Smart digital transformation of villages in the Alpine Space

The smart villages Charter

With the Smart Villages Charter the Project Consortium wants to give continuity to the achievements of the SMARTVillages project and its results and outcomes. The charter expresses our will to continue working on the topic of Smart villages in the Alpine region and to exchange on experiences in a dedicated network. The Project Consortium has invited the SmartVillages partner regions and municipalities to sign the smart villages charter approved in a beforehand consultation of subscribed conference participants. 

More info

23 March 2021 - SMARTVillages contribution day 

Asso Adrets, SCCH and the University of Maribor project partners have organized a special session dedicated to the DEP (Digital Exchange Platform). The special session has planned the implementation and exchange of bests practices and two webinars to understand all the possibilities given by the export data API!

In the webinar "OPEN DATA and Smart Villages Digital Exchange Platform" is presented a very quick overview of what is open data, what you can find as open datasets in our digital exchange platform, and how you can easily read it, export it, visualize it and analyze it.

In the webinar "THE SMARTVILLAGES' DIGITAL EXCHANGE PLATFORM: Example of Data Analysis" In this video, we show how to proceed to analyze the data stored in our system. In fact, we make an overview of the API as well as several examples in which an external user could build its own scripts to analyze and perform data mining in our database. We show several examples concerning the calculation of rankings, calculation of the similarity between villages, and detection of valid data entries.

Discover the DEP on the dedicated section of the official website

Visit the DEP on

NEWS FROM OUR TEST AREAS: B2B platform for businesses and digital neighborhood assistance project - Bodensee area and Lake Constance Region (DE)

Bodensee Standort Marketing GmbH (BSM) therefore launched a B2B platform that enables companies to post offers and requests and to network locally. Due to the reintroduced restrictions, the B2B platform continued to be relevant.

The Standort Guide Bodensee will be expanded in 2021 to include another key topic. In the next step, real estate and companies will be integrated on the platform as 360-degree panoramas from the inside in addition to shots from the outside.

The project for digital neighborhood assistance in Arbon (Switzerland) was completed in 2020. The aim is to use an app to connect the population first digitally and then again in analog form. This is intended to make citizens feel they belong to their town and identify with their place of residence. In accordance with the "bottom-up principle," local citizens and the administration were involved in the process from the very beginning. Although the timeline was somewhat disrupted in the meantime by the Covid-pandemic, the conceptual design was successfully completed as planned by the end of 2020. The final step, the presentation of the prototype to the city of Arbon, will take place in 2021.

NEWS FROM OUR TEST AREAS: "How to boost your tourist network" factsheet for Tourist Boards in Maribor (SI)

The University of Maribor, togerther with Maribor Tourist Board, prepared a How to boost your tourist network factsheet dedicated to Tourist Boards. The factsheet aims to present the concept of Tourist networks and emphasise its advantages and critical success factors. The available literature in the field was reviewed to find the benefits and best practices connected to implementation and existence of tourist networks. The factsheet was communicated with Maribor Tourist Board, which is located in TA Maribor/Pohorje, wherein the content was also aligned with acquired practical knowledge. The factsheet can be downloaded below.

NEWS FROM OUR TEST AREAS: An Open Smart Digital Strategy in Löffingen (DE)

The mayor of Löffingen spoke at the regional assembly of the “Regionalverband Südlicher Oberrhein” in October 2020 about the SmartVillages project and the progress in the municipality of Löffingen and informed the regional council about current and follow up projects. Many mayors of the region where especially interested in the pilot activities.

A draft of the current version of the smart digital strategy is still available online at and is open for further discussion and suggestions. The final version of the strategy should be completed by spring 2021 so that it can be passed by the local council of Löffingen. To this end, suggestions from citizens must still be incorporated in the strategy and short, medium and long-term planned implementation projects on the topics of smart people, smart governance, smart living, smart environment, smart economy and smart mobility must be included.

