Final WiFi4EU Call launches 4th June

Municipalities across the EU will have a final chance to apply for a voucher to fund the installation of free WIFI networks in their communities, starting 4th June 2020 at 13.00 CET, until 17.00 CET on 4th June 2020.

The opening date of the fourth and final call of the WiFi4EU initiative has been recently changed by the European Commission, accounting for COVID-19 pandemic. With a call budget of EUR 14.2 million, the Commission will distribute 947 vouchers a first come, first served basis to municipalities across Europe, allowing for geographical adjustments. The call will be open until 17:00 CET on 4th June 2020.

In order to be able to apply for the EUR 15,000 voucher, municipalities must be registered on the WIFi4EU Portal before the call. The voucher will allow the winning municipalities to set up free Wi-Fi networks in public spaces.

The first WiFi4EU call, which took place in November 2018, awarded 2,800 vouchers from more than 13,000 municipalities from every EU Member State, Norway and Iceland. The second call in April 2019 saw more than 10,000 applications for 3,400 vouchers. Last September, the third call distributed 1,780 vouchers in the first 2 seconds. Seeing the interest in the initiative and to ensure that all available vouchers are allocated, for this call there will be no maximum number of vouchers per participating country.

To know more about how the WiFi4EU initiative works, check out the WiFi4EU step by step guide and the FAQs.

Source: European Commission

 

Intelligent Cities Challenge – Applications Open

APPLY BY 29 MAY TO TRANSFORM YOUR CITY!

Building on the success of the Digital Cities Challenge, the European Commission launched the follow-up Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC). This programme will offer 100 cities across the EU the unique opportunity to join a community that leverages advanced technologies to tackle the ongoing pandemic and reconstruct their economies while steering them in the direction of green, smart, sustainable growth. Taking part in the challenge will help cities to improve their citizens’ quality of life and to create new opportunities for their business communities.

WHY SHOULD YOU JOIN?

Selected cities will receive high-quality, tailored guidance and expert support, access to European and international advisory and city peer networks, and capability building tools, to drive priority policy goals and the uptake of advanced technologies.

Through its action-oriented and collaborative approach, the ICC will support cities to:

  • Identify local strengths and needs to setpriorities through performance assessments, the definition of strategic goals and the implementation roadmaps
  • Engage in long-termcollaborations to co-design and co-create approaches to digital transformation, such open data, city solutions and collective investments/procurements
  • Learn from and share experiences with local and international peers and mentors

HOW TO APPLY?

Cities or city consortiums can apply by filling in the ICC Expression of Interest and submitting it to the ICC website by 29 May 2020 11:59 p.m. CET.

To find out more about the challenge and the application process, please consult the ICC Concept Note and Guide for Applicants.

GET IN TOUCH

Do you have a question about the ICC? Browse the FAQs or contact the helpdesk.
If you want to receive updates about the outcomes of the Intelligent Cities Challenge, please sign up for the newsletter.

 

Source: https://www.intelligentcitieschallenge.eu/ 

Update – European Entrepreneurial Regions (EER) Award

The European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) award is an initiative of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) that identifies and rewards EU regions and cities with outstanding, future oriented entrepreneurial strategies. The territories with the most visible, forward-looking and promising political vision are granted the EER label for a specific year.

To date, thirty EU regions and cities have been awarded the EER label, including two Irish winners – the Northern and Western Region (2018) and Kerry County (2011).

EER Award reopened

This special edition of the EER aims to encourage EU regions and cities to develop strategies for boosting entrepreneurship and SMEs, taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. The applications have been reopened and merged 2021 application process with the next one, extending the implementation of the EER label over two years – 2021 and 2022. The lead theme is Entrepreneurship and sustainable recovery and deadline for applications is 28 October 2020.

3231 EER label

The EER label helps regions and cities support SMEs and entrepreneurship by implementing the new EU SME Strategy at local and regional level, building on the continuity of the previous initiatives such as the Small Business Act (2009) and the Start-up and Scale-up Initiative (2016). The EER label is an opportunity for local and regional actors to demonstrate how SMEs and entrepreneurs can increase the resilience of their economy, embracing today’s challenges that will shape the world of tomorrow: demographic change, digitalisation and a transition to a sustainable and low-carbon economy.

Further details on how to apply can be found here as well as on the EER page.

 

 

LIFE 2020 calls for proposals now open

The European Commission has launched its 2020 call for project proposals under the LIFE programme. Measures have also been taken to make it easier for interested parties to apply in times of coronavirus restrictions, including extended deadlines.

This year, the European Commission have earmarked more than €450 million for nature conservation, environmental protection and climate action projects.

What types of projects does LIFE fund?

LIFE funds projects under its environment and climate action sub-programmes, thereby helping implement the European Green Deal.

Most LIFE projects are so-called traditional projects that can be coordinated by any legal entity registered in the EU. These include public institutions, businesses and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). A lot of traditional projects show best-practices, run pilots, raise public awareness or demonstrate breakthroughs in environmental practices.

