Southern Regional Assembly, Outright Winners in the Regional Development Award
The Southern Regional Assembly is garnering critical praise for its contribution to promoting strategic planning and sustainable development in the Southern Region
Established on 1st January 2015, the Southern Regional Assembly is one of three assemblies in the Republic of Ireland which were created following the dissolution of the BMW and Southern & Eastern Regional Assemblies. The former 8 regional authorities and 2 regional assemblies were consolidated through 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. The three new Assemblies incorporate the functions of both the former regional authorities and assemblies, with significant enhancement of some powers, particularly in relation to spatial planning and economic development.
During the coming year the assemblies are charged with preparing new Regional Spatial & Economic Strategies (RSES) for their regions. The RSES are successors to the Regional Planning Guidelines. Out of the 33 councillors appointed to the assembly in the Southern region, 27 are from constituent local authorities and 6 were appointed by virtue of their membership of the Committee of the Regions. The councillors are supported by the staff of the Assembly, mostly based at the Assembly headquarters in Waterford City.
The Southern Region consists of the administrative areas of Carlow, Cork, Clare, Kerry, Kilkenny, Tipperary and Wexford County Councils, Limerick City and County Council, Waterford City and County Council and Cork City Council. The region covers about 42% of the total land area of the country and had a total population of almost 1.6 million people at the time of the 2016 census. The Assembly normally meets on the second Friday of every month at its headquarters in Waterford.
The regional reform process conferred additional powers upon the Assemblies who are tasked with managing and monitoring EU co-funded programmes, co ordinating and supporting strategic planning and sustainable development and promoting effective local government and public services in their respective regions, in conjunction with the National Oversight and Audit Commission. “We are the designated Managing Authority for ERDF co-funded Regional Programme. This role positions us to draft the regional programme and ensure that those regional needs which can be addressed under the scope of the EU funding can be served and provide dividends to our region,” says Director, Stephen Blair. “We view as a critical role, our newly minted responsibility of preparing a long-term twelve to twenty years Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) for the whole of our region. The overarching purpose of the RSES is to support the implementation of the National Planning Framework (NPF) and the economic policies and objectives of the Government. “We have a vision for our region and we can provide the framework through which this vision can be delivered. What organisation wouldn’t want to be at the helm of this new and exciting course for their region, to partner with the relevant state and local agencies in a co-production of a strategy that will harness the resources and impetus to create and sustain jobs and identify regional strengths and opportunities. “We have a strong region whose deeper potential will be liberated through smart and strategic planning. We are working on identifying the regional attributes that are essential to enhancing regional economic performance including the quality of the environment, the qualities of cities, towns and rural areas as well as physical infrastructure, and social, community and cultural facilities. This will enable us to advance proposals for augmenting the social and economic performance of the region and we intend publishing an Issues Paper and commencing a formal pre-draft consultation on Monday 20th November.” Acknowledging the significant challenges facing our country, Mr Blair said decisive leadership and a strong and effective set of national and regional strategies are urgently required.
“Members and the executive of the Assembly are happy to be to the fore in meeting these challenges,” he said. “We are working across state agencies, government departments and our constituent local authorities to enhance the quality of life of the people of the Southern Region. “We are uniquely positioned to offer a voice and internal cohesion in securing a sustainable future for the region. In the formulation of strategy, we are committed to the overarching principle of the protection of the environment combined with an impetus to improving social equality, an impetus which will serve to copper-fasten and safeguard our future.”
The Northern and Western and the Southern Regional Assemblies manage the ERDF co-funded Regional Programmes and are programme partners or perform a range of functions in relation to a number of European Territorial Cooperation Programmes.
This article is published in The Public Sector magazine Awards Issue, December 2017.
Join our Team - Programme Executive
The Southern Regional Assembly, wishes to recruit a full-time permanent Programme Executive to assist in the financial management, monitoring and evaluation duties of the Southern & Eastern Regional Operational Programme.
The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is Thursday, 11th January 2018.
Application forms and further particulars can be downloaded from our recruitment section
For any queries please email email@example.com
So what’s new in the Southern Region?
We’ve had spatial planning before, we’ve had economic planning before but up until now we haven’t witnessed the marriage of both at a regional level in Ireland. Today we’ve published an Issues paper to kick-start a public dialogue on how by nurturing that marriage, the well-being and prosperity of the people of the Southern region will be safeguarded and improved.
The Regional Assemblies of which there are three, are each tasked with working with state agencies, Government departments and their constituent local authorities, to co-produce Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies or RSES for short.
The RSES will reflect Government policy as set out in the draft National Planning Framework (NPF) Ireland 2040. The public consultation for the NPF concluded on Friday 10th November and its publication by Government is anticipated shortly. In essence the RSES will be the successor to the Regional Planning Guidelines but instead of guidelines what we will have is a strategy for the region, a vision for the region, not one that stitches on economic and social needs on to the side of spatial plans but one that informs how we plan holistically for our future and how we collectively strive to improve the quality of life for all the citizens of our region.
The scale of Ireland’s growth since the early 1990’s has been unprecedented, notwithstanding the impact of economic recession. Our population has increased by more than 1.1 million people, to 4.75 million. Our housing stock has expanded by more than 750,000, to just over two million homes. Numbers in employment have also grown by more than 660,000, to more than two million people in 2017.