The actual start of the implementation project “Citizen Taxi” had further be postponed due to the Corona crisis. As soon as possible, the "Citizen Taxi" will begin to run. In the meantime, the volunteer drivers of the “Citizen taxi” have completed a mandatory first-aid course to ensure safety.

The implementation project “Innovation Lab”, which is planned as a meeting place in a central location in Löffingen with a focus on coworking, business start-ups and eventually a tinkerer's workshop or a repair café, is taking shape. The old railway station building in Löffingen was purchased by the municipality of Löffingen and a call for tender to conduct a potential analysis was commissioned by the Regionalverband Südlicher Oberrhein. The aim of the potential analysis is to find out how coworking in Löffingen must be organised and designed in order to be successful, gain acceptance and achieve the greatest possible benefit for people living and working in Löffingen.

Furthermore, a step was taken for an implementation project dealing with a digital receipt in local retail stores in Löffingen. A test phase lasting several weeks, is planned in spring 2021 to evaluate the usability and acceptance of such a digital receipt for the citizens of Löffingen. The test phase will be carried out in cooperation with a young business startup, that is among others originated in Löffingen.


"A European agenda is urgently needed for rural areas after the covid crisis" event - 27 November 2020

Gianluca Lentini of Poliedra has been invited by Euromontana as a speaker in an event entitled "A European agenda is urgently needed for rural areas after the covid crisis" that will be held on November 27th from 9.30 am to 1pm. The event is co-organised by the European Committee of the Regions' NAT Commission and the RUMRA and Smart Villages Intergroup, with the support of RED and Euromontana. Smart Villages will be presented as a project specifically designed to allow the mountains to become attractive and reattractive, and as a project that has performed a collection of good practices, or coping strategies, during the covid-19 crisis and the national lockdowns. Information and registrations can be found here:

Webinar on "Smart Mountains - a new story of resilience?" - Thursday October 1st 2020

The Italian members of Euromontana including Smart Villages' partner Poliedra, have organised a webinar on "Smart Mountains - a new story of resilience?", conceived as a first step towards next year's European Mountain Convention in Southern Italy and dedicated to present some success stories coming from mountain and rural areas during the covid-19 crisis and the national lockdown.  

The webinar will take place on Thursday October 1st 2020, from 2 to 3.45 pm: Poliedra, representing the partnership of Smart Villages, will have the opportunity to present our project and some of the covid-19 coping stories collected in the spring of 2020, therefore providing an international overview of the response of the mountains to the epidemiological crisis and a snapshot on some success stories in Smart Villages' Test Areas. 

The invitation, agenda and registration are available here:

New scientific paper accepted "Framework for Data Analysis in the Context of the Smart Villages"

Concerning the work for the development of the DEP, and in particular the components of smartness assessment and matchmaking, members of the WP1 and WP2 have authored a scientific publication entitled "Framework for Data Analysis in the Context of the Smart Villages".

In this publication, it is explained the steps to build a framework for the analysis of data generated around the project Smart Villages as a joint effort to digitalize rural areas in the context of the Alpine Space. The aim is to build a system to help local authorities to pilot a smooth transition into a new concept of village.

The work has been accepted as a full paper in the frame of The 9th International Conference on Electronic Government and the Information Systems Perspective - EGOVIS2020. This conference was expected to be held in Bratislava, Slovakia. But due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be held online on September 14 - 17, 2020.

For further information, please refer to

“A vision for rural Europe – Harnessing the potential of rural areas to contribute to a sustainable and prosperous Europe” 7th July 2020

Dr. Emilija Stojmenova Duh of the University of Ljubljana, Partner of SmartVillages project,  will participate at this event with the Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament.This overall event “A vision for rural Europe – Harnessing the potential of rural areas to contribute to a sustainable and prosperous Europe” is organised by the President of the Renew Europe Group -  Mr. Dacian Ciolos. He invites participants for an open reflection, analysis and public mobilisation, with a high level panel including the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, Brexit Chief negotiator and former European Commissioner for  regional policy Michel Barnier, and the President of the S&D group in the European Parliament, Iraxte Garcia Perez.

