Who are the winners of the 2020 edition of Pitch Your Project?

Who are the winners of the 2020 edition of Pitch Your Project?

This final of the 3rd edition of the Pitch Your Project competition fulfilled all these expectations during the annual forum of the EUSALP French presidency which took place on ZOOM.
More than 200 people attended the online final of the competition and more than 350 watched the live on Youtube. This unprecedented audience for the competition is a real success and puts a real spotlight on the projects of these young citizens of the Alpine countries.

The 5 finalists had produced 3-minute videos to present their projects and were prepared to answer questions from the audience for 2 minutes. The quality of the videos made is impressive when you consider that they were created in a short period of time and by young people who have never made such videos before. The finalists were coached in the making of the videos by a communications expert from the 75PERCENT agency.

And the winner of this edition is : Terra Preta in the Alps thanks to their idea of using Biochar to compensate for the production of CO2 released due to our modern lifestyles. This Biochar is produced with wood from the Alpine region which cannot be sold or has fallen down due to bad weather. This project is carried out by the pupils of a class of the Bhak/Bhas Wörgl secondary school in the Tyrol region of Austria. The young people were encouraged by their teacher to think about one of the competition themes, Alpine natural heritage and climate change, and to come up with ideas to mitigate their impact on it. This is a very important topic of our time and it is with great support that we are awarding the first prize with the sum of 5000€ to this project. 

The podium was hard fought and in the end it was the 100% Alps project, from Italy, that finished second in the competition. The aim of this project is simple, to help local communities giving value to their unique products, fostering economic and social local development. This relationship between climate, agriculture, economy and heritage is essential for the sustainable development of the Alpine region. Encouraging young entrepreneurs such as Giovanni and Elia towards projects that respect the environment and valorise Alpine know-how is a real desire of EUSALP and we are pleased to award this second prize with the sum of 3000€.

Third place in the competition went to the Bergsohle project, initiated by a 23-year-old carpenter from South Tyrol. Jonas Gruber wants to use his manual skills and theoretical knowledge of the natural resources of the Alpine region to create an ecological sole. By using the unique characteristics of the resources of the Alpine region, he offers a product that serves your body and its most connected part to nature, your feet. It is with great enthusiasm that we award him the 3rd prize with the sum of 2000€. 

The competition requires that some of the participants fail very close to the podium. However, they deserve to be congratulated in the same way as the 3 winners for the quality of the solutions they propose for a more environmentally friendly Alpine region. For the two projects in question, it is the ecological impact of alpine skiing that is targeted through solutions to reduce its effects.

The ADN SKIS project, from France, aims to recycle the material of the skis used to create new models. The technical challenge of this project is ambitious and the young project team has all the skills to meet it. We will be there to support them in the development of their brand when they need us. You can be sure of that.

The SKI DAY project responds to one of the main sources of CO2 emissions in the Alps during the winter period, the mobility of tourists going to ski resorts. These young French people from the Paris region love to go on skiing holidays but do not have many ecological and economical transport solutions to get to the slopes. This is why they have decided to create a platform for booking a stay that includes a more ecological public transport offer. They are already in contact with resorts that are ready to propose offers for their clients.

It is clear that the theme of Alpine natural heritage and climate change is a major concern for young people and also for the EUSALP. Not only the winner of this edition but also the 3 other finalists had ticked this theme when they registered. Then the theme Autonomy of supply in all sectors (including industry), regionality and short supply chains is also present in the young people’s projects. This shows that for this young generation, climate change is a priority in all areas and that the Alpine region contains the resources and skills to try to mitigate its impact in the Alps.

What we take away from this final round is the continuity and the willingness to join forces to work towards a more sustainable and resilient Alpine region. Indeed, this final brought together the winners of the last two editions of the competition with Luisa Deubzer, a member of the Alptick project and responsible for facilitating this online session. But also Finn Wilkesmann, founder of MyCabin, who came to encourage the finalists as his project continues to evolve and to impress us. It was also an opportunity to bring together the finalists’ projects so that they can imagine future collaborations and capitalise on this experience, whatever the outcome of the ranking. 

The “Pitch Your Project” competition was organized for the third time in 2020 by the European Commission and the Tyrol with the support of the French EUSALP presidency to involve young people with their ideas more strongly in the sustainable development of the Alpine region. “Pitch Your Project” is part of the initiative “youth.shaping.EUSALP” to involve youth in the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region.