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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

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

EU News You Can Use

Posted into: The AssemblyGeneral

EU News You Can Use

Each week, the European Commission Office in Dublin publishes a roundup of news and events about all things related to EU membership.  Check out the latest updates here or see the PDF version below.

Read

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

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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

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

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.

Posted into: EU Programmes

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

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

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 ….

Posted into: EU Programmes

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!

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

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!

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

Posted into: EU Programmes

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

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

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

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

The management team have taken the following decisions: 

  • Our offices remain closed to the public until Monday 29th June 2020 (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.


European network of Employment Services Public Consultation Open

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

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

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

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

Posted into: General

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.

ETC Project Information Workshop

ETC Project Information Workshop

Southern Regional Assembly hosts a successful ETC Project Information Workshop in Waterford

The Southern Regional Assembly hosted a successful European Territorial Cooperation Project Information Workshop in Dooley’s Hotel in Waterford on Thursday 3rd October. The workshop was attended by 62 delegates from across projects and covered first level control audit requirements and Interreg Europe requirements on the development of a Regional Action Plan. It was a great opportunity for project partners to share information, network and discuss key areas of project delivery.

Michael Buckley and his First Level Control team lead the morning session on first level control audit requirements, public procurement and preparing a claim. There was great interaction and discussion between project partners and staff at the one-to-one meetings. The afternoon session, facilitated by Rose Power and Karen Coughlan, EU Project Officers covered key areas on the Interreg Europe requirements on the development of a Regional Action Plan. There was a valuable group discussion on identifying real learnings, adapting good practice and getting the support of key stakeholders.

A wider ETC Project Officers Network will be established to continue this collaboration, networking and information exchange with Project Officers across the European Territorial Cooperation Programmes.

For further information on the network please contact Rita McGarvey, Southern Regional Assembly rmcgarvey@southernassembly.ie

Presentations are available to view - link https://www.southernassembly.ie/resources/presentations

Regional Programme Co-funded Mary Elmes Bridge Officially Opened

Regional Programme Co-funded Mary Elmes Bridge Officially Opened

The Mary Elmes Bridge, a pedestrian and cycle bridge in Cork City, was officially opened on Friday 27th September 2019.  The bridge which will be used by up to 11,000 people daily, was delivered to the people of Cork with €1.5m ERDF co-funding from the Southern & Eastern Regional Programme 2014-20.

The bridge has been named in honour of Cork-born aid worker, Mary Elmes following a public vote. Hailed as Ireland’s Oskar Schindler, Mary Elmes is credited with saving the lives of hundreds of Jewish children during the Holocaust by hiding them in the boot of her car so they escaped death camps.

Lord Mayor, Cllr John Sheehan said: “We must remember today that it was the ordinary people of Cork who decided to name this bridge after Mary Elmes.  The general public and the City’s Elected Members chose to honour Mary Elmes’ unstinting courage, her values and her deep humanity.  Already, the naming of this bridge after Mary has helped to spread the story of Mary Elmes in Cork and in Ireland and that in itself is a wonderful achievement”.

The bridge will promote greater use of cycling and walking amongst people travelling between the City Centre and MacCurtain Street. It was co-funded by the Designated Urban Centre Grant Scheme which is managed by the Southern Regional Assembly.  Cllr. Joe Carroll, Cathaoirleach of the Southern Regional Assembly, joined the Lord Mayor in his official walk over the bridge at the ceremony.

The launch was attended by Charlotte Berger-Greneche and Georges Koltein who were saved by Mary as children.  The event also became an unofficial reunion of the Elmes family with up to 25 members of the wider family - including Mary’s son, Patrick Danjou in attendance.

MATCH - UP Interreg Project

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. 

 

Link to article; https://www.interregeurope.eu/policylearning/good-practices/item/2975/local-link-rural-transport-programme/

S&E Regional Programme at the Ploughing

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.  

Click here to learn more about the S&E Regional Programme 14-20 and here to see more pictures of the Ploughing.

Blue Green Cities Project Kicks Off

Posted into: General

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.

Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy Consultation

Posted into: Regional Planning

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

Getting Ireland Brexit Ready

Posted into: The Assembly

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website, Getting Ireland Brexit Ready, was launched to inform Irish businesses and citizens about the approach the Government of Ireland is taking in light of the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

Brexit presents unprecedented political, economic and diplomatic challenges for Ireland. How these challenges are handled will be a major factor in shaping the future of our island and our relationship with Britain for years to come.

The website gives updates on the Government’s most recent engagements, outreach events, and ongoing consultation work on Brexit, including information on resources and financial supports available from all Government Departments and Agencies to help businesses to get Brexit ready. 

For further information and to sign up for email alerts, visit Getting Ireland Brexit Ready

Mainstreaming Responsible Research & Innovation

Posted into: EU Programmes

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: kcoughlan@southernassembly.ie

Cllr Joe Carroll elected Assembly Cathaoirleach

Posted into: The AssemblyGeneral

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

Posted into: EU Programmes

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?

