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Europe Day 2021: Celebrating the EU Delivering for the Regions

Europe Day 2021: Celebrating the EU Delivering for the Regions

The EU flag is flying ‘virtually’ at the Southern Regional Assembly this Europe Day, 9th May 2021, to celebrate 47 years of transformational financial support from the EU for business, research, and sustainable urban development projects.

EU supports have had an enormous impact on our local communities and regions during those 47 years, co-funding innovative projects, supporting small and medium-sized enterprises and promoting a low-carbon economy.

EU funding has also played a central role in the region’s fight against Covid-19 since its outbreak in Europe last year: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Southern & Eastern Regional Programme, managed by the Regional Assembly, awarded €189,165,299 to the HSE’s drive to secure and sustain continuity of access and supply of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare services in the region.

The EU spends approximately one fifth of its total budget on regional development projects through the ERDF and a broad spectrum of initiatives across the south and east of Ireland have reaped the benefits of the fund in recent years, including infrastructure projects linked to research and innovation, telecommunications, the environment, energy and transport projects.

The ERDF also co-finances direct aid to investments in companies, particularly SMEs, to create sustainable jobs; projects that support regional and local development and foster cooperation between towns and regions; and technical assistance measures.

Cllr. John Sheahan, Cathaoirleach of the Assembly commented: “We are delighted to celebrate the real impact of Ireland’s EU membership to regions and communities, from small business supports through the Local Enterprise Offices, to sustainable urban regeneration through the local authorities, and education and research activities.”

Examples of socially inclusive and sustainable regional projects capitalising on ERDF funding include:

  • Enhancement of Clare’s Shannon Town Park;
  • Regeneration of Limerick’s O’Connell Street;
  • Transformation of Waterford city’s historic Apple Market;
  • Landscaped public realm works at Kilkenny’s new Abbey Quarter;
  • Transformation of Tralee’s Island of Geese;
  • Regeneration works at Wexford’s Crescent Quay;
  • Construction of Cork’s youngest bridge, Mary Elmes;
  • Construction of a boardwalk along the side of Mallow Bridge.

The Assembly has a remit for regional and spatial planning, including the Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy for the Southern Region, and the management and delivery of ERDF programmes, such as the S&E Regional Programme and Interreg Programmes. Last year, the Assembly audited EU funding claims worth over €7 million to Irish organisations that are participating in Interreg projects which support new and next-stage research, small business supports, and bring expertise and knowledge from other EU regions to inform our public policy development.

The Southern Region is represented by 33 local councillors who serve as Assembly Members and meet monthly to discuss issues related to regional planning, local, national and EU policies, EU programme management and EU project benefits

ERDF Ireland Coronavirus Response

ERDF Ireland Coronavirus Response

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Regional Programmes in Ireland have awarded €286.5 million to the Health Service Executive (HSE) to support the cost of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies to the Irish healthcare system in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two ERDF Regional Programmes responded to the pandemic by developing the Health Support Scheme which funds the HSE’s drive to secure and sustain continuity of access and supply of essential PPE for the health services in Ireland. HSE Health Business Services has led the extraordinary challenge to ensure the supply of PPE through a multi-agency approach with regulatory support from the Health Products Regulatory Authority.

ERDF funding of €286,580,931 has been awarded to the HSE from the Border, Midlands & Western (BMW) Regional Operational Programme (€97,415,632), and the Southern & Eastern (S&E) Regional Operational Programme (€189,165,299) for the supply of COVID-19 PPE to the health service in the S&E and BMW regions.

The funding from the ERDF Programmes was facilitated by the EU CRII and CRII Plus Regulations to support operations and foster crisis response capacities in the context COVID-19; and Reg 2020/558 to support exceptional measures for use of European Structural Investment Funds for Covid-related support.

The S&E Regional Operational Programme and the BMW Regional Operational Programme are managed respectively by the Southern Regional Assembly and the Northern & Western Regional Assembly and are co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

S&E Regional Programme Monitoring Committee Meets

S&E Regional Programme Monitoring Committee Meets

The Monitoring Committee for the Southern & Eastern Regional Programme 14-20 met on 21 April remotely to discuss progress on the funding programme.  Representatives from the Irish Government, local elected members, public, private and third sectors and the European Commission took part with valuable contributions on the activities and supports provided by the Programme to the S&E region.

The Committee monitors the delivery of the Programme which provides €620 million from both the European Regional Development Fund and the Irish Government to support a variety of activities across the Southern & Eastern region of Ireland under the themes of Research, Technology Development & Innovation, SME Competitiveness, Low Carbon Economy and Sustainable Urban Development. 

A key discussion point related to the reprogramming of the funding to respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic in 2020 with the Health Support Scheme which funds the HSE’s drive to secure and sustain continuity of access and supply of essential PPE for the health services in Ireland. HSE Health Business Services has led the extraordinary challenge to ensure the supply of PPE through a multi-agency approach with regulatory support from the Health Products Regulatory Authority.

ERDF funding of €286,580,931 has been awarded to the HSE from the Border, Midlands & Western (BMW) Regional Programme (€97,415,632), and the Southern & Eastern (S&E) Regional Programme (€189,165,299) for the supply of COVID-19 PPE to the health service in the S&E and BMW regions.

Conference on the Future of Europe

Conference on the Future of Europe

Have your say on the future of the EU!

The Conference of Europe is an opportunity to debate the challenges & priorities of the EU & have your voice heard. 

The European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission have committed to listen to Europeans and follow up on the recommendations made. 

Simply choose from the comprehensive range of topics and let the Conference know your opinion. Your ideas will be collected, analysed, monitored and published on the platform, throughout the Conference. They will then feed into the discussions taking place in the European citizens’ Panels and the Plenaries. A feedback mechanism will ensure that the ideas expressed during the Conference events result in concrete recommendations for EU action.

Make your voice heard by logging in to the platform for the Conference on the future of Europe today https://futureu.europa.eu/. Anyone can read and browse the ideas and events on the platform, but registration is needed in order to contribute (ideas or events).

By spring 2022, the Conference is expected to reach conclusions and provide guidance on the future of Europe.

 

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Consultation of the draft Cooperation Programme for the NPA 2021-2027

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

Consultation of the draft Cooperation Programme for the NPA 2021-2027

Organisations with an interest in the Northern Periphery and Artic Programme (NPA) are invited to feedback on the Cooperation Programme, the backbone of the NPA 2021-2027 where the strategic vision, funding priorities and structure are described.

The Programme Planning Group, who is in charge of drafting the Cooperation Programme, is looking for input that can help fine tune the document and form the basis for a well-functioning NPA 2021-2027.

An online survey is open between 22nd April and 7th May allowing interested respondents to provide written feedback on the draft Cooperation Programme for the NPA 2021-2027. Go to the online survey

Celtic Routes £1.5million for tourism project

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

Celtic Routes £1.5million for tourism project

The Celtic Routes Project is enjoying a busy period after securing an additional £1.5 million for a second phase taking the project through to 2023 and the launch of its TV Advertisement campaign currently appearing on Irish and UK national and international television channels. 

Celtic Routes is a collection of authentic Celtic experiences to be explored throughout Wexford, Waterford and Wicklow in Ireland and Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire in Wales, all connected by the Irish Sea and co-funded via the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme 2014-2020.

They say travel broadens the mind. 

But some journeys do much more.

They let you see the world through different eyes.

To see a living connection with nature.

To see history and legend come  together in spiritual places.

To see balance and harmony  in our busy world.

Celtic Routes is a project between Wicklow, Wexford and Waterford County Councils in Ireland, the Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire County Councils in Wales and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority in Wales.

It’s a branded collection of tourism experiences encouraging travellers to visit Ireland and Wales to discover the Celtic spirit by suggesting immersive and authentic experiences.  Phase 2 will focus on developing the legacy of Celtic Routes by further enhancing the visitor experience working closely with the tourism sector.  Already businesses from Wales have been visiting Ireland to learn and share best practice with their Irish counterparts.

The Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council Councillor Ger Carthy applauds the work of the Local Authorities in Ireland to steer the promotion of the Celtic Routes; “It gives me great pleasure to congratulate the Project Partners on the continuation of the Project.  This €1.9m funding supports the ethos and aims of Ireland’s Ancient East, to promote the most personally engaging cultural destination in Europe by harnessing the authentic character of the real Ireland, its living culture, lush landscapes and hidden history, opening it up for everyone.”

The Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council Councillor Pat Kennedy, welcoming the announcement of additional funding of €1,917,770.  For Phase 2 of the Celtic Routes project, added that it was more important than ever, in a Covid-ravaged tourism industry, that we do everything in our power to entice more visitors to our Counties and try to recover some of the lost ground and that the Celtic Routes project is an example of the king of stimulus that we need right now.

The Mayor of the City and County of Waterford, Cllr Damien Geoghegan welcomes the funding announcement, saying “The Celtic Routes project is an exciting venture which links the communities in South East Ireland and Wales in a very tangible way. The focus on the lesser travelled path is an exciting one and Waterford has a very special offering in the many hidden gems along our stunning coastline, rugged mountain trails and Greenway. The investment of €1.9m is particularly welcome as our tourism and hospitality sector is gearing up for reopening in a new and re-imagined way”

A toolkit is available for businesses and destinations with guidance and ideas about how they can create their own Celtic experiences and contribute to the success of the project counterparts, project contact details can be found here.

The Ireland Wales Programme 2014-2020  is part of the European Territorial Co-operation (ETC) group of funds, which provides opportunities for regions in the EU to work together, to address common economic, environmental and social challenges.  The programme focuses on seeking solutions to shared challenges on both sides of the Irish sea, to improve the economic and sustainable development priorities of Ireland and Wales, in the areas of innovation, climate change and cultural & natural resources and heritage.

The Welsh Government manages the programme with partners, the Southern Regional Assembly (SRA) and the Department for Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER).  The overall value of the programme is €100m, utilising €79m from the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).  To find out more about the Ireland Wales programme and the list of projects click this link.

Celtic Routes Newsletter March 2021 is out!

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

Celtic Routes Newsletter March 2021 is out!

Celtic Routes is a collection of authentic Celtic experiences to be explored throughout Wexford, Waterford and Wicklow in Ireland and Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire in Wales, all connected by the Irish Sea and co-funded via the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme 2014-2020.

The Ireland Wales Programme 2014-2020  is part of the European Territorial Co-operation (ETC) group of funds, which provides opportunities for regions in the EU to work together, to address common economic, environmental and social challenges.  The programme focuses on seeking solutions to shared challenges on both sides of the Irish sea, to improve the economic and sustainable development priorities of Ireland and Wales, in the areas of innovation, climate change and cultural & natural resources and heritage.

For further information please see the Celtic Routes Project 

Celtic Routes Newsletter March 2021

NPA notification: Strategic Environmental Assessment public consultation

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

NPA notification: Strategic Environmental Assessment public consultation

Between 7th April and 7th May 2021, a public consultation is taking place for the Strategic Environmental Assessment of the INTERREG Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme 2021-2027, which is currently under development.

The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is an important tool for integrating environmental considerations into the preparation and adoption of programmes with a view to promoting sustainable development. It assesses whether implementing the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme is likely to have (significant) effects (positive/negative) on the environment. The SEA offers an opportunity to improve the environmental dimension of the programme during its preparation.

The conclusions of the SEA Report should be seen in relation to the nature of INTERREG programmes, which focus on cooperation and not on hard investments, and the relatively modest size and likely impact of the NPA 2021-2027. 

Click here to Participate to the survey

The new Erasmus+ programme guide for 2021-2027 is finally here!

The new Erasmus+ programme guide for 2021-2027 is finally here!

Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Any public or private body active in these fields can apply for funding to deliver projects that address the programme’s objectives and priorities. Erasmus+ will also support the resilience of education and training systems in the face of the pandemic.

It has four key priorities for 2021-2027: inclusion, active participation, and supporting green and digital transitions.

This year, in order to make the programme more accessible to newcomers, Erasmus+ has introduced a small-scale partnerships option for projects with a shorter duration and simplified administrative requirements. For full details on the different types of projects and activities supported, check out the Erasmus+ 2021 Programme Guide

Léargas is the national contact point for the Erasmus+ programme in Ireland.

Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF) announcement from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF) announcement from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

The Southern Regional Assembly welcomes the recent announcements from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage of funding allocations under Call 2 of the Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF).

This scheme, an initiative of Government through Project Ireland 2040: the National Planning Framework and the National Development Plan, aims to deliver compact and sustainable regeneration projects across our cities and larger towns. It is a key catalyst for infrastructure delivery and place-making projects that will deliver rejuvenation in our urban centres.

Call 2 was announced and opened for applications in January 2020 under the central theme of Compact Growth. A competitive process, it is a testament to the hard work and merit of the projects submitted that over €640 million has been awarded for projects across the Local Authorities in the Southern Region.

Successful projects include Cork City Docklands, Grand Parade Quarter Cork City, World Class Waterfront Limerick, Living Limerick City Centre, Waterford City Centre Regeneration, Kilkenny City Centre Enhanced Liveability Project, Abbey Quarter Phase 2A Kilkenny City, Public Realm and Pedestrian Linage Project Carlow Town, Ennis Town Centre Public Realm Regeneration, Positioning Tralee as a Regional Economic Driver and Destination Town, Trinity Wharf Wexford Town, Destination Killarney, Mallow Town Centre Regeneration, Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Energy Nenagh and the Passage West-Ringaskiddy-Carrigaline Harbour Cluster

Further details on the URDF can be found at https://www.gov.ie and a summary report on the funding allocations is due to be published shortly.

This level of funding is significant and transformative, assisting strategic projects that are supported for delivery by the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) for the Southern Region and Metropolitan Area Strategic Plans (MASPs) for Cork, Limerick-Shannon and Waterford.

Alignment with the RSES and MASPs, criteria of the application and assessment process, is required for these projects. The SRA is proud to see such success achieved across our Cities and Metropolitan Areas and Key Towns and commend the Local Authorities and application teams in their recent success.

This level of funding into our Region is important, as the Southern Region has the State’s most significant proposition to achieve the aim of Regional Parity. By 2040, the population of the Region is projected to rise to almost two million, requiring new homes and jobs.

The NPF and RSES targets our three cities to grow by over 50% to 2040 as part of a structural realignment in population, homes, and jobs away from the Greater Dublin Area with a 50:50 distribution of growth between the Eastern and Midlands region and the Southern and Northern and Western Region.

These are ambitious targets which have never been accomplished in the State’s history. Their achievement requires a step change in the scale and nature of investment to the Regions, especially to the metropolitan areas of Cork, Limerick- Shannon, Waterford and Key Towns.

The URDF Call 2 funding allocations are therefore strongly supported. Actions on these projects across the Region will progress our vision for the Southern Region to become one of Europe’s most “Creative and Innovative”, “Liveable” and “Greenest” Regions. Further details on the RSES and MASP can be found by clicking here.

piSCES – Smart Cluster Energy System

piSCES – Smart Cluster Energy System

The piSCES project has come to a successful close with its closure event on 15th December 2020, available on YouTube here.  piSCES: The Smart Cluster Energy System (piSCES) project was part funded by the Irish Wales Co-operation Programme 2014-2020 and its objective was to   reduce the costs and carbon footprint in the fish processing industry by developing and testing a new ‘smart grid’ electricity network.

 The closure event was opened by Lesley Griffiths, Welsh Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs who provided an overview of the   landscape and sector in which piSCES developed this critical technology.  By incorporating smart grid technologies, renewable energy and   optimisation techniques, large scale efficiency can be achieved.  The fact that fishing clusters exist in both Ireland and Wales meant that, solving   efficiency problems at a research and test bed level can facilitate a roll up where the scaling of the technology can have a significant impact on decarbonising our future economies.  It is envisaged that on successful completion of these energy micro grids, they can begin to trade with other clusters which will facilitate their roll up regionally and then nationally to create a real smart grid.  Find out more at the piSCES website here.

The Ireland Wales Programme 2014-2020  is part of the European Territorial Co-operation (ETC) group of funds, which provides opportunities for regions in the EU to work together, to address common economic, environmental and social challenges.  The programme focuses on seeking solutions to shared challenges on both sides of the Irish sea, to improve the economic and sustainable development priorities of Ireland and Wales, in the areas of innovation, climate change and cultural & natural resources and heritage.

The Welsh Government manages the programme with partners, the Southern Regional Assembly (SRA) and the Department for Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER).  The overall value of the programme is €100m, utilising €79m from the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).  To find out more about the Ireland Wales programme and the list of projects click this link.

Have your say on Interreg Europe 2021-2027!

Have your say on Interreg Europe 2021-2027!

Interreg Europe is designing a new programme that will run from 2021-2027, all interested stakeholders at EU, national, regional and local level are invited to contribute on the final design of the future Interreg Europe programme.

The European Union is committed to listening more closely to citizens. Opening up policy making can help the EU become more transparent, accountable, and effective. It is within this spirit that this formal consultation is taking place, as part of the process aimed at designing the next programming period for Interreg Europe.

Contribute to improving the future programme and its implementation by responding to the online consultation survey by 16 April. Click here to Participate to the survey.

LIFE programme: EU earmarks €121 million for major Integrated Projects

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

LIFE programme: EU earmarks €121 million for major Integrated Projects

The European Commission has today announced that it will invest €121 million in Integrated Projects under the LIFE programme. This is 20% more than last year.

These 12 large-scale environment and climate projects will help 11 EU Member States to reach their ambitious green targets. They will take place in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia.

The projects contribute to the green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and support the European Green Deal's objective of making the EU the first climate-neutral continent by 2030. They also add to key European Green Deal components including the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the EU Circular Economy Action Plan.

Find out more in the press release.

Selkie Newsletter March 2021 is out!

Selkie Newsletter March 2021 is out!

The Ireland Wales 2014-2020 European Territorial Co-operation (ETC) programme is a maritime programme connecting organisations, businesses and communities on the West coast of Wales with the South-East coast of Ireland.

The Welsh Government manages the programme with partners, the Southern Regional Assembly (SRA) and the Department for Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER).

The programme is one of a family of ETC programmes which provide opportunities for regions in the EU to work together to address common economic, environmental and social challenges. 

The Ireland Wales programme focuses on seeking solutions to shared challenges on both sides of the Irish sea, to improve the economic and sustainable development priorities of Wales and Ireland.

