The 5 finalists of Pitch Your Project 2021

Here are the five finalists of “Pitch your project 2021”

Under the motto “Your Alps! Your Future! Your project!” young people from all Alpine regions were invited to submit innovative project ideas for a sustainable development of the Alpine region. A total of 18 creative project ideas were submitted. An international jury of experts, including representatives of the French EUSALP Presidency, the European Commission, the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention, Switzerland and Liechtenstein and the winners from last year, selected the five best projects, which will compete in the final on 14 December in Nice.

Two projects from Italy, one project from France and two projects from Austria made it into the top 5 of “Pitch Your Project 2021”:

For the age group 20 to 25, three projects were able to convince the jury: A team from Trento, Italy, is behind the project “AlpiSECTS”. In the context of an increasing population, climate change and lack of arable lands in the Alpine region, the team believes that insect farming could help mitigate the effects of climate change. All while still allowing the consumption of protein and creating new economic opportunities. AlpiSECTS is an insect farm (in particular the soldier fly) based on the use of waste materials and by-products from the food industry to create a circular economy in the Alpine region.

The project “SCPIK” from Italy uses a virtual map to collect stories from locals about their land and its citizens. In their Alpine town in the Italian Alps, Tolmezzo, the young people will interview locals and ask them what places in the region they have memories of and what their favourite places are. The interviews will then be catalogued by themes and emotions to create different itineraries based on feelings rather than big buildings, historical finds or big names. With SCPIK, small villages can introduce themselves to tourists through a simple app: a kind of audio guide with the voices of the people who have lived in that place, at any time, in any place, and available to everyone.

In her project “Alpine Twin“, a young student from the Austrian region Vorarlberg wants to make intelligent use of the data generated by human activities in the Alpine region to support decision makers in future strategies. The aim is to build an accurate blueprint, which can be used in a later development and implementation of a Digital Twin technology-based decision support system for stakeholders in politics and government. With her project, the project initiator wants to encourage stakeholders in the Alpine region to use simulated technologies to accelerate sustainable change towards circular economies, significantly less carbon intensive economic systems and better living.

Two projects from the age group of 16 to 19 years also made it into the top 5: The project “vollTrash” is an idea of six school pupils from the Austrian region Tyrol who are passionate about our nature and motivated to protect the environment. They want to collect trash where it does not belong, so that the forests and mountains can remain recreational space for people, an individual, healthy and balanced ecosystem and a protected habitat for flora and fauna. To motivate people to participate in their movement, they want to develop a “vollTrash” app. The goal of this app is to inspire people to pick up trash by offering a reward system for ongoing trash collection.

Three school pupils from the Technological Institute in Trento, Italy are behind the “TEG.2” project, which aims to find an innovative solution to the current energy problem by developing a smart device called TEG (Thermo Electric Generator) based on the Seebeck effect. This device could be installed in any home to recover the energy provided by the sun almost for free, which would otherwise be wasted in the environment (self-cooling effect). TEG devices could also be used in many other applications, both stationary (stoves, heat storage, etc.) and mobile, e.g. in cars (as well as for charging batteries in hybrid technologies), trucks or airplanes

At the final of this year’s Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP) on 14 December, which will be held in Nice, the young people will present their projects to an international audience. The audience will choose the winners in an online voting. The three winning projects will receive prize money of 5,000, 3,000 and 2,000 euros to implement their project ideas. In addition, the winners will receive practical support from EUSALP experts in the implementation process.

The “Pitch Your Project” competition is organized for the fourth time in 2021 by the European Commission and the Tyrol with the support of the French EUSALP presidency. “Pitch your project” was launched in the course of the Tyrolean EUSALP Presidency 2018 and is part of the initiative “youth.shaping.EUSALP” to involve youth in the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region. In addition to Pitch your project, the project includes an EUSALP Youth Council, summer activities, and various online communication tools.