From June 2018 onwards, the #MadewithAlpineSpace campaign takes you on a journey to discover the best results of the Alpine Space projects. Every month a new programme message will be published and project highlights featured on this page, our social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and our newsletter. 

Keep posted and learn about  impact of successful transnational cooperation in the Alpine Space! 

  "Transnational cooperation helps to reduce regional disparities and increases cohesion in specific territories".

Remote, rural areas make up a large part of the Alpine Space. People living there face all kinds of difficulties, from access to healthcare and education to the lack of jobs and favourable conditions for entrepreneurship.  As a consequence, brain drain and population ageing are all the more significant. Rural communities can tackle these problems by working together, learning from each other and finally taking advantage of synergies and new technologies. This is what Alpine Space projects like Intesi and Smart Villages do.

INTESI: integrated territorial strategies for services of general interest


There are municipalities in the Slovenian Alps where 17% of the population cannot reach a doctor within 20 minutes by car. The figure rises to 44% if we consider public transport. Shops and post offices are not available everywhere and often have short working hours. Commuting in these areas is not easy, as buses are not frequent and it takes more than one hour to get to the closest train station. 3G mobile internet connections are not available in more remote areas and even the town centres lack broadband services. This situation hinders the attractiveness of these areas to live and work in. In turn, as population decreases, providing services becomes more of a challenge.

The INTESI project works to break this vicious circle. The INTESI strategy taps into potential synergies and improves efficiency thanks to the integration of different administrative levels, sectors and financial sources. Alpine communities will therefore get a chance to drop a sectoral model that is no longer sustainable and look for more viable ways to meet their service needs.

SmartVillages: digitalisation in rural communities

Alpine Space rural communities are deprived of highly needed jobs, good provision of services as well as a favourable climate for entrepreneurship and social innovation, which results in a brain drain. Digitalisation is a promising approach to counter this situation. However, the digital division between rural and urban areas has even increased in the last few 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

SmartVillages studies new ways to make mountain villages better places to live and work in through new forms of stakeholder involvement supported by the information technology. In its test areas SmartVillages brings together local governments, SMEs, public service providers, NGOs and citizens to identify the main local needs, implement pilot activities and feed the SmartVillage digital exchange platform. Eventually, all the information thus gathered will be the basis for the creation of a transnational toolbox and of a set of recommendations for policymakers.


AlpBioEco: the potential of bioeconomy


Bioeconomy has an enormous potential for green growth and it represents a major development potential, particularly in rural areas. However, this potential can only be harnessed if the Alpine regions cooperate closely and pursue shared objectives.

AlpBioEco focuses on bioeconomy in the value chains of herbal foods and essences. It also contributes to the framework conditions for innovation, resulting in eco-innovative business ideas and concepts for small and medium-sized enterprises in the Alpine region.

In sum, it makes cohesion and integrated territorial development possible, since rural regions become connected in new bio-based value chains. High value jobs are therefore induced in the agricultural sector. On a macro-regional level, AlpBioEco contributes to a lower disparity of the Alpine Space.


DuALPlus: fostering dual education in the Alps

Dual education plays an important role in addressing difficulties in the transition phase from education to work, in improving the skills and in fostering entrepreneurship and innovation.

However, even well performing dual education systems face challenges in European countries and in the Alpine Space: inclusion of marginalized groups, demographic change, and innovation and adaptation to new professional realities among others.

DuALPlus brings together SMEs, educational institutions, business support organisations such as handicraft clusters and chambers of commerce, universities and design institutes and regional public authorities from six Alpine countries to address these challenges and increase the attractiveness of dual education for skilled crafts and trades in the Alpine Space. The results of the project directly benefit individuals who take up a career in the skilled crafts and trades sector as well as SMEs, tutors and master craftsmen who want to upgrade their teaching and technical skills.