The programme focuses on:

  • Cross border innovation
  • Adaptation of the Irish Sea and Coastal Communities to Climate Change
  • Cultural and Natural Resources and Heritage

The Selkie project is part funded by the Irish Wales Co-operation Programme and aims to develop shared multi-use engineering tools, templates, standards and models, which can be used across the Marine Renewal Energy sector in both Wales and Ireland.

They will do this by:

  1. Establishing a cross-border network of Ocean Energy SMEs and supply chain companies;
  2. Conducting industry-academic collaborative R&D projects;
  3. Transferring R&D knowledge to wave and tidal industry/SME stakeholders, thereby advancing the technology sector as whole;
  4. Assisting Irish and Welsh SMEs to progress along the path to commercialisation.

 

For further information please see the Selkie website     

Selkie Newsletter Mar 2021

Minister McGrath welcomes agreement on EU Cohesion Package - includes a €1.139 billion allocation for Ireland

Minister McGrath welcomes agreement on EU Cohesion Package - includes a €1.139 billion allocation for Ireland

Minister Michael McGrath T.D. has welcomed the approval by EU Member States' Ambassadors to the EU, of legal texts governing the Cohesion Funds which amount to nearly one third of the EU's seven-year budget. This confirmed the political agreement reached with the European Parliament.

The Commission indicated that Ireland will receive a total of €1,139 million (in 2018 prices) in Cohesion Policy Funds for the 2021-27 programming period, comprising:

  • €351 million for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF);
  • €451 million for the European Social Fund + (ESF+);
  • €260 million for European Territorial Cooperation (including PEACE PLUS); and
  • €77   million under the Just Transition Fund (JTF).

 

In addition, Ireland will receive €83 million for the current programmes in 2021 under REACT-EU (additional funding to help with Ireland’s recovery), to be supplemented by a further allocation in 2022. When the requirement for (predominately Exchequer) match funding is included the full value of the programmes supported by these allocations amounts to almost €3.5 billion.

This is in addition and separate to recently announced EU funding of €853m agreed for the Recovery and Resilience Fund.

Minister McGrath said: “This agreement on further EU investment in the Irish economy comes at a critical time, as we plan our recovery from the impact of Covid 19. The EU funding will be spent in areas such as supporting SMEs, reskilling and upskilling our workforce, investing in research and development and emerging technologies, to ensure that Ireland is well placed to take advantage of opportunities arising from a green and digital Europe”.

Commenting further on the importance of balanced regional development, Minister McGrath said:  “The Operational Programmes which plan how this funding will be spent are already under development. This planning process involves the three Regional Assemblies, along with IBEC, ICTU and the Social and Voluntary Sector. There will be a specific EU programme to assist with Just Transition, in areas most affected by the cessation of peat extraction”.

Minister McGrath acknowledged the increased EU contribution for PEACE PLUS, noting that it underscores the commitment of the Commission, and our fellow Member States, to peace and economic prosperity in Northern Ireland and in the Border Counties.  Public consultation on the PEACE PLUS Operational Programme is expected to begin shortly.

The Minister also acknowledged the close collaboration of Commission officials, Irish officials and other officials from all MS working in the permanent representation in Brussels to achieve this result, despite the challenges of COVID 19.

Click here for further details: Commission announcement.

Horizon Europe - Launch Event for Ireland

Horizon Europe - Launch Event for Ireland

Join Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth and Simon Harris, Minister for Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science for Ireland’s launch of Horizon Europe.

Date/ Time: 25th March, 2021 at 9:30 – 13:30

Running from 2021-2027, Horizon Europe will be the most ambitious Research and Innovation programme in the world with a budget of €95 billion.

Building on the achievements of Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe offers a broad range of opportunities for Irish researchers, innovators and Irish companies of all sizes in the pursuit of new discoveries, scientific and technological advancement and innovation.

This event will provide an overview of the Horizon Europe programme, and offer practical advice for researchers and innovators on submitting competitive applications in Horizon Europe.

The registration page for the Horizon Europe – Launch Event for Ireland is now live – lhttps://go.globalambition.ie/Horizon-EU-Launch.html

You can find the agenda for the event here

 

Southern Regional Assembly New Video

Southern Regional Assembly New Video

Policy Objective #73 of the Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy promotes effective communication of the work of the Southern Regional Assembly.

Watch our new video to find out who we are, what we do & why it’s important for your Region.

 

Ireland-Wales Statement and Joint Action Plan 2021-25

Ireland-Wales Statement and Joint Action Plan 2021-25

The Government of Ireland and the Welsh Government have issued a formal Shared Statement which sets out the ambitions and plans for the Ireland-Wales relationship in the years ahead, as both countries work to increase cooperation and collaboration between Governments and partners across the business, arts, sporting and community sectors – identifying and agreeing number of common areas for closer cooperation.

Spanning political, economic and cultural engagement, this ambitious bilateral agenda is set out in this high level Joint Action Plan. Ministers will meet annually to review and update the plan, which builds on our ongoing joint work across a wide range of policy areas.

To read the Shared Statement in Irish, Welsh and English, click here.

Ports, Past and Present Newsletter is out!

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

Ports, Past and Present Newsletter is out!

The February 2021 Newsletter for the Ports, Past and Present project is out now! Click here to read as it reveals the strength of our Welsh and Irish shared histories, telling the story of how a Welsh Chapel in Dublin provided services in the Welsh language, a meeting place for sailors and a hub for Dublin’s resident Welsh community for over 100 years.

The Ports, Past and Present project is part funded by the Irish Wales Co-operation Programme 2014-2020 and is exploring the cultures of the port communities of Dublin, Rosslare, Holyhead, Fishguard and Pembroke Dock.  Bringing their culture and heritage to public awareness, both within coastal communities and to increase visitor numbers and enhance visitor experiences.  The project publishes and online monthly Newsletter highlighting the fascinating heritage stories of these Port communities which have experienced shared histories for many years. 

The Ireland Wales Programme 2014-2020  is part of the European Territorial Co-operation (ETC) group of funds, which provides opportunities for regions in the EU to work together, to address common economic, environmental and social challenges.  The programme focuses on seeking solutions to shared challenges on both sides of the Irish sea, to improve the economic and sustainable development priorities of Ireland and Wales, in the areas of innovation, climate change and cultural & natural resources and heritage.

The Welsh Government manages the programme with partners, the Southern Regional Assembly (SRA) and the Department for Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER).  The overall value of the programme is €100m, utilising €79m from the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).  To find out more about the Ireland Wales programme and the list of projects click this link.

Shape the Future of the Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme 2021-27 - Public Consultation

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

Shape the Future of the Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme 2021-27 - Public Consultation

An online survey is open for interested parties to give written feedback on the Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme 2021-27 from 15th February until 5th March.

This input will be used to further develop the draft priorities of the Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme 2021-27 cooperation programme document, which is planned to be ready by June 2021, when a national and European approval process is expected to start.  

The Northern Periphery & Arctic is a cooperation programme involving 9 countries. It is part of Interreg, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and ERDF equivalent funding from non-EU partner countries. Despite geographical differences, the large programme area shares several joint challenges and opportunities that can best be overcome and realised by transnational cooperation.

Click here to Participate to the survey.

The NPA programme are hosting three online workshops to be held on 22nd, 24th and 25th February 2021.

MATCH-UP Mobility Café

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

MATCH-UP Mobility Café

The Southern Regional Assembly in conjunction with An Taisce Green School and Waterford Institution of Technology invite you to join the “The Youth Voice – Joining the conversation on Sustainable Transport in Waterford” at our webinar at 10.00 – 12.30 on Thursday 25th February 2020. 

This event will give a voice to the young people of Waterford to speak about their experience of sustainable transport in terms of the work they are involved in, the challenges they are facing to travel sustainably and the opportunities to improve sustainable transport. JOIN US - https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8991174285173040143

We hope that primary, secondary and third level students, teachers and parents will join us on the day to voice their opinions on sustainable transport in Waterford.  We will be hearing from students in Waterford talking about the work they are undertaking with the Green Schools Travel Programme, discussing the cycling gender gap in secondary schools and hearing about the interesting research currently underway in Waterford Institute of Technology regarding active travel.

We will be joined on the day by an impressive panel of policy and decision makers who will be discussing the issues raised and hopefully providing some solutions to encourage and support young people who wish to engage in active travel.

If you wish to put a question to our panel then please email your question with your name and the name of your school to cconnaughton@southernassembly.ie by 18th February 2020.

Read Press Release

NPA Clustering call for project applications open!

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

NPA Clustering call for project applications open!

The Clustering Call for project applications is open from 15th January to 31st March 2021.

The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (NPA) forms a cooperation between nine countries. 

The Monitoring Committee will decide on Clustering Call applications on 8th June 2021.

Further information, guidance and application documentation is available on the Clustering Call page.

An Online Q&A is scheduled on January 27th, at 14:00 CET to discuss potential clustering consortia with NPA Desk officers and other NPA projects.

Registration is mandatory in order to receive the participation link. Register here, before January 22nd, 2021.

Check out the EU Calls Monitor section of the SRA website here

MATCH-UP – Cycling Cities

MATCH-UP – Cycling Cities

The MATCH-UP project aims to improve low carbon interchanges at local level to improve public transport by learning from our Interregional partners.

The Southern Regional Assembly is delighted to participate in the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform Cycling Cites webinar Series.  In particular, we are looking forward to the opportunity to share with you the Transport Infrastructure Ireland good practice: Cycle and Ride Infrastructure Associated with the Luas Light Rail.    

Simon Hunkin,  Interreg Europe, Thematic Expert believes “This practice demonstrates infrastructure development for encouraging cycling and multi-modal transport by improving cycling links with Dublin’s tram network. The most transferable aspect of the practice is the initial stage; reviewing the existing situation and identifying highest impact changes based on the input from users and passengers. Building cycle parking and lockers at tram stops, and improving cycle lanes are relatively low-cost interventions, but have a clear impact in contributing to cycling uptake.”

This good practice along with other good practices from the Interregional Project Partners of the MATCH-UP Interreg Europe Project inspired the Southern Regional Assembly to develop a framework and methodology for a “10 Minute Town Concept” to ensure all essential services are accessible within a 10 minute walk or cycle in all the key towns in Southern Ireland.

Kevin Lynch, Assistant Director, Southern Regional Assembly stated that “The recent publication by the SRA of the 10 Minute Towns Accessibility and Framework Report is an excellent example of RSES implementation in operation and how learning from other EU Regions can support implementation.  This work, in co-ordination with the EU Interreg Europe MATCH-UP project, delivers a toolkit for Local Authorities and other stakeholders to encourage and assist the practical application of access to essential amenities within a 10-minute walk/cycle in our towns and urban areas. The framework addresses the implementation of an important objective (RSES RPO 176 10 Minute City and Town Concepts) contained in the recently published Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region (RSES) and is an important early step in encouraging the transformative change required to deliver on the principals of a  Greener and more Liveable region underpinning the RSES and the National Planning Framework. The framework is now in place as a resource to assist Local Authorities, NTA, TII and other stakeholders to develop initiatives and projects. The action assists a pathway to achieve this concept over the short, medium and longer terms and shows how a focused action can achieve a positive tangible outcome and assist our stakeholders meaningfully.”

The framework and methodology was developed through an assessment of 3 Key Towns in the Southern Region – Carlow, Tralee and Ennis with the support and assistance of Carlow County Council, Kerry County Council and Clare County Council.  The use of this implementation tool will assist all local authorities with fully integrating the “10 Minute Town Concept” into to future Local Development Plans to increase the use of sustainable transport and reduce carbon emissions in the Southern Region.  

To find out more CLICK HERE!

MATCH-UP, a four and a half-year, 5-partners project was approved for a grant of €0.9m by the Interreg Europe Programme  and commenced in July 2018 at a meeting in Bologna. The partnership consists of 4 European regions - Southern & Eastern Ireland, County of Northeim, Germany, Municipality of Funchal, Portugal and Timisoara Municipality, Romania who are working together to share experience, solutions, and good practice to develop and deliver better public policy to reduce carbon emissions and support low carbon urban mobility in designated urban centres.

MATCH-UP is part-funded by the Interreg Europe Programme through the European Regional Development Fund and led by the University of Bologna in Italy. 

For more about the MATCH-UP project go to - www.interregeurope.eu/match-up/

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION/INTERVIEW AND IMAGES, CONTACT:

Southern Regional Assembly, Waterford, Ireland

Ms. Rose Power, EU Projects Officer, rpower@southernassembly.ie

Project Co-ordinator

Match-up@unibo.it

Read Press Release

URBACT call for pilot transfer mechanism for UIA practices is launched!

URBACT call for pilot transfer mechanism for UIA practices is launched!

URBACT has launched a call for a pilot mechanism to transfer the most successful Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) experiences to other cities facing similar challenges in Europe.

Transferring the bold practices experimented on the ground through UIA to other urban realities across the European Union, is one of the key objectives of the Initiative and its Knowledge Management Strategy. 

With 86 ongoing projects in 20 Member States, UIA is generating thematic & operational knowledge to inspire the design and implementation of future strategies and projects that foster sustainable urban development.

The launch by URBACT of the pilot transfer mechanism falls into this objective. UIA and URBACT are therefore joining forces - with completed innovative projects and a tested transfer method – to transfer the knowledge generated by 17 UIA projects from the first generation of UIA (CALL 1) to urban authorities and local stakeholders facing similar challenges.

Energy transitionurban povertyjobs and skills in the local economy and integration of migrants and refugees will be the main urban challenges foci of this pilot call.

This first pilot mechanism will also be important to draw lessons on how to embed the transferability dimension into future UIA projects within the European Urban Initiative for 2021-2027.

How does it work?

The pilot will finance up to four networks whose aim will be to adapt the UIA innovations and develop an investment plan to fund their implementation. These networks will use the URBACT method of exchange and learning with support from experts and peers to enable the transfer of practice. This means 12 European cities in total, three transfer partners and an UIA city leading this process per network.  

This call is open for urban authorities interested in becoming a Transfer Project Partner from 1st December 2020 to 1st February 2021. The pilot networks will run from March 2021 to September 2022.

Have a look at UIA projects main solutions on the URBACT Market Place and get more information on the URBACT website.

Check out the EU Calls Monitor section of the SRA website here

COHES3ION virtual journey continues

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

COHES3ION virtual journey continues

COHES3ION project partners came together for the penultimate project study visit on November 26th 2020 hosted virtually by our Polish partner.  Unfortunately, we did not get to experience the picturesque Mazovian region, home to the city of Warsaw; however we got to meet some of the regions innovators working on boosting the regions innovative capacity.   

Our Mazovian partners had many informative and innovative work initiatives to share including:

  • Introduction to the Mazovia region and RIS3 status;
  • CEZAMAT: connecting R&D infrastructure with the regional and (inter)national innovation ecosystems;
  • The process of entrepreneurial discovery – working groups on S3 in the Mazovian region;
  • Integrated Territorial Investments in the Warsaw Metropolis.

The presentations were followed by a lively discussion on overcoming the shared challenges of implementing a targeted Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) at the regional level.  One common challenge among partners being how to effectively engage the relevant stakeholders to be involved in the process, which was discussed at length. The SRA look forward to discussing the case studies in more detail with our regional stakeholders to determine how to apply the learnings to effect within the region.

The SRA are partners on the Interreg Europe COHES3ION project, looking at the integration of the regional dimension into Smart Specialisation Strategies, which will assist in identifying regional Smart Priorities and strengthening the regional coordination of innovation delivery and support players.

COHES3ION is part-funded by the Interreg Europe Programme, through the European Regional Development Fund and is led by BEAZ S.A.U., Spain.    

The project will run until 2022, find out more about COHES3ION here.

For further information please contact the Southern Regional Assembly:

Project Contact: Karen Coughlan, EU Projects Officer

Phone: +353 (0) 87 738 5478                      Email: kcoughlan@southernassembly.ie

Interreg Atlantic Area Programme & Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme Survey

Posted into: EU Programmes

Interreg Atlantic Area Programme & Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme Survey

The Atlantic Area Programme and Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme are currently evaluating the design and focus of the next programmes period (2021-27).

As part of the evaluation, the Programmes has launched a survey to collect feedback from stakeholders. This is your chance to ensure that Irish stakeholders have a voice in the design and focus of the next programmes.

Currently (2014-20) there are 11 key EU funding priorities, this has been reduced to 5 key funding priorities in the next programming period (2021-27):

•           P1 - Smarter Europe

•           P2 - Greener Europe

•           P3 - More Connected Europe

•           P4 - More Social Europe

•           P5 - Europe closer to Citizens

The next Interreg programmes will be focused on these priorities, mainly on P1 and P2 with some elements of the other priorities being taken into consideration.

The survey is accessible at the following link until 3rd December 2020. Interreg Survey NWRA

Southern Regional Assembly gives virtual welcome to COHES3ION partners

Southern Regional Assembly gives virtual welcome to COHES3ION partners

A key objective of the Interreg Europe Programme is promoting learning between European regions and project study visits play a vital role in facilitating this.  On October 15th it was the turn of the Southern Regional Assembly to host the next visit on the COHES3ION virtual journey.  In conjunction with the European Week of Cities & Regions, experts from across the Southern Region came together to share some of the innovative work practices happening with our Regional Stakeholders and European partners on the COHES3ION project.

Assistant Director, Derville Brennan, opened up the study visit welcoming everyone to the webinar expressing her disappointment at not being able to greet attendees in person. Despite the fact partners were not getting to visit the region she hoped that they would get a strong sense of the pioneering work happening across the region. 

Purpose of the visit

Ireland has traditionally relied upon a more top-down governance model however; there has been a shift in thinking across Europe to encourage adopting a more multi-level approach to governance.  But what does this really mean? No single level can solve the challenges we face as a region prompting the need for enhanced cooperation between authorities at every level. This will require a move from the hierarchal governance to a more network based model encouraging collective decision-making processes where authority and influence is shared between stakeholders operating at different levels.  Key to the success of this multi-level governance (MLG) approach is promoting citizen participation, cooperation and creating networks.  Partners heard from a number of leading regional experts on their experiences of adopting these work practices into policymaking and implementation.  These bottom-up approaches support the key message Every Voice Counts.

