Call for Research Proposals under DAFM Competitive Research Funding Programme

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has launched a call to fund research projects under the updated Competitive Research Funding Programme. All eligible Research Performing Organisations are invited to submit proposals.

This first call under the new research funding approach is seeking projects across thematic areas including climate and biodiversity; sustainable animal and plant health and production; agri-digitalisation and the bioeconomy; and safe, healthy food production and processing.

The call supports key strategic drivers both nationally (such as the Agri-Food Strategy 2030) and internationally. The projects will contribute to achieving EU strategies, such as Farm to Fork, Biodiversity and Circular Economy strategies as well as the EU Green Deal.

Research results will be made available for the benefit of the agri-food and forestry sectors, the consumer and policymakers.

The Competitive Research Funding Programme

The new, updated Competitive Research Funding Programme brings together food, agriculture and forestry programmes into a single ‘public good’ programme.

It aims to drive knowledge and resilience in a just transition to a sustainable agri-food, forest and bio-based system as well as providing ecosystem services, delivering nutritious food and contributing to a sustainable circular bioeconomy. Additionally, this call will facilitate stakeholder engagement and build research capacity in such a way to position Irish researchers to successfully compete for funding opportunities under the Horizon Europe programme.



The deadline for proposal applications is 28 February 2021 at 13.00 and should be submitted online through the Research Online Portal.



Further details on this call can be found on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine page.

Image copyright: EC – Audiovisual Service

Call for Pilot Projects: UIA Transfer Mechanism

URBACT together with Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) have opened a Call for a pilot mechanism to transfer the most successful UIA projects to other European cities facing similar challenges. It is open to urban authorities wishing to join a Transfer Project Partner.

The pilot will finance up to four networks – each network will be comprised of four partners including the UIA lead city – whose objective will be to adapt the UIA innovations and develop an investment plan to fund their implementation. This would entail a total of twelve European cities, three transfer partners and an UIA city leading this process for each network. The networks will use the URBACT method of knowledge transfer to aid in transferring solutions tested through UIA projects.

The pilot networks will run from March 2021 to September 2022.


Image copyright: URBACT

Image copyright: URBACT

Building on the success of the URBACT Transfer Network model, this pilot mechanism will aim to transfer the knowledge gained from the 17 completed UIA projects of the first generation of UIA to other urban authorities and stakeholders who may be responding to similar challenges. These projects have put in place innovative and bold solutions to challenges such as energy transition, urban poverty, jobs and skills in the local economy, and integration of migrants and refugees. It is now time to pilot these solutions in new contexts using the URBACT model.

The “URBACT method” of learning from exchanges with tailored tools and supports from experts and peers has been tried and tested. It transfers innovative solutions from one city to another in order to solve similar challenges in the urban environment. The method is built on using networks effectively and in a supported manner amongst EU cities to build capacity and integrate urban action plans in a participatory manner. More information on this method can be found on this page.


Please address all questions related to the UIA Transfer Mechanism networks call to:


Deadline for online submissions is 1st February 2021 at 15.00 CET.


SOURCE information of this call


Featured image copyright: EC – Audiovisual Service

Irish Delegation participates in CoR’s 141st Plenary Session

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) held its 141st plenary meeting on 8, 9 and 10 December 2020. The Irish delegation joined other locally and regionally elected representatives from across EU Member States in the CoR’s fully virtual plenary session.

The event was the last of six CoR plenary sessions held in 2020 and closed up what is sure to be a memorable year. The effects of and response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate change crisis were felt throughout the topics discussed.

Focus on Brexit

CoR Members engaged with Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, and the chair of the CoR-UK Contact Group, Loïg Chesnais-Girard, to debate on the EU-UK agreement and territorial consequences of Brexit. EU local and regional leaders discussed ways of maintaining EU-UK relationships and the importance of continued cooperation into the future, which was welcomed and echoed by the Mayor of London. Concerns were also raised about the continued uncertainty and implications of a no-deal outcome. Parties agreed that an agreement is in the best interest of everyone. The Irish delegation actively voiced local perspectives on the situation. Cllr Michael Murphy focused on preparedness for the end of the transition period and ensuring adequate support is available for SMEs. Cllr Kieran McCarthy urged that UK should continue to collaborate in cross-regional initiatives such as Erasmus, Horizon and Interreg.

Members took part on a number of other debates. The topics covered included:

  • European Commission Work Programme 2021
  • Stepping up climate ambition during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The New Package on Migration and Asylum
  • The enlargement package and European Neighbourhood Policy
  • Recovery and resilience in rural areas
The future of EU Rural Areas

Cllr Enda Stenson presented an opinion on the EU Strategy for Rural Revival. In the opinion, Cllr Stenson stressed “the need for rural-urban balance” with a real rural revival to provide equilibrium of opportunity and EU funding in urban and rural areas in order to ensure that rural areas are attractive places to live, work and raise a family.

