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Lead Partner: Municipality of Prato
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here, are we ready? Companies across the globe are digitally transforming as they are challenged to improve business processes and develop new capabilities and business models. 4IR technology patent applications are on the rise, Industry 4.0 ambitions are high, manufacturing and manufacturing technologies do well, spending on the Internet of Things in industrial markets looks promising … and the list goes on. The so-called fourth industrial revolution is of course not just a matter of technology. It is also a matter of cooperation between European regions! But while large companies are anticipating the changes arising from the digital revolution in the production and value creation process, SMEs are struggling to embrace the Industry 4.0 revolution. The uptake of advanced manufacturing solutions is still a challenge to SMEs: only one in five manufacturing companies have already used advanced manufacturing solutions. Partners from regions across Europe have decided to join forces to exchange experience on how policies related to Structural Funds can unlock the full potential of Industry 4.0, fully convinced that the success of digital transformation will greatly depend on the SMEs, which feels in need of more practical support. SMARTY is born to establish a common basis for policy learning among its members to overcome fragmentation of Industry 4.0 solutions and their enabling potential by dealing with main challenges hampering their diffusion into the European Union ecosystem. It is therefore key to bring together and to connect best capabilities across the EU as to foster the development, upscale, and commercialization but also diffusion of Industry 4.0 solutions – whether these are new technologies, products, services, business models, etc.  The time has come to implement Industry 4.0, let’s cooperate!
Lead Partner: Metropolis Nice Côte d’Azur
BLUE GREEN CITY seeks to improve policies that promote Green and Blue Infrastructure (GBI) as an integral part of a local or regional natural heritage preservation strategy How will these be achieved? BLUE GREEN CITY will increase individual, organisational, stakeholder and external knowledge of the concept of ecosystem services and the value of GBI through project events, workshops and training. This will be done through interregional Policy learning process and collaboration in finding common solutions to common challenges posed by climate change adaptation and by sharing experience and exchanging good practices. OBJECTIVES assess the use of a wide range of Policy instruments and identify the potential barriers for adopting GBIdevelop and improve GBI strategies in order to create functional ecological connectivity between cities and peri-urban protected areasmap the existing GBI provisions and assess the economic and non-monetary valuation of ecosystem servicesdefining measures to be included in a Biodiversity Action Plan and a strategic spatial plan for future GBI implementation raise awareness and knowledge of the concept of ecosystem services and of the value of green and blue infrastructure in protecting, preserving and enhancing natural and cultural capitaldevelop best practice recommendations for improving Policy instruments that promote green and blue infrastructure MAIN OUTPUTS 7 Action Plans to develop/improve GBI strategies for natural heritage preservation (including  the mapping of existing GBI provision, a Biodiversity Action Plan and a Strategic Spatial Plan for future GBI implementation)Training ManualsSet of Best Practices and experienceWorking Tables, Reports on experiencesPeer-review workshop reports, Thematic expert papersStudy visit guides
Lead Partner: Alto Alentejo Intermunicipal Community
Mountains have always had a symbolic and metaphorical meaning, evoking an experience of spiritual elevation. In the latest years, they grow as a tourism destination because of their landscape which provides the opportunities to escape from the increasingly urbanized environments. However, this considerable potential for tourism remains often misused, through the mass tourism that harms the fragile biodiversity​ and the uniqueness of these areas, or unused, with the local population and businesses left alone and unable to benefit from it. RAMSAT is designed to protect the natural and cultural heritage of Remote And Mountainous areas through Sustainable Alternative Tourism. To achieve this goal, RAMSAT set up 2 Interregional Workshop, 4 Thematic Seminars and 36 meeting with local stakeholder, all along Europe: from the Pleven Heights (BG) to the Natural Park of the Serra of S. Mamede (PT), passing through the Marginimea Sibiului (RO), the Sava Hills (SI), the Iberian Sistem (ES) and the Sperrin Mountains (UK-NI). For 36 months, the project partners will transfer knowledge, identify good practices and exchange experience from regions where these policies have been already developed and put into effect, with the overall objective to preserve, promote and develop the natural heritage of their territories, while strengthening economic and social cohesion. Balancing environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects, the partners will develop action plans to protect the biodiversity and preserve the natural environment while increasing the number of visits to sites of cultural and natural heritage.
Lead Partner: IUAV University of Venice
Creating win-win solutions from trade-offs? The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005), and recently the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy emphasizes that human well-being is tightly linked to environmental conditