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Join our Team - Clerical Officer Vacancy

Posted into: The Assembly

Join our Team - Clerical Officer Vacancy

The Southern Regional Assembly wishes to recruit a full-time permanent Clerical Officer.

The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is 4.00 pm on Thursday, 29th June 2017.

Application forms and further particulars can be downloaded from our recruitment section 

For any queries please email kcoughlan@southernassembly.ie or smurray@southernassembly.ie 

Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference, November 2017, Glasgow & Call for workshops, Atlantic Project Awards

Posted into: EU Programmes

Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference, November 2017, Glasgow & Call for workshops, Atlantic Project Awards

The 2017 Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference will take place in Glasgow on the 8th November. The conference will focus on topics related to Priority 4 of the Atlantic Action of Creating a Socially inclusive and sustainable model of regional development.  Prominence will also be given to the international dimension of the Atlantic Strategy embodied in the 2013 Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation and its potential support to the Blue Economy.

Free pre-registration for the Conference is now available at the following link:

http://www.atlanticstrategy.eu/en/news-and-events/news/4th-atlantic-stakeholder-platform-conference-8-november-2017-glasgow-scotland/participants-registration-form

The Call for Workshops is ongoing and the Atlantic stakeholder community are invited to submit, before 16 June 2017, their proposals on trends and themes in the areas of:

  • Fostering better knowledge of social challenges in the Atlantic Area; and
  • Preserving and promoting the Atlantic’s cultural heritage through diversification

Proposals can be submitted at the following link:

http://www.atlanticstrategy.eu/en/news-and-events/news/4th-atlantic-stakeholder-platform-conference-8-november-2017-glasgow-scotland/call-for-workshops-registration

The call for submissions for the 2nd Atlantic Projects Awards is also open applications with a deadline of 16 June 2017. Applications should demonstrate excellence in the areas of

  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Atlantic Marine and coastal environment
  • Accessibility and connectivity
  • Sustainability
  • Cooperation in the Atlantic Area.

Applications can be submitted online at the following link:

http://www.atlanticstrategy.eu/en/news-and-events/events/2nd-atlantic-project-awards-2017-form

An INFORMING network

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

Ms. Monica Doyle, EU Structural and Investment Funds Programmes, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Ms. Nicola Finnegan, ESF Managing Authority, Department of Education and Skills and Ms. Derville Brennan, Research and Communications Officer, Southern Regional Assembly.

An INFORMING network

A meeting of the INFORM and INIO networks took place in 30 May - 1 June 2017 in Pamhagen, Austria. The meeting brought together cohesion policy communicators from across the EU in a quest to share best practise, to plan new actions and campaigns. The forum offers an opportunity to learn or improve upon methods and means of telling the good news story of EU investments in projects at a regional and local level.

Cathaoirleach Elected

Cathaoirleach Elected

Cllr Thomas McEllistrim Fianna Fail, Kerry Co. Co. and Member of the Southern Regional Assembly, was elected cathaoirleach of the South-West Strategic Planning Area (SPA) Committee on Wednesday 17th May. The SPA is one of 3 SPA committees engaged in the process of developing of a Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region. Cllr. McEllistrim will serve as cathaoirleach for the SPA for a year. He succeeds Cllr. Gerard Murphy, who was the inaugural cathaoirleach of the South-West SPA and who served from April 2016 to May 2017. 

Open Day event at the Abbey Creative Quarter project site on Saturday 20th May #euinmyregion

L to R: Rita McGarvey, Southern Regional Assembly, Cllr. John Brennan, KilKenny Co. Co. and Southern Regional Assembly and an Open Days visitor.

Open Day event at the Abbey Creative Quarter project site on Saturday 20th May #euinmyregion

Kilkenny County Council held a highly successful Open Day event at the Abbey Creative Quarter project site on Saturday 20th May. The day was a mix of nostalgia and a sharing of the next steps for the development of the site.  This was an #euinmyRegion event.

The people of Kilkenny came out in their droves with 2,500 people attending all told. Many hundreds stopped by our stand to hear about the work of the Assembly and the investment under the European co-funded Southern and Eastern Regional Programme.

The day was filled with lots of choice and visitors had a chance to:

• Visit St Francis Abbey and see the City Walls including Evans Turrett (National Monuments)

• View the plans for the former Mayfair Ballroom, The Brewhouse and The Riverside Garden.

• Review the Masterplan for the former Smithwick’s Brewery site.

There was lively chat and entertainment with:

• KCLR Saturday Show Presenter Edward Hayden Outside Broadcast – Interview with Cllr. John Brennan and Derville Brennan, Southern Regional Assembly.

• The Aces Showband with special guests from ‘The Black Aces’ & The Uptown Band.

• Community Radio Kilkenny City - Interviews sharing Mayfair Memories and the recollections of the former Smithwick’s workers and Derville Brennan, talking about the EU programmes and the work of the Southern Regional Assembly.

The Abbey Creative Quarter Project is part funded by the ERDF

http://eufunds.gov.ie/objectives/sustainable-urban-development/

ABBEY CREATIVE QUARTER SITE OPEN DAY

ABBEY CREATIVE QUARTER SITE OPEN DAY

ABBEY CREATIVE QUARTER SITE OPEN DAY NOSTALGIA & NEXT STEPS

SATURDAY 20th MAY - 10.30am- 4.30pm| NO BOOKING NECESSARY

ALL ARE WELCOME

A #euinmyRegion event 

COME ALONG AND SEE THE SITE

• Visit St Francis Abbey and see the City Walls including Evans Turrett (National Monuments)

• View the plans for the former Mayfair Ballroom, The Brewhouse and The Riverside Garden.

• Review the Masterplan for the former Smithwick’s Brewery site.

THERE WILL BE LIVELY CHAT & ENTERTAINMENT WITH:

• KCLR Saturday Show Presenter Edward Hayden Outside Broadcast.

• The Aces Showband with special guests from ‘The Black Aces’ & The Uptown Band.

• Community Radio Kilkenny City - Interviews sharing Mayfair Memories and former Smithwick’s workers

recollections.

SHARE YOUR MEMORIES

Kilkenny County Council  need your help to gather any memorabilia from The Mayfair Ballroom & Smithwick’s Brewery. If you have any posters, photos, adverts, tickets etc. they would love to see them.

e-mail: brewerysiteopenday@kilkennycoco.ie or

phone / text: Marian Flannery, 087 6863 243

The Abbey Creative Quarter Project is part funded by the ERDF

http://eufunds.gov.ie/objectives/sustainable-urban-development/

Minister Donohoe launches new website to promote the benefit to Ireland of EU funding

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, T.D., at the launch with officials from the Southern Regional Assembly and some of the Government Departments involved. Image Credit: Claire Godkin, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Minister Donohoe launches new website to promote the benefit to Ireland of EU funding

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., today launched a new website www.eufunds.gov.ie to publicise the positive impact of European Structural and Investment Funds in Ireland.

Over the 2014-2020 programming period, EU Structural and Investment funds will be used, together with Irish Government and Local Authority funding, to invest €6.2 billion in Ireland. The investment includes initiatives in education, research and job creation to help create a sustainable and healthy economy across the whole of the country. The funds are also spent on protecting our environment, and on supporting rural and coastal communities.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Donohoe commented: “If we reflect on the lessons learnt from major political events in Europe in the past year, a key learning point for all of us here today is that we need to rise to the challenge of communicating more effectively about the very positive impact which EU membership has on all our lives, in every corner of Ireland. It is perhaps a little ironic, in an age of social media and instant messaging, that this very important message is in danger of getting lost.”

The website includes high level information on funding and expenditure under each of the Operational Programmes. However, it also contains a number of very personal stories such as participants on Garda Youth Diversion Projects, or family business start-ups with assistance from Local Enterprise Boards. The website also gives examples of projects countrywide, such as the rollout of broadband, research programmes underway in Universities, and programmes to assist farming and fishing communities. The website is well illustrated with high quality photographic images and designed with the citizen in mind. It is easy to navigate with quick links for individuals and organisations who would like to research how to apply for EU funding.

The launch was attended by a number of organisations involved in the implementation of EU Programmes together with EU officials including the Head of Information and Communications in the European Commission Representation in Ireland.

Minister Donohoe spoke about Brexit at the launch. He commented that: “Ireland has been a proud member of the European Union since 1972” and he reminded the audience that EU membership had created valuable opportunities for Irish business, including unhindered access to a market of nearly 500 million people. Acknowledging the particular challenges which Ireland will face after Brexit, the Minister stated: “Given our close historical and economic ties with Britain, and as the only Member State with a physical border, Brexit represents a more significant challenge for Ireland than any other EU Member State. This has been clearly acknowledged in the UK’s formal Article 50 letter and in the EUs draft guidelines for Brexit negotiations.”

The National Website for the European Structural and Investment Funds is available on www.eufunds.gov.ie

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

The EU Policy Unit in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) co-ordinates the management of the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds in Ireland and provides a co-ordination and support service to other Government Departments and the Regional Managing Authorities implementing national and regional Programmes which are co-financed by the Irish Government and the ESI Funds. These Programmes are implemented in seven-year programming periods. The current Programmes cover the seven-year programming period from 2014 to 2020 inclusive.

European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds 2014-2020

The main policy aim of the ESI Funds is to support economic development across all EU countries in line with the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy. The main ESIF for which Ireland is eligible are:

  • the European Social Fund (ESF);
  • the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF);
  • the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD);
  • European Maritime & Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

In addition to the ESIF, the Fund for European Aid for the most Deprived (FEAD) is designed to help the most deprived people by providing support to help people out of poverty.

Overall there will be €6.2 billion of expenditure in the 2014-2020 round of funds, which is co-financed by the EU and by the Irish Taxpayer. The funding will be used as follows:

  • Providing training places for unemployed people and job-seekers, with particular programmes for younger unemployed people;
  • Assisting disadvantaged, and disabled students to access University;
  • Supporting Adult Literacy programmes;
  • Assisting young people in difficulty, through Garda Youth Diversion Projects;
  • Assisting vulnerable members of Irish society by supporting the efforts of Irish food aid charities;
  • Supporting fishing communities around the country, assisting in job creation and helping these communities to diversify their economies;
  • Providing high speed broadband to over 300,000 homes across Ireland;
  • Supporting microenterprises in every county of Ireland to create over 20,500 new jobs;
  • Funding Research Programmes which underpin collaborative research between our Universities and Multinationals, creating future clusters of excellence;
  • Protecting the environment and natural habitat;
  • Investing both in physical assets and in knowledge transfer;
  • Promoting animal welfare and food traceability.

Interreg North West Europe Approvals

Posted into: EU Programmes

Interreg North West Europe Approvals

The Interreg NWE Monitoring Committee approved seven more projects at its meeting in Paris in early March.  Ten Irish organisations from a variety of sectors are participating in three of the approvals.

The newly approved projects will cover a variety of issues which are common to the NWE area under the three programme priorities of Innovation, Low Carbon, and Resource Efficiency. 

For Ireland, these will cover the health sector, renewable energy for communities and the use of straw in buildings as insulant.  More details will be announced once contracts are finalised.

This brings the number of projects approved to 24, with approximately 22% of the programme budget for projects committed to date.  Full details of approved projects can be viewed here.

There is still plenty of opportunity for potential applicants to secure funding - Call 5 will close on 24th May, and Call 6 will be launched later this year.

For further information on Interreg NWE in Ireland, contact:

Siobhán Rudden, National Contact Point

Email: srudden@southernassembly.ie

Tel: +353 51 860700

€1.4 million Irish Sea Portal Project launched

Posted into: EU Programmes

€1.4 million Irish Sea Portal Project launched

The Irish Sea Portal Project was lauched on Monday 20th March 2017 by BIM, Ireland’s seafood development agency and the Centre for Applied Marine Sciences at Bangor University, Wales. This €1.4 million pilot project is to create a portal that will bring together scientific research in the Irish Sea from both Ireland and Wales.  This collaborative project has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Wales-Ireland Cooperation and will focus on information of particular relevance to the mussel producing sector in the pilot phase.  It is hoped that the successful trialling of the pilot project will pave the way for the sharing of valuable data across the board in relation to the Irish Sea. 

The economic benefit of aquaculture and fisheries in the Irish Sea is very important to both the Irish and Welsh economies, valued at €254 million in total (€58 million Welsh and €196 million Irish). 

Announcing the launch of the project at a mussel workshop in Wexford, Shelagh Malham, from the Centre for Applied Marine Sciences at Bangor University, Wales  said, “Working with our Irish counterparts gives us the opportunity to manage common valuable resources between our shores, and to improve our understanding of the processes involved.”

Also speaking at the launch of the project, Ben Dallaghan, GIS Office, BIM said, ‘Seed mussel and other shellfish in the Irish Sea are a shared resource and in order to manage them effectively research effort should be conducted using geographic units relevant to the species in question and not country borders. Any data and scientific conclusions leading to a better understanding of seed settlement patterns would enormously benefit the shellfish industries in both Ireland and Wales and BIM are delighted to collaborate with Bangor University on this project’.

The Pilot will provide industry with new and more complete data sets to considerably add value to their business.   

Launch of EU funded project CHERISH Thursday 23rd March 2017

Posted into: EU Programmes

Launch of EU funded project CHERISH Thursday 23rd March 2017

The CHERISH project, funded through the Ireland-Wales Co-Operation Programme 2014-2020, will be officially launched on Thursday 23rd March by the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Discovery Programme: Centre for Archaeology and Innovation Ireland.  

The 5 year project which began on January1st 2017 will receive more than €4m of EU funds through the Ireland Wales Co-operation Programme 2014-2020, Priority Axis 2 – Adaptation of the Irish Sea and Coastal Communities to Climate Change.

CHERISH (Climate, Heritage and Environments of Reefs, Islands and Headlands) – ‘Climate Change and Coastal Heritage’ – will support specialist organisations in Wales and Ireland to employ cutting-edge technologies to analyse coastal and island archaeology and maritime heritage sites most affected by climate change, coastal erosion, storminess and rising sea levels.  The key objective of CHERISH is to increase knowledge and understanding of the impacts (past, present and near-future) of climate change, increased storminess and extreme weather events on the cultural heritage of reefs, islands and headlands of the Welsh and Irish regional seas. The project will target data and management knowledge gaps, employing innovative techniques to discover, assess, map and monitor heritage assets on land and beneath the sea, widely disseminating the results and developing best practice for future climate change adaptation.

Among some of the tourism and heritage sites under study in Ireland are the Saltee Islands (Wexford), Glascarrig Motte (Co. Wexford), Skellig Michael (Co. Kerry) and the  Skerries Islands (Co. Dublin).

Irish Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, T.D. said:

“This project is an excellent example of how new technologies can be used to address emerging issues such as climate change and its impact on our shared heritage and marine environment. It also underscores the importance of cross-border cooperation and support from the European Union for such cooperation.”

For more detailed information on the project please visit the Ireland-Wales website  

£3.4m Welsh and Irish coastal erosion study begins.

Southern Regional Assembly elects Cathaoirleach for remaining 2017 term.

Posted into: The AssemblyGeneral

Mr. Stephen Blair, Director of the Southern Regional Assembly pictured with the newly elected Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Mattie Ryan receiving the Chain of Office from the previous Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Michael O’Shea.

Southern Regional Assembly elects Cathaoirleach for remaining 2017 term.

Cllr. Mattie Ryan was first elected to the Southern Regional Assembly in 1999 having previously been a member of the Mid-West Regional Authority since 1994.  As a member of the Fianna Fáil party, Cllr. Ryan represents Tipperary County Council on the Assembly.  Cllr. Ryan has been a member of Tipperary County Council since 1991, representing the Nenagh electoral district. 

Cllr. Ryan is a retired farmer and full-time public representative.  He is married to Carmel and they have two daughters and has one son. 

Cllr. Ryan has a particular interest in rural development, rural and village sewerage schemes and working with people with disabilities and is committed to further developing and promoting these areas as part of his work at regional level.   He is also a member of the Rural Water Monitoring Committee.

Cllr. Ryan looks forward to serving as Cathaoirleach of the Southern Regional Assembly for the remaining term to July 2017.

For information on this press release please contact:

Sharon Murray, Programme Executive - Corporate Affairs, Southern Regional Assembly

Tel: 051-860700 / Mobile: 087-6460938 or email: smurray@southernassembly.ie

Note to Editor:

The Southern Regional Assembly, established on 1st January 2015, is one of three Assemblies in the Republic of Ireland following on from the dissolution of the BMW and Southern & Eastern Regional Assemblies.  The former 8 regional authorities and 2 regional assemblies were consolidated under the Government’s regional reform process under the Local Government Reform Act 2014 to form the Southern, the Northern and Western and the Eastern and Midland regions.

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2017

Posted into: The AssemblyGeneral

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2017

Article placed in the Waterford News & Star for International Womens Day 08th March 2017

Established in January 2015, the Southern Regional Assembly (SRA) is one of three assemblies in Ireland. The region includes all of the counties in Munster plus the south-east counties of Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford. The Assembly has many responsibilities including the management of European co-funded programmes and economic and spatial planning for the region. We act as the national contact point for a number of EU-funded transnational programmes.

Essentially, our role in relation to European programmes, is to make sure the moneys given in grant aid to the projects or the small businesses are spent in accordance with the rules laid down by the European Commission for the programme.

Among our responsibilities is the formulation of the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies (RSES). This is a new responsibility; it will be the first time that such strategies are to be devised at a regional level in Ireland. The members of the Assembly will play a key role in the development of the strategy for the Southern region.

A part of our role is to promote effectiveness in local government and public services in the region to aid transparency between plans, policies and proposals of these organisations.

The Assembly has a predominantly female staff, leading and supporting across these key roles. For detail on the individual roles please check out the staff section on our website www.southernassembly.ie.

In recognition of the energy, the dedication and the creativity brought to the workplace, on International Women’s Day, we are acknowledging the valuable role each of these 16 women play in conducting the business of the Assembly:

Breda Curran; Breda White; Caitriona Phelan; Derville Brennan; Emma Doran; Eve Hayden; Karen Coughlan; Marie Harnett; Edel Hunt; Oonagh Messette; Orla Kelly; Rita McGarvey; Sharon Murray; Sonja Maurus; Siobhán Rudden; Yvonne Cooney.

On this day we would like to acknowledge the female members of the Assembly too, Cllr. Deirdre Forde, Cork County Council; Cllr. Deirdre O’Brien, Cork County Council; Cllr. Dianne Nolan, Kerry County Council and Cllr. Mary Shields, Cork City Council.

To find out more about the SRA and its work contact the office at Assembly House, 30 O’Connell Street, on (051) 860700 or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@Southernassembl). 

Notification of Next Southern Regional Assembly Meeting 10/03/2017

Posted into: The Assembly

Notification of Next Southern Regional Assembly Meeting 10/03/2017

The Agenda for the Southern Regional Assembly meeting scheduled for the 10th March 2017 at 12:00 is as follows:

  1. Election of Cathaoirleach of the Assembly who will hold office until the Annual Meeting on 14th July 2017
  2. Adoption of Minutes of Meeting held on 10th February (attached)
  3. Matters arising
  4. National Planning Framework Launch – update
  5. AIR Training Event for Assembly Members – 26th May, 2017
  6. Any other business
  7. Confirm date for next meeting

     Break for Lunch

  1. Members Workshop (from 2pm – 4pm) on Assembly Submission to Department on NPF Consultation Paper

Are Irish people up to speed on EU Funds?

L to R: Ms Claire O'Rourke, Amárach Research; Cllr. Damien Geoghegan, Southern Regional Assembly; Mr. Tim Hayes, EC Representation in Ireland; Mr. Rob Mooney, Amárach Research; Cllr. Séamus Coyle, Leas-Cathaoirleach, Northern and Western Regional Assembly.

Are Irish people up to speed on EU Funds?

