We deliver territorial cohesion: our most important results are new knowledge, shared experiences and enhanced capacities

Transnational partnerships typically explore new terrain and test new approaches to common, complex, and deep-seated problems, creating new ideas and building capacities as they unfold. Participants in transnational projects develop a habit of cooperation and a strong sense of shared interests, which often results in framing problems in a territorial perspective.

GeoPLASMA-CE Project

Proincor

GeoPLASMA-CE aims to increase the share of shallow geothermal use in heating and cooling strategies in central Europe in order to reduce emissions hazardous to climate and air quality. The project intends to empower territorial energy planning and management at regional level by enabling the transfer of knowledge from scientific experts to public authorities and related entities. This will be achieved through the development of a web-based portal, planning tools and 3D models showing geothermal potential in the participating regions but also via field research of geothermal applications in pilot actions.

The GeoPLASMA-CE pilot action in Vienna focuses on the challenges of geothermal use of groundwater in two municipal districts and covers parts of the groundwater body Marchfeld, which already hosts many shallow geothermal applications. A growing number of single installations influence each other and prevents a sustainable use of groundwater for heating and cooling. The aim of the pilot action is to introduce management tools to meet the challenges of usage conflicts for geothermal use of the groundwater (open loop systems). As a result, the project will develop a guideline to help overcome the individual treatment of single applications and foster an integrative management of shallow geothermal applications within the groundwater body Marchfeld.

PLASTiCE Project

Plastice

People’s relationship with plastics is ambivalent: They love their convenience but hate how they pollute the environment. New bioplastics, which are biodegradable or made from renewable resources, are more sustainable. The PLASTiCE project promoted joint research that demonstrated to producers the possibilities of bioplastics. The partners also created a roadmap for actions leading to commercialisation of these new plastics. Early in the project, experts made an overview of the research and development potential of involved partners and other institutions in the region. The goal was to establish integrated, comprehensive research and development support for industries attempting to create different applications for bioplastics.

Core results of PLASTiCE include case studies of partners outside the project group. These examples facilitate a wider uptake of opportunities offered by bioplastics and present a roadmap for action that will lead to commercialisation of new types of plastics. To support better regulatory frameworks, the project established a portal for certification of bioplastics in two partner countries. The blueprint for this action will be available for use in other countries. To reach a wider audience and improve the impact of the project, partners have established contacts with experts in countries outside central Europe that may benefit from the knowledge gained through the project.

EULAKES Project

EULAKES

Along with climate change, European lake managers face several common problems, including pollution, the need for sustainable management of shorelines and other areas and planning for diverse activities. The project EULAKES supported the sustainable management of four shallow lakes with a strong touristic use which are typical for central Europe. Lake managers in Austria, Italy, Hungary and Poland developed an integrated approach between research centres and local communities. To respond to climate change and other environmental stressors the project created a governance model that combines environmental monitoring, risk and fragility assessment and a system of participatory planning. In other words, the project helped to connect water quality research with citizens in a way that was not possible before.

Through EULAKES the research and innovation centre Istituto Agrario Di San Michele All’Adige in Trento was able to establish a new research line based on new methodologies for testing the water quality of lakes. The new methodologies were originally developed in a European research project and the centre first applied them for the benefit of the region in the context of EULAKES. Amongst others, the institute looked at risks associated with cyanotoxins in lake water. These substances can be dangerous to animals and humans. The new research lines are still in place and data produced by the institute is used regularly by public administration for deciding how suitable the water quality of e.g. Garda Lake is for bathing and fishing. In this area alone, the research affects 25 million people visiting the lake annually.

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