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Strategic projects approved during Selection Committee meeting in February 2011

Med Programme Selection Committee meeting

During its meeting on 22nd of February 2011 in Valencia, the Med Programme's Selection Committee approved the three first strategic Med projects. The first call for strategic projects had been opened for applications on priority axe 2, objective 2 (promotion of renewable energies and efficiency improvement) and on priority axe 2, objective 3 (prevention of maritime risks and strengthening of maritime safety).

In total, twelve project proposals were submitted whereof seven were developed on objective 2.2 and five on objective 2.3. Half of the proposals were assessed as not eligible and thus the Committee had to choose among six eligible proposals (three in objective 2.2 and three in objective 2.3).   

Three projects were selected with a total budget of about 16 Mio €. All three projects selected are covering objective 2.2. Among the project proposals applying under objective 2.3 no project was approved. Since these project proposals submitted still implied high potential for qualitative strategic projects, the Selection Committee proposed to the Monitoring Committee (which held its meeting on the same day) to continue the efforts done and offer another possibility to submit project proposals on maritime safety.

State of the art of open calls

Since the first call for strategic projects remained without approvals on objective 2.3, the Monitoring Committee decided in its meeting on 23rd of February, to reopen the call on maritime safety and to dedicate a total budget of 11 Mio € to projects in the relevant field. The call was opened on 1st April 2011 with a two weeks registration period and will be closed on 30th June. 12 project promoters sent a registration and thus announced their application.

Moreover the second call for strategic project proposals was opened on 1st of April 2011. This call concerns the 3rd priority axis for which the Med Programme only received few applications during the two previous traditional calls.  A total budget of 25 Mio € is available. The application procedure is organised in two phases. The first "draft projects" phase was closed on 31st of  May 2011. The submission of these drafts is a precondition for the participation to the call and thus the submission of the full application. 12 project groups submitted their draft projects on objective 3.1. (maritime accessibility and transit capacity) and 15 drafts were submitted on objective 3.2. (information technology).The second phase, the submission of the full application will last until 30th of September 2011. A first applicants' seminar took place on 7th of April 2011 in Marseille (see pictures), a second seminar will take place on 5th July 2011 in order to prepare the final application. 

We will keep you updated!

Programme capitalisation activities started

The EU debate on the programming period 2014-2020 of the cohesion policy focuses on the need to strengthen the effectiveness of territorial cooperation to help regions dealing with future challenges. In many cases stakeholders do not learn from previous experiences and very often there is no real evidence of concrete results. Thus, possible impacts of territorial cooperation projects and programmes in terms of local and European socio-economic development are not exploited at the best. For this reason, much effort should be deployed in order to initiate a new generation of strategic and high quality projects. Capitalisation activities are instrumental to this end.

The Med Programme glossary defines capitalisation as the “organisation of data concerning the implementation of programmes, projects, concerning their impacts, the methods used in order to make the accumulated experience usable for other programmes or projects”. It is a process to make joint cooperation results visible and experience shared and integrated into mainstream policies, through the collection, analysis and dissemination of knowledge on good practices in Transnational cooperation.

The Centro Studi Politica Internazionale (CeSPI) and Institut de la Méditerranée (IM), in close coordination with JTS, will promote and implement the capitalisation process of the Med Programme, by carrying out analysis, peer reviews, case studies etc., but above all, by promoting the exchange of experience among stakeholders organising interactive activities (i.e. thematic workshops, conferences etc.).

Capitalisation is a collective action where the diverse stakeholders share their knowledge and reflections to improve project and programme implementation, as well as to put forward recommendations for the new programming period. The effective and active participation of the Med projects is, indeed, a must and we would highly recommend all projects to profit of joint activities. Starting with some projects of the first call, first capitalisation workshops will be organised from 26th of June to 1st of July 2011. Further workshops and other capitalisation activities will be following and be implemented until programme closure. CeSPI and IM, with JTS, are absolutely open to offer best conditions for the participation of all the stakeholders. Suggestions are welcomed! You can contact: andrea.stocchiero@cespi.it and battistina.cugusi@cespi.it

by Andrea Stocchiero, CeSPI

 

News from the JTS

The JTS has been newly organised. In the last months, former colleagues left, while new ones joint the team. Find out about new staff members and structures here .

In addition, the Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur recruits a coordinator for the JTS. Applications can be sent until 22nd of July 2011. Find out more here.

The Med Programme’s strategic pioneers

The following three projects were approved in February 2011 by the Selection Committee. First meetings between the strategic projects’ Lead partner and work package coordinators and the JTS/MA were organized in April 2011 in Marseille. Two of the pioneer projects celebrated their official kick off during launching seminars in May 2011, the third one will be holding its launching event in early July 2011. From the very beginning, the three projects will also be actively involved in the programme’s capitalisation activities, starting with the workshops in Rome in June/July 2011 (see also article above). We will keep you updated!