A survey commissioned by the Northern and Western Regional Assembly (NWRA) and the Southern Regional Assembly (SRA) shows they are aware of EU funded programmes. The Assemblies both manage European funded regional programmes and are interested to know the level of awareness of the funds in their region. On our behalf, Amárach Research, undertook a nationally representative face-to-face public awareness and attitudes survey of 1,200 adults in 2016.


Among a range of matters the study was most interested to measure the public's awareness and knowledge of Ireland’s European co-funded Programmes and the projects assisted.
Nearly 2/3 or 64% of respondents were aware of programmes co-funded by Europe. They felt that European programmes were of benefit to themselves as individuals, their local town/area, as well as to the people of Ireland in general.


Interestingly at a regional level there was no discernible difference in awareness however differences were seen within the regions. Those in the Border region had the highest levels of awareness of the programmes (70%). A much lower proportion of awareness was found among respondents in the Mid-East Region (53%).

When participants were asked about the importance of specific areas for investment, employment was a high priority, along with water quality, school facilities, training initiatives, business support, social inclusion, childcare, public transport and energy efficiency.

The survey report was launched at the Partnership Agreement Monitoring Committee on Monday 12th December in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER), Dublin.

Public Attitudes and Awareness Survey report available for download here.


Media contacts: Derville Brennan, Programme Executive, Research and Communications, Southern Regional Assembly m. + 353 87 7793755; e. dbrennan@southernassembly.ie
 

What do we do?

  • Manage and monitor EU programmes of Assistance
  • Co-ordinate, promote and support strategic planning and sustainable development of the region
  • Promote effective local government and public services in the region, in conjunction with the National Oversight and Audit Commission
  • Prepare and oversee the implementation of Regional Spatial & Economic Strategies (RSES)

EU LIFE Programme 2014-2020 Information Day – Friday 17th February 2017

Posted into: EU Programmes

EU LIFE Programme 2014-2020 Information Day – Friday 17th February 2017

EU LIFE Programme 2014-2020


Information Day – Friday 17th February 2017

Location:  Chartered Accountants House, 47 – 49 Pearse St, Dublin 2, D02 YN40 Ireland.
Time: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm (registration at 9:30am).


Of interest to potential project applicants from Ireland and Northern Ireland.


Event Summary
The EU LIFE Programme provides funding opportunities for the support of Environment, Nature Conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU with a budget of €3.4 billion for 2014-2020.  Awards are typically in the range of one to five million euro for projects with a duration of three to five years.  Maximum EU co-financing rates of 60/75% apply depending on the project topic.
The European Commission’s 2017 call for applications is due to open in mid-May, and is expected to reflect an increased emphasis on transnational projects.


The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, as National Contact Point in Ireland, invites you to this Information day, as a means of promoting the LIFE programme and assisting potential applicants in Ireland and Northern Ireland.


Focus on the day will include:
• providing potential applicants with the opportunity to hear about a successful Irish project and avail of that project’s team’s experience of the LIFE programme;
• a Workshop “Play your LIFE cards right” – interactive session focused on eligibility/LIFE Programme priorities – facilitated by JNCC (UK LIFE National Contact Point); and
• presentations on practical issues such as tips on preparing and writing a LIFE Programme application.


Registration
Places are limited and priority will be given to groups with definite plans to submit a LIFE Programme application this year or in subsequent calls.
If you are interested in attending, please let us know by email at LIFE@dccae.gov.ie

Please see further information here.

Four months after adoption: the Urban Agenda for the EU is moving fast forward

Posted into: The Assembly

Four months after adoption: the Urban Agenda for the EU is moving fast forward

The European Commission launches three new initiatives to help push forward the Urban Agenda for the EU by facilitating more coordination, coherence and synergies between urban policies and data.
The online "One-stop shop" portal on EU urban policies responds to the needs expressed by cities in the context of the Urban Agenda to have complete, reliable and updated information in a simple and accessible form on the key EU urban policies and initiatives having an impact on cities. The portal centralises all information on the priority themes of the Urban Agenda for the EU, such as on air quality, climate adaptation, energy transition and urban mobility.

The Commission State of European Cities Report issued together with UN-Habitat supports the Urban Agenda by assessing the performance of European cities with regards to the priority themes: jobs and skills, poverty, climate-resilient cities or low-carbon economy. The analysis will enable the exchanges and learning between mayors by comparing the performance of their cities, and by providing concrete project examples.

The Urban Data Platform, which will be linked to the "one-stop shop", provides a single access point to common indicators on the status and trends of more than 600 urban areas in Europe. This will facilitate urban practitioners to compare data, benchmark, and monitor, which is one of the key aims of the Urban Agenda.

This comes at the right timing, as the Urban Agenda for the EU is now moving fast forward some months after the adoption of the Amsterdam Pact by the Council. At the heart of it are the 12 partnerships, where relevant stakeholders work together on an equal basis to find common solutions to 12 identified urban challenges.

By January 2017, four new partnerships will start in addition to the already existing ones: circular economy coordinated by Oslo; digital transition coordinated by Estonia, Oulo (Finland) and Sofia (BG); urban mobility coordinated by Czech Republic and Karlsruhe and jobs and skills coordinated by Romania, Rotterdam (NL) and Jelgava (LV). 

The work on the Urban Agenda for the EU will be presented next week in Quito during the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), taking place from 17 to 20 October. It will also feed into the reflections on the establishment of a global "New Urban Agenda", which is a renewed political commitment for sustainable urban development, addressing poverty as well as the key urban challenges.
Those initiatives are being announced on the occasion of the European Week of Regions and Cities, which takes place from 10 to 13 October 2016 in Brussels. Carrying on from last year's OPEN URBAN DAY, the European Week of Regions and Cities has provided a platform for practitioners, officials and experts from all over Europe interested in the urban dimension of EU policies. This year there are 20 workshops and 3 site visits on urban matters getting more than 1000 urban practitioners together, ending with the Political Event on the Urban Agenda for the EU on Wednesday 12 October.

For more information please see:

Press Release
One-stop shop on urban matters
Urban Data Platform
State of European Cities Report
UNHabitat for a better urban future
Pact of Amsterdam & Working Programme
Infographic on the Urban Agenda for the EU
European Week of Regions and Cities
• Twitter: @EU_Regional  @CorinaCretuEU #EUUrbanAgenda

Winners of the Regiostars Awards 2016 announced

Posted into: The Assembly

Winners of the Regiostars Awards 2016 announced

On Tuesday 11th October, the European Commission's yearly RegioStars Awards ceremony took place in Brussels, as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities. 

This yearly EU-wide competition puts the spotlight on the most innovative and inspiring EU funded projects and illustrates, through concrete real-life examples, how Cohesion Policy supports the creation of economic growth and jobs.  In addition to bringing recognition to the selected projects, it aims at fostering the exchange of best practices between Cohesion Policy practitioners as well as inspiring other project managers and managing authorities.

Out of 104 applications, an independent expert jury first shortlisted 23 finalists.  In a second stage, five winning projects were selected to receive the prestigious RegioStars trophy from the hands of EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Creţu and the RegioStars Jury President, MEP Lambert van Nistelrooij. In addition, this year, the project Circular Ocean received a "Public Choice Award", based on the votes from attendees to the event. This year, the submitted projects competed in 5 categories: support to businesses operating in the global economy, social inclusion strategies, the circular economy, sustainable urban development and finally, a new category dedicated to projects looking at innovative solutions to manage EU funds more effectively.

The winners:
CATEGORY 1SMART GROWTH: Emerging opportunities in the global economy
COPENHAGEN CLEANTECH CLUSTER (Denmark / Capital Region of Denmark): Project Fiche - Video

CATEGORY 2 - SUSTAINABLE GROWTH - Circular Economy
CENTRO BIO: BIO-INDUSTRIES, BIOREFINERIES AND BIOPRODUCTS (Portugal / Centro): Project Fiche - Video

CATEGORY 3 - INCLUSIVE GROWTH: Integrated living - building inclusive and non-segregated communities
ACADEMY OF SOCIAL ECONOMY (Poland / Malopolska Region)  Video

CATEGORY 4 - CITYSTAR: Sustainable urban development
REVITALIZATION OF LOWER TOWN DISTRICT IN GDANSK (Poland / Pomorskie Voivodeship) Project Fiche - Video

CATEGORY 5 - EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT: Making a difference by managing differently
TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE JONVABALIAI (FIREFLIES) (Lithuania) Video

For more information see:

RegioStars Awards 2016

Brochure presenting the 2016 RegioStars Awards finalists

Strong Irish presence in Interreg North West Europe approvals

Posted into: The Assembly

Strong Irish presence in Interreg North West Europe approvals

Ireland has secured funding under 5 of the 8 applications which were approved by the Interreg North West Europe Monitoring Committee at their meeting in Germany on 13-15 September.

There are 7 Irish partners and one Lead Partner in the approved projects which will receive 60% of their project costs to roll out activities with their European counterparts under the three Programme Priorities of Innovation, Low Carbon and Resource & Materials Efficiency. 

At their meeting, the Monitoring Committee considered 13 Step 2 applications and approved 8. 

The Programme Secretariat in France will have finalised contracts with the approved projects by mid-November after which full details of partners and budgets will be available. 

The Southern Regional Assembly represents the Member State on the NWE Monitoring Committee and houses the Programme’s National Contact Point, Siobhán Rudden.  For further information on the Programme please contact Siobhan Rudden on srudden@southernassembly.ie at the Assembly or see the Interreg NWE website

Step 2 Approvals: approvals with an astrix have Irish partners

Project Acronym Project
Name
Priority Lead Partner 
AFTB* Towards Adhesive Free Timber Buildings 3 UK
Food Heroes* Food Heroes: Improving resource efficiency through designing innovative solutions to reduce food waste 3 NL
HeatNet NWE* HeatNet: Transition strategies for delivering low carbon district heat 2 (SO2) IE
PHOSforYOU* PHOSphorus Recovery from waste water FOR YOUr Life 3 DE
Re-DIRECT* REgional Development and Integration of unused biomass wastes as REsources for Circular products and economic Transformation 3 DE
ACE_Retrofitting Accelerating Condominium Energy Retrofitting 2.2 FR
QCAP Real-time “interactive storage” quality control in fresh agri-products 1 NL
Fibersort Market demonstration and validation of Fibersort technology 3 NL

Ennis County Library project stakeholder consultation begins

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Representatives of the Clare County Library service and KWA (Keith Williams Architects) pictured in Áras Contae an Chláir at the commencement of the stakeholder consultation stage of the County Library project.

Ennis County Library project stakeholder consultation begins
Recently appointed consultants for the design and delivery of the new County Library in Ennis visited Áras Contae an Chláir 22nd July to meet with representatives of the Municipal District of Ennis and key stakeholders in the flagship project. 

Clare County Council hosted the meeting which represents the commencement of the stakeholder consultation stage of the project. The process of consultation will continue up to the final design later in 2016.

The proposed €8.6m project will see the new library building developed at the site of the existing Glór facility on The Causeway Link providing a new County Library for Clare to replace the existing De Valera Library on Harmony Row. 

Earlier this year, Clare County Council was allocated a €3 million capital grant towards the cost of the proposed project under the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government’s Capital Funding Programme for Public Libraries. An additional €1 million in EU funding was also allocated from the Southern Regional Assembly’s Operational Programme 2014-2020. Clare County Council will fund the balance of €4.6 million of the overall cost of the project.

Helen Walsh, County Librarian commented: “It is great to begin the design process where all those with an interest in the new County Library project can voice their opinions. Today’s consultation is one of many which will be held over the next few weeks as we advance towards the sketch design stage of the project”

For futher detail please visit Clare County Council webite 

Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2016

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Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2016

The Regional Innovation Scoreboard is a regional extension of the European Innovation Scoreboard, assessing the innovation performance of European regions on a limited number of indicators. The RIS 2016 covers 214 regions across 22 EU countries and Norway. In addition, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Malta are included at country level.

Ireland is a Strong Innovator. Irish innovation performance increased until 2012. Performance declined strongly in 2013, after which it increased again in 2014-2015. Performance relative to the EU shows a similar trend, with a significant drop in 2013, and increased relative performance in 2014-2015.

Ireland’s relative strengths are in Innovators and Human resources. Ireland performs well above the EU average on License and patent revenues from abroad and International scientific co-publications. Other strong performing indicators are Exports of knowledge-intensive services and Employment in knowledge-intensive activities. Relative weaknesses are in Community designs, Non-R&D innovation expenditures, and R&D expenditures in the public sector.


Performance has increased considerably in License and patent revenues from abroad (29%), International scientific co-publications (7.3%), and New doctorate graduates (6.3%). Performance has declined most in Non-R&D innovation expenditures (-12%) and Venture capital investments (-8.8%).

The Southern and Eastern (S&E) Region and the Border, Midland and Western (BMW) region are both categorised as Strong Innovators. The S&E Region was previously categorised an Innovation Leader.
Innovation performance has decreased (-7%) in the S&E region compared to two years ago. The relative strengths of the region compared to the EU28 are in SMEs with marketing or organisational innovations, Tertiary education attainment, and SMEs innovating in-house and Exports of medium and high tech products. Relative weaknesses are in Public R&D expenditures, Non-R&D innovation expenditures, and EPO patent applications.

The region of the BMW is also categorised as a Strong Innovator. Innovation performance has decreased (-8%) compared to two years ago. The relative strengths of the BMW region compared to the EU28 are in SMEs with marketing or organisational innovations, SMEs innovating in-house, and Tertiary education attainment and Exports of medium and high tech products. Similar relative weaknesses as observed in the S&E region are Public R&D expenditures and Non-R&D innovation expenditures with Sales of new product innovations also identified.

General Findings
The most innovative regions are located in the most innovative countries, although regional innovative hubs exist in moderate innovator countries: Piemonte and Friuli-Venezia Giulia in Italy, País Vasco in Spain and Bratislavský kraj in Slovakia.
Specialisation in Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) increases regional innovation performance.

In Belgium, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands and Romania, performance declined in all regions, and in all other countries except Bulgaria, performance declined for at least one out of two regions. Bulgaria is the only country where performance increased for all regions.

Business R&D expenditures are highest in several regions of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden), Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Slovenia, Southern France and the Paris region, Southern Netherlands, large parts of Germany, much of the Czech Republic, and Southern UK.

Regions with a high share of non-R&D innovation expenditures in SMEs are distributed across the whole of Europe, with at least one region performing at least 20% above the EU average in 15countries. The share of non-R&D innovation expenditures is low in Bulgaria, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Romania, and Spain, where all regions, except Sud-Est (RO22), perform (well) below the EU average.

Performance in the share of SMEs that introduced a marketing or organisational innovation is to some extent determined by the performance of the country. Regions where performance is at least 20% above the EU average are mostly found in Austria, France, Germany (all regions except Saarland (DEC0)), Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal (all regions except Norte (PT11)), and the UK.

Innovation excellence is concentrated in relatively few areas in Europe. All 36 EU regional Innovation Leaders are located in seven EU Member States: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

For most countries, there is limited variation in regional performance groups, suggesting that regional and national innovation performances are linked. However, a stronger variation in some (mainly larger) countries also highlights regional specificities and the existence of regional 'pockets of excellence'.
In Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland and Romania, all regions are in the same performance group, and in 12 countries, there are two different regional performance groups. Only in four larger Member States (France, Germany, Italy and Spain), there are three different regional performance groups.


RIS methodology
The RIS 2016 replicates the European Innovation Scoreboard methodology used at national level to measure performance of regional systems of innovation. The RIS 2016 uses data for 12 of the 25 indicators used in the EIS for 214 regions across Europe. Compared to the RIS 2014, the number of indicators has increased thanks to the availability of regional data on exports of medium-high and high technology-intensive manufacturing industries. As both Germany and Greece are now covered at the NUTS2 level, the nominal number of regions covered has increased as well.


Data Availability
There are large differences of regional data availability across countries. Data availability is very good for the whole nine-year period at 95% or more for seven countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia), good (below 95% but above average) for eight countries (Austria, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Sweden), below average for three countries (Croatia, Norway and the UK) and far below average for five countries (Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland and the Netherlands).

Text, maps and graphs extracted from the Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2016.

Overview of RIS

 

Southern Regional Assembly sets out its Plan

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L to R: Mr. Tim Lucey, Chief Executive; Mr. Stephen Blair, Director; Cllr. Michael O’Shea, Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Seamus Cosaí Fitzgerald, Leas-Cathaoirleach of the Southern Regional Assembly and Mr. Michael Lynch, Assistant Director pictured at the launch of the Corporate Plan 2015-2019.

Southern Regional Assembly sets out its Plan

The plan sets out how the Assembly will address and deliver on the range of functions and responsibilities devolved to it. The Southern Regional Assembly emerged from the Government’s “Putting People First” policy paper and the subsequent Local Government Reform Act 2014. The Act changed the landscape of regional governance in Ireland, establishing three new Regional Assemblies in place of the existing two Regional Assemblies and eight Regional Authorities.

The function of regional planning was transferred from the Regional Authorities to the new Regional Assemblies and this function was expanded to include both spatial planning and economic development reflecting an enhanced role for regional government in Ireland.

Welcoming the Plan the newly elected Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Michael O’Shea remarked “the Assembly is embarking on an exciting process of formulating a Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy. The strategy will be informed by the newly emerging National Planning Framework. Devolving the development of this far reaching strategy to the Assembly is significant. I believe it recognises the need for strong regional governance to ensure the needs of the region are addressed”.

Speaking at the launch of the plan the outgoing Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Damien Geoghegan said “the Assembly working in close collaboration with our constituent Local Authorities and other public bodies is committed to implementing the goals and objectives set out in this document for the betterment of the region and its people”.
The Plan identifies the specific objectives to be achieved by the Assembly over the next five years and sets out how its statutory functions are to be discharged and implemented.
In addition to its responsibility to develop the regional economic and spatial strategy the Assembly coordinates actions to support effectiveness in Local Government and public services. The Assembly continues in its responsibility for the management of European co-funded regional programmes. For a number of EU-funded transnational programmes the Assembly acts as the national contact point and provides a range of supports. 

For further information please contact Derville Brennan, Programme Executive, Research and Communications, t. + 353 (0) 87 7793755, e. dbrennan@southernassembly.ie

S&E Regional Operational Programme helps fund the new County Library in Ennis

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Pictured in Áras Contae an Chláir at the contract signing marking the appointment of consultants for the design and delivery of the flagship County Library project in Ennis FRONT L-R: Gerard Dollard (Interim Chief Executive, Clare County Council); Cllr. James Breen (Cathaoirleach, Clare County Council); Keith Williams (Keith Williams Architects Ltd); and Cllr. Ann Norton (Mayor of Ennis). BACK L-R: Siobhan Mulcahy (Clare Arts Officer); Liz Kelly (Director, glór); Helen Walsh (Clare County Librarian); Ruth Hurley (Senior Executive Architect, Clare County Council); and Niall Barrett (Director of Service, Finance, Clare County Council).

S&E Regional Operational Programme helps fund the new County Library in Ennis

The proposed €8.6m project will see the new library building developed at the site of the existing Glór facility on The Causeway Link providing a new County Library for Clare to replace the existing De Valera Library on Harmony Row.

A full design team has been appointed to progress the design and planning phases of the new build project and the Council anticipates that contractors could be on site during early 2017, subject to statutory planning procedures and approval.

Earlier this year, Clare County Council was allocated a €3 million capital grant towards the cost of the proposed project under the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government’s Capital Funding Programme for Public Libraries. An additional €1 million in EU funding was also allocated from the Southern Regional Assembly’s S&E Regional Operational Programme 2014-2020. The Regional Programme is co-funded by the ERDF. Clare County Council will fund the balance of €4.6 million of the overall cost of the project.

Cllr. James Breen, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council has welcomed the signing of the design contract, adding, “The development of a new County Library facility has long been sought after by past and present Members of the Council, as well as by the local community.”

“Clare County Library is one of our most valuable resources and it is appropriate therefore, that it is provided with a modern facility befitting its status from which to continue to deliver a vitally important service to the people of Clare," added the Cathaoirleach.

