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Running EU-funded research projects

Interreg Italia-Österreich


ITAT-11-007 — Cross-border cooperation for the valorisation of alpine plants as a source of bioactive compounds (NETTLE)

ITAT-11-007 — Cross-border cooperation for the valorisation of alpine plants as a source of bioactive compounds (NETTLE)

The aim of the project is to develop the first database for the cross-border region that collects the phytochemical fingerprint, nutritional and functional values (antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti- inflammatory and wound healing activity) of natural extracts obtained from alpine plants.
To achieve this objective, representative samples of more than 30 plants will be collected in different areas of the cross-border region. They will be extracted using both conventional and innovative green and environmentally sustainable techniques such as supercritical carbon dioxide, ultrasound and pulsed electric fields. The phytochemical profile, the antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and healing activity of the extracts will be determined using the most innovative analytical techniques currently available. This unique experimental approach, based on different expertise, will be ensured by the cross-border collaboration of the partners contributing to the project. In conclusion, NETTLE will aim to enhance the biodiversity of the ecosystems belonging to the program area, an important aspect according to the new European legislation dictated by the agenda of the European Green Deal.
Principal Investigator: Giovanna Ferrentino — Faculty of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Sciences 
Project Duration: 01/02/2024 — 31/01/2026
Project Partners:  Fachhochschule Salzburg GmbH, Università degli Studi di Udine - Dipartimento di Scienze AgroAlimentari, Ambientali e Animali - DI4A


ITAT-11-013 — Cross-border network for education and training in the circular economy and decarbonization in production (EDU-CIRC)

ITAT-11-013 — Cross-border network for education and training in the circular economy and decarbonization in production (EDU-CIRC)

EDU-CIRC is an awareness-raising/training measure to promote the long-term potential of the circular economy and decarbonization in production companies. The aim is to qualify young people from vocational and secondary schools, university students, teachers as well as specialists from industry and craftship in basic principles, methods, instruments and best practice applications and thus to close the current educational gap across borders and generations accelerating the transformation towards a circular and CO2-neutral production.
 The teaching materials, teaching methods and education/training measures developed in the project have a high practical relevance, as they are based on 3 value chains that are important for the Alpine region: (1) wood processing, (2) construction and (3) Automotive. After an initial analysis and mapping of the procurement, use and re-use of materials from the companies, target group specific training materials will be developed and made openly available on the EDU-CIRC portal. The development and implementation of education and training offers, Circular-Factory Tours as well as cross-border Circularity Hackathons complete the initiative.
Principal Investigator: Erwin Rauch — Faculty of Engineering  
Project Duration: 01/01/2024 — 31/01/2026
Project Partners:  t2i – trasferimento tecnologico e innovazione s.c. a r.l., FH Kärnten - gemeinnützige Gesellschaft mbH, Berufsförderungsinstitut Kärnten


ITAT-27-002 — Creating a sustainable cross-border agro-ecosystem through root microbiome biodiversity (CEDRIC)

ITAT-27-002 — Creating a sustainable cross-border agro-ecosystem through root microbiome biodiversity (CEDRIC)

CEDRIC aims to strengthen the biodiversity of those areas/soils that have lost fertility by restoring their microbiological biodiversity, which is essential for soil fertility. Inspired by the success of human microbiome transplantation, CEDRIC aims to transplant, in poor and/or exploited soils, microbiomes of healthy plant roots to act on the soil structure, microbiology, nutrient density and on overall soil carbon levels.
Preliminary studies on the potential of this technique are present in recent scientific literature and CEDRIC will translate this idea from research benches to fields. The success of this approach will also allow for a lower use of chemical fertilizers, reducing the environmental impact of normal agricultural practices. Cross-border cooperation provides skills that are difficult to identify at the local level, combining excellence in the sectors necessary to achieve the result. To realize its idea, CEDRIC will also create a cross-border platform of stakeholders to discuss and share bottom-up approaches and experiences. A Forum Platform will be offered to strengthen the agricultural and biotech community through the creation of manuals of Good Agricultural Practices. 

Principal Investigator: Youri Pii — Faculty of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Sciences
Project Duration: 01/03/2024 — 31/01/2026
Project Partners:  ICGEB - Centro Internazionale di Ingegneria Genetica e Biotecnologie (Lead Partner), Università degli Studi di Udine, SICIT GROUP SPA, Universität Innsbruck, BioTreaT GmbH, Hechenbichler GmbH


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 – 15/11/2021
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 - 30/04/2021
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 Engineering
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 Engineering
Project Duration: 01/05/2018 — 30/04/2021
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:


ITAT1057 — Mass Customization 4.0 (MC4.0)

The MC 4.0 Project improves the innovation base of SMART LIVING SMEs to face the new challenges of the competition and of the INDUSTRY 4.0 in the program area. Local bases are created to increase their ability to meet the specific needs of individual customers at affordable costs (MC - Mass Customization) through digitized personalization processes (4.0), which bring the customer closer to the production chain of SMEs, lowering costs, speeding up the times and ensuring the quality of the product. The digitization of the customization process goes through increasingly high performance product configuration tools - PRODUCT CONFIGURATORS -, which perform the strategic function of directly connecting customers with the company's back office.

