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Approved projects - Third call for project proposals

Here are presented summaries of the approved projects in the third call for project proposals.

Innovative Alpine Space

Specific objective 1: Improve the framework conditions for innovation in the Alpine space

AlpBioEco - Valorisation of innovative bio-economical potentials along bio-based food & botanical extract value chains in the Alpine Space

Bioeconomy has an enormous potential for green growth and professional development, and thus is considered as a key discipline nowadays. EU's bioeconomy strategy addresses the production of renewable biological resources & their conversion into vital products. Expanding bioeconomy, particularly in rural areas, represents a major development potential. In the Alpine regions, this potential can however only be harnessed if the actors and municipalities cooperate closely and pursue shared objectives. The overall objective of AlpBioEco is to foster the sustainability of the local economy in the Alpine Space by the valorisation of innovative bioeconomical potentials along bio-based food and botanical extract value chains. 

AlpLinkBioEco - Linking Bio-Based Industry Value Chains Across the Alpine Region

The transition from a linear fossil-fuel based to a circular bio-based economy is a key EU objective. To achieve this objective, the Alpine Space regions have significant biomass resources, strong industry sectors, and knowledge centres. Unfortunately, no holistic cross-regional approach exists to connect all relevant actors also due to lack of innovative bio-based value chains. The project’s main objective is precisely to develop a cross regional circular bio-based economic strategy that includes a roadmap and demonstrators for intelligently assessing, selecting and creating innovative value chains for the Alpine Space wood, agriculture, food/pharma and chemistry sectors.

ASIS - Alpine Social Innovation Strategy

The Alpine Space is at forefront in terms of research and innovation, but shows limited inter-Alpine cooperation and significant regional and social disparities. Coupled with this, is also the fact that the programme area is not immune to a number of societal challenges that require new solutions and responses from authorities. Technological innovation has made important contributions but cannot provide all answers on its own. This holds true to migration or demographic change. In this regard social innovation helps create a favourable climate for developing and increasing the human potential, promoting wellbeing and fostering a capacity for both technological and service innovation. As such, the ASIS project will promote cooperation between keys actors in innovation, develop solutions to better respond to societal challenges and create new knowledge and skills for public authorities and business support organisations.

DuALPlus - Increasing the attractiveness of dual education for skilled crafts and trades in the Alpine Space

Policy makers and stakeholders at national and EU level recognise the important role of dual education in addressing difficulties in the transition phase from education to work, in improving the skills supply and in fostering entrepreneurship and innovation. However, countries in Europe and the Alpine Space are in very different starting positions. Even well performing dual education systems face challenges, such as engaging employers, inclusion of marginalised groups, demographic change, and innovation and adaptation to new professional realities. One of the strengths of the Alpine economy is a strongly rooted tradition in the skilled crafts and trades sector. In order for SMEs to remain competitive in this sector, they need a skilled workforce that is able to keep up with technological, social, business and design innovations. Yet, SMEs in this field find it increasingly difficult to get new apprentices. DuALPlus will go new ways to address these challenges and to increase the attractiveness of dual education for skilled crafts and trades in the Alpine Space.

SESAM - Sensor Assisted Alpine Milk Production

Dairy farming is a traditional business sector of the Alpine Space, adapted to its specific framework patterns: mountain pastures with topography that demand robust & healthy animals & limited, scattered space. Alpine dairy farming relies on SME, mostly family farms. Due to agro-industrial competitors, traditional farms face structural problems to keep up with modern, IT-based quality control. Although farms are integrated in networks of milk recording organisations & procedures, they lack capacities & custom-fit IT-approaches to comply with principles of the green economy, e.g. a stronger focus on animal wellbeing & product quality. SESAM aims at introducing an innovative IT-sensor based framework for innovative decision-support, tailored to small farm (SME) needs, that enables them to improve competitiveness, animal wellbeing and decrease calf-loss through real-time monitoring while preserving the traditional & culturally relevant role in the regional socioeconomic structure.

SmartVillages - Smart digital transformation of villages in the Alpine Space

Alpine space rural communities suffer from a brain drain, due to the lack of highly needed jobs, good provision of services as well as a favourable climate for entrepreneurship and social innovation. Although digitalisation offers a promising approach to address this challenge, the digital divide between rural and urban areas has increased in the last years. A smart village approach for mountain areas could unlock the potential of local actors to make their region a more attractive place to live and work. By applying a smart village approach and bringing together policy-makers, business, academia and civil society actors, the project aims at fostering innovation through new forms of stakeholder involvement facilitated by Information and Communication Technologies.