Gerard Dollard, Interim Chief Executive of Clare County Council said, “Clare County Council has committed to providing €4.6 million of the overall cost of the project from its own resources which underlines the Council’s ongoing commitment to provide improved facilities and infrastructure.”

Mr. Dollard added that the proposed development “will strengthen Clare’s reputation as a cultural centre as well as support economic and social activity in Ennis.”

The architect-led design team appointed today by Clare County Council comprises Keith Williams Architects Ltd (Architects), Ove Arup & Partners Ireland Ltd T/A Arup (Civil & Structural), Axiseng M & E Ltd T/A AxisEng (Mechanical & Electrical), AECOM Professional Services (Quantity Surveying Services) and OLM Consultancy (PSDP).

Helen Walsh, Clare County Librarian commented, “Ireland has seen some ambitious library buildings developed in the last decade and some outstanding and beautiful architectural structures have been achieved as a result. It is envisioned that the new County Library will be one of these buildings combining technologically advanced services whilst keeping the customer at the heart of service delivery. It truly will be a library for the 21st century."

“This development will provide a model of best practice and will include measures to maximise the sustainability of the scheme for the County,” commented Ruth Hurley, Senior Executive Architect with Clare County Council. “It is anticipated that the building design will provide a contemporary response to the modern library whilst remaining user friendly, energy efficient and adaptable for future changes in use.”

The Summer 2016 edition of Panorama is now available online.

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The Summer 2016 edition of Panorama is now available online.

The main feature offers an in-depth look at one region, and this time it is the turn of Pomorskie in Poland. An interview with the region's marshal, project examples and factual background give an overview of how cohesion policy is helping this region meet its challenges. They also look at the European Week of Regions and Cities (the new name for OPEN DAYS), previewing the themes and events for this year's edition, and the research which will be showcased during the week's "EWRC University" sessions.

In addition they aso look at the work of the High Level Group on Simplification, the Interact programme, and the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region. The Projects section features contributions from Austria, Hungary, France and the United Kingdom, and a new, expanded projects feature goes more in depth on a project involving young people in the development of transport policy in Poland.

For the full edition please click here

Partners - the online game about EU Regional Development

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Partners - the online game about EU Regional Development

The EU Commission created a web documentary on Regional and Urban Policy? It is available in Deutch, Français, Polski, Suomi, Eesti, Italiano, Português, English, Nederlands, Slovenscina.

 

 

OPEN Days – Celebrating Europe Day in the Southern and Eastern Region

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OPEN Days – Celebrating Europe Day in the Southern and Eastern Region

Europe Day falls on the 9th May and it’s a chance to acknowledge what the EU means in your Region. This year the Southern Regional Assembly is organising a series of visits to projects co-funded by the ERDF and the Irish exchequer under the Regional Programme. The visits are planned for the last two weeks of May and we hope that a broad representation of citizens and elected officials and interested parties will join us for the visits. Here is a list of the centres and the programme for each visit.

Centre for Advanced Photonics & Process Analysis (CAPPA) Cork Institute of Technology on Tuesday 17th May

Programme for CAPPA visit

Pharmaceutical & Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC) Waterford Institute of Technology on Wednesday 18th May

Programme for PMBRC visit 

Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre (Shannon ABC) Institute of Technology Tralee on Tuesday 24th May 

Programme for Shannon ABC Tralee visit

Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre (Shannon ABC) Limerick Institute of Technology on Wednesday 25th May

Programme for Shannon ABC Limerick visit

Micro Sensors for Clinical Analysis (MiCRA) Institute of Technology Tallaght on Thursday 26th May

Programme for MiCRA, Tallaght visit

Open Day events are mapped on DG Regional Policy's interactive map follow the link to view the events planned for the Southern and Eastern region of Ireland: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/policy/communication/inform-network/map/

 

‘Digital Test Tube’ selected to represent the South-East at EU event in Bucharest

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‘Digital Test Tube’ selected to represent the South-East at EU event in Bucharest

'Digital Test Tube' the innovative and ground-breaking concept by Daniel Thewlis has been selected as the ICT innovative concept to represent the South-East at the eDIGIREGION workshop in Bucharest.

Daniel Thewlis presented his concept ‘Digital Test Tube’ at the recent TSSG/SEBIC Industry Workshop held in Kilkenny on the 19th April. The concept was adjudicated on by a panel of experts drawn from Enterprise Ireland, Kernel Capital, Waterford Institute of Technology and South-East Action Plan for Jobs Implementation Committee.

In a three-minute pitch, Daniel outlined his idea to provide a software solution targeted at solving issues experienced by scientists performing PCR testing in laboratories around the world.

Based in Waterford, Daniel Thewlis is a past pupil of Abbey Community College, Ferrybank, Co Waterford. He graduated with a BSc in Genetics & Cell Biology at Dublin City University and most recently participated on the Enterprise Ireland (EI) New Frontiers programme at Waterford Institute of Technology’s ArcLabs incubation hub which recently announced plans for a €2.5m expansion.

Commenting on the concept, Mr Niall Olden, Founding Partner of Kernel Capital said “Digital Test Tube is an innovative software product that addresses a compelling market need for efficiencies in the delivery of laboratory PCR testing.”

The winning concept now goes forward to represent the South-East Ireland region at the eDIGIREGION international two-day workshop to be held in Bucharest, Romania on 18/19May 2016. There Daniel will receive intensive support and mentoring from a team of international experts, each a specialist in the commercialisation process (including market analysis, product development, business models, funding…).

Commenting, on the eDIGIREGION Call for Innovative Concepts, Prof. Bill O’Gorman, Director of Research at WIT ArcLabs, said “The call for concepts is a major milestone in the project and demonstrates how EU funded projects can have a significant impact in the practical development of regional innovation systems. Daniel Thewlis now has the opportunity to learn from an international panel of experts. Such learning, I’m sure, will be of major benefit to both Mr. Thewlis and the South-East region.”

Interreg North-West Europe Call 3 Now Open

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Interreg North-West Europe Call 3 Now Open
The third call for Interreg North-West Europe is now open with a deadline of Friday 27th May at 11am Irish time (12pm CET)

The Programme is looking for transnational cooperation projects that can deliver concrete results for the North-West Europe area and its citizens under the three areas of Innovation, Low Carbon and Resource and Materials Efficiency.

The Programme encourages public, scientific, private and civil society organisations to cooperate with a view to improving the economic, environmental, territorial and social development of Europe's regions. The Programme co-finances these organisations to work together in transnational projects on specific themes.

The Programme operates a two-step application process, with a light-touch project application at Step 1 which is developed into a full Step 2 project application, if approved.  Success at Step 2 means full approval and a grant award.

If you have an idea that could become a project application, or are considering joining a partnership, we would like to hear from you.  Please contact Siobhán Rudden, National Contact Point for Ireland for advice and guidance about the application process and programme rules.

Email: srudden@southernassembly.ie
Tel: +353 51 318100
Twitter: @srudden

For complete information about Call 3 please visit: www.nweurope.eu

*Interreg NWE is one of the fifteen transnational cooperation programmes financed by the European Union. It is financed through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
 

SMART Regions Conference, Brussels 1st & 2nd June 2016

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SMART Regions Conference, Brussels 1st & 2nd June 2016

Regions across the European Union have already developed their national or regional innovation strategies for smart specialisation. They provide a strategic framework for the innovation-driven economic transformation of European regions and set out the main priorities for investments. They address emerging opportunities and market developments in order to build a competitive advantage by developing and matching research and innovation strengths to business needs. European Structural Investment Funds are the main financing source.

This SMART Regions Conference will highlight the key role of regions in developing new-growth dynamics for Europe, based on bottom-up entrepreneurship and innovation. It will mark the mobilisation of this potential for transformation in priority areas, e.g. energy transition, digital growth, circular economy, agro-food or industrial modernisation. Smart specialisation strategies can leverage numerous new growth opportunities for all regions, when aligning their business driven smart specialisation investments in new European value chains.

This High-Level event will accelerate the set-up of effective partnerships for co-investing across regions that commit to their smart specialisation priorities. It will show a way forward in using the synergies between the different public and private funding mechanism to support such investment dynamics.

During the two days, the participants will also have the opportunity to visit the Smart Regions Exhibition where regions will showcase their smart specialisation areas.

Deadline for registration is 17th May 2016.

For further information please refer to the conference brochure

Atlantic Area Programme - First call for projects opens on 26/04/16.

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Atlantic Area Programme - First call for projects opens on 26/04/16.

The INTERREG Atlantic Area Programme has announced the launch of it's first call for projects to open on the 26th April 2016, deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest(EOIs) will be 27th May 2016  The selection process for EOIs will take place in September 2016.  

A total amount of €185M has been allocated to fund projects among the Atlantic regions of 5 European countries covering priorities such as:
1: Stimulating innovation and competitiveness
2: Fostering resource efficiency
3: Strengthening the territory's resilience to risks of natural, climate and human origin
4: Enhancing biodiversity and the natural and cultural assets

The Programme Manual and online application form will be made available in the second half of April, check the website for updates.

Projects Ideas registration and partners search tool are already available at www.atlanticarea.eu/project

For further deails please visit the EU Calls Monitor section on our website. 

URBACT III 1st call for Implementation Networks has been launched

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URBACT III 1st call for Implementation Networks has been launched

URBACT, the European programme for integrated urban development, is pleased to announce that a new call for Implementation Networks was launched on the 22 of March. The deadline for submitting applications is 22nd June 2016.

These new networks aim at supporting cities with the delivery of integrated urban strategies and action plans. Taking part in an Implementation Network, cities will share experiences and good practices, by working together on improving their strategies and action plans and generate new ideas to address challenges related to sustainable urban development.

More specifically, the call targets the cities from the EU 28 Member States, Norway and Switzerland that already have an integrated urban strategy/ action plan addressing a specific policy challenge and secured funding to finance the implementation of this strategy/ action-plan.

The available budget per network is between €600,000 – €750,000, depending on the number of partners, with an additional budget of €127,000 for expert support. Up to 15 Implementation Networks will be selected during this call.

All information on the call is available on the URBACT website where updates will be provided concerning further events and networking opportunities for partners.

eDIGIREGION Call for Innovative ICT Concepts

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eDIGIREGION Call for Innovative ICT Concepts

The eDIGIREGION project is looking for innovative concepts that are ICT related and will be of benefit to furthering the development, sustainability and profitability of industry (Industry 4.0) and / or agriculture. This Call for Concepts provides an opportunity to promote your concept and to receive intensive development / commercialisation support in an international two-day workshop to be held in Bucharest, Romania on 18th / 19th May, 2016.

All travel and accommodation expenses to Bucharest will be paid for the promoter of the chosen concept.

Closing date for entries is 25th March 2016. To apply and/or to receive an application form contact concepts@edigiregion.eu 

For further details please click here 

The Annual RegioStars Awards competition has been launched.

Posted into: The Assembly

 

 

 

 

 

5 Award Competition Categories now open


The Annual RegioStars Awards competition has been launched.


Highlighting good practice in regional development and original and innovative projects, the RegioStars aims to inspire regions and project managers. 

There are five RegioStars Award categories for 2016:

Cat. 1 Smart Growth: Emerging opportunities in the global economy


Cat. 2 Sustainable Growth: Circular Economy


Cat. 3 Inclusive Growth: Integrated living – building inclusive and non-segregated communities


Cat. 4 CityStar: Innovative solutions for sustainable urban development


Cat. 5 Effective Management: Making a difference by managing differently

This year's RegioStars award ceremony will take place on Tuesday, October 11th, during the 2016 European Week of Regions and Cities.

The RegioStars Awards puts the spotlight on the most innovative and inspiring projects from around the continent, will your region win a prestigous 2016 RegioStars Awards.  

Applications can be submitted by the regional or local Managing Authority or by the project mananger but with the endorsement of the responsible Managing Authority, please click here to submit your application before April 15th. 

The winners in each category will receive a RegioStars trophy and a certificate presented by European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Creţu, and the President of the RegioStars jury.

For each winner a short video is also produced which will be published online followed by a promotional campaign on social media.

To view vidoes of previous winners please click here

For more information on the awards and ceremony at the European Week of Regions and Cities click here or #EUWRC

On Twitter @EU_Regional  - #Regiostars


 

Register for the Interreg North-West Europe Project Ideas Lab

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Register for the Interreg North-West Europe Project Ideas Lab

Register for the Interreg NWE Project Ideas Lab

Making an application to the Interreg North-West Europe Programme?

The next call for project proposals will be open from 18th April until 27th May and a Project Ideas Lab will be held to support applicants in finding new partners, showcasing your project idea and to get advice from the Interreg NWE team.

Date:            Thursday 7th April, 9am – 4pm
Location:     Frankfurt

The Project Ideas Lab will focus on what makes an application successful and the pitfalls to avoid.

Registration is free, but compulsory due to limited places.  Register now on https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/project-ideas-lab-registration-21346421722

For further details on the the Lab or the Interreg North-West Europe Programme please contact the Irish Contact Point Ms Siobhan Rudden:

Email:       srudden@southernassembly.ie
Tel:           +353 51 318100
Twitter:     @srudden
 

LIFE Information Day, Tuesday (AM) 15th March 2016, Custom House Dublin

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LIFE Information Day, Tuesday (AM) 15th March 2016, Custom House Dublin

The LIFE Programme is the EU's financial instrument supporting environmental and climate action projects throughout the EU. It contributes to sustainable development and to the achievement of the objectives and targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy, the 7th Union Environmental Action Programme and other relevant EU environment and climate strategies and plans.

 

This year’s LIFE Information Day is aimed at informing potential applicants about the LIFE programme and will take place on the morning of Tuesday 15th March 2016 in the Custom House in Dublin.

 

The main focus on the day will include providing potential applicants with the opportunity to meet with successful Irish projects who will be on hand to talk individually to anyone wishing to  learn more about a particular project, including  planning and writing the application and managing the implementation programme. Presentations will also be made on practical issues such as tips on preparing and writing a LIFE application and also avoiding common pitfalls that arise with projects during implementation.

 

Anybody who is interested in registering should do so by mail at LIFE@environ.ie as soon as possible. Further details will issue following registration.

URBACT announce new call for Implementation Networks

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URBACT announce new call for Implementation Networks

URBACT will shortly be launching a new call for Implementation Networks which will be formally opened in mid to late March 2016.

A launch event will take place in Brussels on 23rd March 2016 from 3.00 pm to 6.30 pm, at the Conference Centre Albert Borschette, to register for this event please click here

Prior to this the Irish Contact Point for URBACT will be holding two events on March 11th at Maynooth University.

The first event - "URBACT INFO day III"  -will take place from 10.30am to 12.30pm and will provide all interested practitioners with the latest information from URBACT and from the Implementation Networks Call.

The second event  - a workshop on leading an Implementation Network -  will be held from 2pm to 4pm and will provide interested practitioners who wish to lead with all the background they need and will answer any questions that practitioners have about leading an Implementation Network.

All interested parties are welcome to attend either or both of these events. Attendance is free but registration is essential.  

Please register at; https://urbact-ireland-info-day-workshop.eventbrite.ie

For further info please click here.

Beyond this event your Irish contact point will be providing regular updates throughout 2016 on the URBACT programme more generally. We strongly advise you to consult our;
Twitter account, https://twitter.com/URBACT_IE
Facebook account, https://www.facebook.com/urbact.ireland/
and the dedicated Irish section on the main URBACT page (keep an eye on the main URBACT site as this page will be uploaded shortly)

If you any queries please do not hesitate to contact the Irish Contact Point on URBACTIreland@nuim.ie

ESPON 2020 calls for Tender

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ESPON 2020 calls for Tender

The National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA) based in Maynooth University is delighted to have once again been appointed the Irish Contact Point for the EU-funding programme, ESPON.

The new programme, ESPON 2020, was formally launched in June 2015 but it was just before Christmas that the first calls were issued.  Presently, there are calls open under two pillars or Specific Objectives:

Specific Objective 1: Continued Production of Territorial Evidence Through Applied Research and Analyses.  
Under this Objective, seven calls for tender have been issued.  These calls shall contribute to the further development and improvement of the ESPON knowledge base; with the outcome of the calls contributing to the enhancement of the European territorial evidence base.

The seven calls are under the following themes:

1)      The Geography of New Employment Dynamics in Europe
2)      The World in Europe, global FDI flows towards Europe
3)      Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in European Regions and Cities
4)      Territories and low-carbon economy
5)      Inner Peripheries: national territories facing challenges of access to basic services of general interest
6)      Possible European Territorial Futures
7)      Comparative Analysis of Territorial Governance and Spatial Planning Systems in Europe

Further information on these calls, together with details on how to receive the full dossier of terms of reference, are available to download here

Specific Objective 2: Upgraded Knowledge Transfer and Use of Analytical User Support
Better known as 'Targeted Analysis', policy-makers and practitioners are invited to submit proposals for Targeted Analyses, meeting their particular policy demands and evidence needs. These projects shall use ESPON territorial evidence in concrete practice with the objective of directly contributing to informing policy decisions and territorial development strategies. Proposals can be submitted by groups of stakeholders sharing a common analytical need as well as by individual stakeholders.
(Please note that the opportunity to submit stakeholder proposals remains continually open throughout the lifetime of the ESPON 2020 Cooperation Programme. Stakeholders are therefore welcome to submit their proposals at anytime throughout the year and these will be considered in the subsequent selection round. A further announcement on the next closing date for the evaluation of proposals shall be made during the first half of 2016).
Further information on this call is available here

Both these calls are open to Universities - with Specific Objective 1 Calls in particular having been designed with Universities and Research Agencies in mind.  As such, we would be grateful if you would circulate the details of these calls to those members of your research community who you feel would have an interest in the type and range of projects covered under this fund.

Also, as Irish Contact Point, we would be happy to answer any questions or meet with you/members of your research community to discuss the opportunities these calls present.  We encourage you to consider the potential of this EU funding programme - and we look forward to assisting you in any way we can.

ESPON Irish Contact Point Team

Ms. Caroline Creamer - caroline.creamer@nuim.ie / 086 8170436
Prof. Mark Boyle - mark.g.boyle@nuim.ie

Call for tender for applied research, Terms of Reference - “Territories and low-carbon economy”


 

European Programmes (ESIF) 2014-2020 Regulations available

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European Programmes (ESIF) 2014-2020 Regulations available

Guide "ESIF 2014-2020: Official texts and commentaries" now available.  Article 174 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) provides that, in order to strengthen its economic, social and territorial cohesion, the Union is to aim at reducing disparities between the levels of development of the various regions and the backwardness of the least favoured regions or islands, and that particular attention is to be paid to rural areas, areas affected by industrial transition, and regions which suffer from severe and permanent natural or demographic handicaps.

The following regulations were published on the Official Journal of the European Union (Eur-Lex). Each link to Eur-Lex gives access to a bibliographical description that provides full text, corrigendum and annexes (if any) and all other useful information like information on the procedure and relationship between documents.

Common provisions regulation (CPR)
Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006

Full text of the regulation on Eur-Lex

Amended by: Regulation (EU) 2015/1839 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 October 2015 amending Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 as regards specific measures for Greece (OJ L 270, 15.10.2015, p. 1)

See also additional declarations published in the Official Journal.

ERDF Regulation
Regulation (EU) No 1301/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Regional Development Fund and on specific provisions concerning the Investment for growth and jobs goal and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006

Full text of the regulation on Eur-Lex

See also additional declarations published in the Official Journal.

