Results of the 2nd EUSALP Annual Forum in Innsbruck

7th Jan 2019

The 2nd EUSALP Annual Forum, which took place in Innsbruck on 20 and 21 November 2018 under the Tyrolean EUSALP presidency, offered a series of interesting and exciting workshops on a wide range of topics. The workshops, organized by the EUSALP Action Groups, the European Commission and the University of Innsbruck, aimed at discussing concrete contents of EUSALP, exchanging problems and challenges, identifying best practices and developing joint solutions in the framework of EUSALP. In line with the overarching motto of the Annual Forum, “shaping.future.together. with the next generation”, many workshops included young people and addressed the maintenance and further development of the Alpine space as an attractive living and working space for the next generation.
The results of the workshops will feed into further discussions and actions of EUSALP.  Below you can find the agenda and the results of the ten workshops.

Workshop 1: Model EUSALP 2018 "Young ideas matter – beyond borders, across countries, within the Alps“

The simulation Model EUSALP 2018 invited students to act and negotiate as delegates representing the seven member states of the EUSALP. The students were selected by the University of Innsbruck within the framework of an alpine-wide call. The goal was to simulate a EUSALP’s Action Group meeting on the basis of EUSALP’s rules of procedure. The overall topic of the simulation model EUSALP 2018 was “reconciling mobility and environment”.

Rapporteurs: Larissa Willamowski & Johannes Marco Oberhofer, students at University of Innsbruck, EUSALP-Model organization team.
Workshop results

Workshop 2: "Natural Hazard Risk Management in a changing climate – the next generation"

The Alps are one of the most beautiful and precious environments of the world. With the demand for living space and infrastructure and the climatic changes, the need for protection against natural hazards has increased. The challenge is to provide sustainable protection for today’s younger generation taking into account ever increasing maintenance costs due to more investment and the fact that budgets are limited.

This workshop was a moderated experimental game and aimed at discussing potential solutions to present and future challenges of natural hazard risk management with decision makers, scientists and youth to ensure sustainable development for the generations to come.

Moderation: Sabine Volgger (wikopreventk)
Introduction and keynote speaker: Anton Mattle (Member of the Landtag Tyrol and mayor of Galtür)
Welcome: Christian Wanger (Leader of EUSALP AG8)
Rapporteur: Kilian Heil (AGL8 representative contact)

09.00 – Welcome and Introduction (plenum)
09.45 – Experimental game introduction(plenum)
10.00 – 10.45 (incl. break) – First decision making process
10.45 – 11.15 – Making a decision together (small groups)
11.15 – 12.00 – Aggregation & decision (plenum)
12.00 – 12.30 – Reflection (plenum)

Workshop results

Workshop 3: "A journey through the Alpine Region"

Interactive game and exchange with politicians on cross-border mobility with high school students

09.00 – 10:15 Virtual game for young people aged between 15 and 18 years
10:15 – 10:45 Opening words by Vice Governor of the Tyrol Ingrid Felipe and presentation of results

"A journey through the Alpine Region” is a game in which the players have to find the fastest, cheapest and most sustainable way of travelling by public transport from A to B within the Alpine Region on a given date. The aim of this interactive workshop was to identify the state of the art of cross-border travel information services for public transport with the expectations of today’s digital generation in mind.
One of the core findings of the workshops was that the coordination and harmonisation of cross-border travel information, timetables and ticketing services still needs significant improvement. Information on routes, travel times and prices vary between the different service providers, making it difficult to find the best travel solution meeting the expectations of the user. The results were discussed together with Ingrid Felipe, the Tyrolean Vice-President and regional councilor for mobility.
The ideas, visions and proposals of young people living in the Alpine Region are an important input in shaping future mobility, especially in the field of sustainable modes given the fact that mobility of the young generation under the age of 18 is highly dependent on public transport. The youth of today is highly interconnected both physically and digitally, are used to having constant access to up to date information and hence expect easy-to-use access to mobility services. At the same time, mobility behaviour is changing towards less car dependency and driving licenses are obtained at a later age compared to previous generations.
Interconnecting public transport information and ticketing was an activity identified in the AG4 work plan and will be a focus topic also in the 2019 EUSALP Italian Presidency. A project proposal for harmonising the different existing traveler information services (TIS) providing seamless cross-border, door-to-door travel information is under development.

