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


  • 2021 – 2027
  • Innovation and digitalisation supporting a green Alpine region
  • SO 3.2 - Reaping the benefits of digitisation for citizens, companies, research organisations and public authorities
    • AG1 Research & innovation
  • 2.961.288 EUR
  • 1.883.351 EUR


Europe’s rural and mountain areas, both in perceptions and in practice, still lack urban areas’ level of attractiveness to work and live, the same level of (public) services, the same level of  innovation in the economy and the same awareness of their own assets. This is mostly due to a lack of digital infrastructure, a lack of high-level (public) services, a gap in digital skills and competences, a lack of tailored smart actions and policies and a subsequent lack of economic opportunities that often result in instances of depopulation and economic decline. Digitalization is an opportunity for rural and mountain areas to catch up with the assets urban centres have.

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.

In particular the SmartCommUnity project aims to:

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)
  • Lead partner
  • Slovenia
  • Zahodna Slovenija (SI04)
  • Ljubljana
Poliedra - research and consultancy centre of Milan’s Polytechnic University on environmental
  • Italy
  • Lombardia (ITC4)
  • Milano
Development Agency GAL Genovese
  • Italy
  • Liguria (ITC3)
  • Genova
Standortagentur Tirol GmbH
  • Austria
  • Tirol (AT33)
  • Tyrol
Regionalverband Südlicher Oberrhein
  • Germany
  • Freiburg (DE13)
  • Freiburg im Breisgau
ITC – Innovation Technology Cluster Murska Sobota
  • Slovenia
  • Vzhodna Slovenija (SI03)
  • Murska Sobota
Association for the networked development of territories and services
  • France
  • Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (FRL0)
  • Gap
Autonomous Region of Valle d’Aosta
  • Italy
  • Valle d’Aosta/Vallée d’Aoste (ITC2)
  • Brissogne
Swiss Center for mountain regions SAB
  • Switzerland
  • Espace Mittelland (CH02)
  • Bern
Energy and Environment Agency of Lower Austria
  • Austria
  • Niederösterreich (AT12)
  • St. Pölten
Software Competence Center Hagenberg GmbH
  • Austria
  • Oberösterreich (AT31)
  • Hagenberg
  • Switzerland
  • Zentralschweiz (CH06)
  • Wolhusen
  • 46.04898975000000414.503956692895823
  • 45.46419439.1896346
  • 44.40764328.9330596
  • 47.267921511.4009453
  • 47.9876952000000057.858678886111111
  • 46.664502816.165431927881322
  • 44.55688936.0783743
  • 45.72851997.4066634
  • 46.94680587.4353275
  • 48.206296315.6255649
  • 48.3702369514.51379115
  • 47.05882868.0734012


  • Seamless link with EUSALP AG5 SmartAlps

    Creating a smart, functional and transnational community within EUSALP AG5 Smart Alps by the integration of Lighthouse Test Areas - Follower Test Areas and the promotion of the network to include further interested communities aiming at further growth of the Alpine community.
    SmartCommUnity, with the full support of EUSALP AG5 co-leads SAB and RAVA, aims at create a seamless link between the project's activities and AG5's SmartAlps network, in order for all our TAs and project-led networking activities to coalesce into AG5's SmartAlps in a structured and consistent way, and in order for the SmartCommUnity rationale to be disseminate at EUSALP level and uptaken at policy level. Target Groups: PAs, Publ. serv. prov., interest gr., public.

  • Pilot actions in TAs and FTAs

    Fostering activities and pilot actions for smart community-led transition in Test Areas involving all relevant stakeholders and establishing Regional Stakeholders Groups.
    WPTAN plans to implement community-led pilot actions for smart transition in the project's LTAs and FTAs, with a provisional number of 9+9. Pilot actions will be structured in a consistent way in the project with the organisation and involvement of Regional Stakeholder Groups, will be working with a project-wide rationale and will underline the networking aspect between TAs and FTAs and project-wide. Target groups: public, PAs, SME, Ed and research inst., public, interest groups, serv. prov.

  • SmartCommUnity Innovation Platform (SCU IP): dataset, assessments, RSGs, actions

    Developing 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 plans at building on the innovation tools developed within SmartVillages and with the aim of implementing one new, overarching SCU IP that expands on previous work (DEP, Toolbox) and represents a joint transnational meeting point for the TAs' RSGs, and includes the storyline of the different smart actions. Target groups: higher ed. and research, PAs, interest groups, public. Specific attention will be given to data protection and the ownership and durability of the innovation platform.

Project calendar

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    18 - 19 Jan 2023
    1st Kick Off meeting of the SmartCommUnity project in Ljubljana
    SmartCommUnity project presentation: Building a SmartCommUnity
    lubiana 1

      Project news

      1st Kick Off meeting of the SmartCommUnity project in Ljubljana

      SmartCommUnity project presentation: Building a SmartCommUnity

      Digital solutions for a transnational Alpine community

      Use digital solutions in the pilot areas to create a digital platform that will link them into a transnational Alpine community, with the further aim of their systemic integration into regional and national policies.