ESF Regulation
Regulation (EU) No 1304/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Social Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006

Full text of the regulation on Eur-Lex

ETC Regulation
Regulation (EU) No 1299/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on specific provisions for the support from the European Regional Development Fund to the European territorial cooperation goal

Full text of the regulation on Eur-Lex

EGTC Regulation
Regulation (EU) No 1302/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 amending Regulation (EC) No 1082/2006 on a European grouping of territorial cooperation (EGTC) as regards the clarification, simplification and improvement of the establishment and functioning of such groupings

Full text of the regulation on Eur-Lex

Cohesion Fund Regulation
Council Regulation (EU) No 1300/2013 of 17 December 2013 on the Cohesion Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1084/2006

Full text of the regulation on Eur-Lex

EAFRD Regulation
Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005

Full text of the regulation on Eur-Lex

EMFF Regulation
Regulation (EU) No 508/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of of 15 May 2014 on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulations (EC) No 2328/2003, (EC) No 861/2006, (EC) No 1198/2006 and (EC) No 791/2007 and Regulation (EU) No 1255/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council

Full text of the regulation on Eur-Lex

This guide covers the texts of the main regulations in force and presents a commentary on each one.  The guide is available online on INFOREGIO

Should you need copies, send a request to: regio-publication@ec.europa.eu

Meeting of the Southern Regional Assembly

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Meeting of the Southern Regional Assembly

The Agenda for the Regional Assembly Meeting to be held in Assembly House, Waterford on Friday the 8th January 2016 @ 12.00 pm is:

1. Adoption of Minutes of Meeting held on 11th December 
2. Matters arising
3. Planning Matters:

a) Consideration of Draft Local Economic & Community Plan (LECP) for County Kilkenny

4. Presentation of Roadmap for new National Planning Framework & Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy by Michael Lynch, Asst Director – Planning
5. Members Workshop 29th/30th January, 2016
6. Approval for attendance by Members at Conferences/ Training Events
7. Motions
8. Any other business
9. Confirm date for next meeting (12th February 2016 )

Southern Regional Assembly launches new logo

Posted into: The Assembly

Southern Regional Assembly launches new logo

The Southern Regional Assembly launched their new logo on Monday, 23rd November. 

 

The logo and brand guidelines are available to download  on the Assembly’s website, please click here to access the logo in various formats

Brand Guidelines available to download here.

Bilingual Logo (.jpg) available to download here.


If you have any queries about the work of the Regional Assembly please do not hesitate to contact us:

Southern Regional Assembly
Assembly House,
O'Connell Street,
Waterford
Ireland
Post Code: X91 K256


T. + 353 (0) 51 860700
F. + 353 (0) 51 879887


For general queries, email:  info@southernassembly.ie
For finance queries, email:  finance@southernassembly.ie
For First Level Control queries, email:  flc@southernassembly.ie

One-Day Seminar on ‘Landscape Character Assessment’ November 26th, Dublin

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One-Day Seminar on ‘Landscape Character Assessment’ November 26th, Dublin

The Irish Landscape Institute (ILI) is running a one-day seminar on Landscape Character Assessment on November 26th 2015, in association with the Heritage Council, the Irish Planning Institute and Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht. 

The seminar will be held in the Beresford Hotel, Dublin on the 26th November 2015 commencing at 9am.  

The seminar will be of interest to landscape architects and planners in both public and private practice, staff of Government Departments, agencies and organisations with a land management brief, and all involved in the development of our landscape.

REGRISTRATION FEE: ILI Member = €80  -   Non-Member = €120   -   Students/Concessions = €50

For conference flyer click here

See full details and register online at www.irishlandscapeinstitute.com

Enquiries: ili@irishlandscapeinstitute.com

Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) initiative (2015-2020)

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Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) initiative (2015-2020)

The details underpinning a new €371 million European Commission fund – the Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) initiative (2015-2020) – are finally beginning to emerge from DG REGIO.  Below you will find some advance notice of what can be expected ahead of the first annual call for proposals which is expected to be launched by Christmas, or January at the latest.

The programme is, in large part, a response to a perceived traditional lack of risk-taking in EU funding of issues with an urban dimension. Successful projects will need to demonstrate a very definite sense of genuine experimentation by investigating ground-breaking solutions to the major social, economic, environmental or demographic challenges facing European cities.

The themes of the fund will reflect the emerging ‘EU Urban Agenda’ policy to better enable cities to assume a role in developing and putting EU policies, which more properly reflect urban realities, into practice on the ground.                                                                    

The first call will focus on 4 particular Urban Agenda topics:

Energy transition
• Urban poverty – deprived neighbourhoods
• Investment in the integration of migrants and refugees
• Jobs and skills in the local economy

Bids should focus on a particular theme, although the project should also have a degree of integrated thinking by reference to other issues.

There are another 8 topics which can expect to be covered as priorities for the 2016 or 2017 calls, and potential participants could begin planning ahead on this basis:
• Housing
• Sustainable use of land and nature-based solutions
• Circular economy
• Climate adaptation
• Urban mobility
• Air quality
• Digital transition
• Innovative and responsible public procurement

Thereafter, a mix-and-match approach to the themes is likely from 2018 onwards.

A minimum 50,000 population threshold has been established for cities to participate. Towns below this level may pool their populations accordingly, but it is not advisable to involve more than 3 such centres. Transnational or cross-border partnerships are possible – something which could be of interest to Dundalk and Letterkenny in particular. Note that, unlike most funding provided from the Commission, there is no requirement for a transnational partnership component.

Funding of up to €5 million per project (80% co-financed by the EU) will be made available, up to a total of €80 million on this occasion. Subsequent calls may offer something in the region of €50 million each time. Realistically, bids seeking no less than €1 million in funding will be required.

The evaluation criteria will place a heavy emphasis (40%) on innovative approaches (including incorporating input from relevant research providers) and on measurability of results (the intention is to support ‘urban laboratory’ approaches to determine what works, as well as what does not, why so, what should be done differently, etc. in order to arrive at a clear impact).

The other key criteria will be quality (well thought-through approaches; planned actions reflecting funding requested; realistic objectives); partnership (clear participation of relevant local stakeholders, such as communities, and of external experts, such as research providers, in the design and delivery); and transferability (outcomes will need to be applicable and approaches replicable in a wider sense beyond the immediate local context).

Successful applications should be able to get underway within approximately 9 months of the call launch and have a maximum 3-year duration, with a further year for assessment and closure. As such, care needs to be taken to pre-plan the implementation schedule in a realistic and feasible manner and not to over-extend the emphasis on infrastructure. Thematic expertise will also be provided by the Commission to assist with delivery of successful projects.

Need inspiration? Take a look at some of the following for examples of best practice approaches from EU and other initiatives to get an idea of the type of ambition and innovation that DG REGIO is looking to support with this fund:
• URBACT project thematic reports
• Mayor’s Challenge
• European Urban Knowledge Network (EUKN)
• City Lab

Ronan Gingles at Irish Region’s Office is at your disposal for further enquiries.

Irish Regions Brussels Office (New address from 26 October 2015...)
5th Floor
Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU
Rue Froissart, 50    B-1040 Bruxelles
Tel: +32 2 2331120 GSM: +32 493 203666     ronan.gingles@iro.ie 
 

Ireland-Wales Cross-Border Funding Opportunities

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Ireland-Wales Cross-Border Funding Opportunities

Deirdre Clune MEP is chairing an Ireland-Wales Territorial Co-operation event entitled 'Cross-Border Funding Opportunities' which will be held on Friday 6th November in the Ormonde Hotel, Kilkenny.  

 

There is no fee to attend this event, for full agenda please click here.

 

To register please email Dee Lynam on dee@deelynam.com

 

For details on the ERDF co-funded Ireland-Wales Co-operation programme please click here

 

The Development Officer Team is the first point of contact for all project applicants, either for project development or for assistance in locating a suitable project partner. 

New guidance on public procurement to help administrations and beneficiaries make the most out of EU

Posted into: The Assembly

New guidance on public procurement to help administrations and beneficiaries make the most out of EU
The European Commission has published a guide to support public officials across the EU to avoid the most frequent errors and adopt best practices in public procurement of projects funded by the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). Public procurement plays a key role in the implementation of those EU investments and is an essential element of the Single Market, representing no less than 19 per cent of the EU's GDP.

The guide helps to identify and avoid areas of potential risk of errors in public procurement, a major source of irregularities in the management of EU funds. By doing so, this tool will not only ensure regularity and transparency, but will also improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of public procurement with significant potential gains in terms of fair competition and quality of investments for the benefit of the public administrations, the companies involved and the end beneficiaries of the projects. 

The "Guidance for practitioners on the avoidance of the most common errors in public procurement of projects funded by the European Structural and Investment Funds" contains practical suggestions, series of good practices, real-life examples, explanations on specific topics, case studies and templates and useful links in order to help those who are involved in the day-to-day management of EU-supported projects. It also describes the most common mistakes and explains how to avoid them and how to handle each situation.

The guidance will be available in all EU languages. It is one of the concrete actions included in the action plan aimed at helping Member States improve the performance of both administrations and beneficiaries in applying public procurement for EU-supported investments during the 2014-2020 programming period. Other actions include the development of an expert exchange system for Managing authorities to share experiences and expertise in public procurement capacity, the use of Integrity Pacts as a tool to increase transparency and accountability, and the development of country specific action plans for countries non-compliant with the Public procurement ex-ante conditionalities.

For more information, read  "Guidance on public procurement" page on InfoRegio

The Guidance for Practitioners is available for downloading here.
 

FIERE Project Conference - 12th November 2015

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FIERE Project Conference - 12th November 2015

Tipperary County Council (TCC) is the co-ordinator of the EU Lifelong Learning GRUNDTVIG part-funded project called FIERE ('Furthering Innovative Entrepreneurial Regions of Europe').  FIERE aims to enhance local and regional organisations in the public and community/voluntary sectors with innovative entrepreneurship skills that can facilitate bottom-up local/regional development and tie-in with top-down development policies, across six participating regions. 

Since January 2014, the partners have been managing the project's local and international activities and exploring the role of innovative entrepreneurship in their respective regions, culminating in development of a short-form Entrepreneurial & Innovative Skills Training Programme.  Information and documentation published by the project can be viewed at http://www.fiereproject.eu/

This half day conference will appeal to research institutions, public agencies, community/voluntary organisations and individuals.  It will be attended by representatives from the projects' EU partners.  Participants will learn about current practice in the area of public and community sectors adapting to change through innovation.  Case studies will be presented showcasing how organisations have successfully implemented "innovative" and "entrepreneurial" ways for improving their impact.  Participants will also have the opportunity to network as well as engage in some creativity/innovation exercises.

For full programme details please click here

There is no fee for attending, to register attendance email Angela Sheehan, Tipperary County Council at angela.sheehan@tipperarycoco.ie

Third Call under the INTERREG VB Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Programme

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Third Call under the INTERREG VB Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Programme
The Third Call under the INTERREG VB Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Programme opened on the 30th September and will close on the 30th November 2015. 

Further information on the Call can be found  by visiting the new programme website: http://www.interreg-npa.eu/for-applicants/third-call/

Please note that only Priorities 3 and 4 will open for this Call, a Fourth Call will likely follow in January for all four priorities, however this will not be confirmed until later this year. 

An ‘Application Clinic will be held with applicants/partners from Northern Ireland in early November ahead of the closing date, further details on this will be issued closer to the time. 

For more information on the programme contact:


Declan McGarrigle
Transnational/Interregional Programmes
Regional Contact Point - NPA Programme
Special EU Programmes Body
7th Floor
The Clarence West Building
2 Clarence Street West
Belfast
BT2 7GP
Direct line: + 44 (0)28 90266678
Mob: + 44 7738023504
Fax: +44 (0)28 90266 661
E-mail: declan.mcgarrigle@seupb.eu
http://www.seupb.eu
Twitter: @SEUPB
Facebook: http://is.gd/h5le9o

 

URBACT III IRELAND INFORMATION EVENT 2

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URBACT III IRELAND INFORMATION EVENT 2

URBACT III Ireland Second Information Event included the following speakers; Professor Mark Boyle, Maynooth University, Colm Downey, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, Caroline Creamer, Maynooth University, Wessel Badenhorst, Director of Urban Mode Ltd, Stephen Blair, Director, Southern  Regional Assembly. 


An interested targeted group of delegates attended the event where there was excellent contributions made by speakers and delegates. The question and answer session was extremely informative with succinct answers delivered by Wessel Badenhorst, Director of Urban Mode Ltd.


The second URBACT III Ireland Information Event;
a) Provided all stakeholders interested in bidding for funds under the URBACT III programme with up to date information on URBACT III, existing and new calls and, EU wide and Irish specific supports available.


b) Provided guidance and assistance to Irish partners who now wish to join Action Planning Networks which make it through Phase 1 of the recent Action Planning Networks call. 
 

 URBACT announced on September 11th 2015 the results of Phase 1 of the first call for Action Planning Networks.

A total of 20 applications from around 100 submitted applications were selected to progress to Phase 2 of the application process.

There is now an opportunity for Irish partners to join these 20 bids. Successful applications which make it through Phase 1 have to build their networks/membership base from 5-6 partners to 8-12 partners prior to submitting their Phase 2 applications in March 2016.


c) Provided further information regarding the forthcoming call for the creation of URBACT III Implementation Networks in early 2016:


Regarding the Implementation Networks, the provisional calendar for 2016 is as follows:
· call launched early March 2016
· deadline for submission of phase 1 applications early June 2016
· eligibility check and assessment: June-August 2016
· approval by the MC: early October 2016


For full programme and presentations please see :https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/social-sciences-institute/events/urbact-ireland-information-event
 

For more information about URBACT: http://urbact.eu
 

https://www.facebook.com/Urbact-Ireland-1583123311936134/
 

https://twitter.com/Urbact3Ireland
 

Please contact Prof. Mark Boyle, Maynooth University mark.g.boyle@nuim.ie if you require any further details.

Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) Programme has opened a Call for Project Proposals

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Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) Programme has opened a Call for Project Proposals

Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) Programme has opened a Call for Project Proposals

Public and private organisations can submit applications on Innovation, Low Carbon and Resource and materials efficiency until 30 November.

The Programme encourages public, scientific, private and civil society organisations to cooperate with a view to improving the economic, environmental, territorial and social development of Europe's regions. The Programme co-finances these organisations to work together in transnational projects on specific themes. All projects financed by the Programme will need to demonstrate high, transnational cooperation intensity throughout their lifetime with a clear focus on results. This means that partners must work together to deliver, evaluate, disseminate and roll-out the results of their project.

Interreg NWE is one of the fifteen transnational cooperation programmes financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

If you are interested in making an application to the Programme under this call, please feel free to contact me at the details below for guidance on the applications process and assistance with finding partners. 

For complete information about the call, visit: www.nweurope.eu

Startup Island 2020 Forum in Waterford October 6th

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Startup Island 2020 Forum in Waterford October 6th

STARTUP ISLAND 2020 FORUM WATERFORD

Brought to you on behalf of Startup Ireland, supported by the Action Plan for Jobs 2015 and sponsored by Bank of Ireland

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXvav92CrBI

Tower Hotel, Waterford, 8.30-13.00

ADVANCE NOTICE OF THE VISIT OF EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR REGIONAL POLICY, MS. CORINA CREȚU TO DUBLIN

Posted into: The Assembly

ADVANCE NOTICE OF THE VISIT OF EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR REGIONAL POLICY, MS. CORINA CREȚU TO DUBLIN
The European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Ms. Corina Crețu will visit the CRANN centre (Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices), Trinity College Dublin (TCD) on Monday 28th September @ 2.00 pm to meet project promoters. The promoters received funding from EU co-funded regional programmes managed by the Northern and Western and the Southern Regional Assemblies.

Among her responsibilities as the Commissioner for Regional Policy, Ms. Creţu prioritises the ongoing monitoring of the effectiveness of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programmes to create regional growth. She will be afforded the opportunity during her visit to gauge the effectiveness of the investment programmes in Ireland when she meets with a diverse range of funding recipients.

She will hear about INSPIRE a NanoScience Platform for Ireland which saw 10 Higher Education Institutes collaborate to create a shared infrastructural capability to enhance the national capacity for delivering innovative research in nanoscience and nanoscale technologies.

Professor Graham Cross, TCD will describe how Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Funding research on nanopatterning of Hard materials (NOHMa) led to the establishment of the spin-out company Adama Innovations.

Dublin and Westmeath Local Enterprise Offices will describe the wide ranging services and supports available to small businesses under the micro-enterprise programmes. Bell lane Coffee; Mutiny Studios and Sonitus Systems will showcase how micro-enterprise funding has assisted business development and growth.


Note to Editors:
The Southern Regional Assembly, established on 1st January 2015, is one of three Assemblies in the Republic of Ireland following on from the dissolution of the BMW and Southern & Eastern Regional Assemblies.  The former 8 regional authorities and 2 regional assemblies were consolidated under the Government’s regional reform process under the Local Government Reform Act 2014 to form the Southern, the Northern and Western and the Eastern and Midland regions.

What do we do?

  • Manage and monitor the ERDF co-financed Regional Programmes;
  • Promote the co-ordination of public services in the region;
  • Monitor and make proposals in relation to the general impact in the region of EU funding;
  • Make public bodies aware of the regional implications of their policies and plans.

The Southern Regional Assembly is recruiting two (2) SENIOR FIRST LEVEL CONTROLLERS (Grade V)

Posted into: The Assembly

The Southern Regional Assembly is recruiting two (2) SENIOR FIRST LEVEL CONTROLLERS (Grade V)

The Southern Regional Assembly is recruiting two (2) SENIOR FIRST LEVEL CONTROLLERS (Grade V) to be based in Waterford City.

The Post
Reporting to the Auditor (Grade VII) duties will include:
- Processing and appraising expenditure claims by ETC Projects;
- Carrying out verification checks on declared expenditure;
- Assisting with financial management;
- Dealing with enquiries from approved projects and project partners;
- Assisting the Auditor.


The Person
Candidates should be well educated, with excellent interpersonal & communications skills and an ability to deal with people across a range of organisations. The successful candidate must have a relevant accounting/finance qualification and/or at least two years relevant experience in the area of finance/audit and financial procedures.  A good standard of experience in office organisation is also desirable. Candidates should have satisfactory knowledge of public service organisation in Ireland and a practical understanding of economic, social and physical development issues at EU, national and regional level. Knowledge and experience in EU-funded programmes, preferably on Structural Funds and/or cross-border, transnational or inter-regional co-operation is desirable, as is knowledge & experience of financial management.

Salary
Analogous to Grade V in the Local Authority Service, the salary for the post currently ranges from €40,213 - €48,495 inclusive of long service increments.

The Senior First Level Controller post is full-time, permanent and pensionable position.


Closing Date
The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is 4.00 p.m. on Friday, 9th October 2015.

Further Details
Application forms and further particulars can be downloaded from here or from:
Orla Kelly, Staff Officer, Southern Regional Assembly, Assembly House, O’Connell St, Waterford, X91 K256, Tel: 051 860700, Fax: 051 879887, E-mail: okelly@southernassembly.ie

Applicants may be short listed on the basis of information submitted.

The names of the candidates who qualify at the interview shall be placed on a panel in order of merit as determined by the Interview Board & the selection of a candidate for appointment shall be in accordance with the order of merit as so determined.

The Southern Regional Assembly is committed to a policy of equal opportunity
 

Sustainable Jobs creation, the heart of a vibrant economy for the region

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Sustainable Jobs creation, the heart of a vibrant economy for the region


Sustainable Jobs creation, the heart of a vibrant economy for the region


07th September, 2015

The Southern Regional Assembly welcomes the Government’s launch of the South East Action Plan for Jobs, which is a part of €250 million regional jobs strategy. The South East Action Plan for Jobs aims to deliver 10-15% employment growth in the region over the coming years.


The successful implementation of Plan for Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford projects the creation of 25,000 extra jobs. The Plan is the third of 8 regional jobs plans to be published over the coming months, as part of a new €250million regional jobs strategy led by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD.
 

This regional action plan for jobs for the South East Plan was born out of a process established by Minister Bruton after the sudden job losses in Talk Talk in Waterford in 2011 and in response to the historic unemployment challenges in the South East region. Since 2012 the South East has had the fastest rate of jobs growth of any region in the country, with 25,300 extra jobs created in the region in 3 years, representing a 13.9% increase.