Workshop results

Workshop 4: "Pluralism in the Alps: Learn from inspiring practices!"

The Alpine area is experiencing the combined challenges of an ageing population and new migration models. At the same time, increasing cultural diversity and pluralism are opportunities for social innovation and development. The project PlurAlps, which is funded by the INTERREG Alpine Space Programme, focuses on migration and a better understanding of pluralism as a chance for the Alpine area. As part of PlurAlps,  Alpine Pluralism Award 2018 makes innovative integration projects visible. In this workshop the participants could learn more about the practical experiences of the four winning projects:

  • The 6th continent – House of Solidarity (Bressanone, IT)
  • Revealed hands – Connecting women of diverse backgrounds (Jesenice, SI)
  • Germinale Agricoltura Comunitaria – Combining community work, agriculture and integration (Valle Stura, IT)
  • Talents for Austria – the role of education (Styria and Lower Austria, AT)

In this context, the participants exchanged success factors and obstacles and provided space for new project ideas. Furthermore they were invited to discuss a policy paper on pluralism and the integration of migrants in the Alpine region, which is currently being elaborated by the PlurAlps partners.

Moderators: Robert Moosbrugger & Elisa Agosti

Introduction by Boglarka Fenyvesi-Kiss

Rapporteur: Elisa Agosti

Workshop results

Workshop 5: "Alps2050: Common Spatial Perspectives for the Alpine Area – towards a Common Vision"

The Ministers responsible for Spatial Planning of the Alpine Convention States have agreed in 2016 to initiate a project on spatial development visions and perspectives for the Alpine Region with a time horizon towards 2050. This project has been implemented as a targeted analysis in the framework of the EU Spatial Planning Observatory Network (ESPON) and involved an international research team from all Alpine Region countries, led by the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg.
The project results will serve as an important input and be taken up by several territorial development initiatives, such as EUSALP, Alpine Convention and the INTERREG ALPINE SPACE Programme 2020+.
It was the aim of the workshop to present the results of this project and discuss its findings and implications with a broader public.

Moderator: Katharina Erdmenger, German Federal Ministry of the Interior Building and Community

Speaker: Tobias Chilla, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg

Rapporteur: Michael Roth

Workshop results

Workshop 6: "Cooperation Alps 2020+ Shaping the challenge of funding together: How to finance EUSALP projects after 2020?"

Organised by the European Commission, DG REGIO and DG ENV

Objective of the workshop:

Most of the actions arising from the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP) require funding! However, access to available funds is not always easy. This is challenging as it limits the effectiveness of EUSALP and deprives the funding instruments from valuable projects with big impact.
EUSALP is the overarching strategic frame for the Alpine Region. Taking into consideration that EUSALP has been supported by the highest political level and that funds are generally available, practical and relatively simple solutions should be developed to facilitate accessing these funds. Therefore, the objective of the workshop was to discuss available funding sources and mechanisms for EUSALP projects by facilitating the alignment of both  at the same time.
These funds can be provided by the EU, Member States, Regional and local authorities as well as by private banks or investors. However, as 2019 will be the time to prepare the 2021-2027 programming period under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the workshop mainly focused on ERDF and Interreg. As one illustrative example, it addressed the challenge on how to finance projects in the field of environment and provide an outlook on other possible funding tools.
The conference “Cooperation Alps 2020+” which took place in Salzburg on 1 and 2 October has been an important step to prepare the Alpine Region for the post2020 period. Conclusions of this conference served as a starting point of this workshop’s discussions. Regarding the ERDF, awareness of the need to align the funds to macro-regional strategies has grown in recent years and the Commission has made very concrete proposals: macro-regional strategies are recognised as being a key instrument for territorial development. ERDF programmes will therefore have to describe ways how funds will be used to support cooperation projects. The Alpine Space programme will be 100% aligned to the priorities of EUSALP.
This workshop was an attempt to provide practical answers on how to translate embedding into practice. It dealt with the question on how to link up EUSALP with the available funding sources and covered aspects such as coordination of the planning and implementation, capacity building, type of projects that could contribute to a macro-regional strategy, as well as selection criteria.

Moderator: Walter Deffaa, Special Advisor, Cabinet of Commissioner Corina Crețu, European Commission


  • Olivier Baudelet, Programme Manager, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission
  • Giacomo Luciani, Policy Officer, Directorate-General for Environment, European Commission
  • Christina Bauer, Head of the Managing Authority, Alpine Space Programme
  • Carolina Lehner, EU Project Manager (EuroAccess), EuroVienna

Rapporteur: Jean-Pierre Halkin, Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission

Workshop results

Workshop 7: "Promoting Open Innovation in the EUSALP macro-region: experiences from the alpine regions"

Open Innovation model is used to encompass the complexity of factors that influence innovation at regional, national and international level.
Several factors influence open innovation dynamics: companies, government and governance, education and research system, research intermediaries and wider framework conditions (e.g. financing, legal, regulations, standards, internal demand and cultural framework).
Every element of the system needs to work at least at an acceptable quality and efficiency, and the interlinkages between them need to function well. Business enterprises are principal actors in the system, and the articulation of effective demand is central to stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation. The capacity of the macro-region to deliver in knowledge intensive activities will depend on the flow of knowledge and ideas, and from a supportive framework enabling the key players to act in global value chains where high value activities emerge.


In the framework of this workshop, the EUSALP Action Group 1 intended to discuss on Open Innovation and on how to implement the model at macro-regional level.  The focus was on creating the conditions for mutual learning and for the development of Smart Specialisation Strategies at transnational level. Open Innovation platforms and other experiences can be useful tools within the entire research and innovation ecosystem.

Scope and Purpose

As the Forum was oriented towards young people living in the Alpine region, the topic of open innovation was certainly attractive to this audience. Hence, the purpose of the workshop was to stimulate the debate on how to promote Open Innovation in the Alpine region.

Regions shared experiences and presented existing tools to build on for the creation of an Open Innovation Platform for the Alpine macro-region. The platform will support regions promoting interregional cooperation based on Smart specialisation and cross-sectorial fertilisation. Starting from a discussion on European experiences in the field of Open Innovation the workshop explored on one hand the issue of interoperability between different platforms and related tools, and on how to make available existing platforms to those regions not having developed yet their own implementation tool for Open Innovation. It also provided an opportunity to reflect on the relationship between the existing platforms and the Platform of knowledge (POK) developed in the framework of ALPGOV project.


11.15 - 11.20 Opening (Annamaria Giorgi, AG1 Leader Guido Piccoli, AG1 Leader EU Programs Staff)

  • Welcome Speech
  • Presentation of the speakers

11.20 - 11.35 Open Innovation: Development paths emerging from RIS3 in the Alpine regions (Margherita Russo, Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR))

11.35 - 11.50 Open Innovation Platform, Lombardy (Angelo Gatto, Lombardy Region - Finlombarda)

11.50 - 12.05 Open Innovation in FVG: best practices (Fabrizio Rovatti, AREA Science Park, Trieste)

12.05 - 12.20 Promoting Innovation in the Lake Constance Region: How Science-Industry-Interfaces Connecting Stakeholders from Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland (Markus Rhomberg, Boden Seehoch Schule)

12.20 - 12.35 AlpGov Platform of Knowledge POK (Annamaria Giorgi & Pietro Guinea AG1 Leader)

12.35 - 12.50 RE-search ALPS, INEA CEF-TELECOM Project (Stefano Sala, UNIMONT - University of Milan)

12.50 - 13.00 Open Innovation Talk (all speakers, Moderator Piccoli Guido)

Workshop results 

Workshop 8: "Cross-border mobility in the Alpine Region"

