What’s happening in my country


This page contains specific information about the planning and implementation of smart villages in Austria. The information aims to orient people on policy planning, key contacts and resources on smart villages. However, it neither aims to be fully comprehensive, nor necessarily reflects the official government or European Commission position.

Explore how smart villages are being implemented in Austria.

You can also visit the page of the Smart Rural 21 selected village: Stanz

Key CAP contact(s) :

Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism
Key contact(s) :
Julian Gschnell (Desk officer)
Email : Julian.gschnell@bmlrt.gv.at
Website : https://www.bmlrt.gv.at/

Support for Smart Villages under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

The CAP Strategic Plan development process for the 2021-27 period started in May 2019 with a kick-off event with broad stakeholder participation. The SWOT-analysis and needs assessment were finalised in October 2019, followed by setting up thematic expert groups to support the process with focus on defining CAP interventions. Since mid-2020 stakeholder-dialogues have been held with the support of the Austrian National Rural Network.

During the first stakeholder consultation – organised on 8 June 2020 with focus on local development including LEADER/ CLLD, Local Agenda 21 and basic services – the connection of local interventions to Smart Villages was also highlighted.

The ‘smart villages’ concept already has a strong anchor within the current CAP planning. It is an important consideration to avoid creating new structures, but to use existing ones. Geographically, the ‘smart village’ approach is to be implemented at the local level, i.e. at a lower geographical scale than LEADER Local Action Groups (LAGs), which will require cooperation among individual municipalities.

The current CAP proposal suggests three main strands for implementing Smart Villages initiatives:

  • Firstly, initiatives could be supported under LEADER through responding to challenges at the local level. The ‘smart village’ approach can be implemented in all thematic areas of Local Development Strategies, but the focus should be on digital technologies.s.
  • Secondly, the intervention for strengthening the centres of cities and municipalities aims at creating new solutions for vacant buildings in town/village centres, addressing declining population and mobility issues.
  • Thirdly, initiatives could be supported through regional innovation partnerships, following EIP-AGRI’s multi-actor approach. In this context, regional micro and small businesses should be linked to enhance value chains and circular economy.

In October 2021, the Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism published a factsheet explaining the connection between ‘smart villages’ and LEADER, as well as the dedicated interventions for strengthening the centres of cities and municipalities and regional innovation partnerships. This factsheet is intended to support LAGs in preparing their Local Development Strategies.

Further information on CAP & smart villages :

Smart Villages in Austria ( 05/11/2021 ) - Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture (Language : English)
Smart Villages in Austria ( 04/10/2018 ) - Julian Gschnell Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism (Language : English)

Key NRN contact(s) :

Netzwerk Zukunftsraum Land
Key contact(s) :
Michael Fischer (Team member)
Email : Michael.fischer@zukunftsraumland.at
Website : https://www.zukunftsraumland.at/

Activities of the National Rural Network (NRN) on smart villages

Members of the Network Support Unit (NSU) of the Austrian NRN have closely followed Smart Villages developments. Among others, NSU member(s) has/have:

  • Involved in the preparation and implementation of the Austrian Smart Village Conference;
  • Contributed to the organisation of the CAP Strategic Plan dialogue event on local development, where Smart Villages was also highlighted as a key theme.
  • Fulfilled the national expert role for Austria in the Smart Rural 21 project.

Support provided through other national/ regional policies & initiatives

There are various strategies and initiatives in Austria that have relevance to the Smart Villages concept, including:

  • Local Agenda 21 focuses on sustainable and participatory development processes at the local level. Up to now 468 Austrian municipalities (out of a total of 2 095) have implemented a Local Agenda 21 process.
  • The Tyrolean Pitztal is one of the 13 pilot villages participating in the Interreg Alpine Space “SmartVillages” initiative.

Further key resources

Stanz Token: Examining opportunities to combine a digital local currency with a renewable energy community
Rainer Rosegger Caliber Consult GmbH , Agentur SCAN , ABC Research GmbH ( 29/06/2022 )
In order to empirically test the feasibility of the idea of connecting the REC Stanzertal with a token economy for the introduction of a local digital currency (DLC) in Stanz im Mürztal, social science research was combined with a participation and co-creation process. The results of this process were integrated into the token engineering process, which includes legal, economic, technical and ethical considerations.

Best practices of renewable energy communities
Ecolise ( 07/2021 )
Prepared in the framework of the Smart Rural 21 project, this report presents examples and processes related to the development of decentralised micro-grids and energy communities, also considering the application of blockchain-based technologies. Key features of the presented cases and the relevance to the energy community of Stanz im Mürztal (Austria) are highlighted.
Language : English

Second Regional Workshop of the Smart Rural 21 project
Municipality of Stanz , E40 ( 04/11/2021 )
Recording of day 1 of the second Regional Workshop of the Smart Rural 21 project, held in Stanz im Mürztal, Austria. The event presented the outcomes of the Smart Rural 21 project, as well as Smart Village approaches and solutions, with a particular focus on how Smart Villages can contribute to reduction of CO2 emissions, including through renewable energy and local energy communities.
Language : English

Stanz energy community – stakeholder analysis
Municipality of Stanz , Ecolise ( 06/2021 )
The analysis includes the state-of-play of stakeholder engagement in Stanz, a PESTLE analysis, SWOT analysis and stakeholder mapping
Language : English