Additionally, several opinions were broadly welcomed by CoR members including:

  • Towards more sustainable tourism for EU cities and regions
  • From Farm to Fork – the local and regional dimension
  • The impact of climate change on regions: an assessment of the European Green Deal
  • Challenges for public transport in cities and metropolitan regions

Further details on the 141st CoR Plenary sessions can be found on this page.

Photo credit: European Committee of the Regions

Pre-information on a LIFE2020 call for Proposals from NGOs on the European Green Deal

Image copyright: EC – Audiovisual Service

The European Green Deal is the EU growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, sustainable and competitive economy that leaves no one behind where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use. 

Amid the economic crisis provoked by the COVID-19 Pandemic, civil society as whole and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in particular are suffering a blow to their capacity to take actions and to contribute to the profound transformations needed to achieve a successful and just transition towards a sustainable future.

In the framework of the LIFE Programme, a special Call for Proposals for NGOs will be launched to reinforce the capacity of NGOs acting at Member States’ level to mobilise and strengthen civil society participation and contribution to the implementation of the European Green Deal.  With an indicative budget of 12 M€, action grants will be funded under this call for a maximum EU contribution of 300 000 € limited to 60% of total eligible projects costs. As far as possible, this call will seek to finance projects in all EU Member States.


The LIFE Programme expects proposals from non-profit making non-governmental organisations established in an EU member state and primarily active in the areas of environment and/or climate action.

Applicants will have to demonstrate a legal registration in the European Union prior to 01 January 2018 as well as the ability to operate at national level or, when established in larger countries, sub-national level across different regions. Partnerships will not be allowed and only one proposal per applicant will be taken in consideration. Beneficiaries of LIFE NGO Operating Grants will not be eligible to apply. Full details of the eligibility criteria will be listed in the call documents.

Expected submission deadlines

The expected deadlines for submission are Wednesday 31 March 2021 – 17:00 CET (Brussels). The call will open in mid-December.




European Year of Rail 2021 – time to get involved!

Image copyright: © European Union, 2020

The European Commission calls for event proposals for the official programme of the European Year of Rail 2021. First round of submissions are requested for 11 December 2020.

The European Green Deal puts sustainability at the heart of EU policymaking. Transport accounts for a quarter of all EU greenhouse gas emissions and it is clear that rail must play a starring role in the union’s future transport mix – for both passengers and freight. This is why the Commission has proposed making 2021 the European Year of Rail, as part of the EU’s efforts to spearhead the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Active engagement from all stakeholders in the rail sector and beyond will be key to the success of the European Year of Rail. The official programme of events is currently being prepared by DG MOVE of the European Commission, with the aim of ensuring active participation of local and regional authorities as well as other regional stakeholders in the organisation events, conferences, debates and project demonstrations.

If you are eager to “hop on the train” and get involved by planning an initiative in the context of the European Year of Rail, please fill out the template form (one form per initiative) and send it to DG MOVE ( with the COTER secretariat in copy ( Deadline for submissions for possible inclusion in the first version of the official programme is 11 December 2020.

Any further questions?

Please contact or

European Youth Capital – is your city ready?

Is your city ready to #YouthUp in 2024? 

Call for applications to the European Youth Capital 2024 are now open.

The European Youth Capital is a title awarded by the European Youth Forum designed to empower young people, boost youth participation and strengthen European identity. Each year, a new European city is given the chance to showcase its innovative ideas, projects and activities that aim to raise up young voices and bring a new youth perspective to all aspects of city life.

The European Youth Capital title will be awarded for the 16th time in 2024.

The first Capital was Rotterdam in 2009, and the last awarded city has been Tirana, which will be European Youth Capital in 2022

Why should a municipality apply to be the next European Youth Capital?

The European Youth Capital creates a positive impact in many areas:

  • Opens up new opportunities
  • Brings positive change
  • Encourages active participation
  • Promotes volunteering
  • Fosters European identity
  • Champions diversity and inclusion
  • Strengthens youth organisations
  • Boosts Investment in youth
  • Amplifies your city’s voice in Europe
  • Turns your city into an international meeting point
  • Connects young people

Want to know more? Check out the report “’European Youth Capital – Ten years of boosting vibrant youthful cities“.

Who can apply?

The EYC competition is open to any local authority from Member States of the Council of Europe, which are parties to the European Cultural Convention.

How to apply?

– The full call for European Youth Capital 2024 applications, with all the relevant dates and details.

– The European Youth Capital 2024 ‘Concept Note’ application questionnaire to guide the application.

