URBACT Call for Good Practices Open Now!

The URBACT call for Good Practices is accepting applications until June 30th. The project is seeking existing local practices that are impactful, participatory, integrated, relevant for the European Union and transferable to other European cities.

Cities from European Union’s 27 Member States, Partner States (Norway, Switzerland), cities from countries benefiting from the Instrument for Pre-Accession to the EU (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia), as well as from Ukraine and Moldova, are invited to submit their good practices. Selected practices will benefit from a variety of visibility and promotional actions with the URBACT City Festival on 8th-10th April 2025 in Wroclaw (PL) as one of the highlights.

In addition to the increased visibility for your town/city, the associated networking and communications opportunities on offer, those initiatives awarded the URBACT Good Practice label have the option of applying as Lead Partner to an URBACT transnational Transfer Network in 2025, giving you the opportunity to both impart your good practice on several other towns or cities around Europe and fine tune your own practice even further!

You can read more about the Good Practice call here where you will find the call’s Terms of Reference, an infographic, as well as other items including a link to the Secretariat’s first and second online info sessions in April and May, and a link to the upcoming June session.

Following the previous call for Good Practices, Cork, Kildare, Longford, and Monaghan were all awarded Good Practice labels in 2017. You can find all selected Good Practices here.

If you interested in applying or have any questions, the national contact point for URBACT is Karl Murphy, kmurphy@emra.ie.

Commission allocates additional €10 million to support researchers from Ukraine under Horizon Europe

The Commission has topped up the budget of the MSCA4Ukraine initiative, set up to support researchers forced to flee Ukraine, with an additional €10 million. The scheme, set up under Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) has supported displaced researchers since the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

The extra funding will enable at least 50 additional researchers, including doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers, who were forced to flee Ukraine to continue their work safely on research projects at universities, companies, research centres and other institutions based in the EU and countries associated to Horizon Europe. It will also allow the researchers to access training, skills and career development opportunities. Specific support will be available for organisations hosting the researchers and those fellows relocating with their families.

Since its launch, the MSCA4Ukraine fellowship scheme has supported 125 displaced researchers from Ukraine, being trained and working in 21 countries.

Selected researchers will be able to start a new project or continue their previous work to pursue their research in any subject of their choosing, including on issues directly linked to helping Ukraine and its recovery. Current MSCA4Ukraine fellows are contributing to topics such as investigating war crimes in Ukraine or addressing the mental healthcare needs of displaced Ukrainian women.

The scheme is part of the wider EU support to Ukraine. Specifically in the domain of research and innovation, Ukraine participates in Horizon Europe and the Euratom programme without having to contribute financially. The EU has recently opened a Horizon Europe Office in Kyiv and set up a scheme to help Ukrainian deep-tech companies under the European Innovation Council (EIC).

It has also created a European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Community Hub in Ukraine, which will give Ukrainian innovators remaining in their home country access to partners, markets, testbeds, trainings and investment.

The next MSCA4Ukraine call is expected to be launched in May 2024, allowing selected researchers to start their fellowships by early 2025. The first step for researchers wishing to apply is to prepare an application together with their potential host organisation, who will then submit the proposal on the researcher’s behalf.

More information available here.


One-to-one consultation sessions and orientation dialogues with CINEA

The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) are the Irish National Contact Point for the EU Innovation Fund. In this capacity they are excited to offer a unique opportunity of one-to-one consultation sessions with Deloitte for projects at an Advanced Stage who are considering an application in either the 2024 or 2025 call.

The one-to-one consultations sessions offer a valuable opportunity to receive personalised guidance on project proposals.

To be considered for these sessions, DECC request potential applicants to provide:

  1. Project Overview: Briefly describe your project, highlighting key objectives, innovations, and expected outcomes.
  2. Current Stage: Specify the current stage of your project. This could include research, development, testing, or any other relevant phase.
  3. Challenges: Identify any challenges or specific areas where you seek guidance or support.
  4. Team and Partners: Provide information about your project team and any existing or potential collaboration partners.

Please submit this overview document to innovationfund@decc.gov.ie  by 5pm Tuesday 23 January.

Please Note – Projects that demonstrate significant potential and align with the EU Innovation Fund’s objectives will be selected for the one-to-one consultation sessions.

Selected projects will be notified by Friday 26 January and will have the opportunity to schedule a dedicated session with Deloitte.

This initiative is designed to enhance the quality of your project proposal and provide tailored insights to strengthen your application to the EU Innovation Fund.

Orientation Dialogues with CINEA

After the success of last year’s orientation dialogues with CINEA group members managing the Innovation Fund, DECC are delighted to announce the repetition of this segment during the Information Day which takes place on Tuesday 16 JanuaryThese dialogues allow advanced projects to discuss their applications at a high level with EU colleagues. Limited time is available, so this opportunity is exclusively for those intending to apply to the upcoming call.

