulrich Santa: Together with the other AG we are working on a project proposal that will help us to develop the EUSALP governance structure and network. So, in the coming weeks we will be busy defining our work plan in details and trying to find the best way to align our mission to the goals of the other AG leaders.


Interreg Alpine Space: If you could choose a motto for your AG, what would that be?

Ulrich Santa: I think that, since the building sector is responsible for about one third of CO2 emissions in Europe, “Without energy efficiency and renewable energy no sustainable Alpine Area” is the motto that describes our mission perfectly.





Lisa Cosmi and Anne-Sophie Wert, respectively project coordinator and communication manager of the THE4BEES project (Transnational Holistic Ecosystem 4 Better Energy Efficiency through Social innovation) explain how the project foresees the cooperation with the Action Group: 


Interreg Alpine Space: What do you expect from the EUSALP AG9?

Lisa Cosmi and Anne-Sophie Wert: THE4BEES aims at changing behaviours rather than buildings, an alternative point of view which is often disregarded by traditional energy projects. Since behavioural changes need participation, in our view EUSALP AG9 could become a strategic asset to better position THE4BEES objectives and gain wider audience among all stakeholders, especially at regional and national institutions level. We would like EUSALP to promote the spreading of THE4BEES findings, by supporting transnational comparison and results dissemination. In short, we would like to gain a leverage effect from it!


Interreg Alpine Space: How do you foresee the cooperation with EUSALP AG9?

Lisa Cosmi and Anne-Sophie Wert: The first, very practical question is how THE4BEES and the AG9 can mutually support and strengthen each other. In order to foster cooperation we would welcome a chance for open discussion in order to gain better understanding of approaches and tools available.



Action Group 4: To promote inter-modality and interoperability in passenger and freight transport

Action Group 4 of the EUSALP (AG4) kicked off their work programme on 09 March 2016, in Innsbruck, Austria. Action group leader Ewald Moser from the EGTC Tyrol – South Tyrol – Trentino tells us more:


Interreg Alpine Space: Now that the kick-off has taken place, what will be the first action of AG4 in the near future?

Ewald Moser: The AG4  will develop a work programme on a common understanding for transport policy and mobility, with concrete targets, actions, and responsibilities on the basis of the EUSALP Action Plan and the contribution of AG4 members. During the kick-off meeting in Innsbruck, the group has already defined the main topics for the work programme : configuration of tolls and modal shift under consideration of environmental effects, public transport (especially cross-border aspects inter alia tariffs), linking secondary networks including cycle paths.


Interreg Alpine Space supports low carbon transport and mobility in priority 2 "Low Carbon Alpine Space". However, currently there is no project working on this topic yet. 

Action Group 5: To connect people electronically and promote accessibility to public services

Action Group 5 of the EUSALP (AG5) first met on 18 March 2016, in Aosta, Italy. Action group leaders Giorgio Consol and Thomas Egger respectively from the Autonomous Region of Aosta Valley, Italy, and from the Swiss Centre for Mountain Regions, tell us more:


Interreg Alpine Space: Why did your institution decide to take the lead of this EUSALP AG?

Giorgio Consol: Valle d’Aosta may be considered in some respects as the epitome of the Alpine region, with impressive natural assets and touristic potential. On the other hand, it is also a market failure area – as many Alpine territories are – when it comes to provision of services. That’s what we’ve been trying to impress upon State and European Commission decision makers for a long time, together with our proposals to use ICT technologies to ensure economic delivery of those services and thus come to grips with mountain depopulation. Then the EUSALP Action Plan was drafted, and attention was brought to this very aspect, with the creation of AG5. After that, it was only logical that we tried to contribute and volunteered to guide the process.    