The plan has identified key sectors to target including agri-food, tourism, life sciences, manufacturing, retail and financial services/business services.


The economic crash hit employment severely in the South East where a decline of 37,900 (17%) was experienced. A rally in employment growth took place in the region under the national Action Plan for Jobs with the creation of 25,300 (13.9%) since Q1 2012. The plan launched today targets employment growth of 10-15% over and above today’s employment levels. This employment growth is predicated on a number of factors not least the critical part the constituent local authorities will play in the roll out of their respective Local Economic and Community Plans (LECP). The LECPS will serve as a strong under pinning for the forthcoming Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies (RSES) which will be led by the Southern Regional Assembly for the Southern Region. Similar strategies will be developed for the Northern and Western  and Eastern and Midland regions led by our sister Assemblies.
Launching the plan today, Minister Bruton said: “Jobs are growing right across the country, but they are growing faster in some regions than in others. That is why we have put in place the €250million regional jobs strategy, to support regions to play to their strengths and accelerate jobs growth in every area.

“The objectives of the regional action plans for jobs for the South East and that of the South West plan published recently and the soon to be published plan for the Mid West will be complemented and supported by proposed investment under the ERDF co-funded regional programme managed by the Regional Assembly” said Stephen Blair, Director of Southern Regional Assembly.


“The translation of plans and programmes into sustainable jobs, is where the heart of success lies and cements growth and prosperity in the region “said Cllr. Damien Geoghegan, Cathaoirleach of the Southern Regional Assembly

ENDS

Media contact:
Stephen Blair, Director, Southern Regional Assembly, t. + 353 (0) 51 860 700


Notes for Editors
The South East Action Plan for Jobs is available here.

The Southern Regional Assembly established on 1st January 2015, is one of three Assemblies in the Republic of Ireland following on from the dissolution of the BMW and Southern & Eastern Regional Assemblies.  The former 8 regional authorities and 2 regional assemblies were consolidated under the Government’s regional reform process under the Local Government Reform Act 2014 to form the Southern, the Northern and Western and the Eastern and Midland regions.
 

RSA-Irish Branch Annual Conference -NEW DIRECTIONS FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY IN IRELAND

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RSA-Irish Branch Annual Conference -NEW DIRECTIONS FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY IN IRELAND

Regional Studies Association Irish Branch Annual Conference in conjunction with The Southern Regional Assembly

NEW DIRECTIONS FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY IN IRELAND

Friday 4 September 2015, University College Cork

Keynote Speakers:
Professor David Bailey, Aston Business School
Ben Gardiner, Cambridge Econometrics.
Participation by IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland.

Key Speakers are sponsored by the Southern Regional Assembly and the school of Economics, University College Cork

 

Conference programme available for downloading here


 

Summer edition of Panorama

Posted into: The Assembly

Summer edition of Panorama

The Summer edition of Panorama is now available online in English, and the lead article celebrates 25 years of the Interreg programme with an overview of 20 of its most successful projects, as well as a schedule of special anniversary events and an interview with Iskra Mihaylova MEP, Chair of the European Parliament’s REGI Committee.

 

The other main article shows how Cohesion Policy will help fund the building blocks of the recently announced Digital Single Market, from broadband connectivity to Open Data and e-government services.

 

In a series of interviews with regional authorities we speak to the chairman of Övre Norrland and the president of Galicia about their regions' experiences with Cohesion Policy, and the In Your Own Words section features contributions from six regions across the continent (including a contribution from the Southern Regional Assembly).

 

Elsewhere you will find a preview of the attractions to be found at this year's OPEN DAYS event and the launch of the European Smart Specialisation Platform on Energy.

 

You will also find the usual selection of news items and featured projects from across the EU.

 

Panorama 53: Europe goes digital

URBACT III Information Event Advance Notice

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URBACT III Information Event Advance Notice

If you are interested in attending this URBACT III information event on Thursday 15th October please register now on Eventbrite (no attendance fee applies). The event will be held in Renehan Hall, Maynooth University, 2.00 -5.00 pm.


A full programme will issue shortly.


Following the successful first URBACT III Ireland Information Event held in February 2015 at Maynooth University, this second URBACT III Ireland Information Event will:


a) Provide all stakeholders interested in bidding for funds under the URBACT III programme with up to date information on URBACT III, existing and new calls and, EU wide and Irish specific supports available.


b) Provide guidance and assistance to Irish partners who now wish to join Action Planning Networks which make it through Phase 1 of the recent Action Planning Networks call.
(NB. It is expected that URBACT will announce on September 11th 2015 the results of Phase 1 of the first call for Action Planning Networks. A total of 20 applications from around 100 submitted applications will be selected to progress to Phase 2 of the application process. After this announcement, there will be an opportunity for Irish partners to join these 20 bids (successful applications which make it through Phase 1 have to build their networks/membership base from 5-6 partners to 8-12 partners prior to submitting their Phase 2 applications in March 2016)). 


c)  Provide further information regarding the forthcoming call for the creation of URBACT III Implementation Networks in early 2016.


Who should attend:  Officials and Elected Members from Local Authorities and other cognate public, private, third sector and academic stakeholders.

Please get in touch with Professor Mark Boyle (issplatform@nuim.ie) or Caroline Creamer (caroline.creamer@nuim.ie) if you require further information.
 

Annual Meeting and Ordinary Meeting of the Southern Regional Assembly 10th July 2015

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Annual Meeting and Ordinary Meeting of the Southern Regional Assembly 10th July 2015

The Annual Meeting of the Southern Regional Assembly will be held in Assembly House, O’Connell Street, Waterford on Friday 10th July, 2015 at 12.00 noon. 
 

Please note that this will immediately be followed by an Ordinary meeting of the Assembly

AGENDA for the Annual Meeting of the Southern Regional Assembly


1. Introduction and Welcome.

2. To elect a Cathaoirleach of the Assembly who will hold office until the next Annual Meeting.

3. To elect a Leas Cathaoirleach of the Assembly who will hold office until the next Annual meeting.

4. Adoption of Minutes of Annual Meeting of the Regional Assembly held on 4th July, 2014.

5. Any other business.

 

AGENDA  for the Ordinary meeting of the Southern Regional Assembly


1. Adoption of Minutes of Meeting held on 12th June 2015


2. Matters arising


3. Planning Matters


4. Presentation (speaker from SIRO, a joint venture company between ESB and Vodafone to deliver a 100% fibre-to-the-building broadband network in Ireland, with speeds of up to 1000Mbps )


5. Revised Members Expenses


6. Approval for attendance by Members at Conferences


7. Correspondence


8. Any other business


9. Confirm date for next meeting (11th September)
 

 

Regional GDP per capita in the EU in 2013: seven capital regions among the ten most prosperous

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Regional GDP per capita in the EU in 2013: seven capital regions among the ten most prosperous

The leading regions in the ranking of regional GDP per capita in 2013, after Inner London in the United Kingdom (325% of the average), were the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (258%), Bruxelles/Brussel in Belgium (207%), Hamburg in Germany (195%), Groningen in the Netherlands (187%), Bratislava in Slovakia (184%), Stockholm in Sweden (179%), Île de France in France (175%) and Praha in the Czech Republic (173%).

After Mayotte in France (27%), the lowest regions in the ranking were all in Bulgaria and Romania: Severozapaden (30%), Severen tsentralen (31%) and Yuzhen tsentralen (32%) in Bulgaria and Nord-Est in Romania (34%).


Ireland lies somewhat in the middle, with a GDP per capita of  129% (of the average)  in 2013, 146% in the Southern and Eastern (S&E) Region and 84% in the Border Midland and Western (BMW) Region. The S&E region GDP per capita remains slightly outside of the top 20 ranking regions The S&E region GDP per capita remains slightly outside of the top 20 ranking regions in terms of GDP per capita where the lowest of the top 20 regions is reporting 151% of the average.

Click here to access the report.

EU INTERREG Information Day June 11th 2015 in Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore, Co. Offaly.

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EU INTERREG Information Day June 11th 2015 in Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore, Co. Offaly.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in partnership with the three Regional Assemblies is hosting a one day INTERREG Information Seminar in Tullamore, Co. Offaly on Thursday, June 11th 2015.

The event will bring together representatives from Cross Border, Transnational and Inter-Regional INTERREG Programmes across Europe to present the funding opportunities available to Irish organisations for the 2014-2020 EU funding period.

The eight INTERREG programmes relevant to Irish organisations will be presented at the event.

These are:

Cross Border:                        Ireland/Northern Ireland/Western Scotland Programme
                                                  Ireland/Wales Programme


Transnational:                      Atlantic Area Programme
                                                 Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme
                                                 North West Europe Programme


Inter-Regional (EU 28):        INTERREG EUROPE
                                                  URBACT Programme
                                                  ESPON Programme

The event will offer Irish project promoters specific and relevant information about INTERREG 2014-2020 and the eight individual programmes as well as networking opportunities on the day.

As space at the venue is limited, early booking is advised.

No booking fee applies.

The full Event Programme will follow.

Please confirm your booking to bookings@southernassembly.ie no later than Thursday, May 28th 2015.

EU programme to strengthen links between Wales and Ireland set for launch

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EU programme to strengthen links between Wales and Ireland set for launch

An EU funding programme that will invest around £75 million to strengthen economic links between Wales and Ireland was formally launched on Thursday 26th March.


The new Ireland-Wales Co-operation programme, which will run until 2020, was  launched by Welsh Government Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, and Irish Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, T.D., at an event that took place at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea.


The programme will see businesses and organisations across both nations working together on collaborative projects in areas including innovation, climate change, cultural and natural resources, heritage and tourism.


It will be managed by the Welsh Government in partnership with the Irish authorities.  People, businesses, social enterprises and communities within the north and west of Wales and the south and east of Ireland are set to benefit from the EU investment.


The programme builds on a previous EU-backed Ireland-Wales programme which assisted over 1,700 businesses, and created 100 new businesses and almost 300 new jobs between 2007 and 2014.
Welsh Government Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, said: ‘The Ireland-Wales programme which we are launching today provides us with an excellent vehicle for doing business with Ireland and to learn from each other to address common challenges and opportunities which cut across our sea border.


‘This new £75 million EU investment will create significant benefits for people, businesses and communities, helping us to build on our shared aspirations for economic growth and job creation.’
Irish Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, T.D. said: ‘As a Minister from the region I am pleased that each project supported by this new investment will aim to increase jobs and growth, will have a high social impact and will advance social and economic cohesion across the Ireland Wales maritime border’.‘The Ireland Wales Programme is a prime example of the cooperation between our two communities and of how EU funding can help bring the regions of Europe closer together.’ 


During their visit to Swansea, both Ministers will visit Swansea Bay to see the impact of an Ireland-Wales collaborative project on improving the quality of coastal areas to help boost tourism and support local economies.


Backed with EU funds of £2.7 million, the Smart Coasts project, led in Wales by Aberystwyth University working closely with University College Dublin in Ireland, has developed a new system to give real-time water quality information for bathers, and improve the understanding of pollution sources and the number of ‘Blue Flag’ beaches in line with European bathing water standards.
 

Professor David Kay of the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University said: ‘The real-time management approach we have developed has been in use in Swansea since 2013 giving real public health benefits and providing the opportunity to improve bathing water compliance with current EU standards.
‘Successful application of this approach will be vital in keeping our ‘Blue Flag’ awards for resort town beaches in Ireland and Wales. The modelling to underpin this management initiative is ground breaking and gives more accurate water quality predictions than achieved to date anywhere else in the world.’

How does Ireland fare compared to other European member states?

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How does Ireland fare compared to other European member states?
The Analysis unit of DG for Regional Policy created 28 country fact sheets to support the preparation and negotiations for the programming period 2014-2020. Each factsheet makes it easy to compare the performance of a country with the EU average and the best and the worst performer in the Union.

It shows indicators at the national level, grouped by the three types of growth, and the regional level. In addition, it shows the distribution of population by type of region and a few indicators by degree of urbanisation, which highlight the differences between cities and rural areas.

The Europe 2020 indicators are highlighted in blue in the fact sheet. They show the current level, the target, the distance to the target and recent change. The distance to target shows how far a coun­try is removed from the target it has set itself. This distance can be compared to the EU distance and the shortest and longest national distance. Comparing the distances should provide an indication of the relative effort required to reach the target. Where available and reliable, regional Europe 2020 indicators have been included.

The fact sheets are based on data primarily from Eurostat, but also from the Joint Re­search Centre, the European Environmental Agency, the World Bank and other sources. The targets have been collected from official documents. In some cases, absolute targets have been translated into relative targets to allow for a cross country comparison.

Click here to down load the Ireland fact sheet.

North-West Europe Programme call for the design and development of website

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North-West Europe Programme call for the design and development of website
North-West Europe  (NWE) Programme has just launched a call for the conception, design, development, hosting and maintenance of the NWE 2014-2023 website, since the current contract is about to end.

The website will feature the new Programme’s visual identity and elements (objectives, application process, etc) and will be interlinked with the new monitoring system (eMS).

The company will also take the task of hosting and maintaining the 2007-2013 website (as it was done for the IIIB website in 2008).

The call was published on the NWE website: http://bit.ly/1GxG5fK and in the French (BOAMP) and European (TED) Journals.

The deadline to receive offers is 7th of April at 12h00 (noon).

Please, do spread the news so that NWE can get the best offers possible.
 

‘Sealing the deal’: targeting investments where they are most needed

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‘Sealing the deal’: targeting investments where they are most needed
'Sealing the deal': targeting investments where they are most needed, a blog post by Corina Crețu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy.

Ireland and Wales to benefit from EU investments of more than €79 million

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Ireland and Wales to benefit from EU investments of more than €79 million

The European Commission has adopted last Friday, the 20th February, the new interregional cooperation programme for Ireland and Wales, worth more than €79 million from EU regional funds. When combined with national co-financing, the programme will be worth nearly €100 million.

A key focus of the "Interreg" programme will be to create jobs by better linking Welsh and Irish research organisations and business. Coastal communities will also benefit from measures to combat climate change and to bring more visitors to Welsh and Irish regions by enhancing and promoting their shared natural and cultural heritage.


The programme aims to complement the shared priorities of the Irish and Welsh development plans ("smart specialisation strategies"); exchange knowledge about the impact climate change could have on the Irish sea and how coastal communities could adapt; and to help promote important cultural and natural sites in an environmentally friendly way that will also support the local economy.


Commenting on the adoption, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu, who signed the Programme today, said: "This programme should have real benefits for Irish and Welsh people, particularly those living in coastal communities. Our cross border, interregional programmes are one of the most tangible ways the EU is working to help people address common challenges and tap into shared potential - together. In focusing on linking SME's and research organisations, tackling climate change and helping local tourism, we are addressing both the strengths and the challenges of these regions head on. We expect nearly 4 million people in these regions to benefit from the projects springing from today's decision."


Background


The programme Interreg V-A Ireland-United Kingdom (Ireland Wales) covers the regions of Dublin, Mid-East, Mid-West (North Tipperary only), South East and South West in Ireland and the Isle of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy & Denbighshire and South West Wales, Swansea and Flintshire & Wrexham in Wales.


Interreg V-A is the fourth in a consecutive series of Cross-border Cooperation Programmes between Ireland and Wales. The programme is managed by Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO).


The EU-funding of €79.2 million from the European Regional Development Fund will be complemented by the equivalent of €19.8 million of co-financing from national sources. The whole programme is worth €99 million.


Priorities and Expected Results:


1. Cross-Border Innovation: EU-funding: €31.7 million. Among the expected results: 1.200 enterprises will be supported leading to the creation of 35 new jobs.


2. Adaptation of the Irish Sea and coastal communities to climate change: EU-funding: €27.7 million. Among the expected results: 24 private, public and non-profit organisations and 10 research institutions to collaborate and exchange knowledge for better response/adaptation.


3. Cultural and Natural Resources and Heritage: EU-funding: €15.0 million. Among the expected results: the number of overseas visitors to the coastal communities of the Programme area should be increased by 2%.


An additional €4.8 million will be provided for technical assistance.


More information:


Welsh European Funding Office


Summary of the Operational Programme for Cohesion Policy Funds 2014-2020


Cooperation between regions and countries


European cross-border cooperation


Cohesion Policy and Ireland


Cohesion Policy and the United Kingdom


Twitter: @EU_Regional / @CorinaCretuEU #CohesionPolicy #crossborder #interreg

Contact details for Assembly staff

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Contact details for Assembly staff
If you are trying to get in touch with us on our landlines but we're experiencing problems with our phone system and hope it will be resolved very quickly. In the meantime you can reach all members of staff by email or on their mobile phones.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused!

Click here to access staff contact details.

Interreg NWE Project Ideas Laboratory

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Interreg NWE Project Ideas Laboratory

You can now register for the Interreg NWE Project Ideas Laboratory on the 17th March (full day) in Lille, France. Participation is free of charge, but places are limited. Book a place as soon as possible at the event’s dedicated website: http://projectideaslab2015.nweurope.eu/ where you can see the agenda for the day. This event is for you if you have an idea for a cooperation project and you would like to have it co-funded by Interreg NWE (first call for projects planned for April). It is also open to those interested in becoming part of an existing project idea still looking for partners.

The day will be packed with all you need to succeed: We will explain to you the new themes (Innovation, Low Carbon and Resource and Materials Efficiency) for the 2014-2020 period and will guide you through the application process. We have also foreseen plenty of time for you to present your project idea and look for partners on the spot. The NWE people will be there to answer your questions and provide one-on-one advice.

Here is a summary of the practical bits:

Date : 17/03/2015


Venue: Nouveau Siècle, 8 place Mendes, Lille, France

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/ABQID


Duration: Full day


Registration: http://projectideaslab2015.nweurope.eu/


Social media:We will be using the following hashtag to communicate about the event on Twitter: #NWEprojectideas. Feel free to use it to share your expectations, doubts, comments, etc.

Come prepared: Read about the NWE themes and objectives for 2014-2020 and make sure your project idea matches them: http://bit.ly/1CuAQP2

Businesses encouraged to take up training fund to address skill needs

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Businesses encouraged to take up training fund to address skill needs

Skillnets – the national agency responsible for funding and supporting training networks – has announced details today (28.01.15), of a new training fund aimed at private sector companies to assist businesses in addressing their current and future skills needs.


A group of businesses from the same region, or specialising in the same sector, can collectively apply to develop a Skillnets training network, and draw down funding support for the development and delivery of training.  Businesses can be of any size, from a sole trader to multi-national, and the fund will also be open to existing industry federations, industry bodies or enterprise groups.  


Speaking at the launch of the call Alan Nuzum, CEO of Skillnets, said:  “The economy is now in recovery mode and many businesses are moving from a hand-to-mouth approach to looking towards growth and expansion.  Having the appropriate skills, including addressing future skill needs to deal with expansion, is vital for sustainable development.  Skillnets is pleased to announce a new call for Skillnets training networks so that enterprises emerging from the downturn can be assisted in skills development.”


The total fund available for new networks is initially €350,000, with potential for further expansion of the fund.  Skillnets operates under a joint investment model whereby participating training networks can apply to receive up to 50 per cent of the cost of training from Skillnets, and the remainder of costs are funded in cash contributions from participating companies in the training network.  There are two closing dates for the new funding call:  23rd March & 31st July 2015.


Skillnets already supports 57 training networks in a wide range of sectors ranging from manufacturing to information technology and food / beverage to name some and mixed sectoral training networks across many regions. In the last round of funding, a new Animation Skillnet was set up whose members include Cartoon Saloon, the two-times Oscar nominated studio with “Song of the Sea” currently up for the next Oscar awards.


Paul Young, Chief Executive of Cartoon Saloon, said: “Animation and games are creative and technically driven industries and our teams have to be constantly up-skilled in order to compete in this truly global market. The Animation Skillnet is excellent in offering innovative, relevant training designed by leading practitioners within the industry and facilitates excellent networking and sharing of ideas across the sector.”