Speakers and topics included:

  • COHES3ION project overview – Lead partner Beaz SAU & Orkestra Deusto Foundation
  • Economic overview of the Region and impact of Covid-19 - John Daly, Economist, The Three Regional Assemblies Ireland
  • Overview of the Southern Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy - Regional Planning Team, Southern Regional Assembly
  • RSES Consultation Process - Regional Planning Team, Southern Regional Assembly
  • Limerick Digital Leaders Network - Terence Connolly, EU Projects Manager, Limerick City & County Council
  • Clustering in Ireland: Spotlight on the Southern Region - Dr. John Hobbs, Senior Lecturer, Cork Institute of Technology (CIT)
  • Cyber Ireland Regional Chapters - Eoin Byrne, Cluster Manager, Cyber Ireland (CIT)

Click here to view the event recording

The SRA are partners on the Interreg Europe COHES3ION project, which is looking at the integration of the regional dimension into Smart Specialisation Strategies, which will assist in identifying regional Smart Priorities and strengthening the regional coordination of innovation delivery and support players. The MLG model outlined above will support and boost the impact of Smart Specialisation Strategies within the region.        

COHES3ION is part-funded by the Interreg Europe Programme, through the European Regional Development Fund and is led by BEAZ S.A.U., Spain.    

The project will run until 2022, find out more about COHES3ION here.

For further information please contact the Southern Regional Assembly:

Project Contact: Karen Coughlan, EU Projects Officer

Phone: +353 (0) 87 738 5478                   Email: kcoughlan@southernassembly.ie

Waterford North Quays Project awarded €110.6m in urban regeneration & transport funding

Waterford North Quays Project awarded €110.6m in urban regeneration & transport funding

Minster for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD has announced the approval of €80.6m in Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) support for the Waterford North Quays project.

A total package of €110.6m will go towards the regeneration project with €30 million having been committed by the Department of Transport, through the National Transport Authority.

The regeneration of the North Quays is a key enabler/ priority for the delivery of the objectives of the Waterford Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan, part of the Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy (RSES) for the Southern Region.  The objectives of the RSES, which the Southern Regional Assembly has responsibility for implementing, will feed into Project Ireland 2040 – the National Development Plan.

Minister O’Brien said:

“Today’s Government approval represents one of the single biggest investments ever in the South East. The North Quays project is the largest commercial development in Waterford and currently the largest urban regeneration project in the country. For too long Waterford City and the South East region has suffered from underdevelopment and underinvestment. Waterford’s North Quays in particular, an eight-hectare site pivotally located in the centre of the region’s City has remained derelict for decades; it has hindered the integration, sustainable development and attractiveness of the City and consequently the surrounding area.

“The Programme for Government has balanced regional development at its heart because all parts of Ireland must thrive if we are to prosper as a country. This project is a very good example of helping a region to thrive. It’s expected that 1,500 new full time jobs directly related to the construction phase will be created, with private development delivering nearly 2,300 full time jobs by 2026 and the creation of a further 4,500 indirect jobs in the wider community.”

Minister for Transport, Environment, Climate and Communications and Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD added:

“I’m delighted that my Department is supporting the development of the North Quays SDZ project which will transform Waterford in the years ahead. The funding I am making available will support the development of the new sustainable transport bridge across the River Suir to link up the North and South Quays, providing access for cyclists, pedestrians and public transport users.”

“It will in time also provide a link between the Waterford Greenway and the New Ross Greenway, both of which are also being supported by my Department. I believe the relocated train station will also provide a real catalyst for the urban regeneration and development of the wider site. This entire project is an example of how sustainable transport can help drive economic development, while also providing improvements in peoples’ quality of life in our regional cities,” he concluded.

Acknowledging Waterford City and County Council’s ambition, determination and commitment to the regeneration of the Waterford North Quays Minister of State with responsibility for planning and local government, Peter Burke TD said:

“I would like to commend Waterford City and County Council for embracing the opportunity presented to them through the URDF to reimagine the North Quays area as a living, vibrant and dynamic area that will re-connect both the city centre and the north and south sides of the city. This project is a critical element of Waterford City and County Council’s wider development plan for the area and will open up the City’s North Quays site for the development of commercial and residential land with direct sustainable access to the City Centre and intercity locations.”

Selkie Newsletter is out!

Selkie Newsletter is out!

The Ireland Wales 2014-2020 European Territorial Co-operation (ETC) programme is a maritime programme connecting organisations, businesses and communities on the West coast of Wales with the South-East coast of Ireland.

The Welsh Government manages the programme with partners, the Southern Regional Assembly (SRA) and the Department for Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER).

The programme is one of a family of ETC programmes which provide opportunities for regions in the EU to work together to address common economic, environmental and social challenges. 

The Ireland Wales programme focuses on seeking solutions to shared challenges on both sides of the Irish sea, to improve the economic and sustainable development priorities of Wales and Ireland.

The programme focuses on:

  • Cross border innovation
  • Adaptation of the Irish Sea and Coastal Communities to Climate Change
  • Cultural and Natural Resources and Heritage

The Selkie project is part funded by the Irish Wales Co-operation Programme and aims to develop shared multi-use engineering tools, templates, standards and models, which can be used across the Marine Renewal Energy sector in both Wales and Ireland.

They will do this by:

  1. Establishing a cross-border network of Ocean Energy SMEs and supply chain companies;
  2. Conducting industry-academic collaborative R&D projects;
  3. Transferring R&D knowledge to wave and tidal industry/SME stakeholders, thereby advancing the technology sector as whole;
  4. Assisting Irish and Welsh SMEs to progress along the path to commercialisation.

SELKIE Newsletter Nov 2020

INTERREG North West Europe Newsletter is out!

INTERREG North West Europe Newsletter is out!

Interreg North-West Europe (Interreg NWE) is a transnational European Territorial Co-operation programme with the aim to make the North-West part of Europe a key economic player and create an attractive place to work and live, with high levels of innovation, sustainability, and cohesion.

The Southern Regional Assembly hosts the National Contact Point for Interreg North-West Europe and represents the Irish Member State on the Programmes’ monitoring committee.

For the latest news and updates on INTERREG North West Europe (NWE) Programme, click here

The EMPOWER 8th Newsletter is out!

The EMPOWER 8th Newsletter is out!

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

For further information please see the EMPOWER website

Project Contact: 

Rose Power -  EU Projects Officer, Southern Regional Assembly
Phone: +353 (0) 51 860 700 Email: rpower@southernassembly.ie            

EMPOWER Newsletter November 2020

The Match Up 4th Newsletter is out!

The Match Up  4th Newsletter is out!

The Assembly is a partner on this project which addresses multi-modal transport.

For further information please see the MATCH-UP website

Project Contact: 

Rose Power -  EU Projects Officer, Southern Regional Assembly

Email: rpower@southernassembly.ie            

MATCH UP Newsletter November 2020

Event: Urban Planning & Nature Based Surface Water Management

Event: Urban Planning & Nature Based Surface Water Management

The Irish Planning Institute are hosting a Webinar on Urban Planning and Nature Based Surface Water Management. From theory to practice. This event has been organised by the Local Authority Waters Programme and takes place on Monday, 9th November at 10am.

Please confirm your participation by registering for this webinar via this link.

Spatial Planning & Climate Action Workshops

Spatial Planning & Climate Action Workshops

Delivering a Low Carbon & Climate Resilient Future

The Southern Regional Assembly in collaboration with the Climate Action Regional Offices hosted the first part of their virtual workshop series on Thursday, 5th  November.

This workshop series explores the integration of climate action policies and objectives into the spatial planning decision-making process.

Part 2 of this series will be held on Wednesday, 11th November from 10am to 12pm.

Keeping Ireland Green - 12 Stories about the EU and Ireland’s Environment

Keeping Ireland Green - 12 Stories about the EU and Ireland’s Environment

Ireland is world-renowned for its lush green landscapes, unspoiled coastal waters, rolling hills and fertile soils. The environment is vital to our wellbeing. Its protection is crucial to ensure that it provides us with clean air, safe drinking water and healthy, wholesome food that commands a premium internationally, and attracts millions of visitors every year. For both the climate and the environment, the next years will be crucial.

According to the Central Statistics Office, Ireland has been performing below the EU average in several key areas; notably with respect to carbon emissions, bathing water standards and the amount of land designated as protected areas for birds.

The EU is working with Ireland to address these shortcomings. To give a flavour of what can be accomplished, the European Commission Representation in Ireland has compiled this collection of 12 success stories, highlighting the ambition and impact of action taking place around the country. From tackling climate change to protecting endangered species, promoting sustainable farming techniques, cleaning up our oceans and boosting recycling.

Download “12 Stories about the EU and Ireland’s Environment” here

Regional Co-Working Analysis

Posted into: The AssemblyGeneral

Regional Co-Working Analysis

 

More than 1 in 4 private sector workers are capable of operating remotely, analysis from the 3 Regional Assemblies of Ireland shows

Remote working has the potential to open up an array of economic and environmental opportunities for all our regions

More than one in four private sector workers in Ireland is capable of working remotely a new report shows.

The Regional Co-Working Analysis – which was prepared by the three Regional Assemblies of Ireland – found that 387,000 private sector workers are capable of operating remotely in Ireland.

Creating conditions necessary for sustaining jobs and regional competitive advantages, while increasing the attractiveness of the Region as a location to work, live and invest is a key aim for all three Regional Assemblies in the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies (RSES).

Providing a wide range of options will attract highly skilled workers and retain them in our regions. With remote working very much becoming part of normal working patterns in certain sectors, this potential has gained significant traction and attention since the outbreak of COVID-19. To help fully understand this potential, the Regional Assemblies have taken an important step in building a stronger evidence-based approach through the Regional Co-Working Analysis report.

The report provides a stocktaking exercise on the number of private sector workers capable of operating remotely at regional and county level. The degree to which regions can capitalise on the potential of remote working will depend on a variety of factors - including but not limited to - the quality and strategic location of co-working hubs available. To explore this further, the three Regional Assemblies of Ireland have – through desktop research and consultations with Local Enterprise Offices – embarked on identifying co-working hubs throughout the country.

The Regional Co-Working Analysis does not provide the complete picture on remote working. Further areas of analysis and research are required and the report itself will evolve. It does provide a greater level of data in the public domain that can be complemented by further datasets and future analysis. It will also spark a discussion and a call for action on how Ireland can maximise the potential for remote working.  

The report identifies eight areas for consideration relating to how gaps in information can be addressed to establish a better evidence-based approach to progress remote working. It suggests actions that could be taken to promote remote working.

The areas of consideration for policymakers include detailed consultation with private firms in sectors that are capable of operating remotely, seeking their views on factors that need to be addressed to allow employees to work remotely on a permanent basis. It suggests a nationwide survey be carried out on the current capacity of co-working hubs – both privately and publicly owned – in consultation with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Enterprise Ireland, the Regional Assemblies of Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices. The Regional co-working Analysis proposes a nationwide survey that identifies the ideal work location of potential private sector remote workers, while simultaneously identifying the work patterns of commuters who have remote workable jobs.

Economist with the three Regional Assemblies of Ireland, John Daly, said the outbreak of COVID-19 has had a profound impact on all our working environments. “With remote working very much becoming part of normal working patterns in certain sectors it is clear that such changes have the potential to open up an array of economic and environmental opportunities for all of our regions.

By supporting remote working, policy makers could help provide a wider range of options for workers and open opportunities for business solutions. This includes allowing some workers to live and work in geographical areas of their own choice, reducing business costs associated with commercial properties, staff retention and wellbeing benefits, access to greater pool of applicants and talent, increasing productivity, reducing traffic congestion, enhancing quality of life and family time and reducing the level of greenhouse gas emissions from car usage.”

From a strategic perspective the ability of policy makers to utilise the potential benefits of remote working will also be a key factor in ensuring the vision and objectives of each Assembly’s Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) can be implemented, allowing for effective economic development to be achieved across Ireland,” he said.

Southern Regional Assembly Cathaoirleach, Cllr John Sheahan said: “

“The economic vision for the Southern Region, as expressed in the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES), is to enable sustainable, competitive, inclusive and resilient growth. Remote working has already played a large part in managing public health vulnerabilities and has created a capacity to weather this unprecedented economic shock. Remote working also has considerable longer-term potential in creating a smart, resilient and sustainable Southern Region.

This economic analysis adds to the evidence that de-coupling dependency from daily communing over long distances can enhance the quality of life, reduce environmental impacts and support more sustainable business practices. This will assist in sustaining our capacity for growth, realising RSES and Project Ireland 2040 policy objectives, and  preparing our country for a more Climate resilient future “

ENDS

Editor’s Note:

Eight Areas of Consideration for Policymakers

  1. Prepare detailed consultation with private firms in sectors that are capable of operating remotely, seeking their views on factors that need to be addressed to allow employees to work remotely from co-working hubs on a permanent basis.
  1. Prepare a nationwide survey of the current capacity of co-working hubs – both privately and publicly owned – in consultation with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Enterprise Ireland, the Regional Assemblies of Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices
  1. Prepare a nationwide survey that identifies the ideal work location of private sector workers whose jobs are considered to be remote workable, while simultaneously identifying the up-to-date habits of commuters who have remote workable jobs.
  1. Explore the possibility of providing employers with a tax credit for every employee that is allowed to operate outside of its own head office in Ireland, as a means of encouraging private firms to let employees work in geographical locations of their own choice
  1. Enhance the level of funding provided to the “Regional Enterprise Development Fund” (REDF) in order to deliver more co-working hubs in line with the findings of the above consultation process. Such funding should also be delivered using local knowledge from appropriate local authorities and the Regional Assemblies of Ireland. Additional funding in this regard should be concentrated on delivering high quality co-working hubs of scale within or in close proximity to designated Regional Growth Centres and Key Towns as defined by each Assembly’s RSES and prominent rural communities.
  1. Explore a range of match funding opportunities for REDF projects that will deliver additional co-working hubs of scale within or in close proximity to Designated Regional Growth Centres and Key Towns as defined by each Assembly’s RSES and prominent rural communities. This could involve – but wouldn’t be limited to – encouraging private sector companies to provide an element of match funding for these type of REDF projects or possibly removing the 20 per cent match funding requirement for these type of REDF projects that will provide a sizeable economic uplift to a geographical area.
  1. Utilise resources from the “European Regional Development Fund” to assist in developing high quality co-working hubs of scale within or in close proximity to designated Regional Growth Centres and Key Towns as defined by each Assembly’s RSES and prominent rural communities. Such funding should be delivered using the findings of the above consultation process and local knowledge from appropriate local authorities and the Regional Assemblies of Ireland.
  1. Safeguard funding for the National Broadband Plan to allow for the delivery of up to three hundred “Broadband Connection Points” across Ireland, providing remote working opportunities in rural communities.
Read

Cycling is Good for you and good for the Environment – Bike Week 2020 – Ireland

Cycling is Good for you and good for the Environment – Bike Week 2020 – Ireland

Bike Week 2020, an initiative of the Government of Ireland, took place this year between the 19th and the 27th of September.  Cyclists from all over the country took to their bikes to support local initiatives run by the local authorities, community and cycling groups. 

With changing public health restrictions across the country, now more than ever there has been a surge of cyclists taking to the road as they reassess their transport options.  The theme this year was clear and needed no rationale or persuasion – “Cycling is good for you and good for your environment.”    The campaign was aimed at a wide audience in Ireland, people of all ages including families, students, commuters and cycling enthusiasts.  Bike Week 2020 asked people to think of how much CO2 they could save by taking the bike instead of the car.   We encouraged them to use the carbon calculator online to quantify their savings.  We shared with them the statistics and the facts – such as how cycling in Dublin saves 28,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year, equivalent to the carbon footprint of 400,000 people taking flights from Dublin to London Heathrow.   We challenged people to take one journey on their bike during the week that they may never have done before and to share their stories with us.  We re-iterated the message about how getting outdoors to cycle, especially now, was good for your health and good for the environment.

With many people indoors, social media was key to the campaign and the volume of traffic and engagement was proof in point of how successful the campaign was online.   A key contributor to the overall success of the campaign was also the creativity of organisers around the country who despite the challenges of the restrictions, organised a variety of safe community events. Local authorities and community groups organised a myriad of events including 100k challenges, treasure hunts, cycles around the locale, virtual screenings, safety and cycling webinars and more.   Schools too from all over the country embraced the campaign.  They handed out goodie bags, ran competitions, invested in bike racks and took tallies of those cycling to school.  What impressed most was the ability to run events and activities safely outside for people to partake in and combine online activity such as webinars, social media live streams and virtual screenings for those that could not always partake outside.

As a new year approaches, our focus will be to keep building on the momentum of this year, a momentum that was well encapsulated with our campaign hashtag #wewillcycle.  Active Travel, the umbrella brand of Bike Week (also an initiative of the Government of Ireland) will continue to encourage cycling and walking throughout the year on all the social channels.  So keep an eye out and keep cycling! https://twitter.com/activetravelie  https://www.facebook.com/activetravel.ie/  https://www.instagram.com/activetravelie/

Report on impact of Ireland Wales Programme published

Report on impact of Ireland Wales Programme published

A report by Wales Governance Centre has been published on the added-value of the Interreg Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme.  The report, compiled for the Wales European Funding Office (WEFO) and the Southern Regional Assembly (SRA), investigates whether the cross-border nature of the Interreg Ireland-Wales Programme delivered any added value and if so, to identify the nature of this added value from a political perspective.

Interreg, formally known as European Territorial Cooperation, is a goal of EU Cohesion Policy which aims to promote a harmonious economic, social and territorial development through close cooperation and to find shared solutions to common challenges. The Programme’s vision is to provide a framework for organisations in the cross border area to actively cooperate to address challenges and shared priorities on both sides of the Irish Sea, thereby contributing to the economic and sustainable development of Ireland and Wales.

The report found that one of the most valuable aspects of the Ireland-Wales programme, has been its ability to bring partners together across the Irish Sea to work collaboratively and attract funding and opportunities. It includes projects that bring together scientific expertise to increase capacity and research into the effects of climate change.  Universities and colleges are also linking with businesses to stimulate collaboration in sectors including hospitality, marine and environmental sciences and life sciences, while the programme is also utilising shared culture, resources and heritage to boost tourism and visitor numbers to the cross-border region. 

Despite the relatively small size of the Ireland-Wales Programme, the evolution of cross-border cooperation under its aegis has proved essential to the empowerment of policy networks in Ireland and Wales.  This is one of the programme’s most important achievements.  Cross-border networks in Ireland and Wales have gained independence from the actions that have formed them, they have enforced and introduced boundaries to strengthen their position in new cross-border processes, in areas of interests such as scientific research, culture and tourism.  They have shaped the Interreg Ireland-Wales programme as an opportunity structure from a geographical and from a socio-political perspective.