To achieve these results, more than 120 Italian and Austrian SMEs are directly involved, and it is established a partnership which represents scientific and technological knowledge, needs of SMEs and industrial realities. The partners:

  • develop MC 4.0 ASSESSMENT & GUIDING TOOLS specific for SMEs;
  • design and launch the MC 4.0 DEA CENTERS, which bring the MC 4.0 in individual SMEs;
  • structure and animate CLUSTERS of SMEs interested in MC 4.0;
  • launch and sustain the MC 4.0 PLATFORM with services for MC 4.0, including B2C;
  • establish sustainable cross-border NETWORK of MC 4.0 COMPETENCES for SMEs.

Principal Investigator: Andrea Gasparella — Faculty of Engineering
Project Duration: 19/09/2019 – 31/05/2022
Project Partner: Apindustria Vicenza (Lead Partner), Università degli Studi di Padova, Fondazione Centro Produttività Veneto, ROEN EST Spa, Universität Klagenfurt, SelectionArts Intelligent Decision Technologies GmbH, Energieforum Kärnten
Project website:


ITAT1079 — Green Public Procurement for Buildings (GPP4Build)

The Project deals with sustainable public procurement (Green Public Procurement - GPP) with focus on the construction sector. Public procurement is one of the most important activities of the public administration and has a major impact on the local economy. For this reason, the member states of the European Union have been obliged to develop and implement national action plans for public procurement with the goal to reduce the environmental impacts occurring during the life cycle stages of products and services. In the reference markets of Italy and Austria a stagnant development concerning the implementation and execution of sustainable public procurement was especially identified in the construction sector. This because sustainability criteria in procurement are implemented in the most varied form at national, regional and local level, since the legal framework conditions are kept in such a way that the decision as to how these criteria are to be taken into account in procurement is largely left to the individual contracting authorities. As a result, the companies suffer from a lack of information and know-how, which leads to market entry difficulties. On the other hand, the lack of information about the future framework and requirements of a circular economy is also seen as a difficulty in implementation. In order to do justice to the complexity of the subject of circular economy, a systematic approach is required to prevent negative external effects and rebound effects.

The main goal of the project is therefore to design and set up a transnational network that bundles knowledge in order to act as a customized point of contact for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The network is going to be implemented in the form of a competence platform and tested in two pilot projects. However, the project Green Public Procurement for Buildings is limited to the supply chains of timber construction, concrete construction and cement producers as well as window construction.

Principal Investigator: Andrea Gasparella — Faculty of Engineering
Project Duration: 01/10/2019 – 31/01/2022
Project Partner: Agenzia per l’Alto Adige – CasaClima (Lead Partner), Università degli Studi di Padova, Fachochschule Salzburg GmbH, Innovations- und Technologietransfer Salzburg GmbH, Agenzia per l’energia del Friuli Venezia Giulia


ITAT1088 — Sensori per Ambienti Speciali. La casa il più possibile normale e speciale quanto necessario - Sensoren für besondere Räume. Ihr Haus so normal wie möglich und so besonders wie nötig (SEnSHome)

SEnSHome develops new smart home design and technologies for houses “as normal as possible” to be inhabited autonomously by people with disabilities, especially autistic people. The implementation of smart sensor networks will allow to

  • recognise hazardous events
  • monitor and regulate room conditions (comfort and well-being)
  • develop a new design concept for independent living is to enable a self-determined life and ensure a high level of privacy to disabled people.

Principal Investigator: Andrea Gasparella — Faculty of Engineering
Project Duration: 01/10/2019 – 31/12/2022
Project Partner: Fachhochschule Kärnten - gemeinnützige Privatstiftung, Università degli Studi di Trieste, Eureka System s.r.l.
Project website:


ITAT1089 — Bewusstseinsbildung sowie Abbau von Vorurteilen und Barrieren für einen erhöhten Einsatz von Holz bei großvolumigen Bauten (BIGWOOD)

ITAT1089 — Bewusstseinsbildung sowie Abbau von Vorurteilen und Barrieren für einen erhöhten Einsatz von Holz bei großvolumigen Bauten - Riduzione delle barriere e dei pregiudizi sugli edifici in legno multipiano attraverso la creazione di consapevolezza progettuale (BIGWOOD)

Nowadays timber buildings are present worldwide, because the use of sustainable materials is encouraged both from governments and from public opinion. Furthermore, the huge flood and storms happened in November 2018 in Veneto region broke down thousands of trees, urging to remove them from damaged territories and possibly to rapidly use them. Thus, a chance is to increase the number of timber multi-story buildings within the project region, but there is still a huge need for gaining the trust of construction companies, local governments and the general public as well as to spread the information concerning the possibility of timber multi-storey construction. Therefore, a much stronger cooperation is necessary with regard to R&D, education, knowledge transfer and best practice issues. The creation of awareness and reduction of prejudices and barriers for high volume wooden constructions are main challenges. BIGWOOD will set up a cross-regional network to increase wood usage for high volume projects by building up an environment for testing, validation and education/training.

One main goal is the realisation of three different “demonstrators”: two small-and medium-sized mock-ups (1:5, 1:20) and a 1:1 mock-up in Bozen-Bolzano at NOI Techpark that can also be used with involved schools. Agreed quality standards need to be defined and important planning issues regarding building with wood communicated.

Principal Investigator: Andrea Gasparella — Faculty of Engineering
Project Duration: 01/10/2019 – 20/12/2022
Project Partner: proHolz Tirol, Centro Consorzi, Universität Innsbruck
Project Website: