Register for #EURegionsWeek 2018 and pay visit to the exhibition #MadewithInterreg showing INTERREG funded projects

Regions and cities are at the heart of most EU policies, considering that Cohesion Policy, the EU regional policy, accounts circa 34% of EU budget through public investments and financial allocations across a wide range of sectors in many regions of the European Union and beyond.

The 16th edition of the EU Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC), taking place in Brussels from 8 to 11 October 2018, is the annual event dedicated to the EU regional policy jointly organised by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO).

If you want to discuss and learn more about the future of the EU regional policy, this is definitely the place to be. The event, organised under the headline of ‘For a strong EU Cohesion Policy beyond 2020‘, will gather more than 6000 stakeholders from different areas and countries with the aim of understanding what is currently at stake, especially in view of the post-2020 budget.

Climate change, territorial development, youth, culture, social inclusion, employment, research and innovation are some of the thematic clusters that will be debated in more than 100 workshops organised in the frame of the event. In addition to that, the EWRC will be an opportunity to showcase projects funded by the main financial instruments of the EU regional policy. The Interreg transnational cooperation programmes have jointly organised the exhibition #MadewithInterreg at the AGORA exhibition hall. On the occasion, the ADRION Programme will present 4 projects covering environment, cultural heritage, transport and innovation.

Here below a snapshot of the ADRION projects that will be present at the exhibition:

On Priority Axis 1 Innovative and Smart Region: ARIEL
The project is jointly promoted and developed by 9 scientific and institutional partners of 4 countries (Italy, Croatia, Greece and Montenegro) and focuses on small-scale fishery and aquaculture which are two key drivers for blue and sustainable growth of Adriatic and Ionian communities. ARIEL aims to promote technological and non-technological methods for small-scale fisheries and aquaculture with the main goal to reduce negative impacts on marine habitats. ARIEL works with research, public and private actors to encourage the adoption of innovative fishing practices and solutions.

On Priority Axis 2 Sustainable Region: QneST
QNeST stands for Quality Network on Sustainable Tourism. The project is focussed on the development of new quality tourism solutions, based on co-design processes involving key stakeholders at local and higher levels and the capitalisation of existing best practices related to sustainable tourism. To preserve and promote cultural heritage, QNeST will launch a common brand for the promotion of a quality sustainable tourism and will stimulate the creation of a network of Adriatic-Ionian actors and economic operators, active in or indirectly involved in the tourism sector.
 
On Priority Axis 2 Sustainable Region: HARMONIA
The project aims to share methodological approaches and data on marine contaminants to support a common strategy to assess Environmental Status and contaminant dispersion risk along the coast of the ADRION area. HarmoNIA is composed of a partnership led by the Italian Institute for Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics and including research institutes and public authorities from Albania, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia.  The project will improve the coherence of protocols for monitoring and for the assessment of contaminants in the marine environment and will facilitate data and information exchange within the Adriatic and Ionian region.

On Priority Axis 3 Connected Region: SUPER-LNG
The project contributes to the implementation of sustainable transport and mobility solutions by supporting safe use of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas), as a low-carbon clean fuel. LNG holds great potential for reducing the carbon footprint of maritime transport, however, distribution networks and port infrastructures for the bunkering of LNG-powered ships require technologies and solutions with a high level of safety in touristic areas, avoiding trade-offs between environmental protection and the safety of passengers and personnel.  SUPER LNG aims at providing a uniform framework to support the implementation of technical systems for the distribution and supply of LNG in port areas in the Adriatic and Ionian region.

If you want to know more about the event visit the official website at https://europa.eu/regions-and-cities/home_en.

FACTS AND FIGURES OF THE 2ND CALL FOR PROPOSALS

This article provides a sneak preview of the key preliminary data regarding the 2nd Call for Proposals, including information on the more represented countries and stakeholders, most popular topics and the available financial resources for the next selected projects. On 3rd July 2018, the Adrion Programme received 186 project proposals submitted through the Programme’s electronic Monitoring System (eMS), a successful result considering that the call was for activities covering only one Priority Axis.

NATURAL AND CULTURAL HERITAGE RECEIVES GREATER INTEREST

The 2nd Call for Proposals focussed on two specific objectives under the Priority Axis 2 “Sustainable Region” which is suited to promote the main landmarks of the ADRION Programme area as well as to support the conservation of its cultural heritage sites and natural elements (i.e. Adriatic, Ionian and Aegean Seas, Alps, islands, Danube plain). In details, the two specific objectives (SO) aimed to:

SO 2.1 Promote the sustainable valorization and preservation of natural and cultural heritage as growth assets in the Adriatic-Ionian area.

SO 2.2 Enhance the capacity in transnationally tackling environmental vulnerability, fragmentation, and the safeguarding of ecosystem services in the Adriatic-Ionian area.

The specific objective 2.1, dedicated to the valorisation of natural and cultural heritage, received most of the applications, 125 out of 186. This trend highlights the interest of all Partner States in the sustainable use of natural and cultural resources, especially through tourism, as a way to increase growth within the Programme area. On the other side, 61 project proposals were submitted under the specific objective 2.2 dedicated to tackle environmental vulnerability and risks. The SO 2.2 seeks to reduce the impact of climate change and the high exposure to natural hazards (i.e. floods, earthquakes, droughts) by promoting low emissions activities and improving the protection of maritime and terrestrial biodiversity and habitats.
You can see below the number of project proposals submitted and the share of each topic.