Current trends suggest that the Republic’s population could increase by a further one million people over the period to 2040. This is going to require an enormous shift in thinking in how and where people live, work, recreate and travel. The development pressures arising, along with the need to address development legacies from the past require innovative and long-term thinking.
Effective regional development is about embracing the spatial development opportunities specific to each of the regions. This requires choices to be made which will reflect the differing needs and potential of the regions and will therefore result in economic and spatial strategies which differ from one region to another. These tailored regional strategies are to be developed and implemented by the Regional Assemblies through new RSESs.
Addressing a meeting of the members of the Assembly who gathered to deliberate on the Issues paper in Assembly House, Stephen Blair, Director acknowledged the importance of the process we are embarking upon. He said “we view as critical our newly minted responsibility of preparing a long-term twelve to twenty years Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) for the whole of our region. The overarching purpose of the RSES is to support the implementation of the National Planning Framework (NPF) and the economic policies and objectives of the Government”.
On referring to the Assembly’s vision for the Southern region, Mr. Blair said “we can provide the framework through which this vision can be delivered. We are proud to be at the helm of this new and exciting course for the region, to partner with the relevant state and local agencies in a co-production of a strategy that will harness the resources and impetus to create and sustain quality jobs and identify regional strengths and opportunities.”
An Issues Paper and commencing a formal pre-draft consultation is publised on our website, see link below to the paper. This pre-draft consultation in the form of an Issues paper, opens the forum as widely as possible. Cllr. John Brennan, Cathaoirleach said “in an interdependent, connected, modern society, strategy formulation and plan making needs the buy-in of citizens and stakeholders if it is to succeed. Planning deliberatively to safeguard our environment, our futures, while keeping to the fore the principle of equality, augurs greater success for all”.
The Issues paper is published on our website and written submissions at this first stage of the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy process are invited by post or email, by Friday 16th February 2018 at 5 pm.
Note for Editor:
Since 1st January 2015, three Regional Assemblies have been tasked with specific functions regarding spatial planning and economic development as well as EU funding programmes, oversight of local authority performance and Local Economic and Community Plans, and implementation of national policy.
The membership of the Regional Assemblies consists of members of the local authorities within each of the three regions and each of the Assemblies has been given a clear a leadership role to play in identifying regional policies and coordinating initiatives that support the delivery and implementation of national planning policy. It is also the role of the Regional Assemblies to co-ordinate local authorities to secure shared national and local objectives.
The Southern Region consists of the administrative areas of Carlow, Cork, Clare, Kerry, Kilkenny, Tipperary and Wexford County Councils, Limerick City and County Council, Waterford City and County Council and Cork City Council. The region covers about 42% of the total land area of the country and had a total population of almost 1.6 million people at the time of the 2016 census.
The Southern Region is endowed with a number of significant advantages such as:
- Three out of four Regional Cities (Cork, Limerick and Waterford) located within the region
- Positive population growth of almost 3% over the last five years
- Rural areas characterised by resilient rural communities supported by a strong network of towns and villages
- Good quality farm land with high agricultural yields and strong food processing capabilities
- A modern and diverse industrial base with established cluster and specialisms in high value sectors such as pharmaceuticals, life sciences, aviation, precision engineering, ICT, food and beverages
- An impressive record of employment growth with 62,600 new jobs created in the last five years
- Two Universities and five Institutes of Technology with a combined full-time student population of approximately 55,000 with an additional 12,000 part-time students
- Two out of three state airports at Shannon and Cork as well as two regional airports in Kerry and Waterford
- Four out of five Tier 1 and Tier 2 Ports of National Significance at Cork, Shannon Foynes, Waterford and Rosslare
- Net energy exporter with an abundance of clean renewable energy growth potential
- An extensive coastline with significant Marine Resource potential
Key targets identified for the Southern Region include:
- Population increase of between 350,000 and 375,000 people between now and the year 2040
- Creation of 220,000 new jobs to support the above level of population increase
- Population and jobs growth to be aligned to occur within the same functional area to minimise unsustainable commuting patterns
- Cork City and suburbs population increasing by 115,000 additional people (an increase of more than 55%) from a population of 209,000 in 2016 to 324,000 by the year 2040
- Limerick City and Suburbs population also increasing by more than 55% with an additional 52,000 people raising the population from 94,000 in 2016 to 146,000 by 2040
- Waterford City and Suburbs population to increase by 30,000 people
- Population growth for large towns with >10,000 population in 2016 should generally be 20-25%, which is ahead of projected national average growth.
- Population growth of Ireland’s smaller towns and rural areas of 15%
4 FACTS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT EUROPE – IRELAND
Ireland 2007-2013 ex-post evaluation results
Last autumn, the European Commission completed the evaluation of the 2007-2013 programmes, providing key figures on the results of the EUR 346.5 billion invested to reduce disparities between regions and promote balanced and sustainable development across EU regions. Between 2007 and 2013, support from the European Regional Development Fund amounted to EUR 375 million in Ireland.
Investments were mainly made in the areas of:
- Research and Innovation
- Support to enterprises
For key achievements of Regional Policy in Ireland follow this link.
The Southern and Eastern Regional Operational Programme 2007-2013 list of beneficiaries is available for downloading here.
