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Over centuries, necessity drove innovation in mountains

Interview with Carla Lostrangio, Euromontana

Innovation is too rarely associated to mountain areas. Is that true?

Mountain areas are often impacted by remoteness, lack of services, depopulation, ageing and climate change. People often believe that these factors limit innovation in mountains. Indeed, innovation studies teach us that innovation can be opportunity-pulled or necessity-pushed. Opportunity-pulled innovation is generally what happens in urban and metropolitan areas, where the pool of opportunities facilitates innovation. Otherwise, innovation in mountains is mainly necessity-driven: over centuries mountain residents had to find solutions to many challenges. For them, innovation became a requirement to address many issues related to society, the environment, the local economy and have a good quality life.

Can you give us some examples of innovation in mountains?

There are multiple forms of innovation, but overall, it is important to distinguish between digital innovation and social innovation. We usually associate digital innovation to technological upgrades and the advancement of digital technologies in our everyday’ s life. Few examples are the use of tele-medicine to bring healthcare close to remote mountain citizens in the Alps, or the effort done by the Greek authorities to reinforce the broadband network in more than 5,000 rural and mountain areas. Social innovation is equally relevant to bring change in mountain areas, such as it happened in the mountains of Southern Bulgaria, where it was used to support youth employment in the sectors of circular economy and health tourism. These few examples received the financial support of the European Cohesion Policy.

What is the future of innovation in the mountains?

Today, the number of challenges that mountains have to face is on the raise. From climate change, to increased market pressures due to globalisation and demographic challenges, mountains need for innovative solutions more than other territories. Mountain innovation can count on a number of good practices and funds to flourish. Among the available funds, over the 2021-2027 period, the European Union will channel about one third of its budget through the Cohesion Policy. Mountain organisations can benefit from the Cohesion Policy’s budget to finance projects or initiatives on innovation in their region. For instance, the European institutions explicitly claimed that the Regional Development Fund will support the implementation of the Smart Villages concept in mountain areas, whereas the Interreg Alpine Space programme aims to promote e-learning and remote working structures in marginal areas.

We believe that the 2021-2027 Cohesion Policy is a huge opportunity for mountain regions and we call on mountain stakeholders to take advantage of these funds to meet the challenges of mountain regions. To this end, Montana174 published a thematic factsheet on how the Cohesion Policy will finance innovation in mountains and it will organise a series of local workshops to prepare mountain stakeholders to uptake these funds.

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Want to learn more on Cohesion Policy in mountain areas? 🔜 The next Montana174 newsletter will be out next week! 🌄Find out in this edition: 👉How to use Cohesion Policy funds to boost mountains' attractiveness👉How these funds can support employment in mountain areas👉The demands of Slovenian and Croatian citizens for a better use of the toolsSign up to receive the newsletter ⤵️ Available in 6 languages 🇬🇧 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 🇮🇹 🇸🇮 🇭🇷docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdZE-AmmFzRlke8UmTUqgpxeSN0r9L7jhrq-286zpnbD8vEpg/viewformEurope Direct Isère Savoie ERSAF PINS Skrad RRA Podravje - Maribor Programas.UE - DPT Europe in my region ... See MoreSee Less
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1 week ago

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🌄🌄“Telework is not sufficient to attract youth in mountains.” says Carla Lostrangio, Euromontana. “We need to invest in employment, educational and cultural offers, mobility and broadband. The funds of the Cohesion Policy shall be used for that. “ Stimulating afternoon discussion organised by Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa and Il Sole 24 ORE with great inputs from Filippo barbera and Francesco Martino. #Montana174 #CohesionPolicy #Mountains ... See MoreSee Less
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❗🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Rural #braindrain: How can the Cohesion Policy help reverse the trend? This was the topic of our discussion today at the European Parliament together with the Integroup RUMRA & Smart Villages, MEP Hannes Heide, Vesna Caminades from the Bolzano-South Tyrol Autonomous Region and Blandine Camus, Euromontana. We looked at how👇: ✴️Awareness on funds and more investments on mobility can make mountains more attractive to youth & workers✴️Cultural and educational offers disclose job opportunities, such as marketing and cultural management, and reduce outmigration ✴️Concrete recommendations to counter brain drain by Euromontana, starting from the funds of the #CohesionPolicy #Montana174 #Mountains #EuropeanYearofYouth ... See MoreSee Less
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The next #Montana174 newsletter will be out next week!🌄

Find out
👉How to use #CohesionPolicy to boost mountains' attractiveness
👉How to support #employment in mountains
👉Demands of Slovenian and Croatian citizens

Available in 🇬🇧🇫🇷🇪🇸🇮🇹 🇸🇮🇭🇷
Sign up ⤵️
https://t.co/euAcn5V4ap

Event report🆕

Main messages from last week's event on #BrainDrain with @IntergroupRUMRA & MEP @HannesHeide
👉Mountains lack diversified & qualified jobs
👉Culture plays a role in attractiveness
👉The 🇪🇺 #NewEuropeanBauhaus can improve quality of life

https://t.co/8cWW1R9236

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Giovani, vita in montagna e opportuintà date dall'Ue. Il bello di punti di vista critici: da non perdere gli spunti dati da Carla Lostrangio di @Euromontana , di @FilBarbera e @fmartino_obc https://t.co/wwGLcRizKb #Work4Future

We’re still looking for papers on harnessing #digitalization for #SustainableFutures of #mountain #SocialEcologicalSystems. What works, how does it work, what risks are there?

We’ve extended the due date: Submit by 1 August 2022! https://t.co/NxyLlKa3VY

#MountainsMatter

La Oficina @aragon_Bruselas ha asistido al evento #RuralBrainDrain organizado por @Euromontana. Junto con @HannesHeide, europarlamentario austriaco, y con miembros de otras regiones europeas hemos dialogado sobre la fuga de cerebros y como mitigar la disminución de la población.

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