The Montesinho Natural Park is one of the largest natural parks in the Iberian Peninsula, located in the northeast of Portugal, in a mountainous area characterized by its extensive biodiversity, the magnificent landscapes and one of the largest patches of black oak in Europe. Since 2020, by a decision of the Portuguese government, a consortium led by More Colab has been responsible for the recovery of the former housing of the forest rangers, who in the past patrolled the Natural Park, for the installation of the “Montesinho Observatory – Dionísio Gonçalves”. The Observatory will comprise a meteorological station to study the dynamics of mountain ecosystems in the face of climate change, a conference room, co-working spaces, as well as tourist housing.
Alpine Research and Innovation Capacity Governance
A-RING addresses the overall need to pool efforts in tackling major challenges with joint Research and Innovation (R&I) approach steering EU Open Innovation path. It fosters alignment between different R&I policy initiatives and institutional frameworks to effectively address societal challenges, increases the uptake of strengths and assets, and gathers expectations from Business Sector and innovation potential from Academia, granting citizens’ needs linked to responsible R&I (RRI). A-RING Partners work on setting up the basis for an effective and permanent transnational cooperation for shared R&I policies in the Alpine Region. A-RING aims to increase the level of application of multilevel and transnational governance in the Alpine Space with the right policy mix achieved in coherence with the Public Authorities’ vision, their synergic and/or complementary approach on S3 strategies and improved environment for the collaboration including Academia and Business Sector.
Enhancement of the biodiversity of mountain territories, with reference to agrobiodiversity and derivatives: horizons of bio and green economy for the mountains
“Operating agreement between DARA – Department for regional affairs and the autonomies of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers – and Ge.S.Di.Mont – Unimont pole of the University of Milan” to list, monitor, characterize the mountain agrobiodiversity and valorise niche and sustainable high values agricultural products from the mountains (horticultural landraces, officinal plants, bee products…). .
Supervision and technical scientific support to the participation of the Lombardy region in the entire process of the alpine macroregional strategy
Since the beginning of the EUSALP strategy, in January 2016, the UNIMONT Pole has supported the Lombardy Region in the leadership of the Action Group 1 whose goal is to develop an efficient ecosystem of Research & Innovation in the Alpine Region, interacting with National and Regional Institutions from 7 States and 48 Regions with the supervision of the DG Regio of the European Union. The EUSALP process has brought concrete benefits in the construction of strategic partnerships for participation in calls, as well as in the development of important tools for the promotion of the research ecosystem in the Alpine Region (eg Re-Search Alps platform and the tool for comparative analysis of S3).
Alpine winter tourism territories demonstrating an integrated framework for a low-carbon, high-impact and resilient future
SMART ALTITUDE aims at enabling and accelerating the implementation of low-carbon policies in winter tourism regions. Technical solutions for the reduction of energy consumption and GHG emissions in mountain areas relying on winter tourism today exist, with up to 40% reduction potential. However, key trade-offs are at the heart of their slow uptake: they require stronger and innovative involvement to overpass strategic (goals, priorities, risks), economic (costs, financing) and organizational (partnership, stakeholder involvement) challenges. SMART ALTITUDE will demonstrate the efficiency of a decision support tool integrating all challenges into a step-by-step approach to energy transition. The project clearly innovates by deploying a comprehensive approach of low-carbon policy implementation based on impact maximization accounting for technical, economic and governance factors. It is based on common performance indicators, monitoring systems (snow processes, municipal infrastructure, renewables, buildings etc.) and Energy Management Systems (EMS) in mountain territories, to build a shared situational awareness and take impactful decisions. The approach is implemented in 3 real-field demonstrations and prepares for replication in 20 other Alpine Space territories.
SILVER SMEs aims to improve the implementation and delivery of regional policies for SMEs competitiveness by building on significant opportunities arising from the Silver Economy in rural and mountainous regions. The project will focus on SMEs’ development opportunities to produce goods and products for the retired (from 62 years old) in 9 different regions in Europe.
OREKA MENDIAN is an EU LIFE project running from 2016 to 2021, which aims to create a sustainable balance between the preservation and socio-economic uses of Basque mountain pastures. Indeed, mountain pastures being both very rich ecosystems in terms of biodiversity but simultaneously highly endangered ecosystems in Europe, they should be sustainably managed to guarantee the conservation of the habitats and species that coexist within them. In particular, the project will develop a strategy for the conservation and the management of mountain pastures located in 15 Natura 2000 sites in the Spanish Basque Country, as well as in 8 Special Preservation Zones in French Basque Country.