According to Alan Nuzum: “There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that businesses in sectors with high growth levels are competing for the same staff in order to meet their current skill needs.  However, this approach does not offer sustainability and can be hugely disruptive if these staff move on.  Addressing current skill needs, and predicting future skill requirements that will help a business grow, is a critical consideration for enterprises wanting to thrive.  By investing in existing staff, not alone will businesses manage skills requirements in a sustainable way, but staff loyalty and commitment can also emerge as a pay-back.


“This new call for training networks is a timely reminder to businesses who are starting to look at growth strategies that skills are key component of business development. Skills shortages have dogged certain sectors in the past, particularly during the economic boom.  It’s important that the lessons of this are learned and acted upon.


“Collaboratively, through creating a training network and leveraging Skillnets support, businesses can develop and access high-quality training at an accessible price-point.  The networks structure – both in a regional or sectoral setting – can also offer secondary benefits such as potential for business collaboration,” he added.


Officiating at today’s launch was Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English.  According to Minister English: “A key element of the Government’s growth and employment strategy is ensuring Ireland has the quality and quantity of skills to attract, retain and grow job opportunities and investment.  SMEs are the lifeblood of the economy, providing the bulk of Irish jobs and it’s imperative that they have the flexibility and skills to develop and expand.  Through continual training, companies can ensure resilience and growth potential for the future. Skillnets-supported training means that employers can access high-quality and sector-specific training with affordable financial investment.”
For networks seeking to access the new call by Skillnets, full details are available on www.skillnets.ie/funding or direct contact can be made with a member of the Skillnets’ team: funding@skillnets.com / 01-2079630.

 


CONTACT: Sinéad McGovern, Skillnets Communications Manager, Tel: 086-3701330/ 01-2079630, Email: communications@skillnets.com
About Skillnets
Skillnets was established in 1999 and is funded from the National Training Fund (NTF) through the Department of Education and Skills (DES).  It actively supports and works with businesses in Ireland to address their current and future skills needs.  It funds groups of companies in the same region / sector, and with similar training needs, through training networks that deliver subsidised training to Irish businesses.  
Employer needs are addressed through both the preservation and growth of jobs, focusing on skills to maintain businesses and protect jobs as well as the enhancement of new skills to create new jobs.  The needs of unemployed people are addressed through activation and conversion by focusing on integrated training with employees and dedicated conversion courses and work placements in areas of employment potential. 


 

EU Working for You Campaign

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EU Working for You Campaign
DG COMM has launched a communication campaign (TV, Print, social media) in 6 countries (Poland, Spain, Finland, Portugal, Germany and Latvia) in the native language.

On the "EU working for you" website you will find examples of EU co-funded projects showing how the EU Budget contributes to implementing the EU policies aiming at improving the lives of Europeans: http://europa.eu/workingforyou/

Short video-clips have been prepared on topics of interest mentEU ioned by the citizens (following a survey) for each of the above countries: http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?&ref=I095746&sitelang=en

The last campaign will be taking place in Latvia from 4 February for five weeks.

The campaign was not happening at the EU level but at the national one. The keywords and hashtags used are in the native language (#ueparasi - #ueparati - #sinuneu - #eufuersieda - #uedlaciebie - #esmusulaba)

Job Vacancy - Coordinator of the Contact Point Network

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Job Vacancy - Coordinator of the Contact Point Network

Job Vacancy - Coordinator of the Contact Point Network

The North West Europe Programme is opening a vacancy for a “Coordinator of the Contact Point Network” position (long-term contract) to join the Joint Secretariat (JS) based in Lille (France).

This is a challenging opportunity to join an international team working in the field of territorial cooperation and regional development.

Main tasks will evolve around :

- Coordination of the network of the Programme Contact Points
- Project Development
- Uptake of Project and Programme results

Click here for more details.

Inaugural Meeting of the Southern Regional Assembly

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Inaugural Meeting of the Southern Regional Assembly

The inaugural meeting of the Southern Regional Assembly will be held in Assembly House, O’Connell Street, Waterford on Friday 9th January 2015 at 12.00 noon.

Agenda for the meeting of the 9th January 2015 is:

  1. Election of Cathaoirleach
  2. Election of Leas Cathaoirleach
  3. Adoption of Minutes of Meeting held on 12th December 2014
  4. Matters arising
  5. Adoption of Standing Orders
  6. Establishment of Strategic Planning Area Committees
  7. Roles and Functions of the Regional Assemblies as set out in the Establishment Order 2014 – Presentation by Director
  8. Members Expenses
  9. Members Workshop 2015
  10. Approval for attendance by Members at Conferences
  11. Correspondence
  12. Any other business
  13. Date and time for next meeting and agree schedule of meetings until Annual Meeting

Southern Regional Assembly

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Southern Regional Assembly

On the First of January 2015 the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly became the Southern Regional Assembly.

This change is part of "Putting People First: An Action Plan for Effective Local Government".

The Best LIFE Environment Projects 2013

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The Best LIFE Environment Projects 2013

The Best LIFE Nature projects 2013 publication highlights the exceptional achievements of nature conservation and restoration projects that were completed before the end of 2013.
The 6th edition of the annual awards ceremony for the winning projects was held in Brussels earlier in 2014. For the first time, the achievements of LIFE Information & Communication (LIFE INF) projects with a nature focus were also recognised.


Four projects received the ultimate accolade (‘Best of the Best’ project), including a LIFE INF project in Greece. In addition, a further nine projects (including two from the LIFE INF strand) were recognised as ‘Best’ LIFE projects for their excellent work.


All 13 outstanding projects - drawn from nine Member States - are featured in this new publication. Together they demonstrate the significant contribution that the LIFE programme can make to nature conservation practice and policy.

Further details available here.

EU approves the Southern and Eastern Regional Programme 2014-2020

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EU approves the Southern and Eastern Regional Programme 2014-2020
The European Commission has today adopted the 2014 2020 'Operational Programme' for the Southern and Eastern region worth €498 million, with some €249 million coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

This funding will support a significant programme of investment in research, technological development and innovation, & entrepreneurship in both enterprises and research centres which seeks to improve the region’s international competiveness while boosting job creation.

The National Broadband Programme which is set to deliver next generation broadband throughout the region over the next few years will also be part funded through the regional programme. Another key aim is to improve the energy efficiency of the region’s housing stock. This will be achieved through a substantial programme of retrofitting works for social housing and apartments to improve their building energy rating, while also tackling issues of fuel poverty within privately owned housing.

Recognising our major cities and towns as engines of the regional economy a new Urban Development Fund will be established to provide grant assistance to the Local Authorities of within the designated Gateway cities and Hub towns in the region providing grant assistance for projects which address in an integrated fashion the various economic, social, and environmental challenges facing these urban centres.

This new investment package will build on the Regional Assembly’s successful management of the current regional programme which is now drawing to a close.

Welcoming the adoption, Mr. Stephen Blair, Director of the S& E Regional Assembly stated “at a time when budgets across the EU are generally being cut, it is a great result for Ireland, and in

particular the Southern & Eastern Region, that the amount of Regional Development Funds being allocated to the region is being increased by over €100 million in the new Programme.


The challenge for us is to ensure that these additional funds are invested wisely over the next seven years so as to have maximum regional impact. Working with our partners we believe we have devised a well-balanced and targeted development strategy which will deliver real and lasting benefits for all of the Southern & Eastern Region in the years ahead."

The programme is expected to support in excess of 50,000 micro-enterprises across the region with direct financial supports or other support measures such as mentoring, management training and advisory services, creating 5,760 jobs in directly supported enterprises. It will increase the number of researchers in research institutions in the region in the order of 690 and further140+ high growth companies will benefit directly from Innovation supports.
It will support the Irish Government’s plan to extend high speed next generation broadband to all un-served settlements in the region, with an estimated 164,300+ households to benefit.  This will also enable a step change in the utilisation of e-commerce and other on-line opportunities for the region’s business community.
More than 19,000 households will benefit from the retrofitting of energy efficient insulation and other energy saving improvements, leading to savings in greenhouse gas emissions. At least 9 cities and towns will benefit from physical enhancement and regeneration works which will make these key towns more attractive to investment and enable sustainable transport use.


The EU co-funded regional investments will be broken down as follows:


• Research, technological development & innovation: € 180 million
• Access to, and quality of information and communication technologies: €60 million
• SME competitiveness: €69.2 million
• Shift to a low-carbon economy: €133 million
• Urban Development €52 million
• Technical assistance for programme management €4million

 

The socio-economic performance of Ireland’s primary urban centres - GHDI 2012

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The socio-economic performance of Ireland’s primary urban centres - GHDI 2012

The paper entitled 'A functional-based approach to measuring the socio-economic performance of Ireland’s primary urban centres: findings and policy implications from the Gateways and Hubs Development Index 2012' was published in Borderlands: The Journal of Spatial Planning in Ireland. It endeavours to establish a methodological approach to define the functional areas and economic reach of the Republic of Ireland’s designated Gateways and Hubs to provide a greater understanding of the socio-economic performance of Ireland’s primary urban centres and nodes of competitiveness.

It argues that the persistent absence of a clearly articulated strategic approach to optimising regional economic development is exacerbating a two-tiered economy with widening disparities in the capacity of Ireland’s key urban regions to attract investment, people and contribute to economic growth.


The paper proposes that policy-makers should consider the principles of 'place-making' to enable a more informed approach to managing diverse growth patterns, agglomeration effects and developmental challenges. While acknowledging the contest over definition of this area of policy, it notes the inherent benefits accruing from adopting an interdisciplinary approach to increase the sustainability of our urban centres.

The article is availabe for download on this webpage and the Borderlands Journal can be accessed on the International Centre for Local and Regional Development's (ICLRD) website please click  here.

EU funds support a range of activities in the Southern and Eastern region

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A flavour of some of the achievements under the EU co-funded S&E Regional Programme 2007-2013

EU funds support a range of activities in the Southern and Eastern region

The second co-funded Regional Programme (2007-2013) for the Southern and Eastern region is drawing to a close. An investment of in excess of the €681 million was made across a range of activities and measures.  The programme draws its funding from the Irish Exchequer and from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The EU Commission allocates the ERDF budget to a plan which is negotiated between the Commission and the managing authority who acts on behalf of the Member State, Ireland. For this programme the managing authority is the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly.

We are happy to say that the programme is on target to draw down the ERDF allocation of €146.6 million. Innovation & the knowledge economy, environment & risk minimisation, accessibility to services of general interest (broadband, sustainable urban transport), and increasing adaptability of workers and enterprises were the main aims of the programme.

To get a greater sense of the types of projects co-funded under the programme please click here to download a pdf leaflet which highlights some of the achievements to date.

The list of beneficiaries (projects) are published on our website in a searchable database (click here to access) and in a downloadable pdf which shows projects by county (click here to download the latest list).

Waterford City & County Community & Voluntary Awards Shortlisted Groups Announced

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Southern & Eastern Regional Assembly – Social Enterprise Award Sponsor (L-R) Cllr. James Tobin, Waterford City & County Mayor; Sharon Crotty, Programme Executive, Southern & Eastern Regional Assembly, Michael J Walsh, Chair CWCF; Michael Quinn, Director of Services, Waterford City & County Council

Waterford City & County Community & Voluntary Awards Shortlisted Groups Announced
The presentation of the Community and Voluntary Awards sponsorship cheques took place on Thursday 6th November in Civic Offices, Dungarvan. The cheques were presented by the corporate sponsors of this year’s awards to Cllr. James Tobin Mayor, Waterford City & County Council and the chairperson of the County Waterford Community Forum, Michael J Walsh.

This is the 10th year of the Community & Voluntary Awards. The Awards recognise and reward the contribution made by voluntary groups across the county and for the first time includes Waterford City groups. 44 nominations were received this year, and we would like to congratulate all the groups and wish them the best of luck. The Awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 27th November, in the Park Hotel, Dungarvan with the announcement of the winners on the night.

 

 

Shortlisted Groups:

Arts, Culture & Heritage – Sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline
Lismore Tidy Towns
WHAT- Waterford Healing Art’s Trust
Tramore Cultural Development

Children & Youth – Sponsored by Mc Donald’s
Klub Muzik
WASSA Waterford Autism
Waterford Scout County

Community Services – Sponsored by Community Dept, Waterford City & County Council
Dungarvan & Helvick Head RNLI Fundraising Branch
Mental Health & Suicide Awareness
St. Herblain Residents Association Committee


Environment – Sponsored by Geaney & O’Neill
Co Waterford Beekeepers Association
Tramore Tidy Towns
Touraneena Village Improvement

Healthy & Active Community – Sponsored by Glanbia
Cunnigar Pitch & Putt
Anne Valley Walk Farmers Group
Waterpark College

Social Enterprise – Sponsored by Southern & Eastern Regional Assembly
Copper Coast Geopark
Comhlucht Forbartha na nDéise
Curtain Call Productions Dungarvan

Social Inclusion – Sponsored by Bus Eireann
Ballysaggart Community Care
Down syndrome Waterford/South Kilkenny Branch
Kinsalebeg Community Group

S&E and BMW Regional Assemblies Joint Annual Conference

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S&E and BMW Regional Assemblies Joint Annual Conference 2014 Maximising European Funding Opportunities 2014-2020

S&E and BMW Regional Assemblies Joint Annual Conference

 

Maximising EU Funding Opportunities 2014-2020

(Click here to download the conference brochure)

Ireland’s Regional Assemblies are co-hosting this conference to provide delegates with up to date information on EU funding opportunities and the means of accessing EU funds.  The Regional Assemblies will continue to act as Managing Authorities for the ERDF co-funded Regional Programmes 2014-2020 which will provide investment in excess of €800m over the next 7 years, as part of Ireland’s Partnership Agreement with the EU. These programmes will support the building of research and innovation capacity, next generation broadband, SME competitiveness, energy efficiency and sustainable urban development. The Regional Assemblies also host the National Contact Points for several transnational INTERREG Programmes and for the Ireland-Wales Cross-border Programme.

The conference will be of particular interest to regional and local bodies, development agencies, higher education institutions and community organisations. The conference brings together key European, National and Regional speakers who will present the details of the funding opportunities available. The speaker panel includes those who have been involved in framing the new programmes along with those who manage and benefit from the programmes at regional and local levels.

(For a flavour of some of the achievements of the S&E Regional Programme 2007-2013 download our flyer here)

 

Admission is free: Booking is essential

 

 

 

 

Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme 2014-2020 -First Call for main Project Applications

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Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme 2014-2020 -First Call for main Project Applications
The  Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme 2014-2020  First Call for main Project Applications is now open until November 24th 2014. Details on the Call and application pack can be found on  www.interreg-npa.eu  

The programme has a budget of some €50m available from the European Regional Development Fund for transnational projects over the period 2014-2020. Project Partners from Ireland can avail of a 65% grant rate. The Programme will support four key thematic priorities: -

1. Innovation
2. Entrepreneurship
3. Renewables and Energy Efficiency
4. Natural and Cultural heritage.

The Call Announcement is attached for your information.

A second call is expected to open on January 5th 2015 and close in April 2015. A Third call is expected during the summer of 2015.

The programme will also accept Preparatory projects from early 2015, click here to download

If you require any assistance with developing projects & finding partners in the NPA eligible  contact:

Michael O'Brien,
Programme Liaison Officer,
BMW Regional Assembly,
The Square,
Ballaghaderreen,
Co. Roscommon,
IRELAND.
Phone: 094-9862970
Fax: 094-9862973
web: www.bmwassembly.ie

 

Report Shows Skillnets’ Programmes have Strong Appeal Across the SME Sector

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Report Shows Skillnets’ Programmes have Strong Appeal Across the SME Sector
SMEs that participate in Skillnets training networks are well equipped to address skills gaps within their business.  That’s one of the findings of a new evaluation of Skillnets, the agency working with businesses in Ireland to address their current and future skills needs.

The independent evaluation by Indecon International Economic Consultants, published 30th September 2014, found that Skillnets exceeded targets set for it by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) for 2013, while remaining within budget.  The report also found that the majority of participants in Skillnets’ training programmes last year were from the SME sector.


Skillnets operates four main training programmes:
•         The Training Networks Programme (TNP), supporting training across a wide range of industry sectors and geographical regions.
•         The Finuas Networks Programme, supporting specialised training in the international financial services sector.
•         ManagementWorks, supporting a range of management development training opportunities along with mentoring support for SME managers.
•         The Job-Seekers Support Programme (JSSP), supporting training courses and work placements for unemployed people


Impact on SME Sector
According to the Indecon report, the majority of participants in the TNP, Finuas and ManagementWorks programmes were from the SME sector, with participation in each programme broken down as follows:
•         93 per cent of the 9,283 companies participating in TNP were SMEs.
•         90 per cent of the 344 companies participating in Finuas came from the SME sector.
•         Under ManagementWorks – which was specifically designed to support the SME sector – 10,287 training days were provided to 838 trainees in 2013.

 

Commenting, Alan Nuzum, CEO of Skillnets, said: “The training schemes operated under our Training Networks Programme (TNP) focus on transferability of skills; fostering company diversification or transferability within a sector or to another sector; facilitating increased performance and growth in priority sectors; and enhancing the general competency skills of lifelong learners.  Because of these focus areas, it is no surprise that they have large appeal for SMEs.“Our training is also attractive to SMEs because it is cost-effective and designed with the needs and demands of businesses in mind.  Eighty-two per cent of the companies that participated in TNP training last year indicated that it had a high, or very high, impact on addressing skills gaps within their business, and 90 per cent indicated that training was effective in meeting their overall expectations.“Traditionally, training and upskilling have not been prioritised within the SME sector, so we are delighted that this independent evaluation shows our training networks are having an impact within small and medium businesses throughout Ireland.”


In compiling the evaluation report, Indecon undertook an extensive programme of primary research among training network managers, promoters, member companies and trainees, through a series of separate survey streams.  In addition to evaluating Skillnets’ TNP, Finuas and ManagementWorks programme, the report also assessed the organisation’s work with job-seekers.
 

Job-Seeker Training

While Skillnets’ core remit remains focused on the provision of training to individuals who are in employment, training for job-seekers now represents 23 per cent of overall activity for the organisation.
Skillnets aims to provide a minimum of 10 per cent of the overall places on its main TNP and Finuas programmes to unemployed persons, with eligible individuals participating in training alongside employed trainees on a zero direct-cost basis.  In addition, it operates the Job-Seekers Support Programme (JSSP), designed specifically to provide training based on industry needs and work placements with employers.


Within the TNP and Finuas programmes, close to 65,000 training days were provided to over 7,300 job-seekers in 2013.


Skillnets’ Job-Seekers Support Programme (JSSP) includes a training and work placement option.  The key achievements and features of the JSSP during 2013 were as follows:
•         47 networks operated under the JSSP, with expenditure of €2.8 million (€2.67 million in public funding).
•         A total of 48,447 training days were provided to 3,027 trainees (four per cent ahead of Skillnets’ target).
•         47 per cent of JSSP trainees during 2013 were previously unemployed for one year or more.
•         42 per cent of trainees were previously educated at below primary degree level.
•         47 per cent of trainees progressed into employment. 


Other Findings
As well as highlighting the positive impact that Skillnets-supported training is having on Ireland’s SME sector and on job-seekers, the report also detailed how Skillnets remained within its budget last year.  Across all programmes network expenditure totalled €23.1 million.  The majority of expenditure took place within the 59 TNP networks (€17.2 million or 74.4 per cent of the total), while the Finuas networks accounted for €1.5 million (6.5 per cent of the total) and ManagementWorks represented €1.66 million.


The full independent evaluation report from Indecon is available to download at: www.skillnets.ie/publications/evaluation-skillnets-programmes-2013.