The authors conclude the report underscores the need for greater public awareness of the Interreg Ireland-Wales as an essential tool to development, cohesion and cooperation across the Irish Sea.

The authors also note that the UK leaving the EU will naturally raise legitimate questions about the future of Wales on-going cross-border partnerships. Whatever the challenges, the Welsh Government has been clear that leaving the EU does not mean turning the back on its partners in Europe.  Brexit strengthens the need for Wales to demonstrate its effectiveness and reliability as a partner, collaborating not just in the UK and the EU, but across the world to achieve common goal.

The Ireland-Wales programme is delivered by the Welsh European Funding Office in partnership with the Southern Regional Assembly and the Government of Ireland’s Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.  

Get ready for the 2nd call for capitalisation!

Get ready for the 2nd call for capitalisation!

The Interreg North-West Europe Programme will launch its second call for capitalisation initiatives in mid-October 2020.

The call “Maximising project impact” targets existing project partnerships which have a solid ground for additional activities and where continuation of cooperation brings significant added value.

The second call will be open to all projects from calls 1 to 9, as well as the targeted call on renewable energy, whose proposals have not been approved in the first call for capitalisation. This includes both running and closed NWE approved projects from all three priorities. It also includes projects which have already submitted a proposal in the first call.

Proposals for capitalisation initiatives should stem from a well performing and successful project, with solid results to showcase. They should build on existing results (foreseen or unforeseen) that have a strong potential for further uptake and roll-out throughout NWE - and potentially in the rest of the EU.

In order to better achieve their results and impact, existing project partnerships can be adapted or modified. If needed, projects may include new partners in order to better reach the relevant territories, target audiences or economic sectors aimed for. These new partners will need to show how they add value with their skills and knowledge to leverage the project results obtained so far and enhance territorial impact in NWE.

The detailed terms of reference of the 2nd call for capitalisation “Maximising project impact” will be available as from the opening date of the call. Applications will be accepted until the end of January 2021.

How to get assistance?

Continuous assistance will be provided by the Interreg NWE network of Contact Points during the phase of project development. They are available to respond to any queries.

All contact details can be found here.

Save the date! Webinar on the 2nd call for capitalisation

With the aim to present all detailed aspects of the 2nd call for capitalisation, the NWE Programme will host a webinar on 5th November 2020.

Want to join COHES3ION’S virtual journey?

Want to join COHES3ION’S virtual journey?

We may not be able to travel but that doesn’t stop us getting together to showcase some of the good work happening across the region.  The Southern Regional Assembly, as partners on the Interreg Europe COHES3ION project, will be hosting the next project study visit.  Experts from across the region will demonstrate how to reflect the regional voice through a multi-level governance model to boost the impact of smart specialisation within the region.  Speakers include:

  • COHES3ION project overview – Lead partner Beaz SAU & Orkestra Deusto Foundation
  • Economic overview of the Region and impact of Covid-19 - John Daly, Economist, The Three Regional Assemblies Ireland
  • Overview of the Southern Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy - Regional Planning Team, Southern Regional Assembly
  • RSES Consultation Process - Regional Planning Team, Southern Regional Assembly
  • Limerick Digital Leaders Network - Terence Connolly, EU Projects Manager, Limerick City & County Council
  • Clustering in Ireland: Spotlight on the Southern Region - Dr. John Hobbs, Senior Lecturer, Cork Institute of Technology (CIT)
  • Cyber Ireland Regional Chapters - Eoin Byrne, Cluster Manager, Cyber Ireland (CIT)

The study visit will feature in the line-up for the 18th European Week of Cities and Regions as a side event.

Click here to register for the event 

The SRA are partners on the Interreg Europe COHES3ION project, which is looking at the integration of the regional dimension into Smart Specialisation Strategies, which will assist in identifying regional Smart Priorities and strengthening the regional coordination of innovation delivery and support players.

COHES3ION is part-funded by the Interreg Europe Programme, through the European Regional Development Fund and is led by BEAZ S.A.U., Spain.    

The project will run until 2022, find out more about COHES3ION here.

For further information please contact the Southern Regional Assembly:

Project Contact: Karen Coughlan, EU Projects Officer

Phone: +353 (0) 87 738 5478                   Email: kcoughlan@southernassembly.ie

Notification COHES3ION

New Climate projections for Ireland published

New Climate projections for Ireland published

The EPA last week published new Climate Projections for Ireland. The published report – High Resolution Climate Projections for Ireland: A Multi-Model Ensemble Approach - is available here.

In its main findings, the study indicates that by the middle of this century (2041–60):

  • temperatures are projected to increase by 1–1.6°C compared with the baseline period (1981–2000), with the largest increases in the east
  • warming will be enhanced at the extremes (i.e. hot days and cold nights), with summer daytime and winter nighttime temperatures projected to increase by 1–2.4°C
  • substantial decreases of approximately 50% are projected in the number of frost and ice days
  • summer heatwave events are expected to occur more frequently, with the largest increases in the south
  • precipitation is expected to become more variable, with substantial projected increases in the occurrence of both dry periods and heavy precipitation events

In the study, regional climate models were employed to dynamically downscale the coarse information of Global Climate Models to provide detailed projections of 21st-century regional climate change in Ireland. The projections were run at high spatial resolution (4 km grid spacing), allowing a more accurate evaluation of the local impacts of climate change.

Our COHES3ION virtual journey continues!

Our COHES3ION virtual journey continues!

The partners of the COHES3ION project are coming together for their next study visit on the 24th September 2020. Despite not getting to sample the cities delights or visit the famous Abba museum partners and stakeholders will be brought on a virtual journey to hear all about their good work practices in their approach to regional innovation.      

The SRA are partners on the Interreg Europe COHES3ION project, which is looking at the integration of the regional dimension into Smart Specialisation Strategies, which will assist in identifying regional Smart Priorities and strengthening the regional coordination of innovation delivery and support players.

COHES3ION is part-funded by the Interreg Europe Programme, through the European Regional Development Fund and is led by BEAZ S.A.U., Spain.    

The project will run until 2022, find out more about COHES3ION.

For further information please contact Karen Coughlan, EU Projects Officer: +353 (0) 51 860 706 / kcoughlan@southernassembly.ie

10 Minute Towns

10 Minute Towns
ARUP - 10 Minute Towns - No Appendices

The Southern Regional Assembly is delighted to publish its 10 Minute Town Framework and Methodology to mark European Mobility Week 2020 which runs from 16th- 22nd September 2020 on the theme of Zero Emission Mobility. 

The 10 Minute Town Framework and Methodology aims to improve accessibility to essential services and public transport hubs in all key towns in the Southern Region by improving infrastructure to ensure these essential services are within a 10 minute walk or cycle - Zero Emission Mobility.

10 Minute Town came about through the Southern Regional Assembly’s participation as a partner in the Interreg Europe MATCH-UP project to learn from other European regions how to improve our regional policies to increase the use of sustainable transport modes and reduce carbon emissions.

Following learnings from the MATCH-UP partners, we focused our policy improvement on the Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy – in particular Regional Policy Objective 176 on the 10 Minute Town Concept.

The 10 Minute Town Concept seeks to have all community facilities and services accessible within a 10 minute walk or cycle from homes or are accessible by public transport services connecting people to larger scaled settlements. We commissioned ARUP to assist in designing a framework and methodology to be used by local authorities as an implementation tool under the RSES for their key towns.

The framework and methodology were developed through an assessment of 3 key towns in the Southern Region – Carlow, Tralee and Ennis.  The use of this implementation tool will assist all local authorities with fully integrating the “10 Minute Town Concept” into to future Local Development Plans and increase the use of sustainable transport and reduce carbon emissions in the Southern Region.  

Read the 10 Minute Town Framework & Methodology here

Visit MATCH-UP and the Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy for more information.

Find out more about European Mobility Week here.

South East Greenway a major infrastructural project for whole region

South East Greenway a major infrastructural project for whole region

Work is now underway on the South East Greenway, reports SouthEast Ireland. The amenity will be a state-of-the-art, 24km cycling and walking route linking New Ross with Ferrybank through South Kilkenny.

It is a major infrastructural project not only for South Kilkenny but for the whole South East region, with three local authorities involved in the project - Waterford, Wexford & Kilkenny.

Director of Services at Kilkenny Co. Council Sean McKeown says the construction stage of the project should start by October but added some work has already begun:

“The first major phase of the construction of the greenway has got underway now with the lifting of the railway track & sleepers, that’ll take about three months, we’re currently finalising the accommodation works & the detailed design for the 24km greenway between Waterford & New Ross which will traverse South Kilkenny and we hope to go to construction of the greenway itself in late September, early October”.

The bulk of the greenway runs through South Kilkenny and will be a huge game-changer for the region in terms of tourism & economic dividend.

The South East regional greenways office currently has 18 greenway and blueway projects under consideration at various phases from feasibility, to planning, to construction.

European Research & Innovation Days 22-24 September

Posted into: EU Programmes

European Research & Innovation Days 22-24 September

European Research and Innovation Days is the European Commission’s annual flagship Research and Innovation event, bringing together policymakers, researchers, entrepreneurs and the public to debate and shape the future of research and innovation in Europe and beyond. This year, it is a fully virtual event.

By creating connections between cutting-edge scientific research and the most pressing challenges of a generation, the European Research and Innovation Days represent a unique opportunity to join the conversation and enact real change. From tackling the climate crisis to building a digital world that works for everyone, we’ll delve into the questions that shape who we are and the future we want to live in: it’s time to get involved!

The event is all about collaboration: bringing together individuals and experts from all areas to build connections and ignite a brighter future.

Find out more:

About 
The policy conference 
The Science is Wonderful! exhibition 

In light of the current situation with COVID-19, the safety and welfare of our staff and visitors is our top priority. 

  • Our offices remain closed to the public until further notice (subject to further advice from the Government)
  • Voicemail has been set up directing callers to the website to find contact details for all employees
  • We have moved to a work-from-home model for employees of the Assembly
  • All employees are fully contactable by email, click here for contact details and continue to work as normal (9am-5.30pm Monday to Thursday / 9am-5pm Friday). 
  • We are minimising face-to-face meetings, encouraging social distancing and using our video conferencing and other digital tools instead
  • All business-related travel has been suspended
  • Conference and event attendance is suspended, but staff will continue to be available continue through digital channels

Stay safe and take care


EU celebrates contribution to delivering Mary Elmes Bridge

EU celebrates contribution to delivering Mary Elmes Bridge

The EU and the Southern Regional Assembly are celebrating how the EU delivers for the regions for the month of September.

The “Europe In My Region” initiative is a collaboration between the EU and the Southern Region of Ireland which highlights unique places and initiatives that are the pride of the region and its inhabitants.

Conceived as an ode to the region the activity shows the European dimension of "close to home" realities here in the south of Ireland. The campaign will take place for a month and covers the entire regional territory.

At the heart of the campaign, Cork’s Mary Elmes Bridge, which celebrates its first birthday next month, helps create a more sustainable, less congested and more connected Cork City. Co-funded by the EU, it connects the historic Victorian Quarter to the City Centre, offering Corkonians an alternative way to commute through their vibrant city. Over 11,000 pedestrians and cyclists cross the bridge every day, moving from Cork’s cultural hub of the Victorian Quarter to Patrick Street, its main shopping area. People can access both sides of the City using the bridge, or take a seat and immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of the bustling city and River Lee.

The bridge was named by the people of Cork as part of an open consultation in honour of Cork-born aid worker, Mary Elmes, who is credited with saving the lives of hundreds of Jewish children during the Holocaust.

A collaboration between the EU and Cork City Council, the bridge was built off-site by a Carlow-based company before being transported to Cork Harbour for final assembly and finishing. It was transported by barge along the River Lee, opened to the public in July and officially launched in September 2019. The project aims to deliver a much-needed pedestrian and cycle bridge in the heart of the City and promote greater use of cycling and walking.

Total cost of the Mary Elmes Bridge is €3 million, of which €1,5 million were financed with the assistance of the EU through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The “Europe in my region” campaign is promoted in the Southern Region of Ireland, both physically and digitally, via outdoor displays in the area, as well as on digital channels and social media.

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is the pillar of the cohesion policy of the European Union’s territories. More than € 350 billion are invested for the period of 2014-2020, allowing the materialization of regional projects that have a direct impact on the lives of millions of Europeans.

For more information, visit the campaign page.

Mary Elmes Bridge, Cork

EU Week of Regions & Cities 2020

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

EU Week of Regions & Cities 2020

This year, the European Week of Regions and Cities will spread over three consecutive weeks in October, each dedicated to one theme:

  • 5-9 October: Empowering Citizens
  • 12-16 October: Cohesion and cooperation
  • 19-22 October: Green Europe, in cooperation with the Green Week

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of the 500 sessions will be in fully digital format.

Registration for the 18th European Week of Regions & Cities will open on 27 August 2020. 

Visit the EU Regions Week website for further information on the programme of events and how to register.

Wexford Town - Crescent Quay Works

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

Wexford Town - Crescent Quay Works

The EU-supported regeneration works at Crescent Quay in Wexford Town are now complete, with only final snagging work remaining which were delayed due to the COVID-19 lockdown. 

Wexford County Council has maximised ERDF co-funding to transform this landmark part of the town into a more active commercial and multi-modal public space for the enjoyment of both residents and visitors alike.

This €2.2m project, €1.1m from the ERDF and the balance from Wexford County Council, has also enhanced connectivity with the Main Street, Trinity Wharf and the Quay.

Crescent Quay is home to a statue of Commodore John Barry who was born in County Wexford and is considered the father of the American Navy.  The USA presented the bronze statue to Wexford in the 1950s, which stands at the centre of the newly regenerated part of the Quay.

Wexford Town is a designated key town in the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) for the Southern Region due to its large population scale and significant influence as a county town. EU-supported sustainable urban development works such as Crescent Quay aligns well with the RSES objective to improve the attractiveness of Wexford Town centre and ultimately deliver on the goals of Project Ireland.

The Crescent Quay sustainable urban development scheme is co-financed by the ERDF through the S&E Regional Programme 2014-20.

For further details on the Crescent Quay sustainable urban development project click here

Interreg NWE Communications Consultation: Have your say

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Interreg NWE Communications Consultation: Have your say

The Interreg NWE Programme is currently evaluating its communication activities during the period 2014-20.

The evaluation will assess the efficiency and impact of activities carried out to communicate the Programme and its' objectives. It will also inform the communication strategy of the 2020-27 Programme. 

As part of the evaluation, the Programme has launched a survey to collect feedback from stakeholders. This is your chance to evaluate our performance and contribute to the improvement of the communication activities in the next programme period.

Answers collected in the survey are confidential and will be processed for the purpose of statistical analysis only by an independent external evaluator.

If you are interested in providing more detailed feedback about your experience of the Programme's communication activities, you will be invited to leave your details at the end of the survey. We may then contact you for an interview.

The survey is available here.

Feedback will be collected until 14 September.

EU Budget & Recovery Plan: Success depends on full involvement of regional & local authorities

EU Budget & Recovery Plan: Success depends on full involvement of regional & local authorities

The European Committee of the Regions President, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, has described the EU budget and Recovery Plan as an historic example of solidarity that must be invested to support regions, cities and villages. 

President Tzitzikostas said, "The measures agreed by the EU Member States are an historic example of solidarity and address an unprecedented threat. The EU budget and the Recovery Plan must now be quickly put at the service of all people in regions, cities and villages across Europe. It is vital to invest EU funds where they are needed and to make the most out of every euro".

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Committee of the Regions has been the voice of the one million regional and local elected politicians across Europe. Ireland is represented by 9 delegates, all representing local and regional government in EU policy formation and decision-making processes, who are also Members of the three Regional Assemblies.

The Southern Regional Assembly has a pivotal role as part of the regional tier of government in Ireland as the implementing body for the Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy for the Southern Region, the management of the ERDF Southern & Eastern Regional Programme and involvement the delivery of Interreg programmes.

In further support of investment in the regions, President Tzitzikostas added, “we all – EU institutions, national, regional and local governments – share now the responsibility to put all available tools at work for our citizens and businesses. This requires a real partnership between all levels of governance. We must, avoid over-centralisation which would undermine the impact of these exceptional measures. I am confident that the European Parliament will now play its crucial role to finalise the deal and improve the regulatory framework by making sure that Europe's regions, cities and villages contribute to effective investment decisions and to their implementation on the ground”.

Read the brochure with the CoR's political priorities for 2020-2025 here.

New Cathaoirleach Elected for Assembly

New Cathaoirleach Elected for Assembly

Cllr. John Sheahan of Limerick City & County Council was elected Cathaoirleach of the Southern Regional Assembly for 2020-21 at a socially distant annual meeting on Friday 17th July.  Cllr. Deirdre O’Brien of Cork County Council was elected as Leas-Cathaoirleach.

Representing Limerick City & County Council on the Southern Regional Assembly since 2014, Cllr. Sheahan was first elected to the Council in 2004 representing the Newcastle West municipal district. He is a member of Fine Gael. Cllr. Sheahan lives with his family in Glin, County Limerick.

On his election, Cllr. Sheahan said, I am looking forward to my term as Cathaoirleach of the Southern Regional Assembly, and particularly the continued work on the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies for the Southern Region and the new EU funding period”. 

Cllr. Deirdre O’Brien of Cork County Council was elected Leas-Cathaoirleach for the coming year. Cllr. O’Brien was originally elected to Cork County Council in 2016 to represent Fermoy municipal district.  Cllr. O’Brien is a member of Fianna Fáil and represents Cork County Council on the Regional Assembly.

Cllr. O’Brien said, “I look forward to working with and supporting the Cathaoirleach over the coming year, particularly on the work involved in the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy which is of huge importance to the Southern Region”.

The Southern Regional Assembly is embarking on a significant period of activity, with the formal adoption of the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region last January, and supporting the delivery of new round of EU regional funding.

COHES3ION partners learn from Innovation experts in the North-West Region of Romania.

Posted into: EU Programmes

COHES3ION partners learn from Innovation experts in the North-West Region of Romania.

COHES3ION project partners came together for the fourth project study visit on June 26th 2020 which was hosted virtually by our Romanian partners.  Despite not getting to experience the historical North-West Region of Romania partners were still able to hear and learn from innovation experts on implementing their smart priorities. The North-West Region is located in Northern Transylvania, which is famous for more than its association with the legend of Dracula!  