The EU Commission published 60 good reasons for the EU - Why we need the European Union to coincide with the 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. Under the following 12 headings they consider ways that the European Union has imapcted positively on the citizens of the union.
- What Europe can be proud of
- The EU strengthens the economy and fosters prosperity
- The EU ensures competition and keeps big companies in check
- The European Union protects consumers
- The EU lowers the cost of living
- The EU is committed to ensuring healthy food and a clean environment
- The EU makes it easier to travel and work in Europe
- Promoting education, research and culture
- The EU creates internal security
- The EU plays its part on the world stage
- The EU is helping with the global refugee crisis
- The EU is cutting red tape
The publication is available as a download here.
‘KICKBOXING, KINDNESS & GOING THE EXTRA MILE - GOOD PRACTICE FOR WORKING WITH NEETS UNDER SICAP’
'KICKBOXING, KINDNESS & GOING THE EXTRA MILE - GOOD PRACTICE FOR WORKING WITH NEETS UNDER SICAP'
This research conducted on behalf of Pobal, aimed to uncover current good practice in Ireland in relation to the engagement of and service delivery to young people aged 15-24, who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs). The need for this research was identified by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Pobal. Service providers wanted more information on what interventions and approaches were most effective in creating positive change for young people, however, there is not a large amount of research available on this topic.
The findings are available for download here.
More than a club Launch
The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and Vi-Ability Wales have joined forces for the More than a Club project. More than a Club’s aim is to capitalise on the popularity of football by turning local clubs into social enterprises that deliver a range of sport-based life science and educational programmes. The project will empower the clubs to recognise and use the powerful attraction of football and the value of their club brand locally in order to develop partnerships with statutory agencies and community groups to deliver important social programmes. Four Clubs will participate in this pilot project including Haverfordwest county, Cork City and Bohemian FC.
The project is being funded by the European Regional Development Fund via the Ireland Wales Co-Operation Programme.
The project was officially launched in the Aviva Stadium ahead of the Ireland Moldova World Cup Qualifier game.
Irish link to Interreg NWE project win at RegioStars Awards 2017
Irish organisation, tcbb RESOURCE, celebrated a win with its partners for the BioBase NWE project at the recent RegioStars Awards 2017 ceremony on 10th October in Brussels in the category, “Smart Specialisation for SME Innovation”.
The Irish-based technology centre was part of the 5-country partnership of bio-innovation agents which collaborated on BioBase NWE to support SMEs that wished to innovate according to the principles of the bio-based economy.
The project provided financial, technological, training, networking and political support to SMEs from North West Europe active in the replacement of non-renewable resources with bio-mass.
The 3-year, €6 million project was funded under the Interreg North West Europe programme 2007-13.
The RegioStars Awards identify good practices in regional development and highlight original and innovative projects that are attractive and inspiring to other regions. The annual ceremony is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Check out all the 2017 winners in the five categories here.
Interreg North West Europe: Call 6 Now Open
The Interreg NWE sixth call for project proposals is now open. Applicants can complete their proposal online until the deadline on Friday 17th November at 11am, Irish time.
The programme is looking for initiatives that will deliver results under one of the three priority areas: Innovation, Low Carbon, and Resource & Materials Efficiency. Proposals must deliver results through transnational cooperation to benefit the NWE area and its citizens.
If you have an idea that could make one of our programme objectives a reality, we would like to hear from you.
In Ireland, please contact Siobhán Rudden at the Southern Regional Assembly for guidance on your Step 1 application. For guidance on preparing your application, please consult the programme’s supporting documents. To upload your application, please visit our online system (eMS).
For more information on Interreg North West Europe, click here.
EMPOWER powers ahead!
EMPOWER held its second project management meeting in Lorient on the 6th -7th September 2017. The meeting brought partners together to review progress to date and debate the good practices put forward by each region. Lively discussion and plenty of interaction took place with inquisitive partners.
Preparation for EMPOWER’s next stage commenced with discussion around Study trips to “visit” the Good Practices identified in each region. On day two a technical workshop took place with partners learning more about Innovative Financial Instruments from our German partners; Development Bank of Saxony Anhalt.
Project partners were also treated to technical visits in the afternoon to:
- Lanveur School – a photovoltaic solar installation,
- Kermelo School – energy monitoring systems
- The future biggest French urban solar roof
The next exciting phase of EMPOWER commences with the Good Practice study visits which will take place in each partner’s region over the next few months.
To find out more about the EMPOWER project visit:
EMPOWER is an interregional cooperation project for improving low-carbon economy policies and is co-funded by ERDF by the Interreg Europe Programme.
MARIE advances with second Inter-Regional Learning Event in Athens
MARIE promotes responsible research and innovation (RRI) in key sectors. By supporting quadruple-helix governance, open innovation and corporate commitment to responsibility, the project helps to create smart, sustainable and inclusive regions.
MARIE’s second interregional learning event was held in sunny Athens on 30th – 31st May 17. The partners from 8 European regions including MARIE’s new project partner; DEV-UP Centre Val de Loire, gathered together to build on progress made since the kick off meeting held in Italy last February.
