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Building on the concept of Smart Villages towards a transnational and EUSALP-integrated Smart Community in the Alps

Kick-Off-meeting in Ljubljana

SmartCommUnity Kick-Off-Meeting in Ljubljana

Rural and mountain areas suffer from depopulation and economic decline due to a lack of (public) services and digital infrastructure and skills. Digitalisation represents a major opportunity for these regions to increase their attractiveness as places to work and live, compared to urban centres. SmartCommUnity aims to create a transnational community to change both the practices and perceptions of smart rural areas. In close cooperation with the European Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP), the project partners will facilitate capacity building of rural areas, promote existing digital tools and solutions and develop innovative and interactive digital tools to foster the "smart transition" of Alpine areas, taking into account community and sustainability aspects.

Overall objective

The SmartCommUnity project aims to support Alpine rural areas, using all the benefits of digitalization, embracing smart transitions and creating a functional transnational community within EUSALP AG5 Smart Alps. Interactive and user-friendly digital tools enhancing transnational matchmaking and leading-by example will empower new areas to follow more advanced areas, and territories will develop a community approach to create smarter, greener, more sustainable, resilient, and attractive rural areas.

Specific objectives

  • Experiment innovative solutions for the smart transition of the test areas and inspire additional areas in the partner and other Alpine regions to follow suit, via a strong regional approach of Lighthouse Test Areas working closely with selected Follower Test areas;
  • Closely work with all Test Areas at EUSALP level, facilitating the uptake of the smart community concept  in regional, national and European policies and fostering a sense of a structured Alpine community with common challenges and visions;
  • Develop new digital tools to facilitate matchmaking, networking, and engagement activities in search of locally-tailored and led smart solutions, such as gamification and civic tech (WPIT);
  • Change perceptions and create a smart vision for the Alps, and effectively communicating the opportunities and results in the Alps and beyond for more areas to join in.


University of Ljubljana (Lead partner) (SI) - Poliedra - research and consultancy centre of Milan’s Polytechnic University on environmental (IT) - Development Agency GAL Genovese (IT) - Standortagentur Tirol GmbH (AT) - Regionalverband Südlicher Oberrhein (DE) - ITC Innovation Technology Cluster Murska Sobota (SI) - Association for the networked development of territories and services Autonomous (FR) - Region of Valle d’Aosta (IT) – SAB Swiss Center for mountain regions (CH) - Energy and Environment Agency of Lower Austria (AT) - Software Competence Center Hagenberg GmbH (AT) - REGION LUCERNE WEST (CH).

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Total eligible costs   2.961.288 EUR

ERDF grants              1.883.351 EUR

Programme period

2021 – 2027


Innovation and digitalisation supporting a green Alpine region

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Reference: Development Agency GAL Genovese