Smart digital transformation of villages in the Alpine Space

Project summary

Alpine space rural communities are deprived of highly needed jobs, good provision of services as well as a favorable climate for enterprenuership and social innovation, which result in a brain drain. Digitalization is a promising approach to counter the situation. However, the digital divide between rural and urban areas has even increased in the last years. A Smart Village (SV) approach for mountain areas could unlock the potential of local actors to make their region a more attractive place to live and work.

The project aims to apply a SV approach and bring together - in so-called Regional Stakeholder Groups (policy makers, business, academia and civil society) to improve the framework for innovation through new forms of stakeholder involvement facilitated by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

The project contributes to better framework conditions for innovation on two aspects – the organizational and societal part (working with Regional Stakeholder Groups) and the technical part (Digital Exchange Platform and Toolbox with new digital products) and combining the strengths of both side. Finally, the transfer of the results to the policy level contributes to improve the political framework conditions for digital innovation.


9 Regional Stakeholder Groups they will assist the assessment of smartness level of Test Areas, give input for best practices and test the Digital Exchange Platform (DEP), codesign the toolbox and facilitate the transfer of project results to the policy level

Regional analysis Readiness and needs for a Smart Transition in the Test Areas

Digital Exchange Platform Transnational knowledge sharing of the project findings within the project as well as with the wider public

Toolbox Access to digital tools, methods and techniques that facilitate user engagement and the development of products with high value for the SV ecosystem in all Test Areas

Policy Recommendations Synthesis report by evaluating PAs results and effects.


Specific Objectives

To Initiate understanding and mutual learning on the SV Ecosystem

The Analysis is performed on stakeholders’ identification, innovation resources, obstacles, opportunities and business models linked to the Alpine smart village approach. Synergies and inspiration will be sought to other programs such as the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Smart Cities and Communities.

To Facilitate innovation through the development of tools and transnational exchange

DEP and Toolbox are developed in parallel. Whereas the DEP brings together different stakeholders to a transnational knowledge sharing, the Toolbox is tried out in the Test Areas on a local or regional level. Results are synthesized transnationally to a common Toolbox that can be transferred to other regions.

To Raise awareness for a SV Policy

Recommendations are elaborated and actions undertaken to facilitate the transfer of the projects results to the policy level. All results are accessible for all interested stakeholders on the project website.


Regional Analysis

The aim is to determine how advanced the Test Areas already are in the Smart Transition process and their own Smart Specialization Strategies. This involves the assessment of the level of smart readiness of the TAs, including the identification and collection of the relevant data on a regional level (eg. policies) and on a TA level (assessment of needs and goals).

Digital Exchange Platform

DEP enables the transnational knowledge sharing of the overall project findings and European SV best practices between Partners and the wider public.

Aiming for collective intelligence and so delivering the project results under open conditions (open source software and open data)

Being interoperable with existing platforms, using as much-shared components as possible, but independent to avoid increasing complexity

Tool Box

It provides the main ingredients of a smart village. The toolbox is equipped with methods that guide Partners, but also other Alpine regions via the participatory setting up of a SV environment. The toolbox is developed in a co-design process with the Regional Stakeholder Groups and is based on Pilot Activities experiences in Test Areas. Test Areas are interlinked transnationally and their outcomes are available on the transnational DEP.

Policy Recommendations 

It aims to promote the results of the project on a national and transnational level to facilitate their implementation into strategies and policies.

It also improves the framework conditions for a smart transition in academia, business and administration.

The Policy Makers participating in Regional Stakeholder Groups and the Observer Group will be included in this work.