To participate, send a project overview, including challenges and areas where guidance is sought, to innovationfund@decc.gov.ie by 12 noon on Wednesday 10 January. Successful projects will be notified the following day and should make themselves available for the afternoon of 16 January.

DECC request that if you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to reach out tot he Innovation Fund NCP at innovationfund@decc.gov.ie


Northern And Western Region Launches €217m Investment Programme With European Development Funding

The NWRA has launched a new six-year investment programme totaling €217m in European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) for Ireland’s Northern and Western region.

Speaking at the launch, which was hosted in the Portershed, Galway, Director of the Northern & Western Regional Assembly (NWRA), David Minton, said the funds for the 2021 to 2027 programme would build on previous funding that has improved almost every aspect of life in the region.

Funding from the programme will be used for projects; to build the capacity of the new Atlantic Technological University, to support regional research, capacity building and innovation; to support regional industry with enhanced financial assistance through TU Gateways (Enterprise Ireland) and helping regional enterprises to pursue further commercialise products and services.

The scheme will include:

  • Delivery of a regional smart hub network for research, training, innovation, commercialisation
  • Underpinning the region’s existing enterprise ecosystem with training and innovation supports
  • Working with SEAI to ensure households get deep energy retrofits
  • Addressing the high rate of derelict and vacant properties in the region

To read the full programme click here.

Or to explore the fund more watch an explainer video here.

Save the Date – LIFE Info Days 2022

The European Climate Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) will be hosting a number of LIFE programme info days from Wednesday the 18th until Friday the 20th of May.

This year marks the LIFE programme’s thirtieth anniversary. The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. Created in 1992, it has co-financed thousands of projects. The new LIFE programme 2021-2027 has a budget of €5.4 billion and is divided into four sub-programmes:

  • Nature and biodiversity
  • Circular economy and quality of life
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Clean energy transition

The info days, organised by CINEA, will play host to a number of webinars, which will guide applicants and potential applicants through the LIFE programme, Calls for Proposals, and Priority Topics for 2022. Each of these webinars will be followed by a series of Question and Answers sessions.

Those in attendance will also be able to avail of virtual networking opportunities, as well as holding bilateral meetings with CINEA project advisors.

For more information and updates click here: Save the date: #EULife22 Info Days (europa.eu)

The Irish contact point for the LIFE programme is LIFE@decc.gov.ie

Register your interest, new PEACE Plus Programme

The cross-border PEACE Plus programme with over €1 billion will be opening for calls later this year, but you can already sign up to receive information about the themes of most interest to you. 

An information document providing an overview of the themes and investment area for the 2021-2027 programming period has been published. This document is due for approval by the European Commission and is therefore subject to change.

What is the PEACE Plus Programme?

The PEACE Plus Programme is a cross-border European Territorial Cooperation fund that builds on and continues the work on the Interreg VA and Peace IV programmes.

The overall objective of the PEACE PLUS Programme will be to build Peace and Prosperity and ensure that this Programme will leave a lasting and tangible legacy across Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland. The Programme’s strategy is to continue to take the opportunities and address the needs arising from the peace process in order to boost economic growth and stimulate social and economic regeneration and secondly, to promote social inclusion, particularly for those at the margins of economic and social life. The Programme will help to address many long-standing social and economic challenges which have, and continue to impact on communities, particularly those in rural border areas, as well as ongoing challenges that exist in urban settings.

New ‘functional’ area

The core programme area includes Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland, namely the counties of Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Sligo. However, cross border collaboration is not strictly limited to the administrative borders of the Programme but has a flexible geography depending on the topic concerned.

This is called a ‘functional area‘ and allows for organisations and institutions not based in the core Programme area to get involved in projects by linking with partners within the core Programme area.  In other words, for this next programming period (2021-2027) organisations outside the counties in the core programme area can get involved in projects, depending on the theme.

Overview document

As stated above, an information document on the PEACE Plus Programme 2021-2027 presents an overview of the themes and investment areas. The document has been approved by the Northern Ireland Executive, the Irish Government and North South Ministerial Council. It is subject to approval by the European Commission and is therefore subject to change.

The Overview is intended to provide information to potential applicants to enable project development to continue. Further detailed guidance will be made available following Commission approval.

Register your interest

Special EU Programmes Body

The SEUPB is asking stakeholders to register their interest in specific themes and investment areas by emailing peaceplus@seupb.eu.

Check out the programme website at:



Get ready for North-West Europe Call 1!

Interreg North-West Europe will soon open its first call for proposals for the 2021-2027 programming period. This call will open on 22nd March and close for applications on 15 June 2022 (at 11am Irish time).

In the meantime, some preliminary documents are made available for stakeholders to get a grasp on Programme expectations and start working on your application.

