Between 13.9. and 15.9. 2023 project partners of the Interreg Alpine Space SmartCommUnity project, led by University of Ljubljana, met in a picturesque village of Willisau, Switzerland for its regular project meeting. The meeting was hosted by Luzerne – Region West and featured presentations, discussions, workshops and decision-making on various project-related activities, current progress and future steps.

Besides regular meeting frame content, that includes project management, reporting procedures, partner changes, process of report submission, and certification, much attention was given to partners to present their activities in all their work-packages and a workshop on Innovation Platform project activities within Innovation Tools for SmartCommUnity workpackage (WPIT) was conducted as well.

But more importantly, meetings are also a fruitful platform for finding new solutions for current challenges. In this regard, a workshop on rural »Data Steward« concept to address community-based data approach with bridging digital skills gap, local data autonomy and infrastructure oversight and possible solutions and action items were discussed to consolidate the integration to test areas and terminology. Collected insights from the partners will be used for further activities in this line of activities.

As stakeholders play a vital role in these projects, SmartCommUnity partners were also addressed by a local policy maker, André Marti, President of the City of Willisau and member of the cantonal parliament of Lucerne.  The meeting was observed by the observer from the Swiss Federal Office for Environmental Planning who provided invaluable feedback and comments at the end of the meeting.

The second day was marked by an innovative e-biking trip and a visit to Swiss Museum of Agriculture, a local stakeholder in a pilot area. An interactive museum, with ten distinctively themed spaces prides itself with Meyveart Museum Prize for Sustainability 2023 and is an example of how to educate, stimulate and provoke critical thought, as, after all, agriculture affects us all.

A very intense 2-day meeting concluded with a commitment to continued collaboration and a shared vision of advancing the project’s goals. Partners affirmed their dedication to effective communication and cooperation in next project meeting, scheduled from 5.-7. March 2024 in Valle d’Aosta.

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