ELIH Med (Energy Efficiency in Low-income Housing in the Mediterranean)

The ELIH-Med project’s objective is to identify and conduct a large scale experimentation of cost effective solutions and innovative public and private financing mechanisms backed with Structural Funds to foster energy efficiency investment in low income housings or household in a state of energy poverty. The project results will lead to elaborate an operational plan of coordination of European financial instruments in the context of a Mediterranean macro-regional strategy 2014-2020.

Lead Partner: Agence Nationale pour les Nouvelles Technologies, l'Energie et le Développement, Italy.

Partners from: Cyprus, Italy, France, Greece, Malta, Spain, Slovenia.

Project budget: about 9.7 Mio.€

MARIE (Mediterranean Building Rethinking for Energy Efficiency Improvement)

MARIE aims to establish the socio-economic conditions for Energy Efficiency (EE) improvement in the MED Building Stock in the framework of EU policy bjectives, overcoming barriers and creating sustainable development opportunities in the MED region. Pilot activities will test the solutions and measures developed ensuring direct territorial impact. The resultant MED Buildings EE Strategy (MEDBEES) will generate public-private synergies beneficial to sustainable development of the MED region.

Lead Partner: Generalitat of Catalonia - Ministry of Environment and Housing. DMAH. Spain.

Partners from: Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain.

Project budget: about 6 Mio.€

PROFORBIOMED  (Promotion of residual forestry biomass in the Mediterranean basin)

PROFORBIOMED promotes renewable energies in rural areas by developing an integrated strategy for the use of forest biomass as a renewable energy source, improving forest management systems, recovering forest biomass potential and developing new opportunities and better governance. It involves all the stakeholders of rural areas and develops clusters and networks that bring together private and public actors, developing pilot projects on 13 issues that strength cooperation among actors.

Lead Partner: General Directorate for Nature Heritage and Biodiversity of the Region of Murcia, Spain.

Partners from: Portugal, Italy, France, Greece, Spain, Slovenia.

Project budget: about 5.6 Mio.€

Meeting PROFORBIOMED with MA/JTS

Projects' results and best practises

SusTEn video online

The project SusTEn ("Sustainable Tourism Entrepreneurship") published a video on 'Sustainable tourism development in Venice'. See video

Launched: The INSMED partnership making platform

Based in Eco Design value chain model, the INSMED partnership making platform allows to represent a smart mapping of actors and market opportunitiese enabling a mutual understanding between SMEs, investors and intermediary organizations.

MORE: http://marketplace.insmed.eu/

Partners textile heritage online: the TEXMEDIN Digital Library

Since its launch in 2010, the TEXMEDIN Digital Library, one of the main outcomes of TEXMEDIN project, aims to satisfy two different needs: to create a tool of representation and consultation for anybody that it is interested in T&A (textile and apparel) heritage and to offer an attractive source of inspiration and information for young designers, stylists, fashion schools and textile and clothing companies.

As a matter of fact, the TEXMEDIN Digital Library is open to further applications and developments. The database structure and ICT platform have been developed to be used even after the end of the project for collecting, digitalizing and valorising the textile heritage owned by enterprises, museums, associations and other archives - as well as for future training purposes.

The TEXMEDIN Digital Library can be accessed online without any restriction for both item searching and browsing.

MORE: www.texmedindigitalibrary.eu

Cycling landscapes – Preliminary findings of the CYCLO asset analysis

CYCLO promotes sustainable mobility in MED small and medium urban contexts through the integration of cycling policy into town planning. In the project first phase, eight partner organisations, out of ten, carried out an analysis on cycling existing assets in terms of policies, services, infrastructure, gathering the data on a shared methodology. The common guidelines, developed within CYCLO, allowed all the involved partners to elaborate a qualitative analysis, which findings indicate a need for further systematic work on a field of cycling. The analysis was divided into two parts. The first part analysed the cycle facilities, while the second part was focused on soft measures, promotional and educational content for cyclist. Preliminary results of the ongoing comparative study show differences between the territories, where the lowest ratio of cycling grid to the all traffic surfaces in the area of analysis is lower than 1 % to highest 12 %.  The conclusion of the study will pave the way to the following project phase, foreseeing the elaboration of a local strategy to integrate cycling policies into town planning.

Best practice: Follow the Cyclo project on TWITTER and FACEBOOK!

SMILIES get together with small enterprises in Syros

On April 28th2011, the SMILIES project partners met on the island of Syros. At this occasion a get together between the SMILIES pilot project promoters and the whole project partnership was organised in order to exchange on upcoming project development measures.

The pilot project promoters respectively entrepreneurs invited represented a part of the 99 pilots selected by the SMILIES partnership in last summer. Since last autumn they could benefit of the support of experts recruited by the project partners (SMILIES partners are public authorities, regional development corporations, universities, business incubators, professional specialists groups and technical centres specialized in innovation transfer to SMEs).

