TANZ - Exploration of a regional living lab: Tourism as an opportunity for the energy transition in Pinzgau

Exploration for a regional living lab to accelerate Austria's climate neutrality in 2040 in the tourism region of Pinzgau. Based on numerous preliminary works, model solutions (“Realtests”) for the innovation fields of sector coupling, energy communities and sustainable heating solutions are designed, the organisational structure of the living lab is developed and stakeholders are actively involved.

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

In order to achieve the national climate and energy goals and to become climate neutral by 2040, great efforts and transformations are needed in both urban and rural regions. The project addresses the district of Zell am See (congruent with the Pinzgau), which as an alpine tourism region scores above all with unique and original nature experiences, but at the same time is particularly affected by the challenges of climate change.

The tourism sector in rural areas is one of the most important economic sectors in Austria, but also one with high energy consumption, especially in winter. Currently, a rethinking and a shift towards sustainable and energy-efficient solutions is noticeable. Only those tourism regions that react to this can ensure long-term success and thus safeguard the existence of the people and businesses in the region that live and depend directly and indirectly on tourism. Therefore, a regional living lab for a sustainable, 100% renewable tourism region is to be set up in Pinzgau.

Contents and goals

Despite various individual measures, Pinzgau has so far lacked a holistic strategy to achieve the national and regional goals regarding 100% renewable electricity and heat supply. The integration of individual topics and initiatives under one "umbrella" is necessary in order to implement a common vision and to increase external visibility as a role model for other tourism regions.

This project therefore pursues the goal of designing a regional living lab for the Pinzgau as a year-round sustainable tourism destination that is 100% supplied with renewable energy. This includes the organisation of the living lab as well as the composition of the relevant actors, the conception of model solutions ("Realtests") as well as considerations on how the developed solutions can be shared with other (tourism) regions.


Relevant political actors (28 mayors via the LOS donor RegPi), regional organisations (LOS donor KEMs), key companies (e.g. LOS donor cable cars), energy suppliers (Salzburg AG as a partner) and also citizens and users are actively involved in the exploratory phase.

The exploratory phase offers an optimal framework in the form of a scientifically based, experimental environment that involves all stakeholders in order to co-creatively develop solutions for transformation processes along the three innovation fields of sector coupling, energy communities and sustainable heating solutions.

In these thematic areas, concepts for initial Realtests in the future living lab will be developed in order to be able to assess their impact in terms of their contribution to energy efficiency, flexibilisation, increasing the share of renewable energies and energy supply.

Furthermore, the organisational structure of the living lab will be designed and business models will be developed so that the model solutions of the Pinzgau tourism region can serve as a model for comparable regions in the future, thus accelerating the energy transition through many Austrian regions.

Expected results

  • Energy potential analysis
  • Stakeholder dialogue and participation process, creation of a vision
  • Elaboration of the regional characteristics
  • Clarification of the organisational and operating structure as well as financing of the real laboratory
  • Identification of the first real tests and development of implementation concepts

Project Partners

Project management

IONICA Mobility

Project or cooperation partners

  • AIT Institute of Technology
  • Salzburg AG

Contact Address

Sebastian Vitzthum
Seehofgasse 2
A-5700 Zell am See
Tel.: +43 (664) 341 17 74
E-Mail: sv@ionicamobility.org
Web: www.ionicamobility.org