The NW region itself is comprised of six counties and is home to almost 13% of the entire countries population. Within the region, there are eight recognised clusters, two Digital Innovation Hubs, eight transfer centers and seventeen industrial parks. 

The study visit agenda included:

  • Overview of National Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3);
  • INCDTIM Development Strategy;
  • TETAPOLIS Digital Incubator.

Radu Gheorghiu gave an overview of the status of Romania’s S3, which has gone through a public consultation event and due for publication in November 2020.

Flaviu Turcu gave a comprehensive outline of the INCDTIM (National Institute for Research and Development of Isotopic and Molecular Technologies) Development Strategy, which is focused on customer driven R&D.  The INCDTIM is the only national institute for research and development in the North-West region of Romania and develops projects in top-of-the-range areas to allow the region to compete in the European Research Area.  Flaviu spoke specifically about the Center of Research and Advanced Technologies for Alternative Energies (CETEA) and their work in transferring the technologies to market using the Cluj Innovation Park as a testbed.

Mihai Coca introduced the TETAPOLIS digital incubator, Romania's first digital incubator focused on digital start-ups and spinoffs (company or academic). The incubator is strategically located in Cluj-Napoca, the second city of Romanian and recognised as the national technology hub with approx. 100k students, 10k developers and a 450k metropolitan population. Among other initiatives each year the Incubator hosts 3 ‘Start-up Camps’ consisting of an intensive one-month session with complementary focus themes. As with other incubators, applicants must go through an application process however, the incubator only selects those that align with local opportunities and global trends at that particular time making them more market driven than most others.

The second part of the visit gave partners the opportunity to discuss the case studies presented and share experiences.   

Ross Church, Programme Manager for the South-West Regional Enterprise Plan and project stakeholder found the study visit to be of great benefit saying “The virtual study visit was a very useful experience, particularly in terms of gaining insights into how to achieve more balanced regional development. The objectives of S3 are aligned with the overall goal of the South-West Regional Enterprise Plan which is to capitalise on our unique strengths to help improve the regional enterprise environment.”

The SRA are partners on the Interreg Europe COHES3ION project, looking at the integration of the regional dimension into Smart Specialisation Strategies, which will assist in identifying regional Smart Priorities and strengthening the regional coordination of innovation delivery and support players.

COHES3ION is part-funded by the Interreg Europe Programme, through the European Regional Development Fund and is led by BEAZ S.A.U., Spain.    

The project will run until 2022, find out more about COHES3ION here.

For further information please contact the Southern Regional Assembly:

Project Contact: Karen Coughlan, EU Projects Officer

Phone: +353 (0) 51 860 706                       Email: kcoughlan@southernassembly.ie

Webinar: Developing Industrial Resilience in the face of COVID-19 26-6-20

Posted into: EU Programmes

Webinar: Developing Industrial Resilience in the face of COVID-19 26-6-20

The Southern Regional Assembly are stakeholders on the Interreg Europe FOUNDATION project on which Cork Institute of Technology, through the V-LINC Research group are lead partner.  The project was originally designed to explore how local and regional economies might mitigate against the loss of a major employer (were a large enterprise to close in a region). However, like everyone else in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis the focus of the project has shifted towards mitigation against the impact of the virus on business, and regional competitiveness.

As part of the project, Lead Partner CIT hosted a webinar ‘Policy Support for Industrial Resilience’ which took place on the 26th June 2020. Over 120 participants attended the webinar, which was an opportunity to explore examples of good practices currently happening in partner regions across the EU in getting business re-opening and supporting those who have lost their jobs. These included:

  • New Frontiers Programme – Rubicon Centre: Presented by: Alison Walsh, New Frontiers Programme Manager, Rubicon Centre, Cork Institute of Technology. Region: Southern & Eastern, Ireland.
  • SME Export Promotion: Presented by: Janne Hietaniemi, Senior Lead, Think Big – Go Global programme at NIHAK ry. Region: Pohjois- ja Itä-Suomi, Finland.
  • Podkarpackie vs. Coronavirus: Presented by: Marek Duda, International Projects Director, Rzeszow Regional Development Agency. Region: Podkarpackie Voivodeship, Poland.
  • Speed UP Programme: Presented by: Carlos Miras, Regional Development Agency of Murcia Region. Region: Murcia, Spain.
  • Clusterland and Covid-19: Presented by: Werner Pamminger, CEO at Business Upper Austria. Region: Oberösterreich, Austria.
  • Here 4 Business: Presented by: Phil Hargreaves, Business Growth Hub. Region: Greater Manchester, UK.
  • No Quarantine on the Internet: Presented by: Inga Juozapavičienė, Head of Entrepreneurship Department at Enterprise Lithuania. Region: Vilnius, Lithuania.
  • Szombathely reSTART Program: Presented by: Adrienn Bokányi, Municipality of Szombathely. Region: Nyugat-Dunántúl, Hungary.
  • Workers Buy Out (WBO): Presented by: Rita Piccinini, Senior Project Manager of STU Reggiane and Municipality of Reggio Emilia. Region: Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Please click the following links to find the PDF of the presentation slides and video Recording both of which are available through the project website.

A short summary on the interventions presented is posted in an article ‘Summary - Policy Support for Industrial Resilience,’ which has been put together by project partners CEEIC.

For further information on the Foundation Project please visit the Interreg Europe Website.

Project contact: Dr John Hobbs, CIT          Email:  John.Hobbs@cit.ie

Notice of Commencement of Southern Regional Assembly Audit 2019

Posted into: The AssemblyGeneral

Notice of Commencement of Southern Regional Assembly Audit 2019

Southern Regional Assembly publishes Notice Publishing Commencement of Audit and SRA Draft Consolidated AFS 2019

Notice of Commencement of Audit 2019
SRA Draft Consolidated AFS 2019

Dodder Greenway Project Gets Underway

Dodder Greenway Project Gets Underway

Work has begun on the €4m Dodder Greenway project that will link Dublin City Centre through Ballsbridge, Milltown, Rathfarnham, Firhouse and Tallaght to the Bohernabreena reservoirs in the Dublin Mountains.

Costing approx. €4m and funded by South Dublin County Council in partnership with the National Transport Authority and the European Regional Development Fund’s S&E Regional Programme, the project will build three new pedestrian and cycle bridges, 750m of new path and 2.6km of upgraded paths along the Dodder Greenway.

The Dodder Greenway will connect communities in Dublin and represent a major new transport and recreational facility for the entire region, catering for both commuter and social cyclists.  The route takes specific account of the rich ecology of the area and is a combination of off-road and on-road cycleways that will utilise existing facilities within the Dodder Valley and connect with the linear parkland along the route.

Derville Brennan from the Southern Regional Assembly, managers of the S&E Regional Programme said, “We are delighted to see the start of the Dodder Valley Greenway project through this partnership between South Dublin County Council and the Southern Regional Assembly, co-financed under the S&E Regional Programme 14-20.  Projects such as this are a clear example of how important European funding is to Ireland and how it can directly benefit sustainable regions and local communities”.

As part of this phase, 3 bridges will be constructed in the following locations:

  • Bridge 1 in Firhouse at the rear of the Bolbrook Centre off the N81 at Avonmore Road, Glenview, scheduled to be placed by end September 2020
  • Bridge 2 in Rathfarnham/ Templeogue traversing the Dodder River from Kilvere Park at the rear of Rathfarnham Shopping Center to Riverside Cottages in Templeogue Village, to be placed this year in August 2020
  • Bridge 3 in Rathfarnham and traverses the Dodder from Springfield Avenue (the rear of Rathfarnham Village) into Bushy Park with a scheduled placement of October 2020. 

Following the landscaping and the construction of tie-in footpaths, it is planned to have the bridge phase of works substantially completed by the end of 2020.

Public Consultation: EU Cohesion Period 2020-27

Public Consultation: EU Cohesion Period 2020-27
The consultation is now closed with 98 responses returned.  Thank you to those who submitted a response to the process.  For further information, visit www.esif.ie 

The Southern Regional Assembly, along with colleagues in the Northern & Western and Eastern & Midland Regional Assemblies, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, and the Department of Education and Skills are launching a consultation process to inform the selection of priorities for the use of EU cohesion funding in Ireland for the period 2021-2027.

Specifically we are seeking views to inform the development of:

1. A Partnership Agreement covering the relevant Common Provisions Regulation Funds;
2. Operational Programmes for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+).

Interested parties are invited to submit their views by way of response to the survey on this website. The survey will be open from 13th July until 4th September.

You will also have an opportunity to express your views at a webinar and online workshops due to take place on Tuesday, 28th July (9.30am-1pm). Please register your interest in attending here Register for the Online Workshop.

We welcome responses from all parties, regardless of whether you have been involved with the Funds in question before. If you have any queries in relation to the consultation please contact: consultation@nwra.ie

Blue Green City

Posted into: EU Programmes

Blue Green City

On the 6thof July 2020, Metropolis Nice Côte d’Azur - Euromed Cities Network organised a project meeting within the Blue Green City consortium. The meeting took place virtually, in compliance with the COVID-19 protective measures.

Between 23-25th  March 2020, the second partnership meeting and the study visit should have been held in Turin - Italy. Given the international context and the adoption of the restriction measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Blue Green City partnership decided to postpone this event to October 2020 in order to ensure the proper implementation of the project and the fulfillment of the planned activities.

Representatives of the following institutions attended the event:
•    University of Greenwich (London)
•    Piedmont Region (Italy)
•    Southern Regional Assembly (Ireland)
•    Bucharest - Ilfov Regional Development Agency (Romania)
•    Rijeka Development Agency Porin Ltd. (Croatia)

The partners had the opportunity to discuss the implications of COVID-19 on planning the future project meetings, the progress of project activities at partnership level (the first progress report), financial issues (Piedmont Region’s budget), and also the Interreg Europe recommendations regarding the importance of achieving Policy change. Moreover, the Irish partner held a very interesting presentation on how to develop Blue Green Infrastructure (BGI) and Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) in the Southern Region of Ireland. The partner in charge with the project communication – BI RDA (Romania) – shared with the project partners the communication & dissemination activities carried out and the results achieved in the first 2 semesters of project implementation.

Information can be found at the Interreg Europe Blue Green City project website:

https://www.interregeurope.eu/bluegreencity/news/news-article/9182/blue-green-city-online-project-meeting/

More information can also be found at the Southern Regional Assembly website:

http://www.southernassembly.ie/eu-programmes/eu-projects

For further queries, project contacts are: Bryan Riney Robert Fennelly & Dominic Walsh - Regional Planning Officers, Southern Regional Assembly.

MATCH-UP Project Outcomes Video to Foster low carbon urban mobility

Posted into: EU Programmes

MATCH-UP Project Outcomes Video to  Foster low carbon urban mobility

The MATCH-UP project aims to improve low carbon interchanges at local level to improve public transport by learning from our Interregional partners.

 

 

 

 

 

The Southern Regional Assembly is delighted to release the MATCH-UP project video outcomes outlining the process each of the partners undertook to exchange experience and learning by identifying Interregional Good Practices, undertaking study visits to partner regions and participation in Mobility Cafes and activities during European Mobility Week throughout the MATCH-UP Project. This learning is assisting each of the Interregional Partners to develop their Regional Action Plan to improve regional policies for low carbon urban mobility and modal interchange.

To find out more CLICK HERE!

MATCH-UP, a four and a half-year, 5-partners project was approved for a grant of €0.9m by the Interreg Europe Programme  and commenced in July 2018 at a meeting in Bologna. The partnership consists of 4 European regions - Southern & Eastern Ireland, County of Northeim, Germany, Municipality of Funchal, Portugal and Timisoara Municipality, Romania who are working together to share experience, solutions, and good practice to develop and deliver better public policy to reduce carbon emissions and support low carbon urban mobility in designated urban centres.

MATCH-UP is part-funded by the Interreg Europe Programme through the European Regional Development Fund and led by the University of Bologna in Italy. 

For more about the MATCH-UP project go to - www.interregeurope.eu/match-up/

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION/INTERVIEW AND IMAGES, CONTACT:

Southern Regional Assembly, Waterford, Ireland

Ms. Rose Power, EU Projects Officer, rpower@southernassembly.ieibo.it

Project Co-ordinator

Match-up@unibo.it

Mallow Bridge project recommences after lockdown

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

Mallow Bridge project recommences after lockdown

Construction works to install a boardwalk to Mallow Bridge has recommenced after the lockdown period due to COVID-19.  The ERDF co-funded project with Cork County Council will create a shared space for cyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users along the side of the existing bridge and facilitate better traffic flow across the bridge for motor transport.

The steel boardwalk will be put in place by the end of the year and is designed to minimise the visual impact on the historic bridge, a protected structure dating back to 1712. While creating a significant share space for multi-modal transport, it will also reinforce the link between the town centre and the residential area of Mallow to the south.  

The Boardwalk is funded by Cork County Council and co-financed with €1 million by the European Regional Development Fund through the EU through the Designated Urban Centres Grant Scheme.

For further details on the Mallow Bridge sustainable urban development project, click here or email mallowboardwalk@corkcoco.ie

Webinar: Developing Industrial Resilience in the face of COVID-19 26-6-20

Posted into: EU Programmes

Webinar: Developing Industrial Resilience in the face of COVID-19 26-6-20

The Southern Regional Assembly are stakeholders on the Interreg Europe FOUNDATION project on which Cork Institute of Technology, through the V-LINC Research group are lead partner.  This project was originally designed to explore how local and regional economies might mitigate against the loss of a major employer (were a large enterprise to close in a region). However, like everyone else in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis the focus of the project has shifted towards mitigation against the impact of the virus on business, and regional competitiveness.

As part of the project Lead Partner CIT are hosting a webinar ‘Policy Support for Industrial Resilience’ taking place on June 26th  at 9am GMT. This webinar will showcase examples of good practices which are being implemented and are working in partner regions across the EU in getting business re-opening and supporting those who have lost their jobs.

The full agenda with speakers and topics can be found here on the FOUNDATION website.

Click here to register for the webinar on Eventbrite

For further information on the Foundation Project please visit the Interreg Europe Website.

Project contact: Dr John Hobbs, CIT          Email:  John.Hobbs@cit.ie

EER Award Nominations 2021 Re-open

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EER Award Nominations 2021 Re-open

The jury of the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) Award is re-opening the 2021 call for applications and merging it with the next one. The theme of this special EER 2021-2022 call is entrepreneurship for a sustainable recovery.

The 2021-2022 EER Award will allow up to 6 regions to receive the EER label join a network of pioneering territories actively strengthening their entrepreneurial ecosystems, exchanging good practices and partnering up for European projects. The new deadline to submit applications is 28 October 2020.

For inspiration, have a look at the iEER project. It is an Interreg Europe project that brings together former EER winners and shows how interregional cooperation can help to share solutions to boost regional entrepreneurship ecosystems and support young entrepreneurs in particular.

What's new in the EER 2021-2022 call?

  • It aims to encourage European regions and cities to develop strategies for boosting entrepreneurship and SMEs, taking account of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis
  • Up to 6 regions will hold the EER label for a period of two years (2021 and 2022). This should give them time to plan and implement strategies for a successful economic and social recovery

Who can apply?

Any EU territory below the Member State level can apply, as long as they have the political-level competence to implement an entrepreneurial strategy. Regions, cities, EGTCs and Euroregions are welcome to participate.

The application deadline is 28 October 2020. See the full details on the EER website

COHES3ION partners learn from experts in the Calabrian Region, 3rd & 4th June 2020.

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COHES3ION partners learn from experts in the Calabrian Region, 3rd & 4th June 2020.

COHES3ION project partners came together for the third project study visit hosted by our Italian partners.  Despite not getting to experience the beautiful Calabrian region partners were still able to hear and learn from innovation experts on implementing their smart priorities. The Calabrian region is classed as one of the strongest innovators in Italy and are advanced in the rollout of their Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3).

The first day focused on good working practices from the region.  We first heard from Professor Giuseppe Rossi about Green HoMe an innovation Hub for Sustainable Building - one of 8 priorities identified in Calabrian’s S3. It brings together the expertise of private companies and academia. Green HoMe selected five specific value chains with the aim of leveraging the potential of the Calabria region to develop globally competitive solutions, in line with the priorities identified by the regional innovation strategy. Green HoMe only came in to effect in 2019 and has already had over 80 stakeholders taking advantage of its services and networking opportunities through the payment of a nominal fee. 

The second case study presented was FinCalabra, which provides technical support to the S3 sector through the management of public funds (on behalf of their sole shareholder Calabria Region) mainly from the operating programs including the ERDF funded ROP.  It provides support to local small and medium enterprises through developing business innovation programmes and generate economic development and employment particularly in highly innovative areas.  They have been successful in facilitating over 300 newly employed researchers and over 300 funded projects.

The second day gave partners the opportunity to discuss the progress of their Smart Territorial Maps (STM), a diagnostic analysis of the region mapping regional S3 strategies and its relationship with other regional policies/bodies.  This will allow respective regions to identify any gaps in policy or support measures in implementing the S3.  The STM will also focus the region on recognising and building on its smart priorities. The recently published Southern RSES will be the main engine for achieving the project objectives.

The SRA are partners on the Interreg Europe COHES3ION project, looking at the integration of the regional dimension into Smart Specialisation Strategies, which will assist in identifying regional Smart Priorities and strengthening the regional coordination of innovation delivery and support players.

COHES3ION is part-funded by the Interreg Europe Programme, through the European Regional Development Fund and is led by BEAZ S.A.U., Spain.    

The project will run until 2022, find out more about COHES3ION here.

For further information please contact the Southern Regional Assembly:

Project Contact: Karen Coughlan, EU Projects Officer

Phone: +353 (0) 51 860 706          Email: kcoughlan@southernassembly.ie

 

        

World Oceans Day

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World Oceans Day

Oceans of Learning is marking World Oceans Day by featuring projects that use innovative ways to learn more about our oceans and feedback information that is helping to make a positive impact on our daily lives. The Marine Institute and partners celebrate our world's shared ocean and our connection to the sea throughout the 10-week series, sharing news and offering online interactive activities, videos and downloadable resources on a new marine topic each week.

World Oceans Day takes place on 8 June and connects people globally in celebrating the ocean, its importance to our lives and focusing on how each of us can protect the ocean, no matter where we live. This year, the day particularly focuses on the role that innovation has in making our interactions with the ocean sustainable.

