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Heading for 2021 and beyond
August-September 2020
Low Carbon

After a special summer with less travel than usual and much time spent in the respective Alpine countries, it is time to look both back and ahead.


Due to the current situation, this year's European Week of Regions and Cities, usually annually held in Brussels, has moved online. This provides new challenges but also new opportunities, such as a larger programme of over 500 sessions and workshops, which can reach a much bigger audience. Everyone can join the sessions, from anywhere in the Alps and beyond!


In this newsletter, we also take the chance of promoting four of our projects and the value they have brought to Alpine regions and communities. Find out more about the significant achievements of these projects in our Output library! Additionally, we are happy to announce that the preparations for the programming period 2021-2027 are getting more concrete. Thanks to the vast participation in our public consultation, we are now fully equipped to work on the fine-tuning of the programme this autumn.


This year, the annual European Week of Regions and Cities takes place for three consecutive weeks, from 5 to 22 October, and are held fully online. The event provides a chance for different organisations to present the importance of EU Cohesion policy and its impacts on regional and local level. There is a vast choice of over 500 sessions, workshops and talks to participate in - see the full programme here!


Within the event's framework, the Interreg Alpine Space programme is hosting a workshop on 15 October from 11:30-13:00 together with three of its projects: GREENCYCLE, CaSco and AlpBioEco. In the session, we will identify solutions together "to make Green Europe happen" based on the experiences and achievements of our three green projects. The registration for the workshop was recently extended until 7 October. You can register here!


Additionally, on 19 October from 16:30-18:00, EUSALP organizes the workshop "EUSALP and the European Green Deal", which aims to stimulate debate on how to decarbonise the Alpine Space, preserve its biodiversity, improve risk prevention and prepare for climate transition. Alpine Space projects contribute to these goals, as Ms. Pallauf, President of the Parliament of the Land of Salzburg, which is the managing authority of the programme, will illustrate during the workshop.


If you want to find out more about the European Week of Regions and Cities, you can visit their website.


Enhancing smart industrial transition in the Alpine regions
The competitiveness of a region depends on far-sighted industrial development policies. Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) help identify new value chains worth developing from the collaboration of two or more industrial sectors present in a region. However, putting the S3 model into practice is often difficult. The S3-4AlpClusters project developed its S3 innovation model in order to overcome four major obstacles to effective smart specialisation: identifying opportunities, prioritising development options, activating need-based cooperation between regions and finally achieving the desired smart industrial transition.


Forests protect the Alpine regions from rockfall


Forests cover 40% of the Alpine area. Besides their many other functions, they are an effective and low cost natural protection from rock falls. The RockTheAlps project has made the first step towards integrating forests in local protection policies. During the project, researchers have gathered data of 10.620 rock falls in the Alps and beyond, calculated a rock fall and a protection model and used them to map protection forests across the 400.000 km of the Alps. Now, this knowledge is made available to anyone involved in rock fall protection policy-making, thanks to the RockTheAlps toolbox.



Getting goods to travel across the Alps by rail


Every day, about 20 freight trains go through the Brenner Pass between Austria and Italy. As the railway networks North and South have different power, signal and train protection systems as well as different languages and regulations, a long set of operations must be performed before leaving Brenner station. AlpInnoCT has worked to increase the efficiency of transport corridors, inter terminals and ports, by applying know-how from the production industry, digital technologies for shipment inspection, tracking and data-sharing along the logistics value chain. Such innovations are highly beneficial. By applying the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” and the “First-In, First-Out” methods alone, one of Verona inter terminals has increased its performance by 34% and train timeliness by 17%.



How can Alpine countries tackle climate change together?


Climate change affects the Alpine space in many ways: the delicate mountain ecosystem is altered, new weather-related risks arise, local economic opportunities change. The Alpine Space project GoApply tackles the key challenges of adaptation governance by mapping and comparing existing governance approaches, good practices and innovations to include climate adaptation into sectoral policies and to set-up effective formats of stakeholder interaction. This body of knowledge enables public and non-governmental actors to improve, re-define and better implement their adaptation governance.

News on the future: programming 2021-2027

The Interreg Alpine Space programme is getting ready for the new programming period 2021-2027. With our public consultation this autumn, we have received more than 200 inputs and comments in which respondents shared their opinions on the programme's overall structure and the proposed specific objectives. We thank all respondents for their valuable feedback!


After two successful online consultations, the recent one and another targeted to identify stakeholders last spring, the programming process of the Interreg Alpine Space programme 2021-2027 will continue through the end of the year with monthly meetings in October, November and December. The current aim is to submit the Interreg programme to the European Commission, as soon as possible after the approval of the legislative package for cohesion policy 2021-2027, in the first quarter of 2021. Over the next months, the Task Force will wrap up discussions about the thematic concentration and take bold steps towards establishing project structures and procedures.


To follow the process, please visit our website.

EU Commission report on the implementation of macro-regional strategies

On 23 September 2020, the European Commission adopted the third biennial report on the implementation of the four EU macro-regional strategies. In the report, among others, the contribution of the Alpine Space programme and its projects to the implementation of the EUSALP are highlighted. Additionally, the report underlines the unique opportunity of the strategies embedding in the next generation of programmes for the period 2021-27.


You can read more here.

In short: Some staff changes at the Joint Secretariat 

Three long-time members have left the Joint Secretariat recently for other professional opportunities. We would like to express our gratitude and thank them for their high commitment to the Interreg Alpine Space programme! More about the induced staff changes and the warmly welcomed newly arrived team colleagues can be found here.


You can find their contact in our dedicated page.

EU Regions Week Webinar: "Older Persons as Local Agents of Change"
EU Regions Week Session: "Get to know Alpine Space projects!"
EU Regions Week Workshop: "Let's make Green Europe happen!"
EU Regions Week Workshop: "EUSALP and the European Green Deal"
Transnational Online Workshop on Sustainable Mobility
Conference "Clean and decarbonized transport in the Alpine Region"
Conference on Smart Villages
Conference: Nature sport in the era of climate change
European Regional Development Fund