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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Running EU-funded research projects

Interreg Italia-Österreich


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Projects funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Interreg V-A Italia-Österreich 2014-2020

ITAT2026 — Bewusst Unterwegs - Girovagare consapevole (On Tour)

Sustainable tourism, despite the obvious potential, still plays a rather marginal role in the programme area of Interreg Italia-Austria. The project On Tour proposes to address this problem and has set itself the objective of strengthening both the demand for and the supply of sustainable tourism, by improving the visibility of sustainable touristic operators.

The project’s activities consist of an analysis of the transnational label market, the tourism market and the role of tour operators within this scope. Based on this analysis, a tool is to be created which enables SMEs in the tourism sector to choose the right sustainability label based on their specific needs.  Additionally, the participating SMEs will receive training on how to market their positioning as a sustainable business towards the consumer. Training will consist of workshops, excursions to best practice facilities and a roundtable with regional marketing agencies. In this way and by appointing a “sustainability coordinator” in each pilot region, the project wants to facilitate an exchange of expertise and build up an active and competent network that can act as one powerful stakeholder.

Principal Investigator: Oswin Maurer — Faculty of Economics  
Project Duration: 01/03/2018 – 31/08/2020
Project Partner: Ökoinstitut Südtirol / Alto Adige (Lead Partner), Regionalverband Pongau, Consorzio di Promozione Turistica del Tarvisiano, di Sella Nevea e di Passo Pramollo
Project Website:


ITAT3010 — L'innovazione sociale - Social Impact for the Alps-Adriatic region (SIAA)

Social issues (demographic evolution, changes in lifestyle and work, health care) cannot be solved solely by market, state or company action, but the interaction of forces in the field is necessary. The concept of Social Innovation (SI) describes the ideas and measures needed to address those challenges that can be adopted and exploited by the social groups concerned. SI is the engine of social change and is often interpreted as a reaction or integration into an innovative technology-oriented policy. SI is different from these phenomena through a more pronounced orientation to the process and the regulatory nature, the high context dependence, the more "plasticity" of the address and the higher level of dependence on social relationships. Social innovation can also have economic effects. What we ask is how the social enterprise responds to these new challenges and what contribution it can provide for their overcoming.
Objectives to be achieved:

  • Affirming the theme of the social enterprise in the border region, engaging with the market, state and society to identify, recognise and support the services provided by these social entrepreneurs
  • Ensure that the SI project is recognised in the border region so that entrepreneurs have the resources and conditions available to allow them to fully exploit their social engagement, while still operating with an economic return
  • To affirm the role of the SI as a supporting stakeholder alongside technological innovations in the Alpe Adria region.

The first part of the project consists in identifying the ecosystem of social innovation in the territory by mapping the actors working in the region.
The second parts consists in the developing and experimentation of a curriculum for the development and acceleration of social innovation projects. The curriculum consists in an ideation phase, called social impact lab that is a training programme with the aim to strengthen the initial idea of each project and develop a business model. This part wants to create awareness about social challenges and the possibility to address them through social innovation, moreover wants to identify some themes and ideas for further development in order to generate a social impact.

Principal Investigator: Alessandro Narduzzo — Faculty of Economics
Project Duration: 01/01/2018 - 30/10/2020
Project Partner: Universität Klagenfurt (Lead Partner), Fachhochschule Kärnten, build! Gründerzentrum Kärnten GmbH, t2i – trasferimento tecnologico e innovazione, Friuli Innovazione Centro di Ricerca e di Trasferimento Tecnologico, Università degli Studi di Udine
Project Website:



The digital transformation is one of the most significant, impactful and systemic changes in human history. It brings enormous challenges for the economy, companies, society, and individuals. Many of the new technologies like the Internet of Things, 3D-Printing, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, etc. are disruptive and fundamentally change the way we do business, we communicate, and we live. Europe and especially peripheral regions lack behind in the digital transformation. The goal of the A21 Digital Tyrol Veneto project – carried out by the Austrian network A21 Digital, the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano and the University of Verona – is to propose relevant future strategies and to develop a roadmap with concrete actions for decision makers for a successful digitalization of the macro-region Tyrol- South Tyrol-Veneto. The project starts with a systematic analysis of the scientific and practitioner literature and of previous research projects on digitalization. A wide number of interviews (more than 60) are then conducted with experts and representatives of various stakeholders in the macro-region (companies, schools and research centres, and public administrations). The aims of these interviews are:

  1. to identify, among the main trends associated with digitalization, those with high potential for the macro-region and requiring coordinated intervention by the various actors;
  2. to highlight a series of actions aimed at exploiting the opportunities offered by digitisation and at successfully managing the underlying risks. Finally, some focus groups are organised in order to refine the strategies and roadmap developed based on the interviews. The final results of the project are summarised in a report and presented to all stakeholders in three events in Bozen, Lienz and Vicenza.

Principal Investigator: Dominik Matt — Faculty of Science and Technology
Project Duration: 01/03/2018 - 31/12/2019
Project Partner: A21DIGITAL (Lead Partner), Università degli Studi di Verona
Project Website:


ITAT3018 — Engineering Education 4.0 (E-EDU4.0)

During the last years, public and private investments into research and development infrastructure for modern production technologies have been made (e.g. fab labs, smart production labs, robotic labs, etc.). But this infrastructure is mainly available for limited target groups, often only within the respective owner organisation of the infrastructure or for specific project driven purposes. Due to missing usage concepts as well as educational or training programmes, this situation results in limited usage and accessibility of the infrastructure. This situation is common for educational organisations and training institutions in Austria as well as in Italy

The project aims at the development of aligned and specialised qualification programmes and offers by invoking aforementioned infrastructure. The focus of the qualification programme is therefore on advanced manufacturing technologies (e.g. 3D-printing), application of robotics in manufacturing cells, application of innovative ICT technology in production (e.g. augmented reality and virtual reality) as well as data management and information management. The created qualification network establishes an aligned education format for the following three target groups: 1) teacher, 2) students and 3) companies (with a focus on SMEs).

Moreover, throughout the project knowledge transfer about the setup of such formats and programmes are performed on a sustainable base. Therefore, the project will enable students, talents, start-ups and SMEs of the regions to face the challenges of smart production and digitisation.

Principal Investigator: Dominik Matt — Faculty of Science and Technology
Project Duration: 01/05/2018—31/10/2020
Project Partner: Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Treviso Belluno (Lead Partner), t2i – trasferimento tecnologico e innovazione, Friuli Innovazione Centro di Ricerca e di Trasferimento Tecnologico, Fachhochschule Kärnten, HTL Wolfsberg

Project Website:


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