Developing an Alpine Space Research, Development and Innovation Area by lowering barriers for cross-regional cooperation


The Alps are home to several innovation hotspots, but cross-sectoral and interregional cooperation is still limited. As this is becoming a key to creating new value chains and exploiting economic trends such as circular bioeconomy and health economy, the ARDIA-NET partners created an Alpine Research and Development Area, whose transregional funding framework will stimulate cooperation. In addition, the partners carried out demonstration projects to showcase the benefits of cross-border smart specialisation strategies.


  • 2014 – 2020
  • Well-Governed
  • Increase the application of multilevel and transnational governance in the Alpine Space
    • Group 2: To increase the economic potential of strategic sectors
  • 10/2019
  • 06/2022
  • 1.591.414 EUR
  • 1.169.952 EUR


BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH (Lead partner)
  • Lead partner
  • Germany
  • Stuttgart
  • Stuttgart
    SC Sviluppo Chimica S.p.A.
    • Italy
    • Lombardia
    • Milan
        Business Upper Austria – OÖ Wirtschaftsagentur Ltd.
        • Austria
        • OberAustria
        • Linz
            Poly4EmI hosted by Anteja ECG d.o.o.
            • Slovenia
            • Zahodna Slovenia
            • Ljubljana
                Bavarian Research Alliance GmbH
                • Germany
                • Oberbayern
                • Munich
                    Innovation Salzburg GmbH
                    • Austria
                    • Salzburg
                    • Salzburg
                        University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland – School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg
                        • Switzerland
                        • Espace Mittelland
                        • Fribourg
                            Lombardy Green Chemistry Association
                            • Italy
                            • Lombardia
                            • Milan
                                • 48.77668699.19005976492914
                                • 45.47971089.1619794
                                • 48.318793814.3086431
                                • 46.074217314.5077592
                                • 48.1418603511.593056928236505
                                • 47.801509613.0183245
                                • 46.79227817.1603362
                                • 45.45124639.2518388


                                • Blueprint for a synchronized S3 RDI funding scheme

                                  Guidelines for a S3-based RDI funding scheme, providing administrative and thematic scope to leverage the capacity of regional S3 to foster RDI, economic growth and job creation through cross-regional collaboration.
                                  For executing the multi-level, multi-regional governance, dedicated guidance is developed for a synchronized funding scheme for RDI projects addressing the development of Alpine Space. The thematic scope (circular bioeconomy, health-economy) is implemented by focusing on combining priority areas defined in regional S3 and reflecting EUSALP macroregional S3 synergies.

                                • Training on cross-sectoral and -regional S3 cooperation opportunities

                                  Demonstrator missions for the Alpine Space are implemented through synchronized demonstrator calls and ready-to-use-projects are developed as innovation beacons for sustainable development in the Alpine Space.
                                  Methodology and summary of training of policy makers, regional public authorities, funding authorities to implement and disseminate ARDIA-Net – an S3-based cross regional and cross-sectoral cooperation to increase the capacities of governance structures; Methodology and summary of demonstrator calls and projects within the ARDIA-Net funding scheme under the missions “circular bioeconomy” and “health economy”, as the consolidation of built capacities of governance structures for prompt piloting.

                                • Strategy for the establishment of a durable and upgradeable ARDIA network

                                  A coherent strategy for an ARDIA common multi-level governance system that enables S3 cross-regional cooperation of policy makers, public authorities and funding authorities for executing a common funding scheme.
                                  The partnership advocates for a durable ARDIA network based on joint RDI calls. The templates for the implementation of a joint call as well as the policy memo resuming the call Innovation Express 2021, are ready-to-use tools and experiences for regional and national administrations.

                                • AlpsConnect Cross-regional Cooperation Scheme

                                  This factsheet describes in an understandable way the three options to support cross-regional RDI cooperation. It should help the Alpine regional administrators to close the existing funding gap for such cross-regional projects.

                                • ARDIA-Net Final Conference’s keynote “The Alpine way: a new mindset for cross-regional and cross-sectoral cooperation”

                                  This is the key-note of Prof. Dr. Ralf Kindervater, CEO of BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg, presented during the Final Conference in Milan on 11th May 2022. It summarizes the need, findings, mid-term impact and outreach of a project like ARDIA-Net

                                • Final Publication of ARDIA-Net

                                  “Shaping & sharing capacities for cross-regional cooperation in the Alpine Region and beyond” shows to what degree the project achieved its goals and includes testimonials from regional and macro-regional administrations

                                • Good practices and built capacities for cross-regional cooperation in the Alpine Region

                                  Mr. Bernhard Lehofer (Innovation Salzburg), Mr. Christian Altmann (Business Upper Austria) and Ms. Maria Vittoria Frau (Lombardy Region) reflect on good practices and built capacities during the ARDIA-Net project in this short video.

                                • Report on the Bioeconomy potential in the Alpine Region

                                  This report offers an in-depth evaluation of the five selected topics related to the bioeconomy: biomass, food & feed, smart building, plastics and pharmaceuticals.
                                  Each topic was assessed on a quantitative and qualitative level. The data refers to the participating regions: Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Canton Fribourg (Espace Mittelland), Land Salzburg, Lombardy, Slovenia and Upper Austria