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Programme: Interreg Alpine Space programme 2021-2027

Interreg Alpine Space programme 2021-2027
Acronym Interreg ASP
Type of Fund Indirect Management
Description of programme
"Interreg Alpine Space programme 2021-2027"

The Alpine Space programme is a European transnational cooperation programme that funds alpine-wide projects. It provides a framework to connect stakeholders from various sectors and different policy levels from seven Alpine countries. Key players from academia and administrative, business and innovation sectors, as well as policy-makers work together to tackle common challenges and develop joint solutions for the Alpine area. Sharing their experiences and expertise, they strive towards improving the quality of life for the Alpine citizens.

The programme will concentrate on green, CO2-neutral, innovative and governance related topics. The mission statement of the programme is also an expression of this focus and intends to make this approach broadly visible. Following priorities are defined for the period 2021-2027:

Priority 1: “Climate resilient and green Alpine region”

Specific objective: “Promoting climate change adaptation, risk prevention and disaster resilience”
The signs of climate change require urgent action. Adaptation to climate change is one element of a possible reaction, mitigation is another. Within this specific objective, measures that foster the adaptation to climate change, “the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects.” as the IPCC puts it, should be covered. Actions supported within these specific objectives should have an integrated character, foster co-benefits for mitigation and avoid lock-in-effects by adaptation.

Specific  objective:  “Enhancing   protection   and   preservation    of   nature,   biodiversity   and   green infrastructure,  including in urban areas, and reducing all forms of pollution”
The Alpine region marks a transnational biodiversity hotspot; even though it is situated within one of the most densely inhabited and connected areas in Europe. This particular context calls for urgent action. Alpine biodiversity and ecological connectivity have been under pressure for many decades, especially since the second half of the last century. Human activities, land use, exploitation of natural resources and pollution lead to habitat fragmentation and loss of biodiversity and cultural landscapes. Additionally, consequences of climate change (e.g. heat, drought) as well as certain climate mitigation and adaptation measures (e.g. the reinforced use of wind- or hydropower in sensitive regions) pose threats to Alpine biodiversity. The on-going and predicted reduction of living space and biotope fragmentation causes high los ses in biodiversity and reduces ecosystem services. The need to reduce biotope fragmentation and loss as well as to foster the connectivity of ecosystems is therefore high.

Priority 2: “Carbon neutral and resource sensitive Alpine region”

Specific objective: “Promoting energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse  gas emissions”
The European Union aims at becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 with no net greenhouse gases in 2050 and economic growth decoupled from resource use. The ambitions with respect to carbon - neutrality have been reflected in different strategies (e.g. the Alpine Climate Target System 2050 (Alpine Convention) as well as in implementing various measures in the Alpine region in the last years. However, in order to reach the global and European targets, the efforts must be increased in the next years.
The two sectors currently showing the highest per capita end-use of energy in Europe are mobility and transport and the building sector. Mobility and transport is one of the sectors that is highly relevant in the Alpine region. Although progress towards energy efficiency has been made throughout the Alpine region and in different sectors, high levels of final energy consumption are still observable in certain areas. Road transport, next to the residential or the tourism and leisure sector, remains one of them. Efficiency concepts alone most probably will not be sufficient to manage the transition to a carbon neutral or even a post carbon society. Innovative steps therefore should go beyond efficiency and foster integrated, sufficiency -oriented concepts of well-being and post-carbon lifestyles. This should be coupled with the use of renewable energy sources broadly available within the Alpine region (e.g. water, wind, solar power, etc.).
The promotion of energy efficiency measures is closely linked to tackle climate change, as well as to implement circular economy-approaches. In this context, this specific objective should be seen as a “supporting objective” to “Promoting climate change adaption” and “Promoting the transition to a circular economy”. The interventions in this specific objective should be complementary but not overlapping with these specific objectives.