 Low-carbon Alpine Space

Specific objective 1: Establish transnationally integrated low carbon policy instruments

BB-CLEAN - Strategic tools towards a sustainable use of biomass for low carbon domestic heating

In the Alpine region there is a need to support a better use of local resources and an increase of energy self-sufficiency while reducing impacts on climate and the environment. Biomass is a local and affordable renewable energy source and its combustion avoids fossil CO2 atmospheric emissions. For these reasons biomass use is strategic in the Alpine Space. Nevertheless, biomass burning (BB) leads to consistent particulate matter emissions, often unknown to population and local administrators. Actually, particulate matter emissions has an impact on natural ecosystems, on human health but even on climate change considering black carbon concentrations contained in biomass burning emissions. The main project objective is thus the development of transnational policies for a sustainable use of biomass for domestic heating to minimise the above mentioned impacts and improve a smart use of this resource in the Alpine Space. 
 

SMART ALTITUDE - Alpine winter tourism territories demonstrating an integrated framework for a low-carbon, high-impact and resilient future

Low-carbon policy implementation in winter tourism territories is adversely affected by local economies that are seasonal and highly sensitive to climate conditions. Tourism represents 10 to 15% of the labour market and EUR 50 billion turnover/year in the Alps, and requires climate change adaptation & mitigation strategies.  The project proposes to overcome differences in territorial governance and infrastructure management models to develop a common, transnational approach to the implementation of clean energy policy in mountain territories. It will enable shared climate ambitions to be delivered by all stakeholders (public authorities, users, operators, investors, knowledge centres etc.) with sufficient openness to allow coordination, synergies and significant impact on adaptation and mitigation measures.
 
 

 Specific objective 2: Increase options for low carbon mobility and transport

MELINDA - Mobility Ecosystem for Low-carbon and INnovative moDal shift in the Alps

Urban, suburban and transnational mobility in the Alpine Space is often carbon-intensive due to lack of opportunities for citizens engagement and understanding of user demand. The Alpine area therefore needs alternative and innovative modalities for mobility. MELINDA will induce a behavioural change in mobility patterns in a bottom-up manner and support policy making on mobility, air quality and territorial development. Thanks to a better integration of mobility data and real time monitoring of mobility behaviours and patterns during a test, the project partners will support the development of services for multimodality and modal shift, as well as policy-making and action-planning based on citizens' participation. 

SaMBA - Sustainable Mobility Behaviours in the Alpine Region

The potential of low carbon mobility is still hindered in the Alpine Space area, both in cities and rural areas, where many inhabitants are still car dependent in their daily mobility. This is mainly due to the mismatch between transport supply and mobility demand and to people’s mobility behaviour.
SaMBA will promote mobility behaviour change by reducing the perceived gap between sustainable transport modes and private cars through reward/pricing policies that are equitable and directly related to the external costs of transport. 

 Liveable Alpine Space

Specific objective 1: Sustainably valorise Alpine Space cultural and natural heritage

ATLAS - Advanced Tools for Low-carbon, high-value development of historic architecture in the Alpine Space

Reaching the ambitious climate targets and preserving the cultural landscape in the Alps will only be possible if we intensify our efforts in the valorisation and sustainable use of the historic buildings, and if we understand this task as a mission for the whole civil society. The ATLAS project will point to the (re)discovery of – not necessarily protected – traditional architecture (buildings and ensembles), often situated in less-favoured areas and with a low level on energy efficiency and living comfort. Furthermore, ATLAS will provide advanced tools such as an online decision-support tool for environmental building retrofit and a ToolKit for municipalities.
 

