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The Assembly’s EU Projects

    The Southern Regional Assembly participates as a project partner on six EU projects which are part-funded through Interreg Europe on a variety of topics relevant to the Southern Region, such as multi-modal transport, responsible innovation and research, and renewable energy.  Find out more about our projects below.


    The Southern Regional Assembly is the Irish partner in an Interreg Europe Project called Blue Green City.  The project started in August 2019 with a total budget of €1,348,909. It includes partners from France, Croatia, Germany, Hungry, Sweden, UK, Italy and Romania. The Lead Partner is the Metropolis Nice Côte d’Azur based in Nice, France.


    The project aims to promote green and blue infrastructures as an integral part of a local/regional natural heritage preservation strategy.

    Blue Green City seeks to increase awareness and knowledge of the concept of ecosystem services and of the value of green and blue infrastructure through project events such as workshops and training sessions. This will be accomplished through a process of interregional learning and strong collaboration in finding common solutions to common challenges posed by climate change, in particular by sharing experience and exchanging good practices.

    It is within this context that Blue Green City aligns with the EU Green Infrastructure Strategy and with the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy, referring to the important role that green and blue infrastructures play in protecting, conserving and enhancing the EU’s natural capital, by providing functional ecological connectivity between cities and peri-urban protected areas.


    • Development of 7 Action Plans
    • Organization of study visits, thematic seminars, training meetings and an Interregional peer-review workshop
    • Communication and dissemination events



    • The improvement of public funds allocation (structural funds mainly but also other funds) directly related to the main outputs (Action Plans)
    • The development of best practice recommendations for improving Policy instruments that promote the value of GBI as an integral part of a local or regional natural heritage preservation strategy
    • The improvement of the relation between the local citizens and its political representatives


    Project Contacts

    Bryan Riney Rob Fennelly & Dominic Walsh - Regional Planners, Southern Regional Assembly

    For more information click here


    The Southern Regional Assembly is the Irish Partner on COHES3ION, an interregional project which aims at improving the PERFORMANCE and IMPACT of SMART SPECIALISATION STRATEGY (S3) and linked ERDF Regional Operational Programmes, in terms of delivery of innovation by Research & Innovation (R&I) actors. This will be achieved through integration of the regional dimension into S3 governance and policy mix, contributing additionally to regional cohesion in terms of Growth and Jobs.

    The Southern Regional Assembly is partnered with 9 other regions in Spain, Italy, Romania, Germany, Sweden, Poland and Wales. The project started in August 2019 and will run for 3 years with a total budget of €1,874,632.

    The partners have varying levels of S3 maturity, areas of concern, and solutions, in the S3 GOVERNANCE & POLICY MIX field and are joining forces in their shared common challenge of aligning S3 to all territorial levels with 2 aims:

    1. SMART PRIORITIES: Identification of complementarities and synergies between the different levels, in terms of priority or niche opportunities, allowing for the farther specialization of specific territories (region, county, city, metropolis level);

    2. GOVERNANCE: Coordination of innovation support players promoting the mobilization of stakeholders and delivering innovation support services all along the territory.


    • Development of 8 Smart Territorial Maps
    • Identification and exchange of 20 good practices in 3 focus areas
    • Holding of 41 policy learning events with more than 240 stakeholders
    • Engagement of 8 Stakeholders Groups throughout the exchange and strategic thinking process
    • 8 Regional Action Plans, aiming at the improvement of regional S3 Governance and/or the development of new sub-regional S3
    • Issue of Recommendations for the mainstreaming of the territorial dimension into ERDF OPs, S3 and other regional policies

    COHES3ION will run for three years over two phases:

    • Phase 1: Aug 2019- Jul 2021: Sharing of knowledge and experience with local stakeholders and interregional partners to develop Regional Action Plans
    • Phase 2: Aug 2021-Jul 2022: Implementation and monitoring of Regional Action Plans

    The COHES3ION project is funded by the Interreg Europe Programme 2014-2020 through the European Regional Development Fund. 

    For further information please see COHES3ION project website. 

    Project Contact: 

    Karen Coughlan -  EU Projects Officer, Southern Regional Assembly
    Phone: +353 (0) 51 860 706




    Check out videos and newsletters for the MATCH-UP project here

    MATCH-UP's overall objective is to embed multimodal mobility strategies into the Project Partner's policy instruments to make low-carbon means of transport more competitive,more suitable, more comfortable than the private motorised vehicles.