ARC2020 is mobilising a panel with civil society organisations and rural movements, who will introduce an open discussion with citizens participating via videoconference, followed by an exchange of views between the presidents of the Committees for Agriculture and for the Environment of the European Parliament.

Help ARC2020 build a vision and strategy for rural Europe!

More info about the event is available at:

Smart Villages at EuroDIG2020

The project Smart Villages and its smartness assessment rationale has been presented by Gianluca Lentini of Poliedra at the EuroDIG (European Dialogue on Internet Governance) 2020 webinar on June 12th 2020. The session was dedicated to “Community Networks and smart solutions in remote areas – a bottom-up approach to digital citizenship”: Smart Villages’ participation was supported by EUSALP AG5 and focused on how the smart villages approach developed in the project can support the concept of rural and mountain community networks. Smart villages presented its smartness assessment approach that involves local population in assessing their present and determining their future. The session was moderated by Frédérick Donck of Internet Society and saw the participation of experts in the technological aspects of developing community networks. Information and materials can be found here:

Glass fibre for everyone in Luthern

The community of Luthern in the canton of Lucerne voted with a clear majority of 75.9 percent in favor of the area-wide fibre optic network. This means that a pioneering project is being launched in the peripheral region of Lucerne, and all households and businesses in the municipality will have a fibre-optic connection. The mayor of the municipality, Alois Huber, is pleased with the results and sees great potential for the quality of life in the area. Construction will take place over two years in six phases and will start where the supply has been poorest in the past. The project is being implemented in close cooperation with Elektra Luthern and Swisscom. The project is also being supported financially and ideally by the Lucerne West region as a pioneering project.

SmartVillages Meeting in France

France welcomes in 2020 presidency of EUSALP.

In that frame, and as an event to show results and findings from SmartVillages project, ADRETS organizes a 2 days event to show rural areas potentials for smartness. On the 5th of october study visits will be held in Royans Vercors SmartVillages test area  and other places. On the 6th of october an important meeting will be held in Grenoble, mixing conferences, workshops, towards politicians, local technicians, NGOs, at a french and european level.  More info:

REGION LUZERN WEST - article in the WB

The main topic of the delegate assembly of the REGION LUZERN WEST was high broadband. In the project SmartVillages the REGION LUZERN WEST got in touch with the project „la fibre pour tous“ at a project meeting in St.-Jean-En-Royans. This let to a pilot project in the community of Luthern to establish high broadband. Now the REGION LUZERN WEST wants to go on and try to establish high broadband in the whole region.

REGION LUZERN WEST - article in the Entlebucher Anzeiger

The REGION LUZERN WEST is a project partner of the SmartVillages-project. In this project the region can profit from the experience of the different project partners. One result of this information exchange led to a pilot project in the community of Luthern to establish high broadband for every household. But the REGION LUZERN WEST has bigger ambitions: they want to establish high broadband in their whole region.

Presentation of the project "Smart Villages" at the AGRA fair in Slovenia

On the 26th of August 2019, the project "Smart Villages" was presented at the AGRA fair in Slovenia. AGRA 2019 was one of the most important agriculture and food fairs in this part of Europe. Its focus was on digitalization in agriculture and the agri-food sector. Furthermore, the international fair exhibition showcased innovations (including world premieres), cutting-edge technology and technology for agriculture, livestock, forestry, and the food processing industry as well as viticulture, winemaking, and organic farming.

The project "Smart Villages" was presented at the stand of the Slovenian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, which had one of the largest stands at the AGRA fair. In addition to this, Daniel Copot at the presentation area gave a brief overview of the project and its objectives, presented good practices and test area of Pomurje.