Winners Announced At Student Enterprise Awards 2014 National Finals

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Cathal Daly (16) of ‘Upright Cycle Stands’ from De la Salle College, Waterford City won the Senior Category of the Student Enterprise Awards 2014

Winners Announced At Student Enterprise Awards 2014 National Finals

A teenage entrepreneur from Waterford City and his company ‘Upright Cycle Stands’ has been awarded first prize at the 12th annual County and City Enterprise Boards Student Enterprise Awards National Finals at Croke Park. 


Cathal Daly (16) of ‘Upright Cycle Stands’ from De la Salle College, Waterford City won the Senior Category of the Student Enterprise Awards.  In the Intermediate Category, which features Second and Third year students, Leah Barry (14), Áine Upton (14) and Muireann Ní Tobin (15) of ‘Teacher’s P.E.T.’ from Gaelcholáiste Uí Chonba, Newcastlewest, Co. Limerick took top prize while the Junior Category overall prize went to Emma McCabe (14), Zoe Maguire (13), Edel Campbell (13) and Ricardas Cepanauskas (14) of ‘Sheep Watch’ from St. Oliver Post Primary School, Oldcastle, Co. Meath.

In the Junior Category the runners-up in second place were ‘Bored Games’ from St. Clare's Comprehensive, Co. Leitrim with ‘Ballyroan Bakers Cookbook’ from Colaiste Eanna, Co. Dublin, taking third place. The Innovation Award went to ‘Emerscreamers’ from Scoil Mhuire, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary; ‘Zeet Argan’ from Donabate Community School in Fingal, Co. Dublin won the Best Display Award; and the Social Media Award went to ‘Sheep Watch’ from St. Oliver Post Primary School in Oldcastle, Co. Meath.

‘Shortn'it’ from Loreto College, Co. Cavan won second prize in the Intermediate Category, while the third prize went to ‘Recineration’ from Patrician High School, Co. Monaghan. ‘Connect Shade’ from St. Gerard's College, Bray, Co. Wicklow won the Innovation Award; ‘Blissful Bites’ from St. Clare's Comprehensive, Co. Leitrim won the Best Display Award; and the Social Media Award went to ‘3T Tairgi’ from Colaiste Pobal Osraí, Co. Kilkenny.

Runners-up in the Senior Category included: ‘My Little Big Adventure’ from Beara Community School, West Cork who took second place and ‘Steindesign’ from Castleisland Community College, Co. Kerry taking third place. The Innovation Award went to ‘The Moss Muncher’ from St. Macartan's College, Co. Monaghan, while the Best Display Award went to ‘Interactive Arts’ from Blackrock College, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown; ‘Pink and Smokey’ from Newbridge College, Co. Kildare won the Social Media Award.

In the Senior Category, the Judges Merit Award One went to ‘Principal Apps’ from Colaiste Chiarain, Croom, Co. Limerick and ‘Brace Yourself’ from Mercy College, Co. Sligo took the Judges Merit Award Two.

Organised by the County and City Enterprise Boards, a record-breaking 17,000 students from 370 schools have researched, set-up and managed their real-life businesses, as part of the biggest student enterprise programme in the country. Through their involvement, students are learning important business skills, gaining real-world experience and developing their commercial instincts.
Judging of the awards centres on key business areas, including: business planning, market research, sales and marketing, financial management, innovation and enterprise.  The Senior Category Award winner receives an International enterprise education study visit to Lisbon as part of the prize. 
Vincent Reynolds, Chairperson, Network of County & City Enterprise Boards, presented prizes to the twenty winning enterprises at the award ceremony this afternoon, saying: “The Student Enterprise Awards programme is committed to supporting student micro-enterprises in developing their ideas, creating new concepts and growing their businesses. For over 12 years, the network of County and City Enterprise Boards has fostered an enterprise culture among students in Ireland and the newly established Local Enterprise Offices will carry on this drive for enterprise; encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship from an early age.”
The top 20 students at senior level at the National Finals will be offered the opportunity to attend a Business Bootcamp, organised by the County and City Enterprise Boards, which will take place at the art Nexus Innovation Centre at the University of Limerick. The four day course will feature a range of interactive enterprise workshops and the students will also get to work closely with members of the Nexus community of entrepreneurs.
Loman O’Byrne, Chair of the Enterprise Education Committee with the County and City Enterprise Boards, said: “Nurturing and promoting student entrepreneurship in schools today will help provide a valuable resource of creativity and inspiration for the sustainable businesses of tomorrow. The variety of original concepts and products at today’s event, showcase the ability of Irish students and the exciting opportunities that are ahead of these entrepreneurs in generating business both at home and abroad.”
In 2013, Fergus Munday, Matthew Hewston and Luke Sheridan of St. Clare’s Comprehensive School, County Leitrim were the Senior Category winners.  Their company, ‘Squeazy’, creates and sells a fun and frustrating toy, based on a classic science experiment (the Cartesian diver), and since winning they have sold over 3,000 units of their branded science game.   
The 2014/2015 programme starts in September, with full details available at www.studententerprise.ie  

ENDS

For all media queries, please contact ENGAGE IRELAND
Adrienne Ferguson, Tel 086 355 2974 / aferguson@engageireland.com

Paul Valette-Devine, Tel: 086 466 6967 / pdevine@engageireland.com

NOTES TO THE EDITOR

Interview opportunities with the winners, teachers and organisers are available (please contact Engage Ireland).

Event Information: Student Enterprise Awards (National Finals)

Co-ordinated by the County and City Enterprise Boards, the Student Enterprise Awards are now in their 12th year. The official website address for the programme is www.studententerprise.ie

An estimated 17,000 secondary school students from 370 schools have taken part in the programme this year and every county is represented.

As part of its remit, the County and City Enterprise Boards aim to foster an enterprise culture among students in Ireland. Students usually qualify for the National Final through their School or County Final, through their local County and City Enterprise Board. 


List of Overall Winners (Senior, Intermediate and Junior Categories)


Senior Category
First Place (Senior Category)
Winning Business: ‘Upright Cycle Stands’ (Supported by Waterford City Enterprise Board)
Description: Hardwood cycle stands for bicycles with clipless pedals that hold the bicycle by the pedal so it does not touch the frame or rims of the bicycle.
School: De la Salle College, Waterford City
Students: Cathal Daly
Teacher: Declan O Brien

Intermediate Category
First Place (Intermediate Category)
Winning Business: ‘Teacher’s P.E.T.’ (Supported by Limerick County Enterprise Board)
Description: A multipurpose whiteboard aid for teachers.
School: Gaelcholáiste Uí Chonba, Newcastlewest, Co. Limerick
Students: Leah Barry, Áine Upton and Muireann Ní Tobin
Teacher: Donal Enright
 
Junior Category
First Place (Junior Category)
Winning Business: ‘Sheep Watch’ (supported by Meath County Enterprise Board)
Description: A sheep pulse rate collar with text alert to farmer.
School: St. Oliver Post Primary School, Oldcastle, Co. Meath
Students: Emma McCabe, Zoe Maguire, Edel Campbell and Ricardas Cepanauskas 
Teacher: Ciara McConnell


Photography: Mark Stedman from Photocall Ireland (Tel: 018747124) has been commissioned to syndicate images from the Student Enterprise Awards on Wednesday, 2nd April 2014
 

Citizen’s Summary S&E ROP 2014-2020, Draft

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Citizen’s Summary S&E ROP 2014-2020, Draft

The Southern and Eastern Regional Operational Programme (S&E ROP) 2014-2020 was submitted to the European Commission on 22nd July 2014 by the S&E ROP Managing Authority. The European Structural Investment (ESI) Funds provide support, through multi-annual programmes. These funds complement national, regional and local intervention, to deliver the Union strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth taking account of the Europe 2020 Integrated Guidelines and the relevant country-specific recommendations.

On receipt of the programme, the Commission commenced its assessment for its consistency with the Common Provisions Regulation and the Fund Specific Rules. They also cross check the programme for consistency with the Partnership Agreement. Their assessment addresses, in particular, the adequacy of the programme strategy, the corresponding objectives, indicators, targets and the allocation of budgets.

The Commission is obliged to make observations within three months of the date of submission of the programme. The Member State must provide to the Commission all necessary additional information and, where appropriate, revise the proposed programme.


In accordance with the Fund-specific rules, the Commission is required to approve a programme no later than six months following its submission, provided that any observations made by the Commission has been adequately taken into account. The programme cannot be approved by the Commission in advance of a decision approving the Partnership Agreement.

A Citizen's Summary of the draft S&E ROP  is available to download. Further detail on the programme development process is available here.

European Cooperation Day 2014 - Be part of it!

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European Cooperation Day 2014 - Be part of it!

On 21 September 2014 and the surrounding days you will have one opportunity to join your “neighbour” in celebrating the achievements of more than 20 years of territorial cooperation in Europe in your region.

In the past two editions, people cycled together, sang together, ate together, and in general had a wonderful time in each other’s company in hundreds of local events organised by territorial cooperation programmes in over 30 countries.

Supported by the European Commission and the European Parliament, European Cooperation Day invites all Europeans again this year to get out and meet your neighbours at one of the events showcasing project results or highlighting the importance of territorial cooperation.

'Sharing borders, growing closer' is the motto for the celebration of this spirit of cooperation throughout Europe and beyond, as territorial cooperation also involves neighbouring countries of the EU.

Click here for more information on European Cooperation Day.

Creative Europe EU Cooperation Projects - information seminars and application clinics

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Creative Europe EU Cooperation Projects - information seminars and application clinics
The Creative Euope Desk Ireland – Culture Office will host two information seminars and application clinics.  A date for a Dublin seminar in September will be confirmed shortly.

Triskel Arts Centre Cork                                                                                Belfast City Hall
Wednesday 20 August                                                                                  Wednesday 27 August
10.30am – 5pm                                                                                             10.30am – 5pm

The Creative Europe Desk Ireland – Culture Office are hosting free information seminar and application workshops in Cork and Belfast. The event in Belfast is in cooperation with the Creative Europe Desk UK – Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland and European Regional Forum.

The events are intended for cultural and arts organisations that are developing and planning applications for the Cooperation Projects strand of the Creative Europe programme, which has a deadline on 1 October 2014.

Along with representatives from the Creative Europe Desk, practitioners who have first-hand experience of developing and running EU funded culture projects will be in attendance. The event will provide technical assistance and practical advice, as well as offering networking opportunities.

If your organisation is planning an application to the Creative Europe Programme under the 1 October 2014 deadline, you can register for a one-to-one meeting during the application clinics. These meetings are intended for organisations at a relatively advanced stage in the development of an application to the Creative Europe programme. You should have confirmed your partners and have begun the process of filling in the application forms.

The seminar is free but places are limited so you will need to RSVP.  Below are the details for the Cork and Belfast events, including how to register for the one-to-one clinics:

Cork

Please register for the seminar here by Friday 15 August
To book a place in the clinic, please email the following information to cedculture@artscouncil.ie by 6pm on Friday 15 August:
· Project outline
· List of confirmed partner organisations
· Draft project summary

 

Belfast

Please register for the seminar here by Friday 22 August
To book a place in the clinic, please email the following information to rdavis@artscouncil-ni.org by 6pm on Friday 22 August:
· Project outline
· List of confirmed partner organisations
· Draft project summary

Further details on the Creative Europe calls are available here

June/July issue of the EU News Bulletin from the Irish Regions Brussels Office

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June/July issue of the EU News Bulletin from the Irish Regions Brussels Office
The latest issue, for June-July, of the EU News Bulletin from the Irish Regions Brussels Office – with analysis of recent developments which may be of specific relevance to Ireland's local and regional levels.

The newsletter looks at specific current opportunities and background information on funding issues covers:

  • Call: Road Safety
  • Call: Diversifying Tourism
  • Call: Sector Skills Councils
  • Call: Twinning & Networking of Towns and Civil Society Projects
  • Broadband: new local financing & support package
  • Clare wave energy technology project secures €23m
  • Ireland reveals its LEADER approach
  • 6th Cohesion Report - Project: eDIGIREGION – South-East digital  technology cluster

There are also a series of News & Policy pieces looking at:

  • Circular Economy proposals
  • …Cities & Regions seek involvement
  •  Green Action Plan for SMEs
  •  Local Authorities to be reclassified as ‘’Lobbyists’’
  • ‘Urban Agenda’ - Joined-up research funding: ambitions coming too late?
  •  Local Actions for Energy Security - Drinking Water consultation follows petition
  •  MEPs’ committee positions decided - Disabled ‘Access City’ awards
  •  Ireland late on HGV road charging - ’Big Data’ Strategy

Finally, it profiles upcoming events on:

  • Structural Funds to fight poverty
  • ICT and Regional Investment
  •  ‘Open Days’: Week of Regions and Cities 2014
Click here to download the pdf

Queries, feedback and suggestions for the future are most welcome as is appropriate
 

The European Union’s Cohesion Policy: investing in your Regions and Cities

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The European Union’s Cohesion Policy: investing in your Regions and Cities

Every year the EU invests millions of Euro in job creation and economic growth, to help reduce social and economic differences between its regions. This short video will tell you more on how these EU investments can improve citizens' everyday lives by stimulating economic growth in their region. 

 

 

Over the past five years, EU cohesion policy has created over 600.000 jobs; invested in the professional training of up to 15 million people every year to improve their employability; and co‑financed the construction of 25 000 km of roads and 1800 km of railways; it has also ensured the provision of clean drinking water for 3 million more people; has invested in 200 000 small and medium-sized companies and 61.000 research projects. These figures are still growing, as projects which started over the past 5 years continue to produce results.

All this is made possible by the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Social Fund, which together represent more than one-third of the EU budget.

Panorama Magazine – Building Partnerships

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Panorama Magazine – Building Partnerships

The Summer edition of Panorama magazine offers an update on the progress of adoption of Partnership Agreements, and goes into detail on the first agreement adopted - Denmark's - with an interview with the heads of the Danish Managing Authorities. We also look back at ten years of enlargement with an overview of the progress made by the Member States who have joined the Union since 2004 and how they have benefitted from Cohesion Policy.


Elsewhere in this issue we describe the important new governance guidelines and tools designed to combat fraud; go behind the scenes at the Committee of the Regions as they celebrate their 20th anniversary; highlight the work of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund in supporting coastal businesses and communities; and there is a report from this year's World Urban Forum in Medellín, attended by Commissioner Hahn.


As in previous issues our readers contribute to the debate in the "In Your Own Words" section where representatives from Member States, regions and associations across Europe share their thoughts on the reform and their hopes for the new funding period. You will also find the usual selection of news items and featured projects from across the EU.

Click here to download.

LIFE Programme 2014-2020

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LIFE Programme 2014-2020

LIFE 2014 to 2020: total budget of €3.5 billion (+40%)


For projects funded by action grants and financial instruments: €2.8 billion (81% of total)

  • Sub-programme for environment €2.1 billion
  • Nature & Biodiversity including related governance and information at least 55% of sub-programme ENV (could be further increased by 10% in view of demand level)
  • Sub-programme for climate action projects - €0.69 billion
  • Operating grants to environmental and climate NGOs €63 million
  • Budget (of programme): €3.4 billion. Co-financing rate: Maximum co-financing rate of 60% of eligible costs.

The European Commission recently published the Life Multiannual Work Programme for 2014-17. This is mandatory reading for all potential LIFE applicants as it lists information on the application process and the assessment criteria that will be used under each sub programme of LIFE.


Potential applicants under the under the Environment Sub-Programme of LIFE for 2014-17 should also note that the Work Programme lists project topics that will be given priority by the European Commission in the Environment sub Programme during the 2014-17 period. Applications will still be accepted that deal with topics not mentioned in the Work Programme however they will not be able to receive 10% of the assessment marks on offer and will therefore have a substantial disadvantage over projects applications that stick to the project topics listed in the work programme.
There is no list of priority project topics under the Climate Action Sub-Programme.

LIFE Call 2014 Indicative timetable

Traditional projects:

Call published: 16 June 2014 - Submission Oct. 2014 - Grants signed: July 2015 -  Reserve list grants signed Oct/Dec 2015

Integrated projects:

Call published: 16 June 2014 - Submission of concept note: Oct. 2014 - Submission of full proposal: Apr. 2015 - with grants signed: Sept 2015

Unused budget from Integrated projects transferred to reserve traditional projects Sept. 2015

LIFE Experience: Successful Irish Projects


Aran LIFE – Dr. Patrick McGurn, Project Manager
WISER LIFE – Dr. Sarah Miller, CEO Rediscovery Centre, Ballymun, Dublin
Burren LIFE – Dr. Brendan Dunford, Programme Manager, Burren Farming for Conservation Programme
Past performance for Ireland under LIFE+ 2007-2013:

  •  34 applications submitted;
  • 10 successful applications - attracting an EU contribution of €14.3 million

LIFE Environment – Nature & Biodiversity
Presentation from National Parks and Wildlife Service, Dr. Rebecca Jeffrey
LIFE Environment sub-programme – Mr. Angelo Salsi, head of Unit, LIFE Nature, DG Env
The new LIFE programme sees a movement from a mono programme to a framework programme. LIFE Regulation 1293/2013 provides the legislative basis for the programme.

  • Priorities: Environment, nature and biodiversity, information
  • Funding types: Action grants for projects; Operating grants for NGO's
  • Projects: Pilot, demonstration, best practice, information => so called "traditional projects"
  • Funding rate: exceptionally 75% for priority species and habitats
  • Actors: beneficiaries SMEs, public authorities, NGOs
  • National allocations but only for 4 years and ENV traditional projects
  • An Emphasis placed on replicability/transferability of project results
  • A new priority area: Climate action => Mitigation and adaptation
  • Multi-annual work programmes MAWP (4+3 years)
  • New types of projects: Integrated, technical assistance, capacity building, preparatory projects
  • Project topics for traditional projects under the sub-programme for environment
  • Governance component => from INF to GIE/GIC
  • Innovative financial instruments => NCFF, PF4EE
  • Funding rate: max 60% of eligible cost in the first 4 years; 100% for capacity building

Actors:

  • EASME for grants except ENV Integrated Projects
  • EIB/intermediary banks for financial instruments
  • National Contact Points role explicitly acknowledged in the Regulation

Submission directly to EC and no LIFE Committee vote on the list (+ no national priorities and comments)

LIFE Climate Action sub-programme – Ms. Mette Koefoed-Quinn, Deputy Head of Unit, Climate Finance and Deforestation, DG Clima
§ No National Allocation under the Climate Action sub-programme

Main Points from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government presentation on National Contact Point role and support arrangements:

The aim is to build on capacity through awareness raising & facilitation of project teams from concept through to application stage

To advise applicants on the different elements of the programme, and where we think the proposal fits best.

  • Review project ideas – ‘project concept template’
  • Feedback on proposals for eligibility and content
  • Provide advice and support for applicants in preparing their proposal
  • Presentations at relevant events


The Concept Template

  • Designed to help applicants compile a basic project structure
  • Enables DECLG and NPWS keep in touch and help you with your application
  • Eligible for additional help from NCPs including application writing workshop
Further capacity building efforts planned

For applicants

  • Application writing work-shop (August tbc)
  • Online networking facility (LinkedIn?)
     

For DECLG & other Departments/Agencies

  • More structured ongoing communication and engagement – ‘Inter-Agency Steering Group’’


Online Application Tool – eProposal https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/eproposalWeb/

To keep in touch with the LIFE Team! Email: LIFE@environ.ie Twitter:@EULIFE_PROG_IE

Siobhán Nic Thighearnáin
LIFE National Contact Point
Environment International, Research & Information
Department of Environment, Community
& Local Government
Room 2.41
Custom House
Dublin 1
Tel: 00353 (0)1 888 2571
Email: siobhan.nicthighearnain@environ.ie

Seosamh Ó Laoi
LIFE National Contact Point
Environment International, Research & Information
Department of Environment, Community
& Local Government
Room 2.41
Custom House
Dublin 1
Tel: 00353 (0)1 888 2876
Email: seosamh.olaoi@environ.ie


For programme information visit: www.environ.ie/en/Environment/LIFEProgramme/


 

GUIDANCE NOTE FOR ORGANISATIONS WHEN PREPARING FOR AUDITS of ERDF CO-FINANCED PROJECTS

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GUIDANCE NOTE FOR ORGANISATIONS WHEN PREPARING FOR AUDITS of ERDF CO-FINANCED PROJECTS

A guidance document is issued by the Southern & Eastern (S&E)  and Border, Midland and Western (BMW) Managing Authorities to assist all organisations at IB and PBB level in the cascade system in the preparation for audits of projects co-funded by ERDF.
The basis for this and all the key points addressed stem from findings and recommendations of audits that have been already been carried out across the various themes of the operational programmes during the 07-13 programming period to date. Please note that this is not an attempt to cover all the rules and requirements that need to be adhered to for ERDF co-funded schemes, but we have aimed at highlighting a number of the most common issues that have arisen to date.