Specific objective: “Promoting the transition to a circular and resource  efficient economy”
Fostering circular economy is one of the main thrusts of the European Green Deal. Circular economy refers to sustainable systems that treat resources as particularly valuable and attempt to close the resource loop. The principles of avoiding “waste” and trying to keep resources in use for as long as possible are relevant for the entire production-cycle. In this regard, circular economy is a far broader approach than just recycling or waste management. It strongly supports sustainable development, the mindful use of resources, climate- neutrality and both climate change mitigation and adaptation. Concerning the situation with COVID 19, circular economy is also widely assumed to be a suitable approach to tackle the crisis, strengthen resilience and support a “sustainable restart” of the social and economic system. In this global crisis, the importance of regional and local value chains became clearly visible. Circular economy approaches appear to be very suitable for supporting the needs of sustainable economic development, climate-protection and social adaptation in the Alpine region.

Priority 3 “Innovation and digitalisation supporting a green Alpine region”

Specific objective: “Enhancing research and innovation capacities and the uptake of advanced technologies”
Cooperation on innovation capacities is a transversal activity that can strengthen the programme’s impact in particular thematic fields by increasing the innovation potential of Alpine actors. Enhancing research and innovation capacities in the Alpine region should effectively be fostered by cooperation between actors and stakeholders in different regions. Better alignment and coordination of policy-making in the transnational context is necessary in order to help regions overcome barriers in cooperation on innovation and uptake of advanced technologies. This will lead to establishing and strengthening existing synergies and functional links, reducing polarisation between urban and rural regions, for example by diffusing innovation services, capacities, linking key actors and fostering resilience. At the same time, the programme should further ensure involvement of diverse actors from research, innovation, academia, private sectors, public sector and civil society. Its focus should not only be result - oriented innovation seeking particular solutions, but also innovation concerning processes and with a view to reducing territorial imbalances. It is important to observe that the innovativeness of solutions sought in the programme refers not only to the objective of making business actors more competitive, but to making other actors, such as public bodies and other organisations, more capable of applying innovative solutions and technologies.  Given by the programme`s mission, innovation includes a “green” character of activities, impacts of projects as well as methods and practices of project management.

Specific objective: “Reaping the benefits of digitisation for citizens, companies, research organisations and public authorities”
Digitalisation offers opportunities to address joint challenges, which are particularly prominent in mountainous areas such as the Alpine region. New digital tools can be developed to increase resilience of Alpine regions and mitigate the impacts of accessibility problems and remoteness coupled with negative demographic situations in many regions. Such increased flexibility can be particularly attractive in the context of the territorial specificity of the Alps as well as its ambition to become climate resilient, carbon neutral, green, inclusive and resource sensitive. Due to the emergence of COVID-19, the need to support digital transition in these fields in an inclusive way in all regions became even clearer. Individual lives as well as working modes in both public and private sector have been transformed as more location-flexible. This has created a “window of opportunity” for strengthening and making use of digitalisation to support life and work of citizens to enforce sustainable development even in the face of external challenges. Digitalisation can contribute to finding solutions for more efficient, innovative and effective solutions that support a shift to climate resilience, carbon-neutrality, green and resource sensitivity. In the context of the private sector, it also facilitates the implementation of greening practices by businesses and associations as well as ensuring consideration concerning the exclusion of negative impacts of digitalisation on the environment. Principles that should be pursued in these activities are the inclusion of appropriate groups, such as policy-makers or the civil society, as well as safeguarding that any activities have a positive environmental impact.

Priority 4 - Interreg Specific Objective – “A better Cooperation governance”

