Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy Consultation
The Regional Assembly has published Proposed Material Amendments & Associated Environmental reports to the Draft RSES for The Southern Region for public consultation.
For full details on the current consultation click here.
MATCH - UP Interreg Project
Congratulations Waterford Local Link a partner in the MATCH-UP Interreg Project who had their Good Practice “Local Link Rural Transport Programme” published on the Interreg learning platform as a good example of flexible rural transport that meets local rural needs, fosters social inclusion, reduces carbon emissions, improves connectivity and multimodality and is accessible to all.
S&E Regional Programme at the Ploughing
The S&E Regional Programme 14-20 had a busy time meeting the public at the National Ploughing Championships from 17-20 September. Along with the ERDF, ESF and EMFF funds, the Programme brought the good news stories of how EU funding is benefitting Irish citizens in their regions. The with over 250k visitors, the Ploughing Championships is the biggest agricultural event in Europe and presents a wide cross-section of Irish life in its display areas.
Blue Green Cities Project Kicks Off
The Southern Regional Assembly will attend the Kick Off Meeting for the Blue Green City project on the 24th and 25th of September in Nice, France. This project will assess current policy instruments and explore and evaluate with stakeholders the potential barriers to and drivers for adopting Green Blue Infrastructure in the participating cities/regions.
Details on the Blue Green City project, which is co-funded by INTERREG Europe, and Kick Off Meeting can be found on the project website.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mainstreaming Responsible Research & Innovation
Impacter.com is the brainchild of Szilvia and Marcell Szabó which supports and manages projects that have the ‘impact booster’ effect in other words accelerate change through responsible innovation. Impacter are the creators and hosts of the annual Responsible Innovation Summit which brings together professionals from a multitude of sectors to accelerate positive change. The MARIE project partnered up with the Responsible Innovation Summit as part of last year’s mid-term event with great success.
Following on from the success of the summit The Impacter has now launched an online platform to connect and inspire innovators who are seeking to make a positive impact with their work. The new platform will publish news, articles, open calls related to Responsible Innovation and value-driven entrepreneurship. It will also facilitate networking between business leaders, academics, organisations by encouraging them to connect using a profiling system.
Check out the new website and interview with the Southern Regional Assembly as a partner on the MARIE project.
Applications are now being accepted for the Business SPIRIT Award 2019, another initiative of The Impacter, and this year there will be a special prize for 'best research project'. For more information on how to make a submission please follow this link
The MARIE Project
The overall objective of the MARIE project is 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). It promotes ways to prevent negative social and environmental impact and contributes to 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: email@example.com
Cllr Joe Carroll elected Assembly Cathaoirleach
Cllr. Joe Carroll was elected Cathaoirleach of the Southern Regional Assembly at a meeting on Friday 12th July 2019. Cllr. Carroll has represented Cork County Council as a Member of the Southern Regional Assembly since its establishment in 2014.
He was first elected to Skibbereen Town Council in 1999, followed by election to Cork County Council in 2004 where he served a term as Deputy Mayor.
A full-time public representative, Cllr. Carroll is a member of the Fianna Fáil party and has lived in Skibbereen for most of his life with his wife Sheila.
On his election, Cllr. Carroll said, “I am looking forward to my term as Cathaoirleach of the Southern Regional Assembly for the next year and particularly the continued work towards adopting the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region”.
Cllr. John Brennan from Kilkenny County Council was elected as Leas-Cathaoireach.
Waterford Metropolitan Mayor welcomes European delegates to Waterford for Renewable Energy investment event
Delegates from six European countries, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Croatia, Latvia and Poland, assembled in Waterford this week for a series of workshops and project visits examining different approaches to supporting greater private investment in Renewable Energy. Hosted by the Southern Regional Assembly, the event forms part of an Interreg Europe project – FIRESPOL – that seeks to boost regionally-specialized and decentralized Renewable Energy private investment through shared best practice and innovation.