Some examples of ideas and concepts presented:

- Ms. Ioanna Talasli, an art glass object creator informed about the e-commerce possibilities she uses to promote and sell her creations;

- AEIFOROS' director presented a service portal for tourism professionals in the Cyclades which they could develop with the support of an university; 

- The engineer Mr. Andreas Apostolopoulos developed a network of car workshops that will convert conventional cars in electric cars;

- Mr. Alexis Daras, sailor and cultural cruise operator, wants to construct and employ a boat adaptable to multiple uses of recreation and tourism. This type of boat will be inspired by antiquity, but would also serve as floating exhibition of new technologies.

All participants stressed the importance of services and advices provided by the SMILIES project. Towards new partners who volunteered after the meeting, they expressed their enthusiasm about the fact that new doors were opened and new possibility of getting in contact and sharing synergies with other actors and projects were developed. 

Until October, SMILIES will continue to provide its pilot partners with a joint support tool that shall facilitate initiatives and enable consulting and coaching activities using remote collaborative tools. A prize will be also awarded to the best pilot projects. The evaluation of experiences from the SMILIES pilots will be used to develop policies tailored to the islands of the MED regions, but also to the actors and supporting infrastructures that provide access to resources and skills needed in order to pursue such policies.

MORE: www.smilies-project.eu

 

 

From transitional to integrated management of IPA and ERDF funds

Until 2010, each of the participating candidate countries (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro) had a small yearly IPA budget allocated to their participation to Med Programme. The national authorities or Commission Delegations were in charge of the financial management of IPA partners. This separated management system is kept for already on-going projects. In 2010, the European Commission proposed to the MED Programme's Managing Authority to take in charge the management of IPA financing, with a new financial allocation. The Med Programme's Monitoring Committee accepted to integrate IPA financial management to the programme and in March 2011 the European Commission approved the modification to the Operational Programme accordingly. 

 

The procedures in short:

- Joint IPA envelope for the 4 IPA countries (2010-2013): 5,4 Mio. €;

- IPA partners can participate to strategic projects of the 2nd call and to all future calls for proposals with this financing procedure;

- IPA partners cannot be Lead Partners;

- As partners, IPA partners participate to the application with the Lead Partner and sign the Partnership Agreement as any other partner of the project;

- IPA partners sign a separate Subsidy (Grant) contract with the MA but otherwise, work with the LP as any other partner in the cooperation project.

Provision of advance payments for IPA partners decided

A new mechanism in the programme financial flow was approved by the Med Programme Monitoring Committee lately. Under the integrated management of IPA funds, an advance payment for IPA partners taking part in projects to be approved under the calls currently open (strategic projects on objective 2.3, maritime safety and on priority 3, accessibility) is now possible. This possibility refers only to those IPA funds allocated by the European Commission to the integrated management for the period 2010-2013.

Why did the MC take this decision?

The programme responsibles felt that this is an important incentive to IPA partners for which  participating to strategic projects is a new and demanding exercise, especially in comparison to those EU partners already gained experiences in ETC programmes.

How will it be managed?

During the project selection, the IPA delegations represented in the Selection Committee will indicate for which IPA partners involved in selected projects advance payments are to be organised. Those IPA partners willing to benefit from this possibility will be paid out an automatic advance of 10% on the date of the project’s launching event. Subsequently, each of the first four payment claims will be reduced by 25% of the advance payment.

For more questions on the advance payments, please contact the National Contact Points in the IPA countries or the Med IPA Liaison Office.

First Med-IPA events in Croatia and Albania realized

Kirill Dimanopoulos, Med-IPA Liaison Officer

The first two Med Programme events were realized in Tirana (Albania) and in Sibenik (Croatia) this March and May. Participants of both events demonstrated great interest to take part in Med strategic projects.

The Tirana IPA seminar aimed to present the new integrated way of managing the IPA funds within the Med Programme. The seminar was opened by Mrs. Jorida Tabaku, the Deputy Minister of the Albanian Ministry for Integration highlighting the added value of the IPA CBC programmes in the Albanian EU integration process. The Med Programme representatives updated the participants about the integrated way of managing the IPA funds and about the technical modalities of the IPA participation in the present strategic calls. Finally the Liaison Office Thessaloniki together with the National Contact Points of the IPA countries underlined the importance of having IPA partners in strategic partnerships.

The programme of the “Days of the Regional Development” in Sibenik, Croatia slightly differed: the information seminar rather aimed to update the Croatian stakeholders about the participation opportunities in projects within the second call for strategic projects. The Thessaloniki Liaison Office had the possibility to inform about the Med Programme and its benefits for the IPA partners. Since Croatia is very close to become a member of the European Union it has a great interest to have Croatian project partners in ERDF programmes. The event allowed the Liaison Office to meet representatives of several Croatian key organizations and exchange view points on the participation in a transnational programme.  Let’s hope to see many of these structures in strategic partnerships!