The Alpine region is characterised by a long tradition of international and inter-regional cooperation on governmental and non-governmental level. Cooperation in this sense takes place on a wide variety of levels and in a wide variety of formats, ranging from local to macroregional level, from international to regional agreements, or from professional funding programmes to voluntary work. Cooperation activities are implemented through a wide range of formats, e.g. by funding programmes such as EU-transnational or bilateral cooperation programmes, as well as by international agreements such as the Alpine Convention and its protocols or regional cooperation frameworks. In order to take governance and multi-level-cooperation in the Alpine region to a new level, an important step has been taken in recent years: With the establishment of the EUSALP (European Union Strategy for the Alpine Region) a new perspective for governance cooperation at macro -regional level was launched. Multilevel-governance in the Alpine region has to be evolved further and institutional capacities of public authorities and stakeholders have to be enhanced accordingly. To this end, the Interreg specific objective represents a tailor-made possibility to deepen and evolve cooperation and governance structures in the Alpine region. To meet the above-mentioned needs, the Alpine Space Programme aims on further clarifying, deepening, supporting and improving cooperation structures, with placing a particular focus on the professionalisation of governance and stakeholder structures as well as on preparing the ground for innovative projects and stronger involvement of the civil society.

Link Link to Programme
Thematic Focus Employment & Labour Market, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Disaster Prevention, Resiliance, Risk Management, Art & Culture, Cultural Heritage, History, Media, Circular Economy, Sustainability, Natural Resources, Tourism, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Administration & Governance, Regional Development & Regional Planning, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Health, Social Affairs, Sports, Equal Rights, Human Rights, People with Disabilities, Social Inclusion, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Community Integration, European Citizenship, Shared Services, Mobility & Transport/Traffic , Urban development, Competitiveness, SME, Rural & Peripheral Development
EU Macro-Regions
Adriatic and Ionian Region, Alpine Region, Danube Region
Funding area Austria / Österreich
France Méditerranée Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
France Est Alsace
France Est Franche-Comté
France Centre-Est Rhône-Alpes
Germany / Deutschland Baden-Württemberg
Germany / Deutschland Bayern
Italy / Italia Nord-Ovest
Italy / Italia Nord-Est
Slovenia / Slovenija
Switzerland / Schweiz / Suisse / Svizzera
Origin of Applicant Austria / Österreich
France Méditerranée Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
France Est Alsace
France Est Franche-Comté
France Centre-Est Rhône-Alpes
Germany / Deutschland Baden-Württemberg
Germany / Deutschland Bayern
Italy / Italia Nord-Ovest
Italy / Italia Nord-Est
Slovenia / Slovenija
Switzerland / Schweiz / Suisse / Svizzera
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details
  • at least four financing partners
  • from at least four countries
Eligible applicants Education and Training Centres, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, National Government, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association, Public Services, Other
Applicant details

The Interreg Alpine Space programme welcomes the participation of organisations from both the public and private sector that bring added-value to the implementation of projects. These organisations may participate as project partners (PPs) but may also contribute as observers or external experts.

PPs are organisations that are directly participating in the preparation and implementation of an Alpine Space project and are officially listed in the application form of the project. Organisations have to fulfil certain conditions as regards their legal character and geographical location.

Following bodies may act as PPs:

  • public bodies and bodies governed by public law;
  • private organisations.

Natural persons are not foreseen to act as PP in the ASP 2021-2027.

Public bodies and bodies governed by public law are defined in the Directive 2014/24/EU, Article 2, on public procurement as:

  • the State, regional or local authorities, associations formed by such authorities;
  • bodies governed by public law and their associations. According to this Directive, a ‘body governed by public law’ is anybody:
  1. established for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest, not having anindustrial or commercial character;
  2. having legal personality; and
  3. being:
  • financed, for the most part, by the State, regional or local authorities, or other bodies governed by public law;
  • or subject to management supervision by those bodies;
  • or having an administrative, managerial or supervisory board, more than half of whose members are appointed by the State, regional or local authorities, or byother bodies governed by public law.

Private organisations are those organisations having legal capacity, that are not included in the definition of public bodies and bodies governed by public law as set out above.

Only public bodies and bodies governed by public law can act as lead partner.

Type of Funding Grants
Contact Details

Interreg Alpine Space Programme - Joint Secretariat

Land Salzburg - Department for Economy, Tourism and Municipalities, Regional Development and EU Regional Policy Unit
Südtiroler Platz 11, A-5010 Salzburg
Email: js(at)


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