The Metropolitan Mayor of Waterford, Cllr. Breda Brennan, welcomed the delegates to Waterford and stressed the importance of sharing good practice in renewable energy investment across member states.
Delegates included representatives of national and regional government departments, local authorities, energy agencies, funding agencies, renewable energy technology providers and private investors.
The Director of the Southern Regional Assembly, David Kelly, referred to the publication in June 2019 of the Government’s Climate Action Plan 2019 which includes ambitious renewable energy targets for 2030 and sets out plans on how to close the gap on where we need to be by 2030. He referred also to the Draft Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) for the Southern Region published by the Southern Regional Assembly in December 2018.
“The draft RSES includes specific objectives around Renewable Energy. This is where projects such as FIRESPOL have an important role to play. By sharing good practice in renewable energy investment, we can maximise the return on investment from both public and private investment in renewable energy generation and storage within our region”.
A highlight of the event was a project visit to Flahavans in Kilmacthomas, County Waterford. Flahavans, a family business has been producing oats since 1785 and has a strong commitment to sustainable production. They estimate that somewhere between 60% and 70% of their energy demand is being met from their own renewable sources, including on-site hydro, biomass, wind and solar PV installations.
The visitors were given a warm Waterford welcome by John, James and Ellen Flahavan who provided a tour of the renewable energy installations on-site and shared the story of seven generations of Flahavans.
“Flahavans is a very good example of RES private investment by Autoproducers - large energy users that mainly produce power for their own use but may also export surplus power to the national grid”, explains Enda Hogan, Southern Regional Assembly. “It is also a stunning location to visit and it was made all the more enjoyable by the welcome we received and the warm sunny day we chose to visit. Our visitors were fascinated with and hugely encouraged by the commitment shown by Flahavans to sustainability and the use of renewable energy”.
The next stage of the project is for each project partner to examine the shared good practices and to develop action plans for their own regions that can integrate some of the lessons learned. The Southern Regional Assembly will work with local, regional and national stakeholders to progress this action plan for the Southern Region.
The FIRESPOL project is co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund under the Interreg Europe Programme. Further information about the FIRESPOL project is available on the Southern Regional Assembly website.
Are you Action Plan ready?
The 7th Interregional Learning event for the MARIE project took place on the 13th -14th June in the beautiful city of Kiel, Germany. As part of the MARIE project each partner must submit a Regional Action Plan (RAP) on how to improve their chosen policy instrument.
The RAPs are a culmination of 2.5 years of hard work and this meeting was an opportunity for partners to share their progress on their respective RAPs and build on previous shared learning which was done with much success. Overall the meeting was hugely interactive and of great benefit to each partner. Final action plans will be developed and submitted by the end of the year to mark the final stage of phase-1 of the project.
We were fortunate enough to attend the Waterkant festival taking place in Kiel as part of the meeting. The festival was home to over 100 keynote speakers, talks and workshops all dedicated to Research and Innovation and to building meaningful connections between business, sociaty and education by facilitating the meetup of startups and influential regional players. Our partner host,the Ministry of Economic Affairs, held a workshop on Responsible Research & Innovation which was very well received.
We took a multi-modal approach travelling to the festival by cycling to the ferry!
Click here for more on the MARIE project.
S&E Regional Programme Monitoring Committee Meets
The Monitoring Committee for the Southern & Eastern Regional Programme 14-20 met on 5th June at the offices of the Southern Regional Assembly to discuss progress to date. Representatives from the Irish Government, local elected members, public, private and third sectors and the European Commission were present.
The Committee monitors the delivery of the Programme which provides €500 million ERDF for the Southern & Eastern region of Ireland under the themes of Research, Technology Development & Innovation, Information Communications Technology Infrastructure, SME Competitiveness Low Carbon Economy and Sustainable Urban Development.