CHEERS - Cultural HEritagE. Risks and Securing activities

The Alps host an outstanding variety of material and immaterial cultural heritage which are the grounds of Alpine identity and strongly contribute to the local economies. Natural disasters, affecting the Alpine territory and prone to be exacerbated by the climate change, represent a major threat to cultural heritage, in terms of asset safety and fruition. Risk assessment and disaster reduction & management have received a growing attention by policy makers at EU and Alpine level mainly focusing on the protection of human lives and infrastructures. Yet, the safeguard of cultural heritage from natural hazards has not been properly tackled. Alpine local communities often lack appropriate regulatory settings, know-how and

operational capacities to manage securing activities of their cultural resources. CHEERS focuses on this gap and aims at supporting relevant transnational and local organisations in the valorisation of cultural heritage by promoting new national and transnational governance and intervention schemes and by providing innovative approaches and tools to secure and salvage cultural assets affected by natural risks.

trAILs - Alpine Industrial Landscapes Transformation

Alpine heavy industry (mining, steelmaking, chemical industry, etc.) is rapidly declining, leaving behind “Alpine Industrial Landscapes” (AILs), huge former productive landscapes of significant size, diffusion and complexity. At present, no reliable quantification of such areas exists and significant transformation attempts or conversion strategies have not been developed. The potential value of AILs was hardly mentioned in previous alpine development programmes and institutional project reports. Nevertheless, the sustainable transformation of AILs is an extremely relevant challenge, strongly connected to ecological, economic and social key issues such as environmental regeneration, reactivation of local and regional economy and promotion of Alpine industrial cultural heritage. The project aims to generate specific knowledge about AILs, to develop and test sustainable transformation strategies, transferable to other industrial landscapes all over the alpine region.
 
 

Specific objective 2: Enhance the protection, the conservation and the ecological connectivity of Alpine Space ecosystems

Eco-AlpsWater - Innovative Ecological Assessment and Water Management Strategy for the Protection of Ecosystem Services in Alpine Lakes and Rivers

Ecosystem services provided by lakes and rivers are facing serious threats under the pressure of anthropogenic impacts, climate change, biodiversity loss and invasion of exotic species. The assessment of these changes is still defined by traditional criteria, which include time-consuming and expensive approaches (e.g. classical identification of aquatic species). The main aim of the project Eco-AlpsWater is to complement the traditional monitoring approaches used in the Alpine region (as defined in Water Frame directive and Water Protection ordinance) with advanced and innovative technologies, providing support based on robust knowledge to the water management plans. The new approach will make use of next generation sequencing to analyse environmental DNA in waterbodies (which allow rapid species identification at low costs, from fish to bacteria), and smart technologies (automation in data processing, data storage, information retrieval).

GreenRisk4ALPs - Development of ecosystem-based risk governance concepts with respect to natural hazards and climate impacts - from ecosystem-based solutions to integrated risk assessment

In natural hazard and risk reduction worldwide, but especially in the Alpine Space, forests and mountain ecosystems are outstandingly important, and are increasingly considered of equivalent effectiveness to technical measures or other prevention concepts. Forests efficiently protect against avalanches, torrents, landslides or rock-fall. However, so far, few strategies or policy concepts have been developed, on how to integrate forests and ecosystem services in risk governance and balance the numerous interests, demands and costs. There are key upcoming challenges in the Alpine Space: limitation of settlement space, increasing costs for the protection of settlements, more conflicts by increasing demands and expectations or critical development of economies like ‘monoculture tourism’. Without an adequate, territorially specific implementation of mountain ecosystems services in a risk mitigation strategy, sustainable development in the Alpine Space will be hard to achieve. Thus, the overarching goal of GreenRisk4ALPs is the development of ecosystem-based concepts to support risk governance with respect to natural hazards and climate impacts.

 Well-governed Alpine Space

Specific objective: Increase the application of multilevel and transnational governance in the Alpine Space

ASTAHG - Alpine Space Transnational Governance of Active and Healthy Ageing

Public authorities in the Alpine Space are promoting policies for active and healthy ageing, to respond to the increase in the percentage of elderly in the Alpine population. However, in order to address this challenge in the most efficient way, the authorities of different sectors (from healthcare to transport) should coordinate efforts and engage with private operators, local authorities, and researchers in the design, implementation and evaluation of policies. ASTAHG will establish a transnational governance board involving Alpine Space quadruple helix players (academia, enterprises, public authorities and the civil society) to identify and face the common challenges in governance and innovation for promoting active and healthy ageing in each territory. ASTAHG will help Alpine Space regional governments in implementing and monitoring their active and healthy ageing policies, local governments in identifying the most suitable initiatives for their territorial context, and social innovators in channelling their services and products through local and international funding opportunities.