Transnational Holistic Ecosystem 4 Better Energy Efficiency Through Social Innovation


European Union - Interreg Alpine Space

Timeframe: December 2015 – December 2018



The project builds on the hypothesis: Energy is consumed by people rather than by buildings. The focus is therefore on user behaviour changes needed to reduce energy consumption in the Alpine region.


Changes in behaviour relating to energy consumption are to be initiated and supported through the use of ICT applications. These will be co-designed by living labs, referred to as ‘co-creation labs’, and developed by a transnational IT ecosystem. The applications will then be tested by energy users in seven pilot studies, and reductions in energy consumption will be measured. Based on the results of co-creation labs and experimentation, policies for spatial development in the Alpine region will be drafted. The participatory policy-making has the objective of focusing on soft measures, rather than on the construction of new buildings and infrastructure.

Project tasks thus include:

  • Awareness raising regarding energy efficiency in buildings
  • The study of energy-efficient behaviour
  • The use of living labs for the co-creation of ICT tools
  • Experimentation with real-life energy users (private households, school and university students, employees and tourists)
  • Drafting of policies for the spatial development of the Alpine region

Envisaged outcomes are ICT tools (apps for mobile phones, digital displays, dashboards, etc.) to promote behavioural changes resulting in more efficient energy use, as well as draft policies for spatial development regarding energy consumption in the Alpine region.

Role of IREES in the project

IREES is responsible for coordinating work package T1, ‘Awareness raising regarding energy efficiency and carbon footprint reduction”, involving research of user behaviour and the identification of behaviours that increase energy efficiency.

  • Raising awareness in active target groups with the aid of modern information and communication technology
  • Determining the requirements, ideas and concepts of the applications in a participatory way
  • Improving existing low-carbon and spatial development policies in the Alpine region, based on the results of co-creation labs and pilot studies
  • In cooperation with BW:con, IREES will involve regional and national institutions (that have expressed commitment as observers) in addressing policy issues.


Partners in the research project


Total budget: € 2.694.646

Support from the European Union ERDF: € 2,290,449

ERDF IREES: € 241,719

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Project website



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