The latest report on the ocean economy from the OECD emphasises the growing importance of science and technologies in improving the sustainable economic development of our seas and oceans. Marine ecosystems sit at the heart of many of the world's global challenges: food, health and wellbeing, new sources of clean energy, climate change, job creation and inclusive growth.

We need to safeguard and improve the health of marine ecosystems to support our ever-growing use of marine resources. As the challenges to our ocean continue to grow, so too does our need for innovative solutions to address them.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, stated, "Ensuring a sustainable future for our oceans will require stakeholders to focus on innovative mechanisms for addressing both current and future challenges. The Oceans of Learning campaign – One Shared Ocean, One Shared Future - will continue to showcase positive developments across the marine sector in recent years and examples of innovation in action as we approach and celebrate World Oceans Day 2020."

With the aim of driving innovation in the marine sector and accelerating renewable energy breakthroughs, the Marine Institute has provided funding to a number of marine enterprises in Ireland. For example, seven renewable energy projects are benefitting from a significant funding injection following investment by the Institute's industry-led awards, launched in 2018. From research on the impact of floating platform technology, to subsea micro piling to hybrid solar and wind energy devices, the commercial and scientific potential of these new innovations are very exciting.

Exceedence and Technology from Ideas (TFI) are developing an offshore hybrid system, which will benefit the aquaculture sector. Offshore aquaculture farms, where it is too far to reach with electricity cables from shore, currently use diesel as their main source of energy to operate feed barges and other equipment. This brings concerns of ever growing emissions and the climate impact but also increased risk of oil spillages when transporting diesel to the feed barges.

Energy from the waves is a very attractive alternative energy source. TFI and Exceedence are developing an offshore hybrid power system that harnesses the natural power of the waves by converting the motion of the fish cage into electricity.

Ray Alcorn, CEO at Exceedence said, "Our full hybrid off grid power system technology produces clean blue electricity by harnessing the power of the waves, mitigating the fossil fuel requirements on fish cages, which in turn reduces the overall carbon footprint, improving both environmental and climate impacts."

Ocean data service company XOCEAN, also received funding from the Institute's industry-led awards to transform marine monitoring and data collection. The company uses innovative robotics, particularly unmanned surface vessels, to monitor and collect fisheries data at sea. As fish are highly mobile, this brings limitations in using single sonar surveys. XOCEAN is researching and developing a cost-effective way of deploying and using unmanned technology with multiple sonar devices simultaneously to survey for fish in an area, in what's known as a 'swarm' formation.

"XOCEAN is delighted to be working with the Marine Institute on this important project," said James Ives, CEO of XOCEAN. "Sustainability of fish stocks is of critical importance and management of this depends on high quality data. Unmanned systems, such as XOCEAN's XO-450 USV have an important role to play in delivering safe, high quality and ultra-low carbon ocean data."

The research undertaken by XOCEAN, Exceedence and TFI, have been carried out with the support of the Marine Institute and the Irish Government, co-financed through the S&E Regional Programme 2014-20 under the European Regional Development Fund.

Oceans of Learning offers videos, interactive activities and downloadable resources for World Oceans Day and this year's theme of 'Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean. To view these resources, visit Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean.

For more information on Oceans of Learning, visit www.marine.ie 

This is Europe: podcasts about Interreg to celebrate 30 years of cooperation

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This is Europe: podcasts about Interreg to celebrate 30 years of cooperation

A new podcast series called This is Europe celebrates 30 years of cooperation through Interreg with stories projects from across the EU. Each story takes you on a journey around Europe to see cooperation in practice.

There European Union is made up of 27 countries whose official motto is United in Diversity.  But how exactly do you cultivate unity with such a diverse mix of culture, language and heritage? 

In this brand new podcast, broadcaster Shahidha Bari talks to the Europeans whose lives have been transformed by Interreg. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020, Interreg was created in a spirit of knowledge-sharing and collaborative thinking both within the EU and beyond to help create a peaceful and prosperous union. 

You will hear how the Interreg community works with everyone from fisherman to farmers, city planners to entrepreneurs, forging stronger bonds across borders, tackling pressing issues such as climate change and investing in young Europeans. 

The podcast is led by Interact and produced by transnational Interreg programmes, as part of the Interreg's 30th anniversary celebration. The next episode will follow soon!

Covid-19 Call for Applications - Northern Periphery and Arctic

Posted into: EU Programmes

Covid-19 Call for Applications - Northern Periphery and Arctic

NPA has opened a call for proposals to mobilise its expert community to build on the extensive e-health experience and submit project applications addressing the multiple challenges posed by this health crisis. The call is open from 20th May until 30th September.

The projects should look at ways in which cooperation can effectively help address the multiple challenges posed by this COVID-19 crisis across the NPA programme area.

Six themes where joint collaborative efforts could be beneficial:

  1. Clinical aspects: Comparing the different response measures taken by the respective countries, map the rate of infections and observe differences in comparison to national and local COVID strategies; e.g. in rural vs urban areas.
  2. Health and well-being: The impact of self-isolation on people and their mental health – elderly people and other vulnerable groups who already suffer isolation will be impacted even worse from this situation, but there is a wider effect on the entire population which shall be investigated.
  3. Technology solutions: What e-health solutions already exist and what should be put in place?  How can technology be brought to those people who need it and/or don’t know how to use it? What are the technologies with the lowest threshold? How can we fast track innovation?
  4. Citizen engagement/ Community response:  Small peripheral communities are more self-sufficient, what lessons can they share?
  5. Economic impacts: What will be the impact on the public health system now and next year? In what ways have our societies and economies been transformed already? And how will they be transformed in the medium and long term?
  6. Emerging themes: project ideas that fit in the rationale of the call, but do not fall within the themes outlined at the time this call has opened. Considering that the situation is constantly developing and that new relevant themes might appear at a later point in time, the Programme will consider applications falling under this category, that reflect a change in the situation or an aspect which has been disregarded.

Project Budget: Indicative maximum budget of up to 45.000 EUR (intervention rate of 100%) to be paid on a lump sum basis upon completion of the project and meeting the conditions for funding expressed in the grant offer letter.

Indicative Project duration: 2-4 months

Decision process:  Decisions on preparatory projects are made by the Joint Secretariat with input from Regional Contact Points. The approval process takes approximately 1 month from submission.

For more information on the application process please click here. If you wish to discuss or require any assistance, please contact Brendan Mooney at the Northern & Western Regional Assembly.

There’s no stopping us on the MARIE project ….

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There’s no stopping us on the MARIE project ….

Interregional exchange on the planned RRI Contact Point in Bucharest

Phase-1 is finished for MARIE, but partners were granted some budget for additional exchange activities over the next years within Phase-2. The initial idea was to travel to the beautiful city of Bucharest and participate in an RRI focused Innovation Café ….COVID 19 has put that on hold for a while, but that doesn’t mean the exchange stops!
At the end of last year, the Southern Regional Assembly (SRA) heard from our Romanian partner UEFISCD about their plan to create RRI Ambassadors in Bucharest. We were keen to learn more. Is this something that could be set up in Ireland too?
With a little help from technology, SRA and UEFISCDI set up a meeting to talk over the idea.
UEFISCDI are setting up RRI Ambassadors within their already established Innovation Café Team. This means that they will have a network of people supporting regional stakeholders to find out about RRI and about how to access opportunities. Support will be provided on-line, through guidance, mentoring and through the forum of the regular Innovation Café events.
This was a first chance to exchange ideas and questions. UEFISCDI will keep us up to date with how the work plan for the RRI Ambassadors unfolds and SRA will consider any elements that could be transferred into the region.
There is so much to learn about RRI, that the exchange just never stops!!

The Southern Regional Assembly as a partner in the MARIE project is seeking to improve regional public policy that supports delivery of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in design, production and distribution of innovation in Smart Specialisation Sectors (S3). Policy changes within the project are expected to lead to a greater awareness of the socio-economic benefits of responsibility, to prevent the negative impact and contribute to a better quality of life.

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 here.

Project Contact: Karen Coughlan, EU Projects Officer, Southern Regional Assembly

Phone: +353 (0) 87 738 5478                       Email: kcoughlan@southernassembly.ie

The Match Up newsletter is out!

The Match Up newsletter is out!

The Assembly is a partner on this project which addresses multi-modal transport.

For further information please see the MATCH-UP website

Project Contact: 

Rose Power -  EU Projects Officer, Southern Regional Assembly
Phone: +353 (0) 51 860 700 Email: rpower@southernassembly.ie               

MATCH UP Newsletter May 2020

Celebrate Europe Day at home!

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Celebrate Europe Day at home!

Celebrate Europe Day 2020 at home this year with the European Parliament and Committee of the Regions activities online!

Committee of the Regions

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) will have a fully virtual open day to discover who they are and what they do.

As the voice of European regions and cities, the CoR is at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus since its outbreak in Europe and subsequent countries lockdown early March. The CoR is fully involved in helping to shape the EU's response to the pandemic. 

Find out more here.

European Parliament

To demonstrate solidarity with those most affected by the current crisis and to honour Europe Day, the European Parliament is calling all to put the EU flag at their window this Saturday, 9 May.

The Parliament will also hold a special Facebook live session on Saturday from 10am-5pm (CET) in 8 languages.  Join the session here

Happy Europe Day! Stay safe, stay home!

Impact of COVID-19 on Irish Regions

Impact of COVID-19 on Irish Regions

Having been one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union in recent years, the Irish economic landscape has profoundly changed due to the outbreak of Covid-19 according to a recent report. 

A report on the impact of COVID-19 on the Irish regions has highlighted a profound exposure of the local and regional economy. Published by the Regional Assemblies of Ireland, the report provides up-to-date data on the economic disruption caused by the outbreak to regions, counties and cities.

The three Regional Assemblies have a leadership role in regional development, working with key stakeholders at EU, national, regional and local levels.  They are charged with implementing the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies for their respective regions in order to deliver on the aims of Project Ireland 2040.

Using data from the GeoDirectory commercial dataset and the “COVID-19 Exposure Ratio” - the total number of commercial units operating in the sectors most likely to be worst affected, as a proportion of its total commercial stock of September 2019 - the report assesses the likelihood of exposure to significant economic disruption on the regions, counties and cities of Ireland. 

Sectors identified include, construction, wholesale and retail, accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment and recreation services, childcare, quarrying and mining, and hair, beauty and wellbeing services.  With over 70,000 units operating in these sectors nationally, the country has a COVID-19 Exposure Rate of 46%.

The Southern Region is the second most exposed region at 47.2%, with the Northern and Western worst exposed at 48%, while the Eastern and Midland region had the lowest at 43%. At sub-regional level, the Border and Midlands are worst exposed while Dublin fares the best.  The South-East, South-West and Mid-West have slightly higher exposure than the regional and national rates.

According to the report, coastal and rural counties and towns are more likely to be exposed to significant disruption from the outbreak as their reliance on commercial units generally need human interaction. 

Cllr. Joe Carroll, Cathaoirleach of the Southern Regional Assembly said, “The report aims to inform policy makers at local, regional and national level on the extent of economic exposure and resilience across Ireland.  We need evidence-based solutions now more than ever to support our regions, counties and towns. The Assemblies are fully committed to tackling challenges and supporting economic recovery at regional level, in line with the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies principle of building economic resilience.”   

The Southern Regional Assembly are key stakeholders in the project the Interreg Europe Project FOUNDATION. The Foundation project brings together 9 regions across Europe who are sharing policies, initiatives and evidence-based solutions to develop economic resilience through collaboration. Dr John Hobbs who co-ordinates FOUNDATION for Lead Partner Cork Institute of Technology believes “the Covid-19 Regional Economic Analysis provides the data required to ensure that policy makers at local, regional and national level are aware of the most economically impacted areas across Ireland and will therefore be better equipped to ensure supports for industry can reach these businesses at this critical time”.

COVID-19 Regional Economic Analysis

How well do you know Europe? Take the Quiz!

How well do you know Europe? Take the Quiz!

Test your knowledge on what you know about Europe and be in with a chance to win a basket full of the best of European regional delicacies!

A new quiz will be published every month until the end of August.

Take a 6-minute break and challenge your knowledge about all things EU!

FIRESPOL Interregional Study Visit to Latvia, February 2020

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FIRESPOL Interregional Study Visit to Latvia, February 2020

The sixth Interregional Interregional Study Visit of the FIRESPOL project took place in Riga, Lativa in February 2020. Enda Hogan and Derville Brennan, Southern Regional Assembly were joined at the event by Thomas Butler, Waterford City and County Council. The first day of the visit was taken up with workshops where partners and stakeholders worked together on refining their Regional Actions Plans.

The second day began with a study visit to ALTUM – a state-owned development finance institution, which offers state aid for various target groups with the help of such financial tools as loans, credit guarantees, investing in venture capital funds, etc. ALTUM develops and implements state aid programmes to compensate for the market's shortcomings that can't be solved by private financial institutions. ALTUM has issued green bonds, providing funding for bankable business projects in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency in order to support sustainability projects in Latvia.

The second study visit was to Getliņi EKO, Ltd. - a company jointly established by the Riga and Stopiņi Municipalities, which manages Getliņi, the largest municipal solid waste landfill in the Baltic States. Getliņi is one of the most modern landfills in Europe. It is created and developed as a modern and safe waste recycling centre. Since the opening of the sorting plant in the territory on 26 October 2015, biodegradable waste has been used for production of biogas, meanwhile materials and metal products useful for processing have been delivered to companies engaged in the recovery and recycling of these materials.

Futher details of the FIRESPOL project are available here:

http://www.southernassembly.ie/eu-programmes/eu-projects#

FIRESPOL Interregional Study Visit to Latvia

Posted into: EU Programmes

FIRESPOL Interregional Study Visit to Latvia

The sixth Interregional Interregional Study Visit of the FIRESPOL project took place in Riga, Lativa in February 2020. Enda Hogan and Derville Brennan, Southern Regional Assembly were joined at the event by Thomas Butler, Waterford City and County Council. The first day of the visit was taken up with workshops where partners and stakeholders worked together on refining their Regional Actions Plans.

The second day began with a study visit to ALTUM – a state-owned development finance institution, which offers state aid for various target groups with the help of such financial tools as loans, credit guarantees, investing in venture capital funds, etc. ALTUM develops and implements state aid programmes to compensate for the market's shortcomings that can't be solved by private financial institutions. ALTUM has issued green bonds, providing funding for bankable business projects in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency in order to support sustainability projects in Latvia.

The second study visit was to Getliņi EKO, Ltd. - a company jointly established by the Riga and Stopiņi Municipalities, which manages Getliņi, the largest municipal solid waste landfill in the Baltic States. Getliņi is one of the most modern landfills in Europe. It is created and developed as a modern and safe waste recycling centre. Since the opening of the sorting plant in the territory on 26 October 2015, biodegradable waste has been used for production of biogas, meanwhile materials and metal products useful for processing have been delivered to companies engaged in the recovery and recycling of these materials.

Futher details of the FIRESPOL project are available here:

http://www.southernassembly.ie/eu-programmes/eu-projects#

Strong support for EU despite slight dip

Strong support for EU despite slight dip

Support for EU membership has dropped slightly, according to the latest European Movement Red C Poll on Ireland & the EU.

Despite this, support has reached 84% and remained high across the regions.  However, only a third of respondents feel that their voice is heard as citizens.

The poll indicates people in Ireland strongly support EU trade deals and increase in EU defence and security co-operation while few support increased contribution to EU budget.

The results of a RED C opinion poll, commissioned by European Movement Ireland to ascertain the views of Irish people on a variety of topics related to Irish-EU relations. You can access the findings here. 

NWE MAKING AN IMPACT! Newsletter - April 2020

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NWE MAKING AN IMPACT! Newsletter - April 2020

NWE MAKING AN IMPACT!

Newsletter - April 2020

The first issue of the Interreg North-West Europe Programme’s seasonal newsletter is out and you can read it here.

Keep up to date with the most recent activities of the programme, impact stories from projects, videos, and our media presence.

The Southern Regional Assembly hosts the National Contact Point for Interreg North-West Europe and represents the Irish Member State on the Programmes’ monitoring committee.

Click here to find out more about Interreg North-West Europe.

www.nweurope.eu

European network of Employment Services Public Consultation Open

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European network of Employment Services Public Consultation Open

The Commission has launched a public consultation on EURES, the European network of employment services for the free movement of workers across Europe.

The network is currently contributing along national employment services to help workers and companies cope with the exceptional situation we are all living.

In normal circumstances, the network focus is international labour mobility. 

To evaluate how EURES manages its normal tasks, a public consultation has been launched https://www.esf.ie/en/news-events/public-consultations/

Click here for more information on EURES http://ec.europa.eu/eures

The consultation is open until 23 June 2020.

EU LIFE Programme 2020 Call Open

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EU LIFE Programme 2020 Call Open

The 2020 call for proposals for the EU’s LIFE programme for the Environment and Climate Action is now open.

The call is open to public bodies or private organisation and NGOs registered in the European Union, with funding amounts up to 55 % of co-funding for most LIFE projects and up to 75 % for nature and biodiversity projects.

The programme is broken down into 2 sub-programmes:

  • Environment (Nature and Biodiversity, Environment and Resource Efficiency, Environmental Governance and Information)
  • Climate (Climate Change Mitigation, Climate Change Adaptation, Climate Governance and Information).

Click here for further information on the call. https://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/section/life/calls-proposals.

The call also includes some new features which the Commission has introduced to take account of the COVID 19 pandemic, namely:

  • a one-month extension to the submission deadlines
  • one-to-one short discussion about applicants' project concepts with one of their project advisors
  • changes to some of the financial aspects around tendering and funding local initiatives
  • a special section on start-up companies

Further additional measures are also being considered and you are advised to check the webpage regularly for updates.

Email the Irish National Contact Point with any queries that may arise LIFE@dccae.gov.ie.

The Commission will run a virtual conference on 30 April.  Click here for further details. https://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/eu-life-information-and-networking-day.

State aid: Commission approves €200 million Irish scheme to support the economy in the current coronavirus outbreak *

State aid: Commission approves €200 million Irish scheme to support the economy in the current coronavirus outbreak *

The European Commission has found a €200 million Irish scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak to be in line with EU State aid rules. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “With this €200 million Irish scheme, approved under the new State aid Temporary Framework, we continue to work with Member States to ensure timely support to the economy through these difficult times. This measure will, in the form of repayable advances, help companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak to weather this crisis and bounce back strongly afterwards.