    This will be done by:

    • defining design requirements for passenger-friendly interchanges modes
    • defining organisational,structural,technological requirements of transport services for managing and co-ordinating the interchange
    • developing tools and methods to assess different policies and design scenarios and to define the priority level of multimodal actions.

    How will MATCH-UP do it?

    The interregional and multilevel exchange of experience process will increase skills and knowledge among policy makers influencing their capacity to promote new initatives toward sustainable mobility. This will be done through staff exchanges,site visits and the involvement of local stakeholders.

    Why MATCH-UP?

    With increasing levels of air pollution, CO2 emissions and traffic congestion in the EU the development of sustainable multimodal mobility becomes one of the EU key challenges. Therefore, intergrated strategies are needed to enhance an effective modal interchange and a higher integration bewteen land use and transport planning processes.

    MATCH-UP focuses on the optimisation of the places,where people change bewteen transport modes,in paticular four main types of low-carbon means of transport, walking/cycling, rail transport, green vehicles, public transport.

    The project lasts 4 and a half years and the activities are divided into two phases:

    Phase 1: Jun 2018-Nov 2020, exchange of experience and development of the 4 action plans
    Phase 2:  Dec 2020-Nov 2022, Implementation and monitoring of the Action Plans

    Get Involved

    As territorial partners, the Southern Regional Assembly, Northeim, Funchal and Timisoara will work with local actors to draw action plans for boosting low-carbon multimodal mobility. They will form Stakeholders groups that will meet regularly in their territories.

    Project Contact:

    Rose Power - EU Projects Officer, Southern Regional Assembly
    Phone: +353 (0) 51 318106

    For further news and further information visit the MATCH-UP website


    The Southern Regional Assembly is the Irish partner in an Interreg Europe Project called FIRESPOL.  The project is finding new solutions to address the financial barriers currently impeding greater investment in the generation and storage of Renewable Energy Sources.

    The project, which commenced on the 1 June 2018, has a total budget of €1,325,220 and includes partners from Croatia, Germany, Latvia and Poland with the Lead Partner being the Extremadura Energy Agency, based in Badajoz, Spain.


    FIRESPOL aims to boost regionally-specialized and decentralized Renewable Energy Private Investment, by addressing the financial barriers currently stopping the investment in Renewable Energy Sources (RES).


    Although many European Member States have introduced measures to boost RES generation and storage, most are still below the expected RES 2020 targets, including Ireland. To try and achieve the RES targets, FIRESPOL is taking a new approach by looking specifically at unlocking the great potential of private investment by overcoming the financial, legal and administrative barriers in decentralized investment for both, RES generation and storage.

    How will FIRESPOL do it?

    This will be achieved under the remit of the current, and /or future Regional Operational Programmes by engaging with stakeholders, experts and the general public to create one action plan per region. This will lead to new regional policies and move away from the older model of non-repayable grants, and instead, focus on creating financial instruments (FI) or innovative grant schemes to reach RES targets.


    • Influence the design of 6 OPs in 6 EU regions, involving 4 Managing Authorities and 2 key energy actors
    • 212 people increasing professional capacity attending interregional events
    • 33 policy learning events with stakeholders 
    • 90 good practices identified and collected in a Guide of 15 Best Practices
    • 6 Regional Action Plans


    FIRESPOL will last for four years and is divided into two phases:

    • Phase 1: Jun 2018-May 2020: Sharing of RES and FI knowledge and experience with local stakeholders and interregional partners to develop Regional Action Plans
    • Phase 2: Jun 2020-May 2022: Implementation and monitoring of Regional Action Plans

    Project Contacts

    Karen Coughlan, EU Projects Officer, Southern Regional Assembly
    Phone: +353 (51) 860 706
    Email: kcoughlan@southernassembly.ie

    For further news and information visit the FIRESPOL website


    SRA MARIE project Regional Action Plan 2020 WEB

    The Southern Regional Assembly is the Irish partner on MARIE, an interregional project which aims to improve regional public policy that supports delivery of Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) in design, production & distribution of innovation in Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) sectors and models in ways that prevent negative social & environmental impact and contribute to better quality of life. 

