Reasearch projects



  • PlurAlps: Enhancing Capacities for a Pluralistic Alpine Space

The Alpine area is experiencing the combined challenges of an ageing population and new migration models. At the same time, opportunities for social innovation arise by creatively and openly handling diversity and by actively striving for pluralism. Mountainous and peripheral Alpine municipalities and regions are specifically concerned and need new approaches to develop a welcoming culture which is widely accepted. PlurAlps aims to support municipalities, SMEs and civil society with developing such a welcoming culture and thereby to increase the territorial attractiveness and social cohesion of Alpine areas.

The ten project partners will develop a social planning instrument for municipalities with concrete action plans for single municipalities, new offers and a toolbox for mainstreaming a welcoming culture and a white book with proposals to decision makers. Fondazione Franco Demarchi is leading is implementing a pilot activity for supporting welcoming culture in the Province of Trento.

The project started in November 2016 and will end in October 2019.

The Project budget (considering all partners) is 2.429.998 €, of which 2.065.498 € co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme.

Project Partners are: Regional Development Vorarlberg eGen (AT) - Regional Development Agency Upper Styria East Ltd (AT) - Auvergne Rhone-Alps Region (FR) - Community Network Alliance in the Alps (AidA) (DE) - European Academy of Bozen/Bolzano (EURAC) (IT) - Piedmont Region (IT) - Franco Demarchi Foundation (IT) - Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia (SI) - Lucerne University of Applied

Project website:


  • SPROUT, Same PROfiles for Unique Training in ECEC Services

Both the scientific community and the EU have lately been turning their attention to the need to invest in human capital from early childhood. European countries  seem all to have different and at times conflicting views on the organization of ECEC services and on the qualifications required for working with children in the early years.

In accordance with the first model, adopted in Europe’s Nordic countries, Latvia and Slovenia, infants, toddlers and children, no matter their age, are all educated and temporarily cared for in the same premises. Teachers, or educators, are in this case supported by other professionals. The second model, called “split model”, is an “age-based” model and it is widely spread in the rest of Europe (Italy included): the ECEC services consider two different age groups, 0 to 3 years old and 3 to 6 years old, and provide care and education for these two groups separately. ECEC services either refer to different central Departments or to local administrations. Lastly, the two models listed above are both rooted in some countries, such as Denmark, Greece, Spain, Cyprus and Lithuania.

 In Italy, there is a growing need for the integration of the two models, that would result in an improvement of educational opportunities for both age groups . As far as the professional profiles of ECEC educators are concerned, the requirement to enter the profession vary widely from country to country, but also within the same country, as it happens in Italy. All this leads to a lack of a proper assessment of the quality and quantity of continuing education. In some European countries the only requirement for starting a career in ECEC is a high school diploma,  while in other countries the completion of a post graduate pathway is also required. The situation is even more fragmented in Italy, where the access requirements differ from Region to Region and  there is no single, unambiguous definition of the role of early childhood educator. This situation affects both the workers and the quality of the services: workers are unable to move from one country to another (or even from one Region to another within the same country - Italy); the quality of the ECEC services varies significantly from  place to place, and there are no common guidelines on the continuing education of professionals. It is then time a debate on the profile requirements and the ongoing training of ECEC educators was launched within the EU . This research project is co funded by the EU program Erasmus* 2014-2020 and it arises from the common need to standardize initial ECEC training, at both national and European level, and to ensure ECEC professionals with a continuous training  modelled on the needs and opportunities of the job market and adaptable to any changes in the national laws.

Project partners: Sweducare, Baby Erasmus, ENAIP (National ACLI Institute for vocational training)

Project website:

Project abstract: SPROUT, Same PROfiles for Unique Training in ECEC service


  • IDECO (Improving transparency for Department Coordinators in long term care facilities)

This project aims to transfer to the Italian nursing homes the innovative head nurse training methods recently tested in Germany. The generic purpose of the IDECO project is to identify  the role and clarify the wealth of knowledge and competences a head nurse working in health care nursing homes is required to have. The research project is co funded by the EU. The IRSRS (Franco Demarchi Foundation) is part of this project in a partnership with other members from France, Germany and Romania.

Project partners: Kairos, (lead partner), Corazzin Foundation, Anziani E Non Solo, Tandem Plus, Habilitas, Upipa, ARET – ASP.

Project website:

Products: Manual for the implementation of the training system


  • FORTH: from non FORmal and informal learning to a flexible Training system for Healthcare workers

 The research project was co funded by the EU following to the call for proposal for a Life Long Learning Programme – EACEA/15/2011. The IRSRS was the lead partner in this project. The FORTH Project’s goal is to raise awareness of the problem related to the validation of skills gained through non- formal or informal training; it also encourages the development of new shared strategies on the whole national territory and a better coordination between training policies and job policies with reference to the role of healthcare workers (OSS).