In Athens partners shared information on their good practices in an exhibition format, using posters to exchange good practices and with interaction between the “owners” of the good practice and other project partners keen to find out more. Presentations were made by prof. Eleni Apospori and Christos Tsanos (Athens University of Economics & Business) focusing on the methodology and collection of the good practices, further desk research, Stakeholder consultation and interviews with local enterprises. Open discussion also took place on the gaps in the RRI Inventory and other possible good practices topics to be found.
MARIE’s partners were fortunate to have Local Stakeholders share their experiences of working within the area of social enterprise. Their inspiring experience triggered discussion on how MARIE can be relevant to them.
MARIE is part-funded by the Interreg Europe Programme, through the European Regional Development Fund and is led by CISE – Special Agency of the Chamber of Commerce of Florì-Cesena, Italy.
MARIE will run until 2021, find out more about MARIE at www.interregeurope.eu/marie/
For further information contact:
Southern Regional Assembly, Waterford, Ireland
+353 (0) 51 860700, www.southernassembly.ie
Ireland 2040 – Our Plan
Ireland 2040 – Our Plan, Publication of the draft National Planning Framework
The Government published “Ireland 2040 – Our Plan” on Tuesday 26 September 2017, for its final round of public consultations. Over the next number of weeks, until 3 November, the public will have a chance to review what is essentially the long-term strategic planning framework for our country’s future growth and prosperity. Ireland 2040 – Our Plan will guide national, regional and local planning opportunities throughout our Republic together with investment decisions for at least the next two decades.
The Draft National Planning Framework is available as a pdf download here.
To make submissions visit the NPF website
#EUINMYREGION at #Ploughing17
It felt like the whole world descended on Screggan, Co. Offaly for #Ploughing17 on Tuesday 19th September. It was the first time the Southern Regional Assembly attended the National Ploughing Championships. We were there to promote the achievements of our ERDF co-funded S&E Regional Programme 2014-2020 with colleagues from the ESF co-funded Programme, PEIL 2014-2020 and the BMW Regional Programme 2014-2020. Telling the story of the outcomes of the ESIF programmes is part of an EU wide initiative, #euinmyregion. Attending #Ploughing17 forms part of our contribution to this campaign in 2017. It was a resounding success in terms of presenting us with a receptive audience for our stories. For us it was a very happy occasion to meet so many people and tell them about the programme and how it impacts on the life of the citizens of the region.
We were accommodated by the EC Representation in Ireland in the European Union tent which also housed the stands for among others, the Europe for Citizens, European Consumer Centre Ireland , European Movement Ireland, and the European Parliament Information Office in Ireland. Visitors to the tent had a genuine interest and appetite for information about the European Union. A number of Members of the European Parliament stopped by to meet us and discuss the programme outcomes, among them was Sean Kelly MEP, Mairead McGuinness MEP, Deirdre Clune MEP, Matt Carthy MEP and Liadh Ní Riada MEP.
To say we met thousands was no exaggeration, to say we were met with courtesy and good humour even in the face of the deluge of rain on Wednesday, would be to under play the warmth and friendliness of the rural community attending the ploughing championship. The organisation at the National Ploughing Championship is second to none and the variety of stands and stalls is staggering. All going to plan we’ll definitely be back next year!
Follow the link to the image gallery in the footer of our website to see more photos of our visit to #Ploughing17. We posted some photos to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram too.
The Assembly is rooted in Waterford City
John Paul Phelan T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government with special responsibility for Local Government and Electoral Reform formally opened the new Assembly House in Waterford today, Friday 8th September. The Assembly relocated to 30 O’Connell Street, demonstrating our firm commitment to the city of Waterford. The Assembly located in Waterford in 1999 and when the decision was made to find a permanent home, a city centre presence was deemed critical. City centres thrive and maintain a vibrancy when active business and social communities abound.
Our new headquarters on O’Connell Street, is housed in a building constructed between 1919 and 1922. It was one of the first concrete framed buildings in Waterford city, although dressed with a classical cut limestone façade. Purpose-built for the Provincial bank, it later became the AIB bank, continuing to house a bank until the early 1990’s. It was subsequently converted into the Bank Bar and Restaurant in the mid 2000’s, and traded as such for a couple of years.
Minister Phelan complemented the Cathaoirleach Cllr. John Brennan, the Director, Mr. Stephen Blair and the members of the Southern Regional Assembly on choosing to locate in the centre of Waterford. It is “testament to your commitment to regional development and a symbol of the rise of the provincial Ireland to see a building of this standing in use in the heart of the city” he said. The Minister told assembled guests of the important role the Assemblies have assumed in regional spatial and economic development. He urged the forging of a common purpose that speaks of regional, that in turn benefits the local. Emphasising the role of region in planning for the future, Minister Phelan spoke of his and the Government’s support for strengthening of the regions, which he envisages as a natural outcome of the new National Planning Framework. “As representatives of the Southern region, I urge you to unify in your focus to build and consolidate the strengths of your region and also to lift those parts of the region that lag behind”.
Mr. Stephen Blair addressing the invited guests said “As a regional development and planning agency, we are keenly aware of the trend that occurred over recent decades, the hollowing out of the core of many of our urban centres. Our decision to maintain a city centre presence, is our effort to stem that tide and contribute in some modest way to the vibrancy of this proud and ancient city”.
Regional structures are in place for over two decades in Ireland with the former Regional Authorities established in 1994. Regional structures are still arguably a relatively new phenomenon in the Irish administrative and political landscape. The Assemblies themselves were established in 1999 with recent reform altering the geography and increasing the scope of their responsibilities. With 34 members and a staff complement of 25, the Assembly strives to drive the social, economic and sustainable development of the Southern region. We envision a prosperous region for all citizens. Cllr. John Brennan, Cathaoirleach, noted “the success we have enjoyed in the management of European programmes and more latterly in laying the bedrock for regional economic and spatial strategies, strengthens the argument for regional structures in Ireland”.
The new premises allow all staff to be housed together under the one roof and our commitment to effective regional development and sustainability is consolidated by this move.
A Story of European Funding in the Southern and Eastern region of Ireland
Noah the EU project lover visits the House of Waterford Crystal
Best Wishes to the Waterford Senior Hurling Team
Best wishes to the players, management team and supporters of the Waterford senior hurling team in the All-Ireland Hurling Final on Sunday, from the Members and staff of the Southern Regional Assembly, proud managers of European co-funded regional programmes.
Visit a vessel that maps the seabed and coastline around Wexford and learn about the effects of climate change on our maritime cultural heritage 27th August, Kilmore Quay
Find out more about how climate change is effecting our coastal heritage and in particular the coast of county Wexford. Come onboard the RV Keary, a research vessel, and meet the marine archaeologists, surveyors and geologists who analyse the data collected on this vessel. The RV Keary will be in docked in Kilmore Quay on Sunday 27th August when visitors can come onboard to see the vessel, its survey instruments and the results of survey work in Wexford and other parts of the Irish coast. The vessel is open to the public from 10am to 4pm.
The CHERISH project (Climate, Heritage and Environments of Reefs, Islands and Headlands) – ‘Climate Change and Coastal Heritage’ – is an exciting new €5.2 million, 5 year project funded by the European Union’s Ireland-Wales Programme 2014-2020. The project will support specialist organisations in Wales and Ireland to employ cutting-edge technologies such as seabed mapping, drone aerial survey and laser scanning to analyse to analyse coastline and island archaeology and cultural heritage sites most affected by climate change, coastal erosion, storminess and rising sea levels. Hydrography, geology, archaeology, built and maritime heritage, remote sensing and environmental science will all be employed in furthering this research.
During the summer of 2017 GSI INFOMAR vessels have been conducting inshore surveys along the east coast of Ireland including Wexford. Preliminary data has revealed shipwrecks, sandwaves and geological folding. GSI has also been conducting trials of coastal surveys from drones. This baseline data will be important context to the archaeological work conducted by the Discovery Programme for CHERISH.
The Discovery Programme: Centre for archaeology and Innovation Ireland and the Geological Survey of Ireland will collaborate with The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, and Aberystwyth University: Department of Geography and Earth Sciences on this project as well as communities in counties Meath, Dublin, Wexford, Waterford and Kerry.
The INtegrated Mapping FOr the Sustainable Development of Ireland's MArine Resource (INFOMAR) programme is a joint venture between the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Marine Institute. Covering some 125,000 km2 of Irelands most productive and commercially valuable inshore waters, INFOMAR will produce integrated mapping products covering the physical, chemical and biological features of the seabed.
Contact: Linda Shine
CHERISH is co-funded through the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme
The Discovery Programme’s mission is to explore Ireland’s past and its cultural heritage by conducting advanced research in Irish archaeology and related disciplines and by disseminating its findings widely to the global community. The Discovery Programme receives its core funding from the Heritage Council and also receives funding through EU funded projects.
Waterford and Cork senior hurling championship
Best wishes to the players, managers and supporters of the Waterford and Cork senior hurling teams as they meet in the All-Ireland hurling semi-final on Sunday from the Southern Regional Assembly, proud managers of European co-funded regional programmes.
Europe in My Region is a European Union-wide campaign encouraging citizens to discover European projects near them. In 2017, four different initiatives - project openings, a photo contest, a project hunt and a blogging contest - invite the public to visit projects, share images and experiences via social media. Thousands of EU projects open their doors mainly in May, a project hunt was organised from 2 May to 14 June, and a photo contest and a blogging contest runs from 2 May to 28 August.
Discover, play and win trips across Europe!
Project visits and events in the Southern and Eastern region of Ireland will occur throughout 2017. Check back in with us for specific detail as events are announced.
The MARIE project is up and running!
MARIE, an interregional project, was born from a desire among partners to convert debate on Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) into tools for regional development. MARIE hit the ground running with a kick off meeting being held in February. The five-year project was approved for a grant of €1.9m by Interreg Europe Programme late last year.
The consortium of 10 project partners (including the Southern Regional Assembly on the Irish side) are working together to face challenges associated with RRI to improve regional public policy that supports delivery of responsible research and innovation in design, production and distribution of innovation in Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) Sectors, focusing on 3 types of RRI support action; Quadruple Helix; Open Innovation; Information & Tools for RRI application.
Using interregional activities, communication and stakeholder engagement, partners will develop Action Plans that will result in: improved policy instruments; more and better targeted funding for RRI delivery; increased capacity among innovation actors and consolidated partnerships of quadruple helix innovation chain stakeholders.
MARIE’s first interregional learning event was hosted by the incubator CesenaLab, Italy in February, under the curious eyes of busy start-uppers and with active participation by local stakeholders.