    EU regions face common challenges of perceived complexity of the concept RRI and the means of application, lack of appropriate approaches for public authorities and lack of awareness over its potential impacts. 

    The Southern Regional Assembly joins 9 other partners from from Italy, Romania, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, and Germany on this €1.9m project. 

    MARIE uses interregional learning to deliver 3 types of RRI public support actions:

    • Quadruple helix: stakeholders from research, business, public authorities & civil society must work together throughout the life cycle of the R&I process
    • Open Innovation: enterprises using both internal & external ideas, partners & sources to encourage innovation, integrating their own knowledge with complementary capabilities & resources of others
    • Information & tools: events, training, information hubs, methodologies, standards, ICT tools to promote understanding of RRI and assist informed decision-making about its strategic application.

    Stakeholder engagement at regional and interregional level will be key to develop Regional Action Plans that result in improved policy instruments; more and better-targeted funding for RRI delivery; increased capacity among innovation actors; consolidated partnerships of quadruple helix innovation chain stakeholders.

    MARIE’s outputs include:

    • Interregional learning events (workshops, open sessions, study visits, feedback sessions), creation of and regular meetings of Local Stakeholder Groups;
    • RRI inventory of experiences, available online Good Practices and tools on policy support tools (Quadruple Helix / Open Innovation / Information & Tools);
    • A Knowledge Exchange Hub to share project material;
    • 10 Policy Good Practices related to successful RRI policy instruments for transfer as part of Regional Action Plans;
    • Increased capacity in design, implementation, and monitoring of policy instruments;
    • Regional Action Plans for policy actions in RRI delivery designed and implemented.

    Expected results:

    • Policy instruments improved due to insertion of RRI concept into innovation delivery system in S3 sectors;
    • More and better targeted public funding, thanks to better use of ERDF ROP; 
    • New / improved models for RRI delivery in S3 sectors that promote cooperation among regional innovation chain actors (Quadruple Helix), openness (Open Innovation) and RRI awareness and capacity (Information & Tools);
    • Greater awareness among regional stakeholders and wider public on the potential for regional innovation delivery policies to promote responsible growth.

    The MARIE project was approved under the Interreg Europe Programme 2014-2020 and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 

    For further information please see MARIE project website 

    Project Contact:

    Karen Coughlan, EU Projects Officer, Southern Regional Assembly
    Phone: +353 (0) 51 860 706
    Email: kcoughlan@southernassembly.ie 


    Check out press releases and newsletters for the EMPOWER project here

    The Southern Regional Assembly is a partner on EMPOWER, a project approved under the Interreg Europe Programme 2014-20 and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.  The project brings together 9 partners from Slovenia, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, France, Sweden, Poland, Germany and Spain, with a total budget of €2.23m.

    EMPOWER aims to identify good practices in the use of ICT systems for energy monitoring in medium-sized situations (different size and use of buildings, old, new or renovated), analyse critical success factors and how these tools are linked to financing of the refurbishments.

    EMPOWER innovatively addresses two urgent challenges in European cities and regions, the opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions from buildings using new technology and better management, and the need for more investment to meet the EU’s CO2 reduction targets.  The potential is considerable but progress is slow. Energy monitoring systems are available for individual houses and large schemes, but little exists for medium sized schemes.

    The project will improve regional policies by:

    • analysing partner plans through peer review;
    • identifying good practices that will improve these plans, studying them through Study Visits, importing good practices via special workshops and Regional Action Plans
    • developing cost-effective energy monitoring systems and using these in existing buildings and to attract private investment
    • building the capacity of all relevant public authorities including ERDF Managing Authorities

    EMPOWER aims to reduce carbon emissions by 10% by 2021 through the 9 policy instruments identified.  The project will:

    • implement investment, organisational and optimisation measures in the participating “test sites”
    • develop at least 2 cost effective energy monitoring systems

    Improved governance: partners will demonstrate that “good energy management is a part of good governance” ; monitored savings will reassure financial institutions about the rewards of long term energy management investment.

    For further information please visit EMPOWER project website 

    Project Contact: Rose Power, EU Projects Officer
    Phone: +353 (0) 51 318106
    Email: rpower@southernassembly.ie