Joint workshop organised by AG4 and AG5

Cross-border mobility is one of the strategic initiatives of the Actions Groups (AGs) 4 and 5 of EUSALP. Both AGs have teamed together and applied for the Alpine Region Preparatory Action Fund (ARPAF) project CrossBorder. Ingrid Felipe, Tyrol’s Vice-President and councilor responsible for mobility, opened the workshop by highlighting the importance of establishing international partnerships and cooperation that cross borders. Sustainable mobility in particular relies on seamless connections and a “borderless” vision in order to ensure accessibility and connectivity of all EUSALP residents, including the remotest regions.
Prof. Tobias Chilla (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg) presented the first results of the ARPAF project, having mapped cross-border commuter flows in regions where this issue is most acute. The Alpine Region accounts for approximately half of the cross-border commuter flows across the European Union and is thus a fitting pilot region for developing solutions to make cross-border commuting more sustainable.
A selection of existing cooperation models in the Alpine Region is presented in an online story map produced by CrossBorder project partner CIPRA International. The overview shows the variety of initiatives, from travel information to carpooling and the introduction of new cross-border train services.
The ARPAF project builds on lessons learned from previous projects such as PEMO which involved a wide number of employers in the Lake Constance region to foster sustainable commuter mobility, as Wolfgang Pfefferkorn explained.
A personal account to the topic was given by Magdalena Christandl who presented the initiative Youth Alpine Interrail (yoalin) having travelled the Alps by train for several weeks with one single ticket for 50 €.
The challenges of ticketing and the potentials of digitilisation in mobility were also addressed in the roundtable discussion moderated by AG5 co-leader Thomas Egger (SAB). Digitilisation expert Prof. Carnevale Maffé (SDA Bocconi School of Management) drew on the importance of exchanging data, for example for creating single multimodal travel invoicing when getting from A to B, irrespective of the transport mode used. In the near future, solutions for the last mile for rural transport could include electric on-demand shuttles that are shared in order to make mobility more efficient and sustainable. The need to decarbonise transport is essential, especially in the sensitive Alpine environment, and relevant actors should reap the benefits of digitilisation and apply them to develop integrated mobility systems.

Workshop results 

Workshop 9: "Increase, preserve and re-connect... but what about the next 15 years? Visions for the EUSALP region regarding the economy, education, nature and culture"

Futures are indefinite, unpredictable and multiple; but, if we imagine the desirable ones together, if we visualize the steps necessary to bring them closer, we have more chance to direct the development of the present towards them. The participants were involved in a visionary and strategic debate on common concerns in the fields of the economy, education, nature and culture, on possible futures, on the desirable ones, focusing the more promising steps in between. The futures-oriented approach is inspired by the conceptual framework of "Three Horizons", developed by the International Futures Forum. Participants were provided with material to immediately get to a productive interaction. The results of the workshop will fertilize the work of the EUSALP Action Groups 2, 3 and 6 as well as the Alpine Space project YOUrALPS.

Facilitator and rapporteur: Rocco Scolozzi
Co-facilitator: Antonio Furlanetto

Workshop results

Workshop 10: "Alpine forests seen from a multi-disciplinary perspective"

Forests are the green lungs of our planet. At the same time, our native forests are a habitat of numerous creatures, an environment of rich biodiversity, a place of recreation for humans and a storage for large amounts of CO2 in soils and biomass. Especially in steep alpine terrain, forests have an important protective function against mudflows and avalanches. Local timber is an important natural resource for construction materials for buildings, energy supply and woodcrafts, supporting the economic sector with a rich tradition and promising future while contributing to CO2 reduction through substitution, short transport routes, and product storage. Without any doubt, the Alpine Forest is a multi-talent that provides a very broad quantity of services. Due to its manifold importance for nature and man, the forest is at the core of several scientific disciplines and policy areas.
Based on the work programs of the EUSALP Action Groups 2, 6, 7 and 9, all related to the topic of forest and wood in the Alpine region, the workshop discussed multi-functionality of the Alpine forests and timber. Advisory experts from various disciplines provided further input on current developments in the forest and wood sector. The aim of the workshop was to strengthen synergies between the work programs of the Action Groups and to identify interrelations and potential conflicts of interest at an early stage so to be able to deal with them productively.

Workshop moderator: Dieter Stöhr, Government of Tyrol, Department Forest Management

Elevator pitches by:

  • Magalie Santamaria, Regional Council Auvergne-Rhône Alpes
  • Christian Hoffmann, Institute for Regional Development, EURAC Research
  • Jörg Ewald, University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf
  • Sara Verones, Energy Agency South Tyrol-CasaClima

Discussion tables moderators:

  • Ulrich Santa, Energy Agency South Tyrol-CasaClima
  • Tina Trampuš, Slovenian Institute for Nature Conservation
  • Albuin Neuner, Agriculture and Forestry Department, City of Innsbruck
  • Michaela Künzl, Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection
  • Maren Meyer, Energy Agency South Tyrol-CasaClima


  • Michaela Künzl, Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection
  • Maren Meyer, Energy Agency South Tyrol-CasaClima

Workshop results