About Interreg North-West Europe

Interreg NWE programme area

The Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) is one of the project funding programmes of the European Union for European Territorial Cooperation. It supports cooperation across borders to jointly solve common issues and falls under the “transnational” strands (Interreg B). Interreg NWE fosters transnational cooperation to make the region a key economic player and an attractive place to work and live, with high levels of innovation, sustainability and cohesion. The area covered by the programme is considered as one of the most dynamic and prosperous areas of Europe, and it also faces a number of environmental, social and economic needs and challenges.

Read our previous post about the Interreg North-West Europe 2021-2027 programming period to learn about the priority areas.

Start Preparing Your Step 1 Applications

We invite you to have a look at the Interreg North-West Europe website for the most up to date information.  

There you will find all the Call 1 support documents, application form and more details about the eligibility criteria.

Ways to stay up to date on the call:
  • 2 Webinars:
    • Save the date for a webinar on Thursday 31 March 1-3pm Irish time! The Joint Secretariat will provide an opportunity to get more information on NWE Call 1 and get answers to your questions about the 2021-2027 programme. Find out more about the event here. 
    • Save the date for webinar on Thursday 7 April 9am-12pm Irish time! This second event is organised by the Irish national contact point and will focus on Irish future applicants. Contact the Interreg NWE National Contact Point for more information at sdavoren@southernassembly.ie.
  • Online Community: join the NWE Community! Register to the brand-new online community to network, find potential partners and get in touch with them, add your project ideas or browse those in the pipelines. (community website: community.nweurope.eu/)
  • Email updates: Receive the latest information on Call 1 and other NWE Programme news by signing up for updates here.
  • Join the Irish partners mailing list.
Irish Contacts

For more information contact Ireland’s National Contact Point for Interreg NWE, Sarah Davoren, based in the Southern Regional Assembly (sdavoren@southernassembly.ie). The National Contact Point can provide Irish partners with guidance during the project development phase. 

Upcoming first call: Northern Periphery and Artic Programme

The Northern Periphery and Artic Programme 2021-2027 plans to open the first call for main projects on 17th March, with closing date on 20th June 2022.  Projects in the call are expected to develop concrete and durable project outputs that lead to a positive impact on the target groups in the Programme area.

The focus of the first call will be on two priorities:

  • PRIORITY 1: Strengthening the innovation capacity for resilient and attractive NPA communities; and
  • PRIORITY 2: Strengthening the capacity for climate change adaptation, and resource sufficiency in NPA communities.
About the Northern Periphery and Artic Programme

For 20 years, the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (NPA) has provided a framework for regions to work together with a focus on promoting sustainable development in remote and sparsely populated communities. The aim of this European Territorial Cooperation programme is to expand the programme area’s horizons, building on concrete outcomes and enabling the region to be a first class place to live, study, work, visit and invest. The programme’s vision is to help to generate vibrant, competitive and sustainable communities, by harnessing innovation, expanding the capacity for entrepreneurship and seizing the unique growth initiatives and opportunities of the Northern and Arctic regions in a resource efficient way.

Geographical Coverage 2021-2027

Like all European Territorial Cooperation programmes, projects must be developed in partnership with organisations from at least 3 programme partner countries (regions of Finland, Ireland, Sweden, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and Norway).

Of note for Ireland, in a change to the programme geography for this next programming period (2021-2027), the entire Northern and Western region of Ireland is now eligible to participate.  Other regions in Ireland eligible to participate remain as was in previous programme, Southern (only NUTS 3 regions IE051 Mid-West and IE053 South-West).   Further requirements can be found in the draft Terms of Reference for the call.

Upcoming events for the call

There will be workshops via two online events to support projects development. These will be held on 17th March and 11th May.

A networking event, “NPA in-person”, is planned to take place on 19th May at the premises of the Joint Secretariat in Copenhagen.

Further Information

If you are interested in applying, please contact the Irish Regional Contact Point, Patrick Devine based at the Northern and Western Regional Assembly (pdevine@nwra.ie) or alternatively, contact Christopher Parker at the Programme Secretariat (christopher.parker@interreg-npa.eu).

Visit the programme website.

Public consultation on Irish Just Transition Plan

The Department of Environment, Climate and Communication in association with the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly (EMRA) launched on 20th December 2021 a public consultation on a draft of Ireland’s Territorial Just Transition Plan. The consultation is open until 14 February 2022.

The EU Just Transition Fund (JTF) is a new funding programme from the European Union for the period 2021-2027 that will address the social, economic, employment and environmental impacts of the transition to a carbon-neutral economy. The EU JTF will support the delivery of Ireland’s Climate Action Plan 2021 and its objectives in relation to a ‘just transition’ in the wider Midlands region in response to the end of peat extraction for power generation. The fund may be used to:

  • support enterprises to enhance economic diversification of the wider Midlands
  • train, up-skill and reskill workers affected by the exit from peat
  • invest in research and innovation and the deployment of technology
  • develop systems and infrastructure for clean energy.