The partners, from 8 European regions and coordinated by CISE, gathered together to learn more about the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). They were supported in this by a group of local and regional stakeholders with experience in innovation, sustainability and social & environmental responsibility.
The second interregional learning event, hosted by the Greek partners in sunny Athens in May proved very productive. RRI good practises identified by each partner were explored, as was the method of gathering data relating to mapping RRI in each partner region. Local and regional stakeholders working in the areas of innovation and social entrepreneurship also shared their knowledge and experience with participants.
MARIE is part-funded by the Interreg Europe Programme, through the European Regional Development Fund and is led by CISE – Special Agency of the Chamber of Commerce of Florì-Cesena, Italy.
MARIE will run until 2021, find out more about MARIE at www.interregeurope.eu/marie/
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Southern Regional Assembly, Waterford, Ireland
Ms. Orla Kelly, firstname.lastname@example.org, +353 (0) 51 860700, www.southernassembly.ie
Cllr John Brennan elected as Cathaoirleach of the Southern Regional Assembly
At the AGM of the Southern Regional Assemby, held 14th July 2017, Cllr. John Brennan was elected Cathaoirleach replacing outgoing Cathaoirleach Cllr. Mattie Ryan. Cllr. John Brennan was first elected to the Southern Regional Assembly in 2014. He was a member of the South-East Regional Authority from 2004. A member of the Fine Gael party, Cllr Brennan represents Kilkenny County Council on the Assembly. Cllr. Brennan, a full-time public representative, has been a member of Kilkenny County Council since 1989, representing the Castlecomer electoral district.
Cllr. Brennan is heavily involved in his local community groups including Castlecomer Town Development Association, the Clauneen Hurling Club, the Castlecomer Enterprise Group of which he is Vice Chair and PRO, and the Colreg Christian Housing Association.
Cllr Brennan said it "was an honour to be elected Cathaoirleach of the Southern Regional Assembly and he would work to the best of his abilities on the many issues facing the region with the full co-operation of his colleagues".
Are Irish people aware of EU investments?
Awareness and perceived impact of Regional EU investments
Ireland is in line with the other member states when it comes to our awareness of the financial support that Europe provides to regions and cities. Across the Union, 35% of people have heard of EU co-financed projects that improve the area they live in.
However, we are more likely to have heard about EU policies, programmes and projects via billboards and national newspapers than our EU counterparts.
Respondents were then asked, on taking into consideration all the projects they have heard about; do they view the support has had a positive or negative impact on the development of their city or region. Respondents in Ireland gave a resounding positive response to this question, with 97% viewing it as a positive impact compared to the 78% of their EU counterparts and only 1% viewing it as having a negative impact.
Again, when asked if their daily lives benefited from an European funded project, Irish respondents held a more positive view (41%) than those from other Member States (24%).
This is good news for EU funded programmes in Ireland.
More details emerging from the survey are available on the Commission’s website.
Interreg NWE Project Ideas in The Hague
North West Europe’s next Project Ideas Lab is taking place in The Hague (The Netherlands) on 4 October 2017.
This event will help you get ready for the upcoming Interreg North West Europe call for project proposals (open from 16 October to 17 November 2017) and will be an opportunity to:
- Discover what to do to apply for funds
- Learn more about our main themes: innovation, social innovation, low carbon, transport and resource and materials efficiency
- Find out what a successful project application looks like
- Share your project idea and find new partners
- Develop your project idea further
Participation is free, but registration is compulsory, so register as soon as possible to secure your place!
When: Wednesday, 4 October 2017 from 9am to 5pm
Where: World Forum, Churchillplein 10, 2517 JW The Hague
Registration: Go here to register online and download the draft agenda (to open the registration form, you need to click on "Check out" first). The deadline for registration is 19 September.
EU co-funded projects case studies
The European Regional Development Fund co-finances investments into the regions with Governments across the European Union and supports activities in the regions contributing to a balanced level of development. The Southern Regional Assembly continues to manage regional programmes that are funded by the Irish exchequer, the EU. local Authority co-funds investment in the urban regneration schemes in the region.
Some case studies of projects funded under the programme that was closed this Spring, are featured here.
Empowering Approach to Energy Efficiency
EMPOWER, an interregional project aiming to reduce carbon output by dynamically monitoring energy efficiency in buildings, hit the ground running since it kicked off in January. The five-year, 9-partners project was approved for a grant of € 1.90 M by the Interreg Europe Programme late last year.
The partnerships of 9 European regions are working together to share experience, solutions, and good practice to develop and deliver better public policy to reduce carbon emissions and innovative use of financial instruments. Joint activities, such as peer review, good practices identification and study visits will feed into the development of 9 Regional Action Plans aimed at enhancing their low carbon policy instruments.
The partners have been busy with the first set of activities, including a kick off meeting in Slovenia in January 2017 and a Peer Review event in Venice in March 2017. The Peer Review event brought together key stakeholders from the partner regions to get ideas on how to improve regional policies and review the planned improvements to the targeted policies.
Running until 2021, the project will benefit building users, decision-makers, SMEs in the energy sector, and investors by applying cost-effective energy monitoring to reduce energy demand, using new technology, and improving how various decision-makers work together on low carbon policy.