“Smart Villages, an intelligent concept”: seminar in Esino Lario, Italy

Our Alpine Space SmartVillages project has been represented at the “Smart Villages: an intelligent concept” seminar organised by ERSAF and the Region of Lombardy in the mountain village of Esino Lario, located in the mountains surrounding Lake Como, Italy, on 25th October 2019. Gianluca Lentini has presented the project, the smartness assessment procedure and some of the Test Areas, whereas the Region of Lombardy has described the international framework around the concept of Smart Villages. Partners from all over Italy have described their own projects dedicated to innovation in mountain areas. The seminar was also hosted by Euromontana.

The engaged university. Linking the global and the local - 17-18 October 2019

On 17th October Dr. Emilija Stojmenova Duh  of the University of Ljubljana participated at the event »The engaged university: Linking the global and the local«. She has presented activities in the field of Smart rural development and amongst other projects, also Smart Villages J.

Here is a link to the conference website 


Research results of the SmartVillages projects presented at the 30th Central European Conference on Information and Intelligent Systems, CECIIS 2019

Tina Beranič, a representative of the ERDF Lead Partner of the SmartVillages project (University of Maribor) participated in the 30th Central European Conference on Information and Intelligent Systems (CECIIS 2019), which took place in Varaždin, Croatia, from 2nd to 4th October 2019. She represented to the audience the accepted scientific paper “Facilitating the digital transformation of villages”.

The paper was coauthored by three project partner members (UM, Poliedra, SCCH): Tina Beranič, Aleš Zamuda, Lucija Brezočnik and Muhamed Turkanović from Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Maribor, Gianluca Lentini, Francesca Polettini, Alessandro Lue and Alberto Colorni Vitale from Poliedra-Politecnico di Milano, and Jorge Martinez Gil and Mario Pichler from Software Competence Center Hagenberg GmbH.

The publication addresses the concept of smartness within rural areas and presents the functional requirements and architectural backbone of a Digital Exchange Platform, currently being developed within the SmartVillages Project under the Work Package 2.

The paper is available at

More information about CECIIS 2019 is available at

The University of Maribor hosted an RSG KickOff Workshop for the Test Area Maribor/Pohorje

On the 14th of October, University of Maribor hosted a workshop with regional stakeholders in Maribor/Pohoje Test Area (TA). The workshop was guided by dr. Muhamed Turkonović, dr. Tina Beranič from the University of Maribor and Bernarda Karo from Maribor - Pohorje Tourist Board, which is actively involved in the project’s actions in the TA Maribor/Pohorje. The participants were greeted by Doris Urbančič Windisch, the director of Maribor - Pohorje Tourist Board, followed by the presentation of a SmartVillages project, i.e. Dimensions of smartness, Digital Exchange Platform, Toolbox, Good Practices, Smartness Assesment etc. Lastly, the core of the Workshop was an active discussion with local stakeholders in the tourism domain. Together we addressed the challenge of connecting the local tourist offers to offer comprehensive and connected tourist packages, which would be available, visible and promoted by the tourist domain of the TA. The following representatives were present at the Workshop: local caterers, the regional chamber of craftsman, local wellness, tourist agency and regional tourist board.

SmartVillages at the European Week of Regions and Cities

The Alpine Space SmartVillages project has been represented at the European Week of Regions and Cities by Gianluca Lentini, of Poliedra, who co-managed a thematic corner in the session “Smart Villages: overcoming the divide between rural and urban areas”. The session was organised by DG REGIO, and attended by about 100 people coming from , among others, DG AGRI, Euromontana, and several rural and mountain areas from all over Europe. Main outcomes regard smart villages being conceived as active players in envisioning and drafting their own future, and becoming possible Equalisers, Linkers or Partners of urban areas.

SmartVillages Conference - A key for development in rural areas - 12 September 2019

On 12 September 2019 the University of Ljubljana will organize the Smart Villages conference  – a key for development in rural areas,  as the midterm conference of our project! You can find all details here:


SmartVillages Conference - 12 September 2019

EUSALP AG5 Meeting

On 26th of June 2019 University of Maribor hosted the EUSALP AG5 Meeting, where the Smart Villages approach was discussed through activities within SmartVillages Alpine Space project. Next day a visiting tour of one of the project's Test Area was organised, specifically the Slovene Pomurje region, where examples of good practices in smart agriculture with special focus on Short Food Supply Chains has been presented, as well as the connected work of the Digital Innovation Hub AGRIFOOD. EUSALP communication team was invited to record some details in order to produce a promotional video, which will be launched in autumn and spread across the EUSALP and its members.