The Audit Guidance is available for download on this webpage or visit the Financial Management & Control Section of our website for this guidance and for further information.

Europe in My Region - Photo competition

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Europe in My Region - Photo competition

The third annual ‘Europe in My Region’ Photo Competition takes place this summer and once again aims to raise awareness of projects which have received funding as part of EU regional policy.


The competition is run via the European Commission’s Facebook page. The competition is launched on June 12th and entries will be accepted until Monday 25 August 2014 (at noon).The 100 pictures with the highest amount of votes, plus up to 50 “wildcard” entries (that were not included in the 1st group with the highest votes), are put forward to a jury of 3 photography professionals who will select 3 winners.  The winners will receive their prizes – a trip to Brussels and €1 000 to spend on digital camera equipment -  during OPEN DAYS 2014 in October.


To get more visibility and shares, use the official hashtag of the competition whenever you share your entry on Facebook or Twitter: #EUmyRegion.

May issue of the EU News Bulletin from the Irish Regions Brussels Office

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May issue of the EU News Bulletin from the Irish Regions Brussels Office

May issue of the EU News Bulletin from the Irish Regions Brussels Office  with articles covering recent developments which may be of specific relevance to Ireland's local and regional levels.
 
This month, analysis is provided of specific current funding opportunities on:
· Energy Infrastructure
· Local Intermediaries for Entrepreneur Exchange
· Social Service Reform
· Sustainable Industry
· Online Distribution of audio-visual material
 
There are also pieces looking at:
· Ireland’s future Regional Programmes – public consultations
· Transport Networks Work Programmes
· Shaping future Environment Research & Innovation funding topics
· Have your say on the next Interreg Atlantic Area programme
· EU Social Innovation prize for Dublin Voidstarter housing pilot
· Project: Fostering innovative entrepreneurship approaches in South-East organisations
· Mid-term review of Europe 2020 Strategy underway
· Damaged Habitats site declassification ruling
· Simplified Environmental Impact Assessment enters force
· Energy State Aid changes
· Digital Agenda Toolbox
· European Prize for Urban Public Space
 
Finally, we profile upcoming events  on:
· Atlantic Action Plan: SME financing
· Local community ‘cooperative production, financing and use of low-carbon technologies’
· EU opportunities for regional and local authorities in the energy sector
· Peripheral and island marine energy communities
· LIFE: National Information Day
· Innovative public procurement

The newsletter is available for download in pdf and word.
 

Western Development Commission Policy Briefing No 6 Commuting to Work: Rural Dwellers, Urban Jobs

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Western Development Commission Policy Briefing No 6 Commuting to Work: Rural Dwellers, Urban Jobs
The Western Development Commission (WDC)  has published its latest Policy Briefing WDC Policy Briefing No.6 Commuting to Work: Rural Dwellers, Urban Jobs, click here to download.

Based on analysis of national data from Census 2011, it shows that across the country, commuting is an important aspect of employment. It also shows that the most significant employment destination for rural dwellers is urban areas. These workers are profiled and case studies provide further insights.

Key Points from the Policy Briefing
In 2011, 35.5% of workers in Ireland lived in rural areas, but just 21.3% of all jobs were located there. 

 

The WDC Policy Briefing notes that
· nearly one in five (19%) of all rural dwellers commute to work in one of the nine NSS gateways; and
· one in four (24.4%) commute to work in towns
· over a quarter of rural dwellers commuting to work in the Galway (25.6%) and Waterford (24.9%) gateways, work in IDA business parks
· over 18% of rural dwellers commuting to work in Sligo work in IDA business parks.

This Policy Briefing shows that many rural dwellers commute to work over long distances and shows the importance of urban based employment as a very important element in sustaining rural communities. It highlights the need for job creation strategies to focus on where people live, in rural areas and towns across the country, and not just on the larger cities. Without greater efforts to disperse employment growth there is likely to be more pressure on rural dwellers to commute or move to take up jobs in the larger gateways.

Note:
· The Gateways are the nine National Spatial Strategy Gateways of Dublin, Cork, Limerick/Shannon, Galway, Waterford, Dundalk, Sligo, Letterkenny/(Derry) and Athlone/Tullamore/Mullingar.
· Towns are those population centres of 1,500 and above and excluding the nine NSS gateways.
· Rural is defined using the CSO classification where settlements with a population of less than 1,500 and open countryside are defined as rural.

Cohesion Policy and Ireland

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Cohesion Policy and Ireland

In 2014-2020, Ireland will manage three operational programmes: two regional European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programmes and one national European Social Fund (ESF) programme. The two regional programmes will cover the Border, Midland and Western region and the Southern and Eastern Region.


Structural Funds (ERDF and ESF) eligibility 2014-2020
■ Less developed regions
(GDP/head < 75 % of EU-27 average)
■ Transition regions
(GDP/head between >= 75 % and < 90 % of EU-27
average)
■ More developed regions (The regions in Ireland are classified as  'more developed regions')
(GDP/head >= 90 % of EU-27 average)

 

How much will the EU invest in Ireland from 2014-2020?
For 2014-2020, Ireland has been allocated around €1.19 billion (current prices) in total Cohesion Policy funding:
● €951.6 million for more developed regions (all)
● €168.8 million for European Territorial Cooperation
● €68.1 million for the Youth Employment Initiative. Of this, the ESF in Ireland will represent a minimum of €492 million. The actual share will be set in light of the specific challenges the country needs to address in the areas covered by the ESF.

Click here to download the Country factsheet for Ireland published by the EU Commission

Country factsheets for all Member States are available at this link.

The country-specific fact sheet highlights results that have been achieved so far and refers to selected projects from the 2007-2013 period. Looking ahead, it also contains information about the distribution of funding and the main investment priorities for the period of 2014-2020. The general fact sheet provides information, in the form of questions and answers, concerning the reform of Cohesion Policy in the new period. It explains the basic principles of the policy and provides contact details for further information and applications for funding.

Public consultation on the Europe 2020 strategy

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Public consultation on the Europe 2020 strategy

Public consultation on the Europe 2020 strategy

Objective of the consultation
Informing the review of the Europe 2020 strategy and seeking your views on its further development.

Policy Fields
Economic and financial affairs; competitiveness; industry; single market; employment; research, development and innovation; the digital economy; climate, energy and resource efficiency; education and training; poverty and social exclusion.

Period of consultation
The consultation will be open from 5 May 2014 to 31 October 2014.

Questionnaire
The questionnaire is available in all 24 official EU languages.

View the questionnaire

Word version of the questionnaire

How to submit your contribution

You may reply to this consultation online, send your contribution by email to the functional mailbox indicated in the section "Contact details" or to the postal address indicated in the section "Contact details". You also have the possibility to upload online or send, by email or by post, a position paper.

You may reply in any of the 24 official EU languages. The reply may be published in the language of submission.

Replies from organisations not registered in the Transparency Register will be published separately. You may register here.

Contributions will be published on this webpage. Submissions that are clearly marked as "anonymous" will be treated as such and published without personal information. Submissions indicated as "not for publication" will be treated as such and will not be published. Please read the privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

Contact details
•         Responsible service: European Commission, Secretariat-General, Unit SG D1 – "Europe 2020, European Semester, Economic Governance"
•         Functional mailbox: SG-EUROPE2020-CONSULTATION@ec.europa.eu
•         Postal address:


European Commission
Secretariat-General – Unit SG D1 "Europe 2020, European Semester, Economic Governance"
BERL 6/201
Rue de la Loi 200
1040 Brussels
Belgium

View the contributions received
The contributions will be uploaded per category of respondents and per area as they are received.

Next steps
After closure of the public consultation, the Commission will analyse and process the replies received. Based on the outcome of the public consultation, the Commission will make proposals for the further development of the strategy in early 2015.

                   

Creating the Regions of Tomorrow: Maximising Ireland’s Reform Opportunity Conference

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Creating the Regions of Tomorrow: Maximising Ireland’s Reform Opportunity Conference

Advance Notice

The National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis will host in association with ESPON a one-day conference: Creating the Regions of Tomorrow: Maximising Ireland’s Reform Opportunity, Renehan Hall, NUI Maynooth, County Kildare

Friday 26th September 2014

**Admission is free but registration is essential**

Click here to register

Conference programme available to download here

April issue of the EU News Bulletin from the Irish Regions Brussels Office

Posted into: The Assembly

April issue of the EU News Bulletin from the Irish Regions Brussels Office

EU News Bulletin from the Irish Regions Brussels Office

This month, there are articles looking at:


• Ireland’s ‘National Reform Programme 2014’
• The Ambient Assisted Living programme call for proposals
• The ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme
• The LIFE programme’s priorities for the next 4 years
• New LIFE+ environment projects for Kerry, Duhallow and Ballymun
• Interreg IVC presents its projects’ policy findings on local and regional development
• Interreg North West Europe programme consultation
• Adoption of the third EU Health Programme
• Dublin among Europe’s ICT Excellence Hubs
• Donegal advances its Nautical Tourism ambitions
• Commission hails Dublin housing pilot as top social innovation
• New ‘Charter for Multilevel Governance’ seeks signatories

Upcoming events profiled are:


• Local apprenticeships
• Green Week: Circular Economy, Resource Efficiency
• Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs)
• Local Eco-Innovation and Green Growth

Atlantic Area Programme 2014-2020 - Consultation Workshop

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Atlantic Area Programme 2014-2020 - Consultation Workshop

Atlantic Area Programme 2014-2020 - Consultation Workshop : Date for your diary - 20th May 2014


The preparation of the EU Interreg Atlantic Area Programme 2014-2020 is well underway at this juncture. It is anticipated that the Programme will be ready for public consultation with all the key actors throughout the Atlantic Area by mid May. The Managing Authority for the Programme, CCDR – Norte in Portugal will co-ordinate the consultation process. In parallel with this, the BMW Regional Assembly, as the designated National Contact Point for the Programme in Ireland, will host a morning consultation workshop at its Headquarters in Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon on Tuesday, May 20th  2014 beginning at 10.45am.  The purpose of the workshop is to present to you the proposed Atlantic Area programme covering the period 2014-2020 and more importantly to hear your views on issues such as the draft Investment Priorities, Programme Strategy and proposed programme budget.

Ireland continues to benefit significantly from its participation in the Atlantic Area Programme. Over the period 2007-2013, €12.9m ERDF was approved to 51 Transnational projects involving a total of 86 Irish Partners organisations. The BMW Regional Assembly is confident that Irish participation in the new Programme will grow over the coming years through the development of partnerships in Spain, Portugal, France and the UK.

The BMW Regional Assembly looks forward to welcoming you to Ballaghaderreen on May 20th. Please confirm attendance with Marie Moriarty by May 14th. (Phone 094-9862970, e-mail: mmoriarty@bmwassembly.ie )

Public consultations for the INTERREG IVB North West Europe Programme and Environmental Report

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Public consultations for the INTERREG IVB North West Europe Programme and Environmental Report

The public consultations for the INTERREG IVB  Programme and the Environmental Report are now open.

The deadline is 30 May 2014.

Click here to access the consultation documentation.

Under the link you can find:

• An intro text on the website
• The draft cooperation programme (in English) and its summary (in 4 languages)
• The environmental report (in English) and its summary (in 4 languages)
• The link to the questionnaire and pdf versions of the questionnaire (in 4 languages)
• A reference to the NWE SWOT analysis

New pocket guide to Horizon 2020 published March 2014

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New pocket guide to Horizon 2020 published March 2014

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever.

Almost €80 billion of funding is available over seven years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private and national public investment that this money will attract. Horizon 2020 will help to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive economic growth. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science and technology, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering solutions to big challenges facing our society. This pocket guide explains the programme in more detail. Currently available in English, it will be available in all EU languages in the coming weeks.

 

 HORIZON 2020 in brief is available to download here.

 

INTERREG IVB NWE Programme Finance Officer position (long-term contract)

Posted into: The Assembly

INTERREG IVB NWE Programme Finance Officer position (long-term contract)
The INTERREG IVB NWE Programme is opening a vacancy for a Finance Officer position (long-term contract) to join the Joint Technical Secretariat (JTS) based in Lille (France).

This is a challenging opportunity to join an international team working in the field of territorial and regional development.

The main tasks will evolve around Programme and Project implementation.
The whole job profile is described in the application pack. Before applying , it is necessary to check whether tasks and required competences match your experience and profile.

How to apply:

To be eligible, applications should include all documents required in the application pack + fill in application form.

We will only consider applications sent by email to the following email address: recruiting@nweurope.eu by Sunday 2 March 2014 (at midnight).

Application pack and form are available to download here.
 

EU citizens in Dublin: European Commission publishes study on Free Movement in the EU

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EU citizens in Dublin: European Commission publishes study on Free Movement in the EU

EU citizens go to other EU countries mainly for job opportunities and are on average younger and more likely to be working. This is confirmed by a new, independent study on the impact of the right to move freely within the EU just published. The study focuses on six European cities, chosen for the multinational composition of their population (see Annex 1-2 of the study): Barcelona, Dublin, Hamburg, Lille, Prague and Turin. It shows that for all six cities the inflow of younger, working age EU citizens has had a positive economic impact.

For example in Turin, a local evaluation shows that tax revenues from foreigners on the whole brought a net benefit of 1.5 billion € to national public finances (see Annex 3 of the study). The study also shows that newcomers have helped fill gaps in local labour markets, contributed to growth in new sectors and have helped balance out ageing populations. It finds that mobile citizens are often overqualified for the jobs they take up, may be paid less and at the same time do not always benefit from the same access to housing and education.

The main findings of the study are:

 EU citizens move mainly because of job opportunities and are, on average, younger and more economically active than the local population in the cities examined (see report for Annex 4);

The inflow of younger, working age EU citizens in the selected cities is helping to address the demographic challenges of an ageing population and a shrinking labour force;

They are also helping to fill gaps in the labour market, either taking up mainly low-skilled jobs (Turin and Hamburg), contributing to growth of new sectors (such as ICT in Dublin), or helping create new business ventures (as in Turin and Hamburg).

The study also outlines the following challenges:

 Mobile citizens are more likely to be overqualified than nationals (taking up jobs below their qualification) which could imply a wasting of skills, mitigating the potential benefits of intra-EU mobility;

Wage differentials emerged in some cases between nationals and mobile EU citizens (who most often earn less), although evidence is quite limited;
Mobile citizens do not always benefit from the same opportunities in terms of housing and inclusion of children in schools, although they work and pay taxes.

The success of the integration programmes in place in the six cities is evidenced by the fact that attitudes towards mobility are gradually improving (see Annex 5). All the cities examined are promoting an inclusive environment and a welcoming culture, through policies such as accessible information (one-stop shop information services for example); support for language learning; and intercultural dialogue and interaction among citizens.

Finally, the study identifies a series of best practices from the cities examined (see Annex 6 of the study).

The Fáilte Isteach project is identified as an example of best practice in Dublin. It is a community project offering conversational English classes taught by older volunteers. The project harnesses the skills, experience and enthusiasm of senior citizens to help meet the needs of foreign residents struggling due to language barriers, but also serves to break down cultural barriers by extending a friendly welcome to newcomers.

"Free movement is a benefit for Europe, its citizens and its economies. There can indeed be challenges in some cities which need to be addressed. It would, however, be the wrong response to question the right to free movement. I believe we need to work together – at European, national and local level – to turn challenges into opportunities. These examples from the cities of Barcelona, Dublin, Hamburg, Lille, Prague and Turin show that it can be done," said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship when speaking at a mayors' conference on free movement taking place today (IP/14/98).

“You can count on the Commission to continue assisting Member States in confronting any challenges linked to free movement. Today’s meeting with mayors will help local authorities from around Europe draw on the best examples of successful policies of integrating EU citizens into cities, to everyone's benefit. I look forward to seeing such good practices being rolled out Europe-wide."

Background

The study was presented at a meeting today with more than 100 mayors and representatives of local authorities from around Europe who met to discuss current challenges and opportunities to do with the free movement of EU citizens in the European Union. The Conference of mayors is designed to help local authorities share best practices in implementing free movement rules and tackling social inclusion challenges. The meeting is one of five actions presented by the Commission to strengthen the right to free movement in the EU, while helping Member States to reap the positive benefits it brings (IP/13/1151).

The study analyses policies aimed at economic and social inclusion of EU mobile citizens, and at promoting a welcome culture and a positive attitude towards foreign nationals. It considered policies in the field of employment, entrepreneurship, housing, education, inter-cultural dialogue, attitudes towards migration and participation in city life.

The study is available for download here and further background associated details are available here.

January issue of the EU News Bulletin from the Irish Regions Brussels Office

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January issue of the EU News Bulletin from the Irish Regions Brussels Office

The Irish Regions Office's January Newsletter covers a variety of topics from information on funding, networking and projects, along with an interesting news and policy section and updates on upcoming events.

 

Funding, Networking & Projects:

  • LIFE Programme takes shape......new support structure for Ireland
  • LEADER measures consultation
  • COSME Work Programme 2014
  • Call: Sustainable Tourism Management
  • Project: AtlanticBlueTech (marine biotech firms)
  • Commission secures strong local role in programmes


News & Policy:

  • Regional and local authorities contribution to biodiversity
  • 2030 Energy and Climate targets: mixed reaction
  • ‘European Clean-Up Day’
  • New Procurement rules agreed
  • Ocean Energy Action Day
  • Infrastructure for Spatial Information
  • Pylon health risks: inconclusive report, stakeholder consultation
  • Gateways and Hubs ‘’data dashboard’’


Upcoming Events:

  • Migrant Entrepreneurship
  • Heritage and Urban Development
  • Horizon 2020 for SMEs
  • Galway Greenway

The January newsletter is available for download here.

Employment and Social Developments:Review highlights need to address risks of in-work poverty

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Employment and Social Developments:Review highlights need to address risks of in-work poverty

Employment and Social Developments: Annual Review highlights need to address risks of in-work poverty

21/01/2014


A significant increase in poverty among the working age population is one of the most tangible social consequences of the economic crisis. A gradual reduction of unemployment levels may not be enough to reverse this situation if wage polarisation continues, notably due to a rise in part-time work.


This is one of the main findings of the 2013 Employment and Social Developments in Europe Review, which also looks into the positive impact of social benefits on the likelihood of getting back into employment, the consequences of persistent gender imbalances, and the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union.


The review shows how taking up a job can help people to get out of poverty, but only in half of the cases: much depends on the type of job found, but also on the household composition and labour market situation of the partner.


The review highlights that:

  • Contrary to commonly held beliefs, people receiving unemployment benefits are more like to get a job than people not receiving benefits;
  • In some countries (e.g. Poland, Bulgaria), significant shares of unemployed are not covered by standard safety nets (unemployment benefits, social assistance), and tend to rely on family solidarity or informal work;
  • Although the crisis saw a contraction of some gender gaps historically faced by women (largely the result of male-dominated sectors most hit by the crisis), gender differences still persist in labour market participation, pay and the risk of poverty.
  • The still growing macroeconomic, employment and social divergences threaten the core objectives of the EU as set out in the Treaties, namely to benefit all its members by promoting economic convergence and to improve the lives of citizens in the Member States.
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