COMUNIS provides a concerted strategy for SME-oriented location development in the frame of inter-municipal cooperation. Besides tourism, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) constitute the main source of employment in the Alps (even if locally larger enterprises may play a bigger role) and many municipalities face the same or similar problems in economic development. Innovative and concerted strategies for commercial local development (CLD) are missing.
A transnational approach will create synergies, help for exchanging existing approaches, forming (cross-border) tandems of close cooperation and mutual consulting, and finding solutions relevant for the entire Alpine area. Working in pilot regions with different preconditions and characteristics will help to better understand the diversity of approaches needed for initiating an Alpine-wide process of innovation with respect to CLD. Dealing with a broad transnational spectrum of development constraints and opportunities will provide a lot of starting points for similar activities in other regions.
The basic methodological approach of COMUNIS consists in a well-structured decomposition of the complex issue of CLD. The different components of the CLD strategy will be examined, inspired by studying best practice examples in all Alpine countries, adapted to the variant conditions and potentials of the different Alpine regions and tested for their opportunities and obstacles in selected test regions.
In all COMUNIS partner countries the CLD components will be discussed in a synchronized timetable by using the same or at least similar methods and inputs, aiming at developing a common understanding of key factors of CLD and best practices. After each step of discussion exchange between the test regions will take place and make sure that the outcomes from one pilot regions and the common know-how of all partners can be used as input for the subsequent discussion in the other test regions so that the CLD concept and methods will be improved collaboratively.