– The European Youth Capital 2024 ‘Concept Note’ application form that cities must complete and submit.

– The legal terms and conditions governing the competition, which should be signed and submitted together with other application documents.

Deadline for applications: 17 January 2021

If you have any questions related to the application and selection procedure, please contact Ivan Neirotti (, Project Officer, at the European Youth Forum’s Secretariat.

Irish Regions European Office at EWRC 2020

Like most events so far in 2020, this year’s annual October week to celebrate European Week of Regions and Cities took a slightly different turn this year. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the events took place over 3 weeks and were held entirely online. However, that did not stop the Irish Regions European Office from participating and indeed, this year, we hosted an event entitled ‘Green Cities by Co-Design’. This event, co-organised by the Greater London Authority, brought together 9 cities from across Europe to examine how citizen engagement and smart technology work in building green cities.

The event heard from leaders of cities about the need for new ways of thinking about how to design and plan sustainable cities and sustain urban growth and how it can be done, in conjunction with local stakeholders. Speakers from Ireland, UK, France, Estonia, Belgium, Italy and Germany provided excellent examples of how citizen engagement is essential to building more liveable cities. Participants had the choice to participate in parallel sessions, one of which focused on citizen centric innovation and examined a range of innovative solutions for adapting to a smart city, whilst the second session focused on the importance of building new alliances with citizens. A range of effective engagement strategies were highlighted, and innovative initiatives showcased, which showed how to implement green cities, using research, innovation and good governance.

The IREO was particularly delighted to showcase the work of Limerick City and County Council and Smart Dublin. Both cities outlined how engagement with the local community is essential to combat climate change and make an impact on the urban agenda.

The event was held on Wednesday 21st October 2020 and a full recording of the workshop, together with the recordings of the two breakout sessions can be found below.

Interreg news: MATCH-UP 10 minute town concept

The Southern Regional Assembly (SRA) is delighted to release the MATCH-UP project 10 Minute Town Video and the MATCH-UP 10 Minute Town Framework full report which was inspired by learnings from the Interregional partners of the MATCH-UP Interreg Europe Project.

Following learnings from the MATCH-UP partners, the SRA focused on one of their policy improvements on the Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy – in particular Regional Policy Objective 176 – the 10 Minute Town Concept.

The 10 Minute Town Concept seeks to have all community facilities and services accessible within a 10 minute walk or cycle from homes or are accessible by public transport services connecting people to larger scaled settlements. The SRA commissioned ARUP to assist in designing a framework and methodology to be used by local authorities as an implementation tool under the RSES for their Key Towns.

The framework and methodology were developed through an assessment of 3 Key Towns in the Southern Region – Carlow, Tralee and Ennis. The use of this implementation tool will assist all local authorities with fully integrating the “10 Minute Town Concept” into to future Local Development Plans and increase the use of sustainable transport and reduce carbon emissions in the Southern Region.

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 further information, interview and images, contact:

Southern Regional Assembly, Waterford, Ireland
Ms. Rose Power, EU Projects Officer,
Project Co-ordinator

European Week of Regions and Cities 2020

European Week of Regions and Cities – a Yearly Regional Conference held in Brussels

The 2020 European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC), organised by the European Commission in partnership with the Committee of the Regions, will take place throughout October, from 5th to 22nd.

To ensure safety of all, this year will be the first ever fully digital EURegionsWeek.

European Week of Regions and Cities in a Nutshell

At the beginning of October, over 6000 participants and speakers from all over Europe will gather together for a programme of over 150 working sessions, exhibitions and networking events on regional and local development.

An annual event, EWRC brings together representatives from local and regional authorities, EU networks, universities and private practitioners working on regional and urban policies to showcase how regions and cities can tackle key challenges to implement the objectives of Cohesion Policy.

This year’s topics of EWRC are:

  • Greener Europe
  • Cohesion and Cooperation
  • Empowering Citizens.

We are pleased to announce that the IREO will host a session as part of the official EWRC programme on 21st October entitled Green Cities by Co-Design. Together with colleagues from all across European regions we will present methods for effective engagement strategies that will highlight how smart technology and citizen engagement is being used across Europe to co-design cities. A range of LRAs and a research institution will showcase innovative initiatives to implement green cities using research, innovation, good governance and the power of engaging in better and deeper collaboration with local citizens.

More sessions with the participation of Irish local and regional authorities will become known with the publication of the official EWRC programme, which is now available online, along with the registration forms. Participants wishing to attend are asked to create an EU Login before proceeding to register for their selected sessions (details available here).

The European Commission also launched #EURegionsWeek which provides news and updates on the conference and allows participants to already engage in discussions on all social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.


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