The Irish support measures

Ireland notified to the Commission a €200 million scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreakunder the Temporary Framework.

The support, in the form of repayable advances, will be accessible to companies that experience or expect to experience a decline in turnover of at least 15% compared to their revenue before the coronavirus outbreak in Ireland. The scheme applies to undertakings in Ireland employing 10 or more full time employees in certain manufacturing sectors and/or internationally traded sectors. The estimated budget of the scheme amounts to €200 million.

The Commission found that the scheme notified by Ireland is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the maximum aid amount does not exceed €800 000 per company.

The Commission therefore concluded that the Irish measure will contribute to managing the economic impact of the coronavirus in Ireland.It is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework.

On this basis, the Commission approved the measures under EU State aid rules.

Background

The Commission has adopted a Temporary Framework to enable Member States to use the full flexibility foreseen under State aid rules to support the economy in the context of the Coronavirus outbreak. The Temporary Framework provides for five types of aid, which can be granted by Member States:

  1. Direct grants, selective tax advantages and advance payments: Member States will be able to set up schemes to grant up to €800,000 to a company to address its urgent liquidity needs.

  2. State guarantees for loans taken by companies from banks: Member States will be able to provide State guarantees to ensure banks keep providing loans to the customers who need them. These state guarantees can cover loans to help businesses cover immediate working capital and investment needs.

  3. Subsidised public loans to companies: Member States will be able to grant loans with favourable interest rates to companies. These loans can help businesses cover immediate working capital and investment needs.

  4. Safeguards for banks that channel State aid to the real economy: Some Member States plan to build on banks' existing lending capacities, and use them as a channel for support to businesses – in particular to small and medium-sized companies. The Framework makes clear that such aid is considered as direct aid to the banks' customers, not to the banks themselves, and gives guidance on how to ensure minimal distortion of competition between banks.

  5. Short-term export credit insurance: The Framework introduced additional flexibility on how to demonstrate that certain countries are not-marketable risks, thereby enabling short-term export credit insurance to be provided by the State where needed. On 27 March, the Commission further expanded on that flexibility: following an urgent public consultation, the Commission decided to amend the Annex to temporarily remove all countries from the list of “marketable risk" under the Short-term export-credit insurance Communication. This will make public short-term export credit insurance more widely available in light of the current crisis linked to the coronavirus outbreak. Following the amendment, State insurers will in principle be able to step in and provide insurance for short-term export-credit risk for all countries, without the need for the Member State in question to demonstrate that the respective country is temporarily “non-marketable.” This amendment will be in place until 31 December 2020, with a possibility to review beforehand.

The Temporary Framework will be in place until the end of December 2020. With a view to ensuring legal certainty, the Commission will assess before that date if it needs to be extended.

The Temporary Framework complements the many other possibilities already available to Member States to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, in line with EU State aid rules. On 13 March 2020, the Commission adopted a Communication on a Coordinated economic response to the COVID-19 outbreak setting out these possibilities. For example, Member States can make generally applicable changes in favour of businesses (e.g. deferring taxes, or subsidising short-time work across all sectors), which fall outside State Aid rules. They can also grant compensation to companies for damage suffered due to and directly caused by the Coronavirus outbreak.

The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.56845 in the State aid register on the Commission's competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of State aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.

More information on the temporary framework and other action the Commission has taken to address the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic can be found here.

Interreg Europe March Newsletter

Interreg Europe March Newsletter

The March edition of the Interreg Europe newsletter is out now.  This month’s edition is full of tips and advice for projects which are co-funded under the Programme during the current Covid-19 crisis.  Click here to read the newsletter.

Consultation on the Future of the LIFE Programme

Consultation on the Future of the LIFE Programme

The European Commission has launched a targeted consultation on the future of the LIFE Programme. The consultation is open until 27 April 2020.

 

The general objectives of the post-2020 LIFE programme are provisionally agreed and the next task is to develop the first work programme covering the period 2021-2024.

 

All interested citizens and organisations are encouraged to express their views on its priorities, strategies and implementation.

 

The consultation document is available here.

Assembly Meeting Cancelled: 20 March 2020

Posted into: The AssemblyGeneral

Assembly Meeting Cancelled: 20 March 2020

Following the advice of the Irish Government regarding COVID 19 and in consultation with the Cathaoirleach, the Director has decided to cancel the Assembly meeting scheduled for next Friday 20th March in the interest of public health. 

Wales Week in Dublin 2020

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Wales Week in Dublin 2020

Eluned Morgan, Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language launched the Ports Past and Present Project which is exploring the cultural heritage of the port areas of Dublin, Rosslare, Holyhead, Fishguard and Pembroke Dock to increase visitor numbers and enhance visitor experiences. 

 

The launch was one of the many cultural events hosted by the Welsh Government as part of Wales Week in Dublin to celebrate St David’s Day and shine a spotlight on the shared connections with Ireland.  

 

Wales and Ireland have a strong mutual cultural heritage, connected by the Irish Sea crossed over many centuries, we share cultural, academic, business and family links built on age old connections.  

 

The Ports Past and Present project is funded by the European Regional Development fund through the Ireland Wales Programme, of which the Southern Regional Assembly is a programme partner with the Welsh European Funding Office and the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform.

Local Enterprise Week 2020

Local Enterprise Week 2020

This week sees small businesses and budding entrepreneurs gather across the country for Local Enterprise Week 2020.

An initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices, thousands of attendees will take part in over 300 events across the country from 2nd – 6th March to highlight supports for small businesses and fostering entrepreneurship.

A number of business supports delivered through 18 of the Local Enterprise Offices in the Southern & Eastern region are co-funded by the Southern & Eastern Regional Programme 2014-20, including start your own business training courses, information and advisory services, schools enterprise programmes, awards schemes and networks with approximately €69m from the ERDF and the Irish Exchequer.

The weeklong event covers a whole range of topics related to small businesses and starting up including financial skills, sustainability and the green economy, preparing for Brexit, how to pitch your business for funding and sales, and helping small businesses to market themselves both online and offline.

Oisin Geoghegan, chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices said: “Local Enterprise Week is a chance for small businesses and for those possible future start-ups to see the full range of supports out there for them. No matter what their business challenge or sector the Local Enterprise Offices will be putting on events for everyone, be it LEAN workshops, pitch training, trading online, sales and marketing, mastering social media, or simply, how to start a business, then it will be covered. It is also a great chance to network and broaden your connections in business so use it to the advantage of your business, or business idea.”

Click here for more information about events during Local Enterprise Week

MATCH-UP Partners Travel Back in Time

MATCH-UP Partners Travel Back in Time

On 15th January 2020 the Southern Regional Assembly hosted the final site and study visit for project partners of the Interreg Europe MATCH-UP project in Ireland’s Oldest City - Waterford City founded by the Vikings in 914. 

In line with the MATCH-UP project objective we used the most sustainable form of transport for our tour of our oldest city – our feet. While partners got the opportunity to become Vikings there was also the opportunity to experience our Local Link Rural Transport Programme Good Practice – Waterford Local Link.  We travelled to the wonderful town of Lismore with Waterford Local Link. 

The partners got the opportunity to listen to a presentation by James O‘Donoghue, Road Transport Co-Ordinator, Waterford Local Link – GP – Local Link Rural Transport Programme.  It was an opportunity for all partners to experience a Local Link route and explore the full details and breath of the programme in Waterford which aims to provide sustainable transport and connectivity in rural Ireland and also to meet the needs of the elderly and a provide a necessary link to assist with social inclusion.

The Southern Regional Assembly were delighted to host this event and share our wonderful City with our Interreg Europe MATCH-UP project partners and have appreciated the opportunity to share knowledge, experiences and good practices throughout the project.

MATCH-UP, a four and a half-year, 5-partners project was approved for a grant of €0.9m by the Interreg Europe Programme late last year and commenced in July 2018 at a meeting in Bologna.

The partnership consists of 4 European regions - Southern & Eastern Ireland, County of Northeim, Germany, Municipality of Funchal, Portugal and Timisoara Municipality, Romania who are working together to share experience, solutions, and good practice to develop and deliver better public policy to reduce carbon emissions and support low carbon urban mobility in designated urban centres.

MATCH-UP is part-funded by the Interreg Europe Programme through the European Regional Development Fund and led by the University of Bologna in Italy. 

For more about the MATCH-UP project go to - www.interregeurope.eu/match-up/

For more information contact Rose Power

Read Press Release

COHES3ION Newsletter

COHES3ION Newsletter

The first newsletter for the COHES3ION project is out.

 

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

 

For further information please see COHES3ION project website. 

Project Contact: 

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

COHES3ION Newsletter

Interreg NWE support projects in the capitalisation phase

Interreg NWE support projects in the capitalisation phase

The Interreg North-West Europe Monitoring Committee met on 12th February 2020 in Brussels to decide on applications made to the Programme under the first Call for Capitalisation.  At the meeting the Monitoring Committee considered 15 applications from projects approved in calls 1 - 4. They approved 8 applications.

There were 6 projects with Irish involvement including 7 existing project partners and 2 new project partners. The project partners will receive up to 60% of their project costs to roll out additional activities with their European counterparts under the capitalisation phase.

The Programme awarded approx. €3.86m ERDF to 8 successful projects in the first round of the call for capitalisation.

 

Call for Capitalisation Approvals: approvals with an astrix have Irish partners

 

Project

Acronym

Project

Name

Priority

Lead

Partner

Extra ERDF Awarded €

ALG-AD

Creating value from waste nutrients by integrating algal and anaerobic digestion technology

3

United Kingdom

335,366

B4H*

Boost4Health

1

Netherlands

362,100

Be-Good*

Building an Ecosystem to Generate Opportunities in Open Data

1

Netherlands

731,400

cVPP*

Community-based virtual Power Plan (cVPP): a novel model of radical decarbonisation based on empowerment of low-carbon community driven energy initiatives

2

Netherlands

594,000

ECCO*

Creating new local Energy Community Co-operatives

2

Belgium

472,650

eMen*

e-mental health innovation and transnational implementation platform North-West Europe

1

Netherlands

509,400

SHICC*

Sustainable Housing for Inclusive and Cohesive Cities

1

France

489,461

UV-ROBOT

Innovative UV-robotics to improve existing IPM strategies & to benefit farmers, consumers and the environment

1

Belgium

367,283

 

The Programme Secretariat in Lille will have finalised extended contracts with the approved capitalisation projects by April after which full details of partners and budgets will be available. 

The second call for capitalisation will open in October 2020 to projects approved in calls 1 – 4 who haven’t yet applied and projects approved in calls 5 to 9, as well as the targeted call on renewable energy.

For further information on Interreg North-West Europe please contact the National Contact Point Rita McGarvey at the Southern Regional Assembly on 051 860700, email rmcgarvey@southernassembly.ie or see the Interreg NWE website.

 

 

 

MATCH UP Partners Go Back to School

MATCH UP Partners Go Back to School

 

MATCH-UP Partners Go Back to School

 

January 2020 sees the return to school after the Christmas break for more than the pupils of St Clare’s Primary School, Harold’s Cross, Dublin.  Yes!!! It was time for the MATCH-UP Interreg Europe project partners to go back to school.

The Southern Regional Assembly took the project partners of the Interreg Europe MATCH-UP back to school to learn about Irelands Green Schools Travel Programme. Jane Hackett & Trevor Keppel, National Programme Managers, An Taisce Green Schools Travel gave a presentation to the MATCH-UP partners.

They then handed the floor to the experts for Green Schools Travel at St Clare’s Primary School – The Pupils.  The Green Schools Committee for the school gave a presentation on the upgrades they have made to sustainable transport in their school. 

The school was awarded all seven green flags and strives to provide a healthy and green environment for the pupils to learn in every day.

The Southern Regional Assembly were delighted to organise this event and share the Good Practice – Green Schools Travel Programme with our Interreg Europe MATCH-UP project partners and have appreciated the opportunity to share knowledge, experiences and good practices throughout the project.

MATCH-UP, a four and a half-year, 5-partners project was approved for a grant of €0.9m by the Interreg Europe Programme late last year and commenced in July 2018 at a meeting in Bologna.

The partnership consists of 4 European regions - Southern & Eastern Ireland, County of Northeim, Germany, Municipality of Funchal, Portugal and Timisoara Municipality, Romania who are working together to share experience, solutions, and good practice to develop and deliver better public policy to reduce carbon emissions and support low carbon urban mobility in designated urban centres.

 

MATCH-UP is part-funded by the Interreg Europe Programme through the European Regional Development Fund and led by the University of Bologna in Italy. 

 

For more about the MATCH-UP project CLICK HERE

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION/INTERVIEW AND IMAGES, CONTACT:

 Ms. Rose Power, EU Projects Officer

 Project Co-ordinator

 Match-up@unibo.it

 

                                   

 

MATCH UP Handbook of Good Practices

Posted into: EU Programmes

MATCH UP Handbook of Good Practices

It has arrived the MATCH-UP Handbook of Good Practices to foster low carbon urban mobility

MATCH-UP focuses on the optimisation of the places where people change between low carbon transport modes – Walking/Cycling, Public Transport, Rail Transport and Green Vehicles.  This project aims to improve these interchanges at local level to improve public transport by learning from our Interregional partners.

The MATCH-UP Handbook outlines all the Interregional Good Practices identified through the MATCH-UP project including the following Good Practices from Ireland:

  • Cork Transport and Mobility Forum (TMF) – Cork City Council
  • Cycle and Ride Infrastructure associated with Luas Light Rail – Transport Infrastructure Ireland
  • Green-Schools Travel Programme – An Taisce
  • Local Link Rural Transport Programme – Waterford Local Link
  • Limerick Smarter Travel, Workplace Mobility Management – Limerick City Council

 

To find out more CLICK HERE!

 

MATCH-UP, a four and a half-year, 5-partners project was approved for a grant of €0.9m by the Interreg Europe Programme  and commenced in July 2018 at a meeting in Bologna. The partnership consists of 4 European regions - Southern & Eastern Ireland, County of Northeim, Germany, Municipality of Funchal, Portugal and Timisoara Municipality, Romania who are working together to share experience, solutions, and good practice to develop and deliver better public policy to reduce carbon emissions and support low carbon urban mobility in designated urban centres.

For more about the MATCH-UP project click here

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION / INTERVIEW AND IMAGES, CONTACT:

Ms. Rose Power, EU Projects Officer

It’s Official! MARIE has Influence!

Posted into: General

It’s Official! MARIE has Influence!

The Southern Regional Assembly (SRA), as a partner on the Interreg Europe MAIRE project, has been working with Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to enhance the programme monitoring within the S&E Regional Operational Programme 2014-2020 to include reporting on responsible innovation.  We are delighted to be able to announce we have been successful in achieving this improvement.

SRA are managing authority for the S&E ROP, which promotes sustainable, smart growth, creates jobs and strengthens the regional innovation & knowledge base. SFI are ROP Intermediary Bodies and as such manage two schemes under Priority 1, which is focused on strengthening research, technological development and innovation. 

SRA and SFI, through working together on the MARIE project, have negotiated and agreed a revised template for the annual progress report, going forward SFI will now incorporate additional reporting on RRI elements in their Research Centre and Spokes Programmes.  Specifically, they will ask researchers to report on two of the RRI keys: Public Engagement and Science Education.

Over the next two years, SRA will be monitoring the results and impact this enhanced reporting will have to demonstrate the socio-economic benefits of responsible working practices.

This policy improvement supports MARIE’S overall objective of improving public policy that supports delivery of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in design, production and distribution of innovation in Smart Specialisation Sectors (S3). It promotes ways to prevent negative social and environmental impact and contributes to better quality of life.  By supporting commitment to responsibility, the project helps to create smart, sustainable and inclusive regions.

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/

Project Contact: Karen Coughlan, EU Projects Officer Phone: +353 (0) 51 860 706        

 

MATCH UP Newsletter Out Now

MATCH UP Newsletter Out Now

The MATCH UP Newsletter for November is out now.

MATCH UP Newsletter November 2019

EMPOWER Regional Action Plans in Action

EMPOWER Regional Action Plans in Action

During this semester the partnerships of 9 European regions worked together to share experiences, solutions and good practices to develop and deliver better public policy to reduce carbon emissions through monitoring energy efficiency. EMPOWER is now at the most important stage of Regional Action Plan development and evaluation, for implementation and monitoring during the forthcoming Phase 2.

The Southern Regional Assembly submitted our proposed Regional Action Plan for the region to the Interreg Europe Union Technical Secretariat for evaluation, which was recently validated.

Our Regional Action plan is seeking to improve the Southern & Eastern Regional Operational Programme working with Cork City Council to implement a pilot to install energy monitoring equipment to calculate the exact energy usage of a number of social housing units before and after a deep retrofit.

The pilot will allow the Local Authority to assess the energy efficiency behaviour change achieved by the social housing tenants thereby reducing CO2 emissions and assisting Ireland in meeting our carbon emissions targets. It is anticipated on successful completion of the pilot that the practice will be mainstreamed by Local Authorities.

Congratulations to our project partners from Slovenia, Portugal and Spain who along with Ireland have had their Regional Actions Plans validated by the Joint Secretariat ahead of schedule.

On 19th November 2019 the Southern Regional Assembly hosted the final interregional project partner meeting for Phase 1 of the EMPOWER project in Ireland’s Oldest City - Waterford city founded by the Vikings in 914, where we finalised the Phase 2 implementation plan for our Regional Action Plan.     

Some of our Interregional partners also had the opportunity to enjoy a tour of the award winning  House of Waterford Crystal  who have been crafting glass since 1783 over 230 years. The factory is now housed in a visitor centre, part funded by ERDF funding.

The Southern Regional Assembly were delighted to host this event and share our wonderful city with our Interreg Europe EMPOWER project partners and have appreciated the opportunity to share knowledge, experiences and good practices throughout the project.  These exchanges of experience have allowed us to develop a Regional Action Plan that will deliver an important policy change here in Ireland.

EMPOWER is a five-year, inter-regional project which commenced January 2017. The project aims to reduce carbon output by dynamically monitoring energy efficiency in buildings, with a special focus on innovative methods of financing. Consisting of 9-partners: from Ireland, Slovenia, Portugal, Italy, France, Sweden, Poland, Germany and Spain. The project was approved for a grant of € 1.90 m by the Interreg Europe Programme, through the European Regional Development Fund. 

