3rd Calls for Proposals: 5 strategic projects approved for funding

On 29 June 2020 the ADRION Monitoring Committee conditionally approved 5 projects out of 13 applications received under the 3rd Calls for Proposals, the last calls for the current programming period. The selected projects aim to foster cooperation and joint-development initiatives in strategic fields covering the 4 topics addressed by the Calls: Smart Specialization Strategy (S3) on Blue growth and social innovation for Priority Axis 1 (Smart region); maritime transport and city transport for Priority Axis 3 (Connected Region).

Overall, the value of the 5 approved projects amounts to 13,6 MEUR which includes 11,6 MEUR of EU contribution.

For the topic on S3 on Blue Growth, which encompasses all economic activities related to the seas and coasts aiming to exploit the innovation possibilities of the blue economy, the selected project is BLUEAIR. It aims to design a Smart Specialisation Strategy on Blue Growth for the whole Adriatic-Ionian region. On the other hand, two projects are selected for the topic on social innovation: SI4CARE which tackles the pressing issue of ageing population and REINSER, focused on the inclusion of refugees into hosting countries.

Winners for the topic on maritime and city transport are the project EUREKA, devoted to maritime safety, and the project TRIBUTE, focusing on innovative solutions for urban mobility.

The calls were only open to public institutions as to highlight the strategic dimension of the Calls and of the nature of the activities requested in the Terms of Reference, namely the development of Strategies, Identification of best practices, studies and design of training and business tools.

47 applicants from the whole ADRION region will benefit for funding, including a mix of both scientific and public authorities, which will allow for relevant synergies in the selected fields and tangible opportunities for testing pilot ideas.

The selected projects in a nutshell

Under Priority Axis 1, Smart Specialization Strategy (S3) on Blue Growth

BLUEAIR (Blue Growth Smart Adriatic Ionian S3), led by the Area Science Park based in Trieste (Italy), aims at developing a common transnational Smart Specialization Strategy (S3) on Blue Growth for the ADRION region. BLUEAIR will identify sectors of macro-regional interest and exploit potentials for transnational cooperation by looking at the opportunities arising from the Adriatic and Ionian seas, untapped market opportunities in the blue economy, as well as coastal and inland territories. The BLUEAIR partnership covers all ADRION countries and is composed of scientific partners, which will ensure their expertise in blue technologies, fisheries and aquaculture to maritime and marine governance and services, as well as regional and national public administrations.

Under Priority Axis 1, Social Innovation

The project REINSER (Refugees’ Economic Integration through Social Entrepreneurship) will focus on the economic integration of refugees through social entrepreneurship. The main objective is to enhance possibilities for refugees to contribute to the economic development of the hosting countries. REINSER, led by the Science and Research Centre of Koper (Slovenia), will set up a network to encourage the participation of refugees in the sector of social entrepreneurship and thus support their inclusion into the labour market. The network will work mainly on promoting and building social innovation, facilitating the development of public policies in relation to economic integration and support access to economic integration for refugees.

The project SI4CARE (Social Innovation for integrated health CARE of ageing population in ADRION Region) comes in needs of addressing the healthcare industry which consumes 3 to 9% of GDP in the ADRION area and it is often marked by increasing inequalities. To this end, SI4CARE will focus on the elderly population by supporting public administrations to act as social innovators, promoting cooperation between research centres and enterprises. SI4CARE, led by the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), will bring together local, regional, and national stakeholders to design joint innovative approaches for service and management.

Under Priority Axis 3, Maritime transport

EUREKA (Adriatic-Ionian joint approach for development and harmonisation of procedures and regulations in the field of navigation safety) aims to increase the level of maritime safety in the Adriatic-Ionian region by introducing systematic cooperation and coordination of maritime administrations of all countries of the region. The specific objectives of the project, coordinated by the Ministry of the Seas, Transport, and Infrastructure of Croatia, are to develop systematic coordination, harmonise the legal basis for cooperation, increase the level of data exchange, harmonize and standardize the Vessel traffic services (VTS), as well as develop a common educational system for VTS operators. The project includes, among others, all Maritime ministries of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece, Italy, Montenegro. Slovenia as well as the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure of Albania.

Under Priority Axis 3, City transport

City transport will be tackled by TRIBUTE (Integrated and Innovative actions for sustainable Urban mobility upgrade), the project led by the Polytechnic University of Milan (Italy), whose main objective is the improvement of city transport facing the challenges posed by the undergoing socioeconomic and demographic change. Taking advantage from the electro-mobility and share-mobility revolution, the project aims to test integrated innovative pilot actions and tools for sustainable mobility solutions in the cities involved in the partnership, such as Milan (IT), Maribor (SI), Ljubljana (SI), Zagreb (HR), Patras (GR), Novi Sad (RS), Sarajevo (BiH) and Podgorica (MN).

Next steps

Selected beneficiaries will soon start the negotiating process towards the signing of the grant contract with the Managing Authority, allowing to start the implementation of the planned activities. A first meeting with the project partners to kick off the negotiating process will be held in early September 2020.

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