More about the EMPOWER project you can read here www.interregeurope.eu/empower
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Southern Regional Assembly, Waterford, Ireland
Ms. Siobhán Rudden, email@example.com
Energy Agency of Podravje, Maribor, Slovenia
Dr. Vlasta Krmelj, firstname.lastname@example.org
STRONG REGIONAL INVESTMENT
STRONG REGIONAL INVESTMENT
More than 700 projects have been approved to date, under the Southern and Eastern Regional Programme, which is managed by the Southern Regional Assembly, through a combination of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), National Exchequer and local authority funds, to deliver projects in the region over the 2014-2020 period.
The Southern Regional Assembly (SRA) is also a programme partner for the Ireland Wales Programme (2014-2020) and has an active role in a range of European Territorial Co-operation Programmes. ‘No man is an island’ rings true down the centuries and is a lyrical expression of the acknowledged interdependency of society. It reminds us of our human, geographic, and cultural connectedness. It prefigures our want and desire to plan for our future. A future that strives for the betterment of the quality of life for all citizens. It is through this constant quest to improve and narrow disparities, that we as a region can realise our individual and collective potential.
The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government is in the process of devising the National Planning Framework (NPF). This process brings into sharp focus the gravity of the choices we must now make. Choices that will impact on generations to come. The NPF is an ambitious project, it needs to be, to keep pace with the accelerated rate of technological, social and economic change. The Assembly recognises there are significant challenges facing our country that require decisive leadership and a strong and effective set of national and regional strategies. To secure a sustainable future it is imperative we avoid a piecemeal approach to strategy formulation. Critically, spatial planning must be informed by economic and social needs. The overarching principle of the protection of the environment combined with an impetus to improve social equality, will serve to copper-fasten and safeguard our future. The changing world we live in brings with it challenges and opportunities. The Southern region, will experience population growth and a proportionately older population over the period of the plan.
While predominantly rural, the region includes three of the country’s four regional cities and a strong settlement pattern of towns and villages. Rich agricultural land, freshwater rivers and streams, a diverse coastline forms part of our natural resources. We want to harness this wealth of assets, to rise to the challenges of tomorrow and to grow in a managed and sustainable manner. We will strive to do this by working with Government and its agencies to create sustainable development in the region, and by drawing together the components to inspire and attract people to live, work and participate in our vibrant region. Irish people traditionally identify with parish and county. Various studies show that identity with place of living is still very strong in Ireland. It is enmeshed with a sense of belonging to the place where people grew up, the wider county and the nation. Notwithstanding the changing face of Ireland, this consciousness and sense of belonging must inform and shape the NPF. Connectedness is immeasurably important to any community. It plays a part in safeguarding the health and well-being of citizens. Embeddedness is a difficult variable to quantify but one the Assembly contends is worthy of protection in plan making for the future.
The Southern Regional Assembly has 33 members, 27 of whom are nominated from the constituent local authorities and six due to their membership of the Committee of the Regions (CoR). The councillors are supported by staff, mostly based at the Assembly HQ in Waterford City.
It is worthwhile to pause and reflect what exactly place and belonging means in the Irish context. This needs to be done not in a bid to stall progress but to better understand the cultural sensitivities at play.
Place making or place-shaping is about improving the economic competitiveness, physical infrastructure and social fabric of a city, region or country, to increase its appeal as a place to live, work, study, invest in, trade with and visit.
No longer a homogenous society, isolated of the coast of continental Europe, we are globally connected, enriched with a diverse, young and educated population. We live in exciting and fast moving times. Our unique proposition as a nation, as a region, is firmly vested in our people and in our collective vision and values.
We are ready to play our part in contributing to the achievement of the greater national goals, among those being the transition to a low-carbon economy and the provision of high speed broadband for all unserved parts of the region.
Ubiquitous high-speed broadband is a pre-condition for regional competitiveness, key to securing a stronger economy, a socially enriched and environmentally protected region. Funding for initiatives in these key areas will be delivered under the Southern and Eastern Regional Programme.
Our role as European programme manager complements and uniquely positions us to guide and foster the potential of our region. Progress achieved to date by the urban centre development projects is proof of an integrated approach to planning.
The NPF is poised to benefit both the state and its regions, it doesn’t need to threaten or undermine the aspirations of any part of the country, urban or rural. Rather it can serve to unlock the latent potential of less-developed areas while increasing the competitiveness of the more developed areas.
Quality of life for all and safeguarding for future generations is at the heart of its goal.
FACTFILE: THE SOUTHERN REGION
- Three out of four Regional Cities.
- Population Growth of almost 3% over the last five years.
- Many Strong Rural Areas supported by a Network of Towns and Villages.
- Strong Job Growth with 62,600 new jobs created in the last five years.
- Two Universities and Five Institutes of Technology with a combined full-time student population of approximately 55,000 with an additional 12,000 part-time students.
- The only Two State Airports outside of Dublin as well as Two Regional Airports.
- All Tier 1 and Tier 2 Ports of National Significance outside of Dublin.
- Modern and Diverse Industrial Base with established cluster and specialisms in high value sectors such as pharmaceuticals, life sciences, aviation, precision engineering, information technology, food and beverages.
- Good quality farm land with High Agricultural Yields and strong food processing capabilities.
