Special edition
14 20
Cooperating in times of COVID-19
March-April 2020
Low Carbon

The unprecented times we are currently experiencing disrupted our lives but also provided us with a new perspective on the world around us. Interreg project partners are of course affected by the traveling and meeting restrictions and the programme is addressing possible issues by showing an increased flexibility (more information in our FAQ). But far from only undergoing the current circumstances, the Interreg Alpine Space projects reveal once more their added value by tackling the diverse consequences of the pandemic. Read below which solutions they provide for telemedecine, relaunching businesses or keeping Alpine communities together...


In this newsletter you will also find some news on the programming process for the Interreg Alpine Space 2021-2027: we are moving forward and you can be part of it!

How Interreg Alpine Space projects tackle the effects of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic stands out as a crisis of multiple dimensions, from concerns about health systems to the need for recovery of the economy, and social and environmental consequences. The diversity and territorial relevance of Interreg Alpine Space projects make them all the more opportune to provide solutions to the various challenges created by the COVID-19 and its consequences. Many of our projects can already provide a useful contribution to mitigating the consequences of COVID-19, by developing new ways to take care of the elderly, helping companies to reinvent themselves through innovation, and advising local actors to develop digitalisation.

CoNSENSo: the power of communities

3 questions to Silvia Rizzi, Direzione Sanità –  Regione Piemonte (IT)
Project manager of CoNSENSo - COmmunity Nurse Supporting Elderly iN a changing SOciety


Why is decentralised care important and how does it benefit the Alpine Space communities?


The added value of the CoNSENSo model lies in the "care" delivered to citizens. It is a way to monitor actively the territories by contacting people, establishing trustful relationships and personalising intervention. Older people and their family are put at the center and are provided with all the necessary care and attention. In doing so, the health care system reduces costs by avoiding hospitalisations and guarantees a better quality of life to the elderly.


What are the key features and added value of the model of care developed by CoNSENSo ?


The CoNSENSo model offers a way of care addressed to older people by applying new strategies to avoid disability and loss of independence and by working on prevention and on integrating the social and health care with the resources of families and communities. CoNSENSo project tested innovative learning paths enabling nurses to personalise the care and enabling citizens to stay at home as long as possible. CoNSENSo boosted the resources and networks already acting on the territory and made them more cohesive and powerful.


How could the model developed by CoNSENSo represent a response to curbing the covid-19 pandemic and provide health assistance to people without congesting hospitals?


The model of the Family and Community nurse enables older people to stay at their home, safe and monitored, and avoiding the hospitalisation. The experimentations in four countries across the Alpine Space revealed the increased efficiency of alliances between the Family and Community nurses and family doctors. The municipality of Piossasco in Piedmont, that participated in the project, was able to quickly set up a network of institutions, volunteer association, local Red Cross or parishes to face the COVID-19 emergency. It supported poor or frail families by delivering food, medicines and other essential products or contacting lonely older people at least twice a week.


Telemedicine and virtual care became essential in attending patients while avoiding the spread of the epidemic. The tools and networks created by the CARE4TECH project support the swift development of smart health solutions. The Living and Innovations Labs enable a fast innovation process in complex situations (e.g. www.prolida.at), whereas the CARE4TECH Knowledge Atlas provides a basis for a fast and transnational co-development of technologies and services, together with relevant SMEs and industry partners.


Smart solutions for rural and mountainous areas are also a means to contribute to recovery from the pandemic. In the municipality of Kungota (SI), 5,000 citizens can now benefit from a network of free public WLAN/WiFi points to promote their services online and advertise local products through a dedicated mobile application. This new tool was developed by the project SmartVillages, which engages mountain communities to find original ways to improve their economic, social and environmental wellbeing.


Listen to the new Interreg podcast This is Europe to learn more about this project!


In the current situation, many companies are facing profound structural changes. BE-READI ALPS offers solutions as the core goal of the project is to support SMEs in launching "second life" projects. The BE-READI Points are available to accompany entrepreneurs to check the feasibility of their projects, to establish new partnerships and to learn new ways to relaunch business valorising digital tools. If you are interested, stay tuned here: www.linkedin.com/company/be-readi-alps


The project CIRCULAR4.0 presents a valuable opportunity for the Alpine Space and its enterprises in the recovery phase from the pandemic. The project indeed encourages SMEs to innovate and to grow by using more digital tools in order to adopt circular economy business models. It also allows facing environmental challenges, as it develops a set of tools to create circular design models, optimal use models, value recovery models that help the transition to a more sustainable manufacturing.

DesAlps: Design Thinking to adapt to a new reality

3 questions to Fabiana Mei, Education and training specialist at t2i- technology transfer and innovation – Treviso (IT)

Project Manager of DesAlps - Design Thinking for a smart innovation ecosystem in Alpine Space


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are now faced with unprecedented challenges to keep up with their businesses. How can design thinking support them to reshape their business?


Design Thinking is a method that helps companies to adapt quickly to grasp emerging demands of individuals, creating valuable products and services for clients that are more and more connected to a globalised market with infinite choices. Now more than ever, we have realized that a sudden shift of scenario can disrupt companies, obliging them to act fast, in a very competitive setting, sometimes with scarce resources.


Can you tell us a success story of how design thinking helped this process?


In 2019, we accompanied a web agency (IT Power Net) in a Design Thinking testing path. The activity led them to follow their intuition and start a revision of their business model, turning their job of standard web designers into digital voice assistants programmers. In the new reality we are living, contactless-modes are very quickly becoming essential in every product or service, as they are safer to use. So this company now has the privilege to ride on the wave of this technological boom.


Which of the tools you developed can be beneficial to challenged companies? How can they benefit from them?


Design Thinking is now our mindset when we help client companies to solve their problems. There are many helpful tools for this challenging period. The Traffic Light Canvas helps visualize the critical points in the interaction of customers with the service that a company offers (e.g. for dealers to rethink how to run their shops). The Design Thinking Recipe condenses in a poster 10 golden rules about what to know and what to do before starting an innovation process, in order to optimize time and resources.

Picture ⒸprojectDesAlps

COVID-19 consequences on projects: FAQ

How to deal with cancellation costs? How to implement project activities despite the travelling and meeting restrictions? We have supported projects to find answers to these questions and collected them in a new section to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. Please find them here: www.alpine-space.eu/project-management/project-tools-resources/frequently-asked-questions


We will keep updating this page with further information. For any specific question, please get in touch with the JS team. We remain available for your support!

News on the future: programming 2021-2027


The Interreg Alpine Space programme also keeps moving forward. The meetings of the Task Force 2021+ now take place online in order to keep up with the calendar and launch the new Interreg Alpine Space programme timely in 2021!


Due to the current restrictions on travelling and public events, the national stakeholder events planned throughout the Alps for this spring had to be cancelled. In order to ensure participation, an online consultation is substituting the events and gathering comments and inputs for the further development of the programme strategy. The Partner States invited selected stakeholders of the programme to reply and contribute to the design of the Interreg Alpine Space programme 2021-2027. This consultation is open from 4 to 25 May 2020, 4 pm CET.


Last but not least: you will have another opportunity to have your say in summer 2020, by taking part to the second online consultation, opened to a wider public. Don’t miss the chance to have your say! Stay tuned and visit our page dedicated to the future programme 2021+.

European Regional Development Fund