Read more about EMPOWER or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

National Broadband Plan Contract Signed

National Broadband Plan Contract Signed

The contract for the National Broadband Plan was signed today, Tuesday 19th November.  This follows last week’s decision by the European Commission to grant state aid approval to the Plan.

The Southern & Eastern Regional Programme 2014-20 will contribute approximately €60m to roll out 147,000km of fibre to homes, farms, businesses and schools across the country under the Plan. The Programme is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by the Southern Regional Assembly. 

The National Broadband Plan is about making sure no part of Ireland is left behind when it comes to jobs and services by delivering high speed broadband to 1.1. million people – almost a quarter of Ireland.  It aims to overcome identified gaps in the provision of high speed broadband services to harness the potential development opportunities in terms of growth, competitiveness, entrepreneurship, jobs and social inclusion for Ireland.  

Richard Bruton, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment said, “Without high speed broadband it will be significantly more difficult to attract new jobs to rural areas and develop new enterprise opportunities and it will be more difficult to retain the jobs that currently exist in these areas. High speed broadband will allow remote working, which can ease congestion and reduce emissions. It will ensure that the digital revolution happening in education, healthcare, farming and tourism does not bypass rural Ireland. We will make sure that rural Ireland is not left behind.”

The Plan will start to roll out high speed broadband services from January. By the end of 2021, it is expected that a quarter or 130,000 of the total premises in the Plan will be online, with 40% connected by the end of 2022 and 95% of the population capable of receiving a high-speed service after year five.

Shannon Town Park Launch

Shannon Town Park Launch

Shannon Town Park, an exciting €1.5m project, was launched on Tuesday 19th November. The Park is part-funded under the European Regional Development Fund’s Southern & Eastern Regional Programme 2014-20, which is managed by the Southern Regional Assembly, and Clare County Council.

The Park will contribute to the recreational amenities of Shannon Town and the revitalisation and regeneration of the urban environment in the designated urban centre of Shannon as part of an integrated urban design strategy.

The Park caters for all sectors of the community and includes formal footpaths and cycle track, an adventure play area, a cycle pump track, formal and informal seating areas, picnic areas, lighting and signage, the creation of a natural water feature and new native woodland planting, and all ancillary works and services.

David Kelly, Director of the Southern Regional Assembly said, “We are delighted to see the successful delivery of Shannon Town Park through this partnership between Clare County Council and the Southern Regional Assembly with European Regional Development Fund assistance through the S&E Regional Programme 14-20.  Projects such as Shannon Town Park are a clear example of how important European funding is to Ireland and how it can directly benefit regions and local communities.”

Cathaoirleach of Clare Co. Co., Cathal Crowe stated “The development of the Shannon Town Park has provided an enormously valuable amenity for the entire community and now that it has been delivered and is open to the public, it is important that the community themselves feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for playing a key role in ensuring Shannon Town Park remains an attractive amenity which everyone can enjoy for many years to come”. 

Liam Conneally, Director of Economic Development and Shannon Municipal District Co-ordinator said, “The development of the new Shannon Town Park demonstrates the importance of Council’s European funding opportunities which aim to deliver key facilities for urban-based communities like Shannon. The new town park adds to the amenities of the Town and contributes to Shannon’s revitalisation and regeneration. Clare County Council together with the Southern Regional Assembly have, through the European Regional Development Fund, supported the development of the new Shannon Town Park - a key element of the award-winning Shannon Town Green Infrastructure Plan”.  

Making Waves

Posted into: EU Programmes

Making Waves

#MakingWaves

The Southern Regional Assembly hosted the final event for phase-1 of the MARIE project to celebrate achievements resulting from the work of the dedicated partners over the last three years.  The event took place in collaboration with the Responsible Innovation Summit, in the historic Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin on 30 October 2019.  This pioneering event brought together innovators who are committed to making a positive impact with their work and committed leaders of change.

Over 200 delegates attended the summit and The Southern Regional Assembly and partners of the MARIE project joined these leaders of change who spanned across a variety of sectors to celebrate the positive change promoted through the event.  Assistant Director, Derville Brennan, took to the main stage to join the discussion on how to maximise the responsible impact of money on the ground and how participation on Interreg projects such as MARIE have raised awareness on how to incorporate an element of responsibility into the roll-out of funding.  During the event, there was much discussion around the critical role of effective policies being in place to create the right conditions for responsible innovation and the need for a transformative change in mind-set.  A key message arising from the day was profit does not have to be forfeited for responsible work practices, they can be tandem goals.

LEARN – COLLABORATE – CELEBRATE – INSPIRE CHANGE

The partners of the MARIE project took part in demonstrating ‘research in action’ with the lead partner from the Agency of the Chamber of Commerce in Romagna, Italy highlighting the accomplishments already achieved through the project in mainstreaming responsible innovation into regional policy.  The partners also hosted a ‘topic table’, which took the format of a moderated conversation where innovative ideas were debated within the realms of the project.  There was a very positive reaction to the work being done on the MARIE project, which is one of the first to provide a path to take RRI from a concept to embedding it in public policy.        

The MARIE Project

The Southern Regional Assembly as a partner in the MARIE project is seeking to improve regional public policy that supports delivery of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in design, production and distribution of innovation in Smart Specialisation Sectors (S3). Policy changes within the project are expected to lead to a greater awareness of the socio-economic benefits of responsibility, to prevent the negative impact and create a better quality of life.

MARIE is part-funded by the Interreg Europe Programme, through the European Regional Development Fund and is led by the Special Agency of the Chamber of Commerce of Florì-Cesena, Italy.

MARIE will run until 2021, find out more about MARIE here.

Project Contact: Karen Coughlan, EU Projects Officer, Southern Regional Assembly

Phone: +353 (0) 51 860 706          Email: kcoughlan@southernassembly.ie

The Southern Regional Assembly as a partner in the MARIE project is seeking to improve regional public policies that supports the delivery of Responsible Research and innovation in Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) sectors.

MARIE Project

Posted into: EU Programmes

MARIE Project

The Southern Regional Assembly will attend the final meeting in phase-1 of the MARIE project taking place in Santiago De Compostela, Spain on the 28th November 2019.  The MARIE project is one of the first to provide a path to take RRI from a concept to embedding it in public policy.

The Southern Regional Assembly as a partner in the MARIE project is seeking to improve regional public policy that supports delivery of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in design, production and distribution of innovation in Smart Specialisation Sectors (S3). Policy changes within the project are expected to lead to a greater awareness of the socio-economic benefits of responsibility, to prevent the negative impact and create a better quality of life.

MARIE is part-funded by the Interreg Europe Programme, through the European Regional Development Fund and is led by the Special Agency of the Chamber of Commerce of Florì-Cesena, Italy.

MARIE will run until 2021, find out more about MARIE here.

Project Contact: Karen Coughlan, EU Projects Officer, Southern Regional Assembly

Phone: +353 (0) 51 860 706          Email: kcoughlan@southernassembly.ie

SELKIE Launch

Posted into: EU Programmes

Left to right:1. Tim James – Director of Energy Development, Port of Milford Haven 2. Graham Morley – Senior Project Manager, Menter Môn 3. Simon De Pietro – DP Energy 4. Gordon Dalton – MaREI Centre, UCC 5. Leslie Griffiths AM - Minister for Energy and Environment, Welsh Government 6. Ian Masters – Swansea University 7. Gerallt Llewelyn Jones – Morlais Energy, Menter Môn 8. David Jones – Project Director, Marine Energy Wales 9. Jimmy Murphy – MaREI Centre, UCC 10. Helen Donovan – Senior Business Development Manager: Energy and Environment, Welsh Government

SELKIE Launch

New Ireland and Wales marine energy project launched at Ocean Energy Europe Conference

A new €4.2m cross-border project aiming to boost the marine energy industry in Wales and Ireland was launched on the 30th September by Lesley Griffiths AM, the Welsh Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs.

Selkie is funded by the EU’s Ireland-Wales co-operation programme and is led by University College Cork in partnership with Swansea University, Marine Energy Wales, Menter Môn, DP Energy Ireland and Dublin-based Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions.

The project will see the development of a streamlined commercialisation pathway for the marine energy industry by establishing a cross-border network of developers and supply chain companies in Ireland and Wales. Multi-use technology tools and models will be created and trialled on pilot projects before being shared across the sector.

The aim is to utilise the expertise from academics and industry across both nations to address the challenges facing the industry.

If you would like to find out more about Selkie or would like to register, your interest to be involved in one of the pilot projects, please contact TJ Horgan, University College Cork: tj.horgan@ucc.ie

The Ireland Wales 2014-2020 European Territorial Co-operation (ETC) programme is a maritime programme connecting organisations, businesses and communities on the West coast of Wales with the South and East coast of Ireland.

The programme is one of a family of ETC programmes which provide opportunities for regions in the EU to work together to address common economic, environmental and social challenges.

The Welsh Government manages the programme with partners, the Southern Regional Assembly (SRA) and the Department for Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER).

Further information on Selkie can be found by following the link below.

 https://irelandwales.eu/projects/selkie-development-streamlined-commercialisation-pathway-marine-renewal-energy-industry

MATCHUP Mobility Café 

Posted into: EU Programmes

MATCHUP Mobility Café 

The Southern Regional Assembly as a partner in the MATCH-UP project along with our Stakeholders Cork Transport Mobility Forum and Cork City Council hosted the MATCH-UP MOBILITY CAFÉ on 20th September 2019 to discuss low carbon modal interchange and  the proposed Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy 2040.  The mobility café was attended by over 60 members of the public who were interested to learn more above the good practices in The Netherlands and also the proposed changes to the Cork City Transport Strategy to 2040.  The café was very interactive which significant input from members of the public and suggestions for further improvements to modal interchange in Cork City.

Race Against Rob – European Mobility Week 2019

Posted into: EU Programmes

Race Against Rob – European Mobility Week 2019

The Southern Regional Assembly, a partner in the MATCH-UP project along with our Stakeholders Cork Transport Mobility Forum and Cork City Council hosted “The Race Against Rob” during European Mobility Week on 20th September 2019 in Cork City, Ireland.   World Champion, Olympic Medallist and National Record Holder for the 50km walking race – Rob Heffernan a native of the real capital of Cork lead the race.  Rob is a community and youth ambassador and was joined by over 70 members of the public to highlight the 2019 European Mobility Week theme “Walk with Us!” - focusing on safe walking and cycling and the ways active mobility can benefit our health and environment.    The public “Raced against Rob” using other low carbon means of transport including cycling, bike hire and public transport.  The race commenced at the newly refurbished transport hub at Kent Train Station and crossed the new Mary Elmes pedestrian and cycle-bridge and highlighted the pedestrian and cycle infrastructure upgraded in recent years.    The event was a huge success and provided the opportunity to raise awareness of the modal interchange improvements that have taken place in Cork City over the past couple of years and encouraged more people to use low carbon transport in the city.

COHES3ION

Posted into: EU Programmes

COHES3ION

The Southern Regional Assembly have joined forces with 9 European partners on the COHES3ION Interreg funded project to support the delivery of regional innovation through improving the regional impact of Ireland’s ‘Smart Specialisation Strategy’ (S3) in alignment with the Southern Regional Economic and Spatial Strategy (RSES).  All partners share the common challenge of having no regional dimension to their Smart Specialisation Strategy, COHES3ION aims to tackle this by identifying regional Smart Priorities and strengthening the regional coordination of innovation delivery and support players.

What is Smart Specialisation?

Smart specialisation is a place-based strategy that seeks to enable regions to identify and develop their commercial and social advantages, through a bottom-up process engaging everyone in the region.  Smart Specialisation is based on partnerships between businesses, public entities and knowledge institutions.

What does this mean for the region?

The southern region of Ireland has its own individual strengths and competitive advantage where priority areas are of more importance to the economy and the integration of a regional dimension into the management of the S3 and policy mix will focus the region on recognising and building on its smart priorities.  The development of targeted Regional Smart Specialisation objectives/approach and Regional Clusters in targeted specialisms could be instrumental in achieving the benefits of scale required to attract investment and compete for funding opportunities such as the DBEI Disruptive Technologies Fund whose focus is to build on research in Ireland and leverage research for commercial impact by fostering deeper and wider RD&I collaborations between the public and private sectors in key technology areas

Although Ireland has a strong science base performance is hindered by the lack of targeted regional S3 objectives and academic-industrial linkages necessitating the need to focus R&I on economic and societal return through a concentrated regional approach and greater linkages between Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) and industry.

The Southern Regional Assembly are the authors of the RSES for the Southern region which is a 12-year strategic development framework identifying key priorities for investment.  The RSES acknowledges that a strong economy is underpinned by strong enterprise, innovation and skills which requires a competitive, innovative and resilient regional enterprise base.  It is an ambitious plan for the region and provides a timely opportunity to consider and align S3 strategies in Ireland at regional level in collaboration with the COHES3ION project.

The project will culminate with a Regional Action Plan emphasising the importance and value of mainstreaming a regional dimension to Irelands S3 and the development of a regional S3.   

The COHES3ION project commenced in August 2019 and will run for a duration of three years.  It was approved under the Interreg Europe Programme 2014-2020 and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

For more information about the COHES3ION project visit the Interreg Europe website.

For further information please contact the Southern Regional Assembly:

Project Contact: Karen Coughlan, EU Projects Officer

Phone: +353 (0) 51 860 706                       Email: kcoughlan@southernassembly.ie

Interreg North-West Europe Approvals

Interreg North-West Europe Approvals

Strong Irish presence in Interreg North-West Europe Approvals

 

The Interreg North-West Europe Monitoring Committee met on 24 - 26 September 2019 to decide on applications made to the Programme.  At the meeting the Monitoring Committee considered 76 Step 1 applications and 23 step 2 applications. They approved 11 step 2 applications and 18 step 1 applications.

 

There were 6 projects with Irish involvement, including 3 Associate Partner, 7 Project Partners and 1 Lead Partner in the approved projects under step 2. The project partners will receive 60% of their project costs to roll out activities with their European counterparts under two Programme Priorities of Innovation and Resource & Materials Efficiency. 

 

The Programme awarded approx. €2m ERDF to the 8 Irish organisations participating in 6 projects.

 

Table 1: Call 8 Step 2 Approvals: approvals with an astrix have Irish partners

Project

Acronym

Project

Name

Priority

Lead

Partner

BIOWILL*

Integrated ‘Zero Waste’ biorefinery utilising all fractions of Willow feedstock for the production of high to medium based Bio-Chemicals/Materials, Renewable Energy in the form of Bio Methane production and Natural Fertilisers.

1

Ireland

(UL)

Certification-D*

Certification of Technological Products for people with Dementia to support SME’s in innovation and business growth.

1

Germany

CIRCTEX

Innovation towards a circular future for NWE textiles.

1

 Netherlands

Digital DeConstruction

Advanced Digital Solutions supporting the High Value Recovery and Reuse of Building Materials

1

Netherlands

IT4ANXIETY

Managing Anxiety via Innovative Technologies for better mental health

1

Belgium

THREE C*

Creating and sustaining charcoal value chains to promote a Circular Carbon economy in NWE Europe

1

Germany

VALUSECT*

Valuable Insects

1

Belgium

ICARE4FARMS*

Increasing the capacity of Renewable Energies (RE) in farms in the North West Europe region by using Solar Thermal Energy

2

France

SHAREPAIR*

Digital Support Infrastructure for Citizens in the Repair Economy

3

Belgium

REGENERATIS

Regeneration of past metalurgical sites and deposits through innovative circularity for raw materials

3

Belgium

TRANSFORM-CE

Transforming single use plastic waste into additive manufacturing and intrusion-extrusion moulding feedstocks and creating a new Circular Economy model for NWE

3

UK

 

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

 

Call 9 Step 1 Decisions

 

Of the 18 approved projects, there was 1 Lead Partner and 8 Project Partners from Ireland involved in 7 approved Step 1 applications.

 

Table 2: Approved applications Call 9 Step 1 – Approvals with an astrix have Irish Partners

Acronym

Name

Priority/SO

 

LP

ChemCyclingPlas

 

Chemical recycling of household polystyrene-based plastics waste

P3 SO5

France

 

Cirmap

Circular economy via customisable furniture with recycled materials for public places

P3 SO5

France

Consorghum

 

Sorghum, a future for the small farms

P1 SO1

Belgium

CURCOL

CURcuma based sustainable COLours

P1 SO1

Netherlands

DEWS*

Data Center Waste Heat Recycling

P3 SO5

UK

ECOMAT3D*

Circular Economy of 3D printed construction made with Eco-Friendly Materials

P3 SO5

France

Enter to Transform*

Transformational Immigrant Entrepreneurship Hubs Embedded in an inclusive Transnational Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

P1 SO1

Netherlands

FILECS

Fostering future of Intelligent Local Energy Aggregators

P1 SO1

Netherlands

HEET

Homeowner Empowerment in the Energy Transition

P1 SO1

Netherlands

HI-ECOWIRE

High quality eco-efficient magnet wire

P3 SO5

Belgium

MegaAWE*

Maturing utility-scale Airborne Wind Energy towards commercialisation

P1 SO1

Belgium

rEUwater*

Closing the water cycle through reuse in North West Europe

P3 SO5

Ireland

RightWeight

Novel advanced materials solutions for affordable lightweight to meet auto and aero makers needs

P1 SO1

Netherlands

ROBUST

Reducing obesity in urban school children in towns across Europe

P1 SO1

UK

SLOOP*

Ship recycling for better economical Loop in North-West Europe area

P3 SO5

Belgium

SPEEF

Space and Planetary Environment Emulation Facilities for SME’s

P1 SO1

France

STEPS*

Storage of energy and power systems in NWE

P1 SO1

Netherlands

SUPER-HYCARGO

Zero-carbon hydrogen powered VTOL drone for rapid cross-border response of emergency goods and critical components

P1 SO1

Netherlands

 

 

The deadline for submission of Call 9 Step 2 applications is 6th February 2020.  Call 9 is the final call for application under this programme period.

 

The Interreg North-West Europe is holding its first impact event ‘NWE Making an Impact’ on 4 & 5 December 2019 in Tourcoing (Lille agglomeration, Haut-de-France). Registration is open via https://www.nweurope.eu/news-events/events/nwe-making-an-impact-register-now/

 

For further information on Interreg North-West Europe please contact the National Contact Point Rita McGarvey at the Southern Regional Assembly on 051 860700, email rmcgarvey@southernassembly.ie or see the Interreg NWE website.

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