IST Institute

    The Institute for Strategic Innovation and Technology Management is the competence center for innovation and strategy. Research focuses on Strategic Transformation, Corporate Entrepreneurship, Startups, Ambidextrie, Agility and Digitalization.

    Dekoratives grafisches Element

    Projekt „Alpine Research and Innovation Capacity Governance“ (A-Ring)

    The project "Alpine Research and Innovation Capacity Governance" (A-Ring) aims to expand the transnational networking of politics, business and science (triple helix) in the Alpine region in order to tackle common challenges in cooperation. Due to their similar structure and environmental conditions, the individual regions of the Alpine Space are equally confronted with current issues such as climate change, new mobility solutions or digital transformation. 

    Together with partners from research institutions, public administration and regional companies, A-RING creates the basis for targeted transnational cooperation and coordinated action in the Alpine region. With the implementation of the Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) in line with the European Commission, the individual sub-regions have already developed their own strategies. The aim is to promote the strengths of the respective region with regard to future developments and the associated opportunities, and to avoid fragmentation of efforts and duplication of work. A-RING enables the expansion of these strategies beyond national borders and thus aims to develop an S3 for the entire Alpine Space in order to master challenges in a concentrated effort. A-RING enables the expansion of these strategies beyond national borders and thus aims to develop an S3 for the entire Alpine Space in order to meet challenges in a combined effort. To this end, the Triple-Helix is working out a common approach for research and innovation (R&I) activities. 

    To achieve this goal, the project partners are developing a blueprint of the research and innovation agenda of the EUSALP region. This document enables transnational cooperation of all stakeholders in order to use synergy effects efficiently. Roadmaps for regional decision makers will be derived from this blueprint, which will show policy options and steps towards a cooperative collaboration of the region on R&I topics. Finally, SeedLabs will be established in the partner regions, which will serve as a place for concrete cooperation and collaboration of working groups. 

    • Background & Motivation

      The targeted cooperation of science, politics and industry to solve challenging problems is the basis of the S3 requirement of the European Commission. The aim is to encourage regions to use their individual strengths and research and innovation activities to take advantage of emerging opportunities and market developments. However, the regions as a whole should also focus on a division of labour in order to avoid duplication of efforts and unnecessary competition. In this context, EU investments focus on innovation and research, the Digital Agenda, support for SMEs and a climate-friendly economy. 

      This approach has already enabled many regions to carry out successful projects and implement an S3, thereby actively shaping their future competitiveness. 

      However, since most regional challenges do not stop at national borders, a superordinate S3 is both efficient and necessary for regions with a similar structure. As the regions of the Alpine Space are among the strongest regions in Europe, both economically and in terms of research, the A-RING project aims to promote a coordinated and transnational multi-level governance. 

    • Team

      Project manager

      Prof. Dr.-Ing. Guido H. Baltes, Director of the IST Innovation Institute and Professor for Strategic Management and Innovation Marketing at the University of Applied Sciences Constance 

      Research team

      M.Eng.  Sascha Lehnert
      M.Sc. Rebecca Off

    • Partner


      - University of Milan, Italy (Lead-Partner) 

      - Industrial enterprises Association of Belluno Province

      - Lombardy Region


      - Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences

      - Regionalmanagement Burgenland GmbH


      - Ministry of Education, Science and Sport

      - University of Ljubljana (Faculty of Public Administration)


      - University of Applied Sciences Kempten, Germany 

      - USI University of Italian Switzerland, Switzerland


      - Plastipolis, French innovation cluster for plastics and composites industry

    • Project content

      The fact that politics, science and business in the Alpine Space are currently not always jointly advancing elements of Smart Specialization Strategies (S3) means that they are advancing at different speeds, thus reducing the benefits for the entire Alpine Space. A-RING will address the general need to combine efforts in addressing the major challenges with a common Research & Innovation (R&I) approach that guides the path of Open Innovation in the EU. Similarly, the macro-regional strategy of the EUSALP region stresses the need to address development challenges and potentials in a broader geographical context with an overall coordination of efforts. A-RING will promote coordination between different R&I policy initiatives and institutional frameworks in order to effectively address societal challenges and increase the use of the individual strengths of the regions. An innovative bottom-up process will be pursued to align R&I strategies, gather business expectations and the innovation potential of science, meet the needs of citizens in relation to responsible R&I and ensure transnational multi-level governance by developing a level for a goal-oriented policy process. The partners will develop a plan for a joint R&I agenda to operate within a common S3 strategic framework. Together with observers and target groups, both a synergistic and complementary cooperative approach between authorities and a network model between academia and business will be tested. A-RING will establish a common approach with mutual recognition across the Triple Helix and targeted transnational activities through a blueprint for a common R&I agenda, policy briefs and R&I graphs. 

      The competences of IST - development of innovation & transfer strategies, as well as conception of innovation initiatives - will be used in the A-RING project in a targeted way, through activities such as: 

      - Consulting in the process towards a blueprint for a common R&I agenda 

      - Organization of workshops for partners from politics, science and business 

      - Live-Learning for stakeholders 

      - Implementation and orchestration of SeedLabs, for cooperation of transnational and interdisciplinary working groups