Posted into: EU Programmes

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

Posted into: EU Programmes

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

Posted into: EU Programmes

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!

Posted into: EU Programmes

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

Posted into: EU Programmes

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.

Click here for more on the Lero Software Research Centre and here to read the Economic Impact Assessment document.

VistaMilk – Milk by Design

Posted into: EU Programmes

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.

How responsible are you?

Posted into: EU Programmes

How responsible are you?

The H2020 EU funded project ‘Responsible Innovation COMPASS’ has developed an on-line self-check tool that helps SMEs answer this very question. Karen Coughlan, EU Projects Officer for the MARIE project which the Southern Regional Assembly is a partner, attended the conference launching the Responsible Innovation COMPASS tool which took place on the 26th March 2019 in Brussels.

In today’s rapidly changing and demanding society dealing with market & research uncertainties in a responsible manner is key to staying competitive and bringing innovations to market. This is where Responsible Innovation can help.

What is Responsible Innovation?

The European Commission has defined Responsible Innovation (RI) as the aim to better align both the process and outcomes of research and innovation with the values, needs and expectations of society.  Covering the 6 key areas of Engagement, Gender Equality, Science Education, Open Access, Ethics and Governance, it is about creating high-quality science and technology that is more in the public interest.

At the conference there was much discussion around RI being very much an unknown territory but practical tools such as the ‘Responsible Innovation Compass’ will facilitate companies on their journey, no matter what stage they are at, towards embedding RI into the DNA of their organisation.

To remain current and competitive there is a need to start anticipating societal challenges as early as the start-up stage of any initiative, companies need to start asking themselves ‘who do I want to be when I grow up!’.  Much like innovation itself, RI has infinite possibilities and is a concept that will continue to evolve and adapt. 

The learning potential after using the COMPASS tool was highlighted as it makes companies more aware of their strengths and weaknesses in this area.  It is no longer enough to say you are adopting RI principles you need to be able to demonstrate it.  Therefore, there is a requirement to have practical tools and labels to effectively communicate efforts.

The question was asked ‘Is RI gaining traction?’ The younger generation seek out ethical organisations to work for.  There is a heightened appreciation for the risks arising out of societal challenges and if we are to innovate our way out of these problems we must do so responsibly. 

RRI should not be seen as a hurdle but as the root of economic wellbeing of the company.

The Southern Regional Assembly is a partner on the Interreg Europe MARIE Project whose objective is to improve regional public policy that supports delivery of RRI to enterprises’ product, process and service design, production and distribution.  MARIE partners want to integrate the concept of responsibility into regional funding programmes for innovation. Policy changes within the project are expected to lead to a greater awareness of the socio-economic benefits of responsibility.

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, Southern Regional Assembly

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

 

MATCH UP meets Cork Mobility Forum

Posted into: EU Programmes

 

The Southern Regional Assembly presented the MATCH-UP project to Cork Transport Mobility Forum on 12 March and to discuss how the two organisations could collaborate on future activities, particularly during European Mobility Week which takes place 16-22 September.

Cork TMF is a representative group of members with a common interest in sustainable and active travel, including the local council, higher education institutions, the HSE, environmental associations, cycling associations, industry representatives, public and private transport providers. 

The Regional Assembly, through MATCH-UP, looks forward to working with Cork TMF to highlight the positive work Cork City is doing to achieve significant improvement to modal interchange including the new Harley Street Pedestrian and Cycle bridge which is currently under development.

For more on MATCH UP, contact Rose Power.

Good Practice - Broadening the Scope of ‘Impact’

Posted into: EU ProgrammesGeneral

WE’RE PUBLISHED!

Another significant milestone achieved in the MARIE Project with the publication of our Good Practice ‘Broadening the Scope of 'Impact'’.

As a partner on the MARIE project, the Southern Regional Assembly, in conjunction with Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), has submitted a ‘Good Practice’ outlining how to broaden the scope of impact of research. We anticipate this will advance project MARIE’s overall goal of improving regional public policy in support of the delivery and mainstreaming of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).  By supporting commitment to responsibility, the project helps to create smart, sustainable and inclusive regions.

Impact in this instance is defined as the “demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy” 

How does this help me as a citizen?

While many of us may not be aware of the far-reaching consequences of research it seeps into our daily lives.  This good practice has been designed to not only recognise scientific excellence but also to acknowledge the potential impact of research on areas such as society, population, health & wellbeing, food & energy security issues, environmental protection while supporting Government Policy.   Measuring the broader impact increases responsibility resulting in greater accountability to citizens as significant public money is spent on scientific research therefore it is necessary to show value for money. 

RRI is a relatively new concept in Southern & Eastern region of Ireland but SFI are pioneering the way for others to foster RRI into their daily working lives.  Our partnership on the MARIE project will assist SFI in realising their vision of Ireland being the world’s best for both scientific research excellence and impact by 2020.   

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, Southern Regional Assembly

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

Impact of COVID-19 on Irish Regions

The Assembly | Regional Planning | General

05

May

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…

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

EU Programmes

10

Jul

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…

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