Healthcare workers are the joining link between Health Services and Social Services: they attempt to meet the needs of the aging population and support families with psychophysical problems. For this reason, researchers have been paying special attention to the central role healthcare workers play in the whole welfare system. In addition to this, they have also been insisting on the need of a highly qualifying training and of a lifelong learning programme for the achievement and the maintenance of high quality services.

Project partners: National ENAIP, Con.Sud Società Consortile a.r.l., Kairos

Project website:

Products: Formazione&Lavoro, monographic issue 2/2012, Enaip, report “The validation of skills and the ongoing training of the healthcare worker”


  • NETCARITY - A NETworked multisensor system for elderly people: health CARe, safety and securITY in home environment

This project has been developed within the 6th  EU Framework Programme, priority n. 2 Information Society Technologies, Call FP6-2005-IST-6, related to Ambient Assisted Living: new technology infrastructures for people and their homes, helping older and fragile people to improve their sense of social inclusion, independence and safety while remaining in their familiar environment; enhancing communication with care givers and in home assistance. IRSRS (Franco Demarchi Foundation) was responsible for analysing the impact of the new technologies  within the elderly homes and pointing out the requirements for  the development of new technologies.

Project partners: international consortium

Project website:


Cristoforetti A., Gennai F., Rodeschini G., Home Sweet Home: The Emotional construction of places (2011), Journal of Aging Studies

Gennai F., Cristoforetti A., Larcher N., Leonardi C., Pianesi F., Zanzanaro M., Apprendere a coinvolgere: un'esperienza di ricerca partecipata per sviluppare soluzioni AAL, Forum Italiano AAL (2010) Forum italiano AAL

Cristoforetti A., Gennai F., Leonardi C., Mennecozzi C., Not E., Pianesi F., Zancanaro M., Knocking on Elders' Door: Investigating the Functional and Emotional Geography of their Domestic Space (2009) Boston, MA, USA.



The main purpose of this project is to understand to which extent can technology, WEB 2.0 in particular, create new opportunities and how it can influence the continuing education and engagement of the elderly. Europe is ageing progressively: older adults, aged 65 and over, represent one of the largest population group. The rate of growth of the elderly exceeds the growth rate of the European population as a whole. The phenomenon is subject matter of social, political, educational and economic analyses: over the last years, the information and communications technologies (ICTs) have started playing an important role within social policies aiming at promoting the “ageing in place” (That is living in one’s own home as long as possible) and the civic engagement of elderly (inspiring them to be more socially active) in the frame of a lifelong learning strategy. As a consequence of this, ICT technologies are becoming more and more common in elderly’s everyday life. Unfortunately, these technologies are rarely designed to fit the socio-psychological traits of elderly people and to meet their needs; for this reason they are unlikely to support lifelong learning for the third age and they are also unlikely to support elderly in the process of generating knowledge and giving an assessment of the dedicated welfare policies. There is no much information on which factors could facilitate an ICT based education in the schools for young people, and very little research has been conducted on the relationship between technology and elderly people and on how this could affect lifelong learning and active participation. The project was co funded by the Foundation Cassa di Risparmio di Trento e Rovereto and IRSRS (Franco Demarchi Foundation) was its proponent.

Project partners: Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science of the University of Trento (Disi); Con.Solida; Filo D’argento; Kaleidoscopio; Saidea

Products: Research report and leaflet “Life Memory” digital Storytelling lab.


  • MOUNTAIN LIKE: discovering young people’s connection with mountains

A lot has been said and written on the relationship  that tourists have with the mountains of Trentino, but no much has been said  on the relationship that young people from Trentino have with their own territory. This research project aims to fulfill this gap by bringing to light the reasons that prompt young people to go to the mountains, what appeals to them and what they expect  from their territory. At this point, it will then be possible to launch awareness campaigns and other actions for contrasting the depopulation and the progressive ageing of population of the mountain villages and for bringing the world of Alps closer to young people. A group of young people aged 15 to 24 and coming from both the Adige Valley and the surrounding mountainous areas will take part in the research project. The outcomes will be gathered and analyzed by mean of a specific survey and will result in an interpretive model depicting Trentino young’s habits associated with the mountains.  This way, it will be possible to understand their preferences and how they take advantage of what the mountains have to offer. The research targets will be hit by adopting a combination of different qualitative and quantitative methodologies that will shed some light on the social phenomena linked to the relationship between Trentino’s young people and the mountainous territory they belong to; not only: the combination of the two methodologies, through  the gathering of data representative of the reference population and of its peculiarities, will also allow to understand the real extent of these phenomena. The project will be structured in modules: each phase will have its own cognitive outputs. Each output will be effective but will also act as a new input for further research.

The project was co funded by the Accademia della Montagna (Mountain Academy) and by the Foundation Cassa di Risparmio Trento e Rovereto.

Products: Letizia Caporusso, Antonio Cristoforetti, Francesca Gennai, (2014) I giovani trentini e la montagna

Giovani in Trentino 2013 – Fifth biennial OGI report