Thomas Egger: The Swiss Center for Mountain Regions SAB is working since many years on the topic of services of general interest (SGI) in the national, Alpine and European context. In the Alpine context, we have already been leader of the two Alpine Space projects Pusemor and ACCESS and are currently leading the INTESI project. SGI are a necessary pre-condition for the settlement of persons and economic activities and must be a priority for the development of territories. SGI need to be improved continuously according to the technological progress and the need of consumers. The use of synergies between different services can help to improve service delivery.  As the legal responsibility on SGI is varying between european, national, regional and local level, SGI need a multilevel governance approach. In this context EUSALP can help to develop those services in a strategic approach (policy level) but also on a very practical level by identifying good practises and sharing information amongst all Alpine actors. In this sense, there are close synergies between the ASP project INTESI and AG5 of EUSALP. INTESI will e.g. build up an alpine think tank on SGI, which can be closely linked to the activities of AG5. 


Interreg Alpine Space: If you could choose a motto for your AG, what would that be?

Giorgio Consol: A motto should explain that inclusiveness is an enabling factor for sustainable development in the Alpine area. Liminal areas must link with cities. Inhabitants of side valleys should be commended because by managing their territories they avert the risk of floods in the plains. Keeping that in mind, a good motto could be “close to one another”.





Peter Niederer, project coordinator of the INTESI project (integrated territorial strategies for services of general interest) and Giuseppe Salamina, project coordinator of the CO.N.S.E.N.SO project (COmmunity Nurse Supporting Elderly iN a changing SOciety) explain how their projects foresee the cooperation with the Action Group: 


Interreg Alpine Space: How do you foresee the cooperation with EUSALP AG5?

Peter Niederer: Our target is to feed the INTESI results into the EUSALP AG5. The foreseen INTESI-think tank on SGI will also serve the Action Group as a platform.

Giuseppe Salamina: "Close to one another", this could also be the motto of the CO.N.S.E.N.SO project, which aims to develop a care model that puts the elderly at the centre of health and social services, building on the crucial role of the family and community nurses. We focus on improving and promoting human relations to allow the elderly to live at home as long as possible. We would be pleased to get institutional acknowledgment and support for the project from the AG5, and are looking forward to contributing with our results to the AG work on accessibility to public services.

Action Group 7: To develop ecological connectivity in the whole EUSALP territory

Action Group 7 of the EUSALP (AG7) kicked off their work programme on 09 March 2016, in Munich, Germany. Action group leaders Michaela Künzl and Tina Trampuš respectively from the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer ProtectionGermany, and from the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation, tell us more:


Interreg Alpine Space: Why did your institution decide to take the lead of this EUSALP AG?

Michaela Künzl: The Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection pushed the discussion of developing a macroregional strategy for the Alpine region from the very beginning, as regions should be strong voices when setting impulses for a well-balanced development in the territory. Particularly, in the field of ecological connectivity the enhanced cooperation of actors crossing sectorial thinking, state borders and the different administrative levels - all in all to change people’s mind-set - provides promising potentials for developing new implementation models.

Tina Trampuš: The Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation is a public authority and one of the important stakeholders for environment and nature conservation in the region. We believe that improving ecological connectivity is crucial for long term conservation of nature and semi nature areas in the Alpine region. With experiences in participating and leading diverse regional, cross border, and transnational projects, and with use of strategic communication, we can bring closer various stakeholders, from the government and the non government sector to the general public. This is crucial for promoting and implementing the concept of ecological connectivity. The concept is closely connected with climate change and the ecosystem services approach to planning, the issues that need to take new steps in Slovenia and in the Alpine region.


Interreg Alpine Space: If you could choose a motto for your AG, what would that be?

Michaela Künzl and Tina Trampuš: Our motto: Ecological connectivity calls for connecting actors!


Interreg Alpine Space supports ecological connectivity in priority 3 "Liveable Alpine Space". However, currently there is no project working on this topic yet.  

AlpWeek 2016: registration opens beginning of May!

The programme of the AlpWeek will be published, and registration will open at the beginning of May, keep posted!


Here is a short preview of our workshops there: 

1. Make the Alpine Space a better place to live!
Interreg Alpine Space quiz about cooperation in the Alps.
2. At your service!
Speed networking and world café on services of general
3. Model the Alps!
Solutions for natural and cultural heritage valorisation.


More information and registration at the beginning of May on the AlpWeek website, Facebook and Twitter: @AlpWeek. 

European Regional Development Fund