This consultation is a key step in the preparation of the EU JTF in Ireland. The conclusions of the survey and the related workshops will inform the drafting of Ireland’s Territorial Just Transition Plan, a document that will be the basis for the implementation of the EU JTF in Ireland, setting out how the fund will be used to invest in the region.

Provide Feedback

A draft Territorial Just Transition Plan has been developed and is available on the consultation page for review. Input on the draft Plan can be provided through an online survey. Additional documentation can also be submitted if needed.

The consultation is open to individuals, communities, businesses and representative bodies in the wider Midlands region of East Galway, North Tipperary, Longford, Laois, Offaly, Westmeath, West Kildare and Roscommon.

The online survey can be found through this page.

Note that the survey is open until midnight 14 February 2022.


In addition to the survey responses, there will be two online workshops held on 18 January (10am-12pm) and 25 January (6.30pm-8.30pm) for the general public.

An online workshop specifically dedicated to young people 16 – 24 years old is also planned.

Register to attend the workshops on the public consultation page.


Further information on this public consultation can be found on this page:


Interreg Europe 2021-2027 Programme Development

The 2021 edition of ‘Europe, let’s cooperate!’, an interregional cooperation forum organised by Interreg Europe, was held virtually on 24-25 November. The special focus of this year’s event was the launch of the 2021-2027 Interreg Europe programme.

The two-day event showcased project results, provided an opportunity for networking with potential partners, and walked participants through the key features and novelties of the new programme.

The programme still needs to be approved by the European Commission and validated by the future Monitoring Committee. But regions are encouraged to prepare now for the future programme!

Below are some of the key features as it currently stands (subject to final validations mentioned above) as communicated during the ‘Europe, let’s cooperate!’ event.

Key Features

What is Interreg Europe?

Interreg Europe is one of the project funding programmes of the European Union for European Territorial Cooperation. It supports cooperation across borders to jointly solve common issues and falls under the “interregional” strands (Interreg C).

The programme helps regional and local governments across Europe to develop and deliver better policy. Through interregional cooperation and shared solutions, the programme aims to make sure that government investment, innovation and implementation efforts all lead to integrated and sustainable impact for people and places.


The objective of the programme has not changed from the previous programming period. It remains to improve regional development policies, including investment for growth and job programmes.

The objective of each project is to improve policy instruments of participating regions.


All EU regions are eligible for the programme. Norway and Switzerland are eligible as associated countries. The minimum area to be covered by partner regions is yet to be determined. There will be some requirement (yet to be defined) to ensure broad coverage of partner regions across Europe.

Eligible beneficiaries who can receive funding from Interreg Europe are public authorities, bodies governed by public law (e.g. environmental agencies, business support agencies, etc.), and private non-profit bodies (e.g. chambers of commerce, cluster organisations, etc.). However, private non-profit bodies cannot take on the role of lead partner in Interreg Europe projects.


The cross-cutting priority of the programme is on “capacity building” as applied to the 6 topics of: Smart, Green, Social, Connected, Citizens, Governance. 80% of the programming budget will be concentrated on the 3 key topics of Smart, Green and Social. This concentration goes along with Cohesion Policy and relates to the programme-level – meaning that the total budget of the Interreg Europe programme 2021-2027 will be concentrated on these three topics, but individual projects can address any of these 6 topics.

Project activities:

One novel feature of the next programming period is that pilot actions will be possible from the start of the project, as well as at the mid-term point. This new approach opens the possibility of ‘learn-by-doing’. Previously, it was only possible to undertake pilot actions around phase 2, following initial interregional learning and transfers.

Project Implementation:

Projects will have 2 phases over a 4-year implementation. The ‘core phase’ (over 3 years) will be dedicated to the exchange of experience to achieve policy improvements, followed by a ‘follow-up’ phase (1 year) to monitor policy improvements.

There will be additional flexibility between phases and it will be up to each project to design the follow-up phase. There can still be learnings between partners in the second phase.

While the process is currently being reviewed, Action Plans will be focused on the regions which did not achieve results (a policy improvement) by the end of the core phase. Action Plans then become documents of actions where organisations will try to implement learnings from projects in the last year of the project.


The total programme budget will be increased to 334 MEUR (ERDF). It is expected that the average project budget will be around 1-2 MEUR (ERDF).

The co-financing rates for public or public equivalent bodies will be 80% ERDF.

Policy Learning Platform:

This service will remain for the next Interreg Europe programming period (2021-2027). This service is dedicated to take stock of all knowledge gathered around the Interreg Europe funded projects and make them available to any interested region in Europe. The platform includes services such as a knowledge hub, a community of peers, expert policy support, and a peer-review service.


Learn more

Read more about the Interreg Europe 2021-2027 Programme here.