- Net exporter of Clean Renewable Energy with significant potential for further growth
- An extensive coastline with significant Marine Resource potential.
FUNCTIONS OF SOUTHERN REGIONAL ASSEMBLY
The Southern Regional Assembly, which meets on the second Friday of every month at its headquarters in Waterford, undertakes to:
- 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.
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:
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:
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
- Cooperation in the Atlantic Area.
Applications can be submitted online at the following link:
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.
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
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
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
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: email@example.com or
phone / text: Marian Flannery, 087 6863 243
The Abbey Creative Quarter Project is part funded by the ERDF
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
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
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.
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
Tel: +353 51 860700
€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
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
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
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
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.
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:
- Election of Cathaoirleach of the Assembly who will hold office until the Annual Meeting on 14th July 2017
- Adoption of Minutes of Meeting held on 10th February (attached)
- Matters arising
- National Planning Framework Launch – update
- AIR Training Event for Assembly Members – 26th May, 2017
- Any other business
- Confirm date for next meeting
Break for Lunch
- Members Workshop (from 2pm – 4pm) on Assembly Submission to Department on NPF Consultation Paper
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
CATEGORY 3 - INCLUSIVE GROWTH: Integrated living - building inclusive and non-segregated communities
ACADEMY OF SOCIAL ECONOMY (Poland / Malopolska Region) Video
CATEGORY 5 - EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT: Making a difference by managing differently
TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE JONVABALIAI (FIREFLIES) (Lithuania) Video
For more information see:
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 email@example.com at the Assembly or see the Interreg NWE website
Step 2 Approvals: approvals with an astrix have Irish partners
|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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
Pharmaceutical & Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC) Waterford Institute of Technology on Wednesday 18th May
Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre (Shannon ABC) Institute of Technology Tralee on Tuesday 24th May
Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre (Shannon ABC) Limerick Institute of Technology on Wednesday 25th May
Micro Sensors for Clinical Analysis (MiCRA) Institute of Technology Tallaght on Thursday 26th May
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
'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
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.
Tel: +353 51 318100
*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
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.
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
For further details please click here
The Annual RegioStars Awards competition has been launched.
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
On Twitter @EU_Regional - #Regiostars
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
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:
Tel: +353 51 318100
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
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
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.
Ms. Caroline Creamer - email@example.com / 086 8170436
Prof. Mark Boyle - firstname.lastname@example.org
Call for tender for applied research, Terms of Reference - “Territories and low-carbon economy”
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
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.
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
See also additional declarations published in the Official Journal.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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: email@example.com
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
8. Any other business
9. Confirm date for next meeting (12th February 2016 )
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
Post Code: X91 K256
T. + 353 (0) 51 860700
F. + 353 (0) 51 879887
For general queries, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For finance queries, email: email@example.com
For First Level Control queries, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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:
• 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...)
Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU
Rue Froissart, 50 B-1040 Bruxelles
Tel: +32 2 2331120 GSM: +32 493 203666 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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 email@example.com
Third Call under the INTERREG VB Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Programme
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:
Regional Contact Point - NPA Programme
Special EU Programmes Body
The Clarence West Building
2 Clarence Street West
Direct line: + 44 (0)28 90266678
Mob: + 44 7738023504
Fax: +44 (0)28 90266 661
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
Please contact Prof. Mark Boyle, Maynooth University firstname.lastname@example.org if you require any further details.
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
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
Tower Hotel, Waterford, 8.30-13.00
ADVANCE NOTICE OF THE VISIT OF EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR REGIONAL POLICY, MS. CORINA CREȚU TO DUBLIN
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.
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)
The Southern Regional Assembly is recruiting two (2) SENIOR FIRST LEVEL CONTROLLERS (Grade V) to be based in Waterford City.
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.
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.
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.
The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is 4.00 p.m. on Friday, 9th October 2015.
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: email@example.com
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Caroline Creamer (email@example.com) if you require further information.
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
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
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.
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.
Cross Border: Ireland/Northern Ireland/Western Scotland Programme
Transnational: Atlantic Area Programme
Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme
North West Europe Programme
Inter-Regional (EU 28): INTERREG EUROPE
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 firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Thursday, May 28th 2015.
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?
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
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 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
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."
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.
Contact details for Assembly staff
Apologies for any inconvenience caused!
Click here to access staff contact details.
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
Duration: Full day
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
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: email@example.com / 01-2079630.
CONTACT: Sinéad McGovern, Skillnets Communications Manager, Tel: 086-3701330/ 01-2079630, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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
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:
- Election of Cathaoirleach
- Election of Leas Cathaoirleach
- Adoption of Minutes of Meeting held on 12th December 2014
- Matters arising
- Adoption of Standing Orders
- Establishment of Strategic Planning Area Committees
- Roles and Functions of the Regional Assemblies as set out in the Establishment Order 2014 – Presentation by Director
- Members Expenses
- Members Workshop 2015
- Approval for attendance by Members at Conferences
- Any other business
- Date and time for next meeting and agree schedule of meetings until Annual Meeting
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Arts, Culture & Heritage – Sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline
Lismore Tidy Towns
WHAT- Waterford Healing Art’s Trust
Tramore Cultural Development
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
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
The Assembly | Regional Planning | EU Programmes | General