“Living Labs for Rural Areas: Contextualization of Living Lab Frameworks, Concepts and Practices”

On 11 July 2019 a review paper on “Living Labs for Rural Areas: Contextualization of Living Lab Frameworks, Concepts and Practices” authored by Veronika Zavratnik , Argene Superina and Emilija Stojmenova Duh of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, has been published in the special issue of the journal  Sustainability: The Governance of Social Innovation for a Sustainable Economy: Requirements, Actors and Approaches.

The theme is strongly connected to both Smart Villages and the digitalization aspects. The paper is available here:

Digital tool

During the 32 conference in Bled, University of Ljubjana, WPT3 Leader, presented the new digital tool developed! More info


OPEN ACCESS PUBLICATION on "Smart Villages: Comperhensive Review of Initiatives and Practices"

The new open access publication "Smart Villages: Comperhensive Review of Initiatives and Practices" is available  

Over recent decades, people’s (rural and urban) communities are facing numerous social and economic changes and challenges. Some of those challenges have been increasingly addressed through the lenses of technological developments and digitalization. In this paper, we have made a review of already existing practices while focusing on the existing implementations of the Smart Village concept and the importance of digital transformation for rural areas. We give special attention to EU policies that we are using as an already existing framework for understanding our own forthcoming examples. We have shown the parallels between the findings and insights from different regions and made an evaluation of presented practices. Our main argument stems from our own previous experiences and experiences of other research approaches, and is grounded on the argument that rural areas are not uniform, and that smart rural development has to be applied in combination with place-based approach. We present the cases of Slovenian pilot practices and support our argument by proposing the FabVillage concept.

PUBLICATION By Veronika Zavratnik, V.; Kos, A.; Emilija Stojmenova Duh,. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2559.Zavratnik, V.; Kos, A.; Stojmenova Duh, E. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2559.

‘Smart Villages in Slovenia: Examples of Good Pilot Practices’ by University of Lublijana


Laboratory for Telecommunication/Multimedia is a part of the Smart Villages project. Within this scope they are researching and collecting good practices of sustainable rural development in Slovenia. Their introductory insights and descriptions of practices and initiatives will be published in the chapter ‘Smart Villages in Slovenia: Examples of Good Pilot Pracites’ as a part of international publication ‘Smart Villages in the EU and Beyond’ (Emerald Publishing). The publication was edited by Anna Visvizi, Miltiadis D. Lytras and György Mudry and is a ground-breaking work, addressing the issues of the (European) rural areas.

More information on the forthcoming publication, its content and the authors is available here

How a village can become digital? By Neue Luzerner Zeitung journal (Switzerland)

23.1.2019 This article mentions the "Smart Villages Forum" promoted by our project partner 'Region Luzern West'

What is a smart village? A definition by Smart Villages pilot project


Smart villages are communities in rural areas that develop smart solutions to deal with challenges in their local context. They build on existing local strengths and opportunities to engage in a process of sustainable development of their territories. They rely on a participatory approach to develop and implement their strategies to improve their economic, social and environmental conditions, in particular by promoting innovation and mobilizing solutions offered by digital technologies. Smart villages benefit from cooperation and alliances with other communities and actors in rural and urban areas. The initiation and the implementation of smart village strategies may build on existing initiatives and can be funded by a variety of public and private sources.

SmartVillages #MadewithAlpineSpace


The Alpine Space programme has identified 10 REASONS FOR TRANSNATIONAL COOPERATION IN THE ALPS. SmartVillages is an example of how the transnational cooperation helps to reduce regional disparities and increases cohesion in specific territories