Interview with Mersiha Zuban, our National Contact Point in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Mershia, can you tell us your previous experience and when you joined the Med Programme?

I have joined the Med Programme in 2008, when Bosnia and Herzegovina became one of the IPA partner states participating to the programme. My interest for the EU Regional Policy comes actually from the university. In practice,  I've actually discovered ERDF during a three-months internship in the Prefecture Ile de France in Paris in the year 2007, where I was working on the preparation of the ERDF Operational Programme 2007-2013 for the region.  Being now the National contact point for the two transnational programmes BiH participates in, MED and SEE, it is particularly interesting and valuable experience for me to be part of that successfull story.

So far there is only one Bosnian partner can be found in Med projects. Do you think that the integrated management of IPA funds and the promotional events can bring more Bosnian partners to the strategic projects?

As we joined MED relatively late, the second call for proposals was actually the beginning of our participation to the programme. On the other hand,  the yearly IPA  allocations (100.000 €) for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s participation were very limited in the past period. These facts resulted in significantly lower interest among potential project partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina for participating in projects, in comparison to the other 5 CBC/transnational cooperation programmes financed under the component II of IPA, having much higher funds available.

However, the integrated approach in the management of IPA funds should provide more opportunities for financing project applicants from Bosnia and Herzegovina and IPA countries in general.

It should enable them to be fully involved in projects, the same way as their counterparts from the EU member state countries. In this context, promotional events could be considered as an important tool for raising interest and participation in the future transnational  cooperation partnerships. I believe that it is of utmost importance to have IPA partners involved in future strategic projects, in order to create real transnational impact and therefore ensure benefit for the whole  programme teritory.

Thank you for the interview!

Register for the Joint Transnational Conference 2011!

On 15th and 16th September 2011, the first joint conference of the 13 transnational European Territorial Cooperation Programmes will be organised in in Katowice, Poland as an accompanying event of the Polish Presidency of the EU Council.

The objective of this conference is to demonstrate how transnational cooperation helps to improve quality of life in European regions. Thus, the event will focus on two main questions: What has been achieved by transnational cooperation so far and what is the future potential?

After a first inscription round for nominated politicians and decision makers in June 2011, the registration will be opened for all programme and project involved partners in the beginning of July 2011. Do not miss the chance to take part in this exceptional European event and register online at www.transnational-cooperation.eu. We will inform you about the exact opening date of the online registration on our programme website.

You cannot participate on spot? Don't worry: you can also participate online. The conference will be organised as online event: it will be possible to follow and comment on the conference sessions through a participative live stream. Get involved already in the preparation phase and support the programmes to tailor the programme! Participate to the discussion forum on the website www.transnational-cooperation.eu, or join the conference discussion on Facebook and Twitter.   

Save the date for this year's programme event in Barcelona!

This year's venue: www.casallotja.com

Innovation in the Mediterranean

On 19th October 2011, this year’s Med Programme’s event will be held in Barcelona at the Llotja del Mar (Chamber of Commerce), one of the most emblematic monuments of Barcelona. The programme event will offer manifold possibilities to meet and exchange, inform and learn, create and influence.

 

‘Smart growth’ became one of the most cited terms in the ongoing discussion on Europe 2020 presenting the EU's growth strategy for the coming decade. The smart growth strategy aims to improve the EU's performance in education, research/innovation and digital society.

Our  programme event will offer the possibility to be informed about how the EU aims to boost smart growth and how Territorial Cooperation in the Mediterranean can contribute to reach this aim.

But before we start to shape the future, we have to look back on past and present developments:  what has been reached by the Med’s “classical” projects aiming to innovate in various fields, what is about to be implemented by the pioneer strategic projects selected in 2011?  Which conclusions can we draw to further innovate and improve on the path to “smart growth” in the Mediterranean? The event will showcase innovative solutions developed by the programme’s project partners and open the floor for a discussion with and between experts and think tanks, politicians, private actors, service providers, project partners, programme responsibles.

The event will present to its participants an occasion to actively contribute to shape the upcoming targeted call on “innovation capacities” as well as the future MED programme.

Save the date and take part in the discussion, share your perspectives and inspire for new approaches!

 

What is on the agenda?

Joint Technical Secretariat 

stc-med@regionpaca.fr

For project announcements and news (e.g. publications, results, public events), please contact mkirchgesser@regionpaca.fr

National Contact Points

13 Med National Contact Points offer support! Please find their contacts here

Liaison Offices

Two Liaison Offices coordinate between the Med Programme and ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme as well as with the IPA countries within the Med area. Find their contacts here:

Liaison Office Med-ENPI

Liaision Office Med-IPA