Ireland Wales Monitoring Committee Meets
The Ireland-Wales Programme Monitoring Committee met at Croke Park in Dublin on 6th June to discuss the progress made by the 14 projects funded by the programme under the three themes of cross-border innovation, adaption of the Irish Sea to climate change, and cultural & natural resources and heritage.
The Committee monitors the delivery of EU investments for the Programme which provides the framework for organisations to seek solutions to shared challenges on both sides of the Irish Sea, to improve the economic and sustainable development priorities of Wales and Ireland and has an overall value of €100m, with €79m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The Committee has 26 members from Ireland and Wales representing Government, Public, Voluntary, Private and Trade Union sectors and representatives from the European Commission.
Explore the Plans for Mallow’s Boardwalk!
Cork County Council has announced plans to develop a boardwalk on the western wall of Mallow Bridge with €1 million co-financing coming from the Southern & Eastern Regional Programme 14-20 which is managed by the Southern Regional Assembly.
The bridge which spans the River Blackwater is a protected structure dating back to 1712 and is a major access route to Mallow Town Centre. The proposed boardwalk development is estimated to cost in the region of €2.2 million and will be funded by the Council and the Designated Urban Centres Grant Scheme, Priority 5 of the Regional Programme.
Designed to minimise visual impact on the bridge, the boardwalk will be constructed on the western spandrel wall. The existing footpath on the bridge will be removed allowing for the addition of traffic turning lanes, greatly improving traffic flow across the bridge and resulting in significantly reduced journey times for drivers.
Mayor of the County, Cllr Gerard Patrick Murphy said, “traffic studies has shown that the boardwalk and the extra traffic lane will reduce journey times for motorists and provide safe and easy access for pedestrians and cyclists to the town – It’s a win-win for everybody and will enhance the quality of life for the whole community.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, said, “This boardwalk will facilitate shared space for cyclists and pedestrians and will markedly improve access to the town centre for residents of areas to the south of Mallow. It will not only greatly improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users on the bridge it will also contribute many associated sustainability, environmental and economic benefits to the town.”
Works are expected to commence in June of this year and will take from 4 to 5 months to complete.
Visit Cork County Council’s website for further information on the Mallow Boardwalk.
Click here for more information on the Designated Urban Centres Grant Scheme.
Impressive Return on Investment by Lero Software Research Centre
An economic impact report has found that every €1 invested in the Lero Software Research Centre between 2005-2018 has contributed an average €5.25 to the Irish economy.
The Economic Impact Assessment of Lero, which is co-funded by the Southern & Eastern Regional Programme 2014-20 and Science Foundation Ireland, was published earlier this year using input-output analysis. Lero wanted to explore whether its activities and efforts demonstrated value for money to the Irish economy.
The results of the assessment proved impressive, showing that between 2005-2018:
- Every €1 invested in Lero by public & private sectors contributed €5.25 to the Irish economy on average
- Lero has contributed €515.32 million to gross output nationally
- Lero’s economic activity has contributed to the creation of 2,678 jobs nationally
- For every person working at Lero, 1.5 jobs are generated nationally
Lero has been awarded €2.95 million ERDF through the 2014-20 Regional Programme of which the Southern Regional Assembly is the Managing Authority.
VistaMilk – Milk by Design
The Regional Assembly recently visited VistaMilk SFI Research Centre, a world leading research centre for innovative precision pasture-based dairying. The Research Centre is co-funded by the Southern & Eastern Regional Programme 2014-20 of which the Assembly is the Managing Authority.
Hosted by Teagasc Moorepark in County Cork in partnership with the Tyndall National Institute, TSSG at Waterford Institute of Technology and the Institute Centre for Data Analytics, it aims to positively impact the environment, animal well-being and consumer health. It is a unique collaboration between Agri-Food and information communications technology research institutes and leading Irish/ multinational food and ICT companies.
Vistamilk is developing new and advance existing electronic monitoring and actuation technologies to transform an already world-class dairy sector into a global leader in sustainable agri-tech.
Click here for more information on the Vistamilk SFI Research Centre.