STRONG PARTICIPATION BY MANY STAKEHOLDERS BASED IN THE PROGRAMME AREA

Preliminary data show the participation of a wide number of organisations, proving great interest for the topics covered by this second call. Overall, 1.805 applicants are involved in the project proposals (considering all data entries) and it is assumed that ca 1.300 institutions/stakeholders participated to the call.
As per call’s rules, only EU Members States of the Programme area, namely Croatia, Greece, Italy and Slovenia could apply as lead partner. Most of the applications were submitted by Italy as Lead Partner, followed by Greece. As far as IPA Partner States are concerned, Albania is the most represented country- involving 210 partners, followed by Serbia (147 partners).
Here below you can see how active each Partner States was during the call.

LOCATION OF LEAD APPLICANTS

LOCATION OF LEAD AND PROJECT PARTNERS

                                     
THE FULL SPECTRUM OF ALL PROGRAMME’S TARGET GROUPS REPRESENTED

Among all the applicants, the biggest share of the participants consists of public institutions, among which local public authorities and higher education and research institutes are the most represented type of organisations. Regional authorities have also applied significantly. On the other hand, approximately one third of the applicants comes from the private sector which includes mainly SMEs, associations and NGOs, enterprises and business support organisations. According to the eligible rules of the call, partnerships had to include minimum 6 organisations from at least 4 different EU Partner and 2 different IPA Partner States of the Programme.



In addition, project proposals could include “Associated Partners” which are not necessarily based in the Programme area and are involved with an observer or associated status without financially contributing to the project. In this call, 594 organisations are present as Associated Partners coming from 18 countries.

AVAILABLE FUNDS FOR THE SELECTED PROJECTS

The overall call budget is of ca. MEUR 34,3, out of which MEUR 29,2 ERDF fund and MEUR 5,1 of IPA II fund. The total requests received by the applicants exceeds largely the funds at Programme disposal, as the overall financial requests reached MEUR 312.304.876,79, nine times higher the available resources.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Adrion Programme launched the opening of the 2nd Call for Proposals on 26 March 2018 through two main events held in Tirana on 11th April, gathering 250 stakeholders, and in Zagreb on 25 April, getting together 200 people. A total of 11 Info Days took place in each Partner States organized by National Contact Points. Interested parties had also the opportunity to search for partners through dedicated online forums.
The topics selected for this 2nd Call for Proposals mirrored the results of a gap-analysis jointly carried out by the ADRION Managing Authority and Joint Secretariat, following the outcomes of the Programme 1st Call for Proposals. Since the analysis reported the presence of thematic areas weakly or not at all covered by the approved projects, the 2nd Call targeted those topics not enough developed under the previous funded operations, as well as topics selected by the EUSAIR Thematic Groups.
The submitted applications will undergo eligibility checks and full quality assessment in the next months, further to that the best transnational projects will be approved for funding by the Monitoring Committee and start to implement their activities.

186 APPLICATIONS RECEIVED FOR THE 2ND CALL FOR PROPOSALS OF THE ADRION PROGRAMME

On 3rd July, a total of 186 project applications were successfully submitted to the 2nd Call for Proposals of the Adrion Programme. The call involved more than thousand organisations from both public and private sector based in all the Partner States of the Programme.

The high level of participation shows once again the dynamism of the Adriatic-Ionian area, a region comprised of a wide range of stakeholders aiming at building synergies and working together to increase regional development.

The overall call budget is of ca. EUR 34,3 million, out of which EUR 29,2 million of ERDF fund and EUR 5,1 million of IPA II fund. The allocated resources will be distributed across two specific objectives under the Priority Axis 2 “Sustainable Region” covering cultural and natural heritage, environmental sustainability linked to tourism, disaster risk reduction and nature conservation.

The specific objective 2.1 on the promotion of natural and cultural heritage proved to be a topic of great interest with 125 applications received, whereas 61 project proposals were addressed to the specific objective 2.2 dedicated to environmental vulnerability and prevention to natural hazards. As lead partner, Italy stands out in terms of interest shown with overall 96 project proposals submitted, followed by Greece with 50 applications, Slovenia with 24 and Croatia with 16 project proposals presented.

The submitted applications will undergo eligibility checks and full assessment in the next months, further to that the best transnational projects will be approved for funding by the Monitoring Committee and start to implement their activities.

The Adrion Programme launched the opening of the 2nd Call for Proposals on 26 March through two main events held in Tirana and Zagreb as well as Info Days organized by National Contact Points in each Partner State. Interested parties had also the opportunity to search for partners through dedicated on line forums.

Since its start, the Programme has already funded 34 projects in the frame of the 1st Call for Proposals for an overall contribution of MEUR 36,9 EU co-financing. The selected projects are currently implementing their activities in the sector of blue growth, innovation and sustainability in the field of tourism and agro-food, clean environmental technologies and innovative products and processes. Moreover, ADRION has also approved the strategic project EUSAIR Facility Point to support the governance of the Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR) for a total amount of 9,7 MEUR EU co-financing.