The emergence of the Smart Stanz Renewable Energy Community
Rainer Rosegger - SCAN ( 18/10/2022 )
A presentation on Smart Rural 21 selected village Stanz’s (Austria) experience with renewable energy and development of a local energy community. The presentation was given in the workshop “How to overcome the energy crisis in a smart way locally? – Renewable energy & local energy communities” at the Smart Rural 21 project’s Final Conference of 17-18 October 2022 in Sopot, Poland.
Language : English

Technologies for Smart Communities and AURORAL middleware
Marcos Nogueira - AURORAL H2020 Project ( 18/10/2022 )
A presentation on the AURORAL Horizon 2020 project, given in the workshop “When is digital technology becoming a ‘game-changer’ in improving local services?” at the Smart Rural 21 project’s Final Conference of 17-18 October 2022 in Sopot, Poland.
Language : English

10th Smart Rural Café, Stanz (Austria), 6 September 2022
Fritz Pichler , Rainer Rosegger , Mirella Bärnthaler - Municipality of Stanz , SCAN , Caliber Consult GmbH ( 06/09/2022 )
Stanz im Mürztal, one of the Smart Rural 21 project selected vil-lages, was chosen to receive additional expert support for the full implementation of its smart village strategy. Its project scope was to define the role of blockchain for leveraging the output of renew-able energy resources and to combine technical and social inno-vation. The project goal was to define possible cases for the use of a local digital currency based on renewable energy. As a first step, a renewable energy community was implemented in Stanz. Citizen engagement and an intense participation process provided the ideal basis for the token economic analysis. The Smart Café showcased the results of the Stanz feasibility study.
Language : English

Smart Villages factsheet – Styria
Landesentwicklung Steiermark ( 2022 )
The factsheet overviews Styria’s approach to Smart Villages. This is a further development of the factsheet published by the Federal Minis-try for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism with one of the differences being a stronger focus on municipal center development.
Language : German

Smart villages: Revitalising Rural Services
( 09/07/2018 )
A video with German subtitles produced by the ENRD Contact Point summarising what a ‘smart village’ represents from different perspectives.
Language : English, German

Social engagement in Stanz im Mürztal
Fritz Pichler - Municipality of Stanz ( 27/01/2022 )
A presentation given at the 3rd Smart Rural 21 Regional Workshop on the social engagement of Stanz im Mürztal (Austria), one of the project’s 21 selected villages.
Language : English

The case of Stanz energy community & support system
Rainer Rosegger , Alexander Baldele , Rainer Rosegger - SCAN , Caliber Consult GmbH ( 05/11/2021 )
A presentation given at the 2nd Regional Workshop of the Smart Rural 21 project on how the energy community and its support system work in Stanz, including the importance of social innovation and early community engagement.
Language : English

Smart Villages Factsheet for LEADER regions
Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism ( 11/10/2021 )
A factsheet explaining the connection between ‘smart villages’ and LEADER, as well as the dedicated interventions for strengthening the centres of cities and municipalities and regional innovation partnerships.
Language : German

Stanz – transformation process of a rural community
Fritz Pichler Municipality of Stanz ( 05/11/2021 )
A presentation given at the 2nd Regional Workshop of the Smart Rural 21 project on the activities and transformation process of Stanz im Mürtzal – one of the project’s 21 selected villages.
Language : English

Presentation about the Smart Village Strategy of Stanz
Fritz Pichler - Municipality of Stanz ( 23/02/2021 )
A presentation provided at the 2nd Smart Village Academy of the Smart Rural 21 project during the “Local energy communities and stakeholder engagement” working group. One of Stanz’s – selected Smart Rural 21 village – aims is to create an Energy Community by the end of 2021. In doing so, Stanz wants to create a future oriented model by integrating new technologies (e.g. blockchain), disruptive business models, and social innovation.
Language : English

Summary Highlights of the Smart Village Strategy of Stanz (Austria)
Municipality of Stanz ( 12/2020 )
The Summary Highlights of the Smart Village Strategy of Stanz im Mürtzal has been developed in the context of the ‘Preparatory Action for Smart Rural Areas in the 21st Century’ project funded by the European Commission.
Language : English

Smart Rural – Empowering the Rural Community to use Mobile Technology
Catherine Murphy - Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) ( 01/09/2015 – 31/08/2018 )
Innovative European Funded Erasmus + research project called ‘SmartRural’ with three other partners from Austria, France and Spain. The project looked at how ICT and mobile applications can be used to enhance agricultural activities as well as improving productivity, social and economic activities in rural communities. The project suggested the creation of an ad hoc training methodology based on the famers’s needs, offering them basic and specific knowledge on mobile applications. The project concluded with a conference entitled ‘The Future of Technology on the Farm’.  
Language : English

Smart Village conference organized by the Austrian NRN
Netzwerk Zukunftsraum Land ( 25/05/2020 )
On 25th May 2020, the Austrian Network for Rural Development organised an online-conference on Smart Villages. A special emphasis was placed on the current considerations on how to implement Smart Villages in the new CAP Strategic Plan. Representatives from the federal ministry presented their current proposal; 10 projects from 5 thematic fields were presented in 10 breakout-sessions followed by discussions about necessary frameworks for smart village projects.
Language : German

Interreg Alpine Space “SmartVillages” initiative
Swiss Centre for mountain regions Schweizerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für die Berggebiete SAB , University of Maribor
The project aims to apply a Smart Village approach and bring together – in so-called Regional Stakeholder Groups (policy makers, business, academia and civil society) to improve the framework for innovation through new forms of stakeholder involvement facilitated by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The test area includes Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland.
Language : English

Funded by
en English