Applications are also being accepted for bigger so-called integrated projects. These projects run strategic EU plans on the environment and the climate and tend to have a regional, multi-regional, national or trans-national dimension.

How to apply

Applying for traditional projects with a climate change focus involves submitting a full proposal by October 2020. This includes proposals for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects as well as climate governance and information initiatives.

For traditional projects that address environmental and nature themes, there is a two-stage application process: candidates first outline their idea in a concept note by July 2020. If your concept note is shortlisted, you will then have until February 2021 to submit a full project proposal. The two-stage process covers nature conservation and biodiversity, environment and resource efficiency, as well as environmental governance and information projects.

Applications for integrated projects also follow a two-stage process.

You can find more information on how to apply on the 2020 LIFE call for proposals page and join the LIFE virtual conference on 30th April, which will provide further insights on this call. 

Source: European Commission

MATCH-UP good practices handbook

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

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.ie

Project Co-ordinator

Match-up@unibo.it

 

Have your say – Peace Plus Stakeholder Events

PEACE PLUS is a new EU cross-border programme that will contribute to a more prosperous and stable society in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland.

The programme will achieve this by funding activities that promote peace and reconciliation, and contribute to the cross-border economic and territorial development of the region. It will build upon previous PEACE and INTERREG Programmes.

The Special EU Programmes Body (SEUBP) seeking your input to help shape the content of this programme.

A series of information events are taking place between December 2019 and February 2020, running from 6pm-8pm, with registration from 5.30pm.

The stakeholder engagement process will start on 10 December 2019 and end on 25 February 2020.

Date County Venue Register
Tue 10 December Donegal Jacksons Hotel, Ballybofey Click Here
Wed 8 January Leitrim Lough Rynn Castle, Mohill Click Here
Thu 9 January Sligo Sligo Park Hotel, Sligo Click Here
Mon 13 January Derry – Londonderry Lodge Hotel,

Coleraine

Click Here
Wed 15 January Monaghan Four Seasons Hotel, Monaghan Click Here
Thu 16 January Cavan Cavan Crystal Hotel, Cavan Click Here
Mon 20 January Derry – Londonderry Guildhall, Derry-Londonderry Click Here
Tue 21 January Tyrone Corrick House Hotel, Clogher Click Here
Thu 23 January Fermanagh Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen Click Here
Mon 27 January Down Burrendale Hotel, Newcastle Click Here
Thu 30 January Antrim Tullyglass Hotel, Ballymena Click Here
Tue 4 February Armagh Armagh City Hotel, Armagh Click Here
Wed 5 February Antrim Belfast City Hall, Belfast Click Here
Thu 6 February Louth Ballymascanlon Hotel, Dundalk Click Here

Full documentation, including an online response form, is available below:

PEACE PLUS Stakeholder Engagement – Information Document

PEACE PLUS Stakeholder Engagement – Survey Questions: Guidance Document

Formal responses to the information events should be made using the link below. (Please note that there are designated word limits for each question, based on approximate word character averages).

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PEACEPLUS  

Preparations for the first Interreg NWE impact event underway

NWE Making an Impact!

The Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) programme is pleased to announce its first impact event on 4 and 5 December 2019, which will take place in Tourcoing (Lille agglomeration, Hauts-de-France) at La Chaufferie.

Over a day and a half, this transnational event will focus on the results achieved by the 83 NWE projects funded so far, and how to further support their uptake and impact.

Through a wide variety of sessions and formats, the programme will offer unique opportunities for participants to network, exchange and explore new potential collaborations:

  • An opening plenary session will open the discussion on the programme’s result orientation and the need to maximise the impact of projects throughout the NWE territory.
  • The project forum and exhibition area will constitute a dynamic and interactive networking platform, where NWE beneficiaries will have the opportunity to showcase their work and the changes they brought in North-West Europe.
  • Site visits in the Lille agglomeration will allow participants to discover what some NWE projects have achieved on the ground on various topics ranging from social innovation to circular economy.
  • Thematic workshops on some of the main topics addressed by our programme (such as health, energy efficiency, green constriction, marine energy…), will give the floor to project partners to discuss their needs, find synergies and elaborate ideas for further cooperation.
  • New support opportunities to further rollout project results and ensure their uptake will be presented.

“NWE Making an impact!” is aimed at project partners as well as decision makers at European, National and Local level. Registration will open early September. Further information is available on www.nweurope.eu Save the date and stay tuned!

Interreg NPA – final call

Interreg NPA Secretariat launched the programme’s seventh and last call for main project applications, which remains open until 30th September 2019. For the Seventh call for main applications, the Monitoring Committee has agreed to three Strands:

  1. Main project target only to Priority Axis 2, Specific Objective 2.2 and Priority Axis 4.
  2. Capitalisation projects: applications under this Strand will have to focus on three alternative experimental approaches (Rollout, Policy Influencer, Transnationalisation) capitalising on the achievements of previously successful NPA projects.
  3. Disruptive technologies projects: projects to explore the practical application of new technologies to existing industries.

