Many rural communities in the Alpine Space are deprived of highly needed jobs and adequate service provision. Moreover, they lack an entrepreneurship- and social-innovation-friendly climate. One of the consequences of this situation is the so-called brain drain.
Digitalization is a promising approach to counter these challenges. However, the digital divide between rural and urban areas has even increased in the last years. A smart village approach for mountain areas could unlock the potential of local actors to make their region a more attractive place to live and work. Therefore, the project introduced Regional Stakeholder Groups. These groups include policy makers, business, academia and civil society. They cooperate in a quadruple helix approach to improve the framework for innovation through new forms of stakeholder involvement, facilitated by Information and Communication Technologies.


  • Regional analysis of readiness and needs for a Smart Transition in the Test Areas
  • A digital exchange platform, enabling transnational knowledge sharing of the overall project findings and European SmartVillages best practices between project partners and the wider public
  • The Smart Villages Toolbox: A box fully equipped with tools, methods and techniques that will support and guide project partners, but also other regions within Alpine Space through the participatory establishment of smart village environments in their regions
  • Policy recommendationsin order to improve the framework conditions for smart villages

SmartVillages project website

2018 – 2021

Funding Programme: Interreg Alpine Space
Lead Partner: Swiss Centre for mountain regions Schweizerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für die Berggebiete SAB, Peter Niederer (Email,

Participatory process in a pilot municipality of SmartVillages. © Peter Niederer, SAB
SmartVillages municipality app to facilitate communication between authorities and citizens as well among citizens with the aim of improving municipality services, triggering social engagement and enabling neighbourhood support. © Peter Niederer, SAB