Terms of Reference have been formulated encouraging applicants to address specific actions, target groups, and sectors. The Terms of Reference can be found in the announcement document. The Monitoring Committee will decide on Seventh Call applications on 5th December 2019.

In order to support applicants, the Joint Secretariat is organising two webinars. The first webinar will be held on 4th July at 12:00 Copenhagen time via Facebook live. The date of the second webinar will be announced in due course.

 

 

Urban Innovative Actions – ahead of Call 5

Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) will launch its fifth and final call in September. Managed by the French Region Hauts-de-France and part of the ERDF, the overarching mission of the programme is to identify innovative and creative solutions which ‘address issues related to sustainable urban development and are of relevance at Union level’. 

According to the UIA, the main aim of the programme is to provide urban authorities across Europe with space and resources to test unproven ideas addressing interconnected challenges and examine how these respond to the complexity of real life. Projects to be supported need to be innovative, of good quality, designed and implemented with the involvement of key stakeholders, result oriented and transferable. 

UIA encourages urban authorities to move from normal, mainstream ERDF projects and take the risk to transform creative ideas into prototypes that can be tested in real urban settings. The UIA has the capability to support projects that are too risky for traditional funding sources, provided that they are highly experimental.

WHAT ARE THE PROPOSED TOPICS FOR 5TH CALL?

Ahead of the call, the UIA Secretariat has already published the four priority topics for the call, along with their individual descriptions:

  1. Culture and Cultural Heritage, with particular attention given to projects going beyond cultural production or intervention in buildings. This priority encourages projects that offer participatory approaches to decision-making, co-creation and co-implementation as well as promoting local employment through cultural heritage or expanding sustainable tourism models;
  2. Demographic Change, welcoming projects addressing challenges such as outward migration, rural demographic reduction or aging population through development of society 5.0, strengthening active labour force or stimulating local entrepreneurship;
  3. Air Quality, including innovative approaches to clean commuting, testing methodologies to integrate air quality in local climate and energy strategies, testing ways to stimulate cultural and behavioural change in stakeholders and citizens in relation to air quality;
  4. Circular economy, focusing on projects particularly related to water waste – to make waste water collection and treatment plants climate-neutral, reducing energy consumption, exploiting full potential of the re-use of urban waste water, better water use efficiency.

Culture and Cultural Heritage as well as Demographic Change are topics which have not been used before. Circular Economy and Air Quality served as topics in calls 2 and 3 respectively; therefore, prospective applicants are invited to consult projects that have already been approved.

WHO CAN APPLY?

According to the Terms of Reference for previous calls, the following bodies are eligible to apply:

  • Any urban authority of a local administrative unit defined according to the degree of urbanization as city, town or suburb comprising at least 50,000 inhabitants;
  • Any association or grouping of urban authorities of local administrative units defined according to the degree of urbanization as city, town or suburb where the total population is at least 50,000 inhabitants. This include cross-border associations of different regions between Member States.

In Ireland the counties are considered as eligible urban authorities under the category “organized agglomerations”. In this case the county can be a Main Urban Authority provided that the majority of the population is living in municipalities (LAUs) composing the county and considered by Eurostat as cities or suburbs/towns (code 1 or 2). Specific exemptions or caveats may be applicable to particular priorities once the call is published.

Questions regarding eligibility should be directed towards the UIA secretariat at an early stage. Similarly to previous calls, the secretariat will likely organise applicant seminars in due course.

The date of the call launch as well as relevant application documents will soon be published on the UIA website.

2019 LIFE calls now open

Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It influences national economies and impacts on lives, people, communities and countries. Weather patterns are changing, sea levels are rising, weather events are becoming more extreme and greenhouse gas emissions are increasing. The European Union supports climate action and environmental and nature protection not only through its commitment to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but also through its funding instruments. Climate action and transition to low-carbon economy is and will continue to be a priority for the EU, present in its strategies as well as financing priorities.

The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding programme dedicated to support environment, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the Union.

The 2019 LIFE calls are now open with a wide range of projects and topics covered.

Environment sub-programme, funding nature conservation projects in particular in the areas of biodiversity, habitats and species:

Climate action sub-programme, supporting projects in the areas of renewable energies, energy efficiency, farming, land use and peatland management:

Operating grants for NGOs:

LIFE helps to make the application of EU environmental and climate legislation and policies consistent across the EU, exchange best practices, transfer know-how and make better use of project results. The programme provides action grants for pilot and demonstration projects to develop, test and demonstrate policy or management approaches. Projects creating technologies and solutions that are ready to be implemented are particularly welcomed by the European Commission.

Support services are in place to help applicants and those considering applying for funding to navigate through the fund. Each EU Member State has its national contact points across the various sub-programmes to help with your application.

Full description of the sub-programmes and application details can be found on the European Commission’s website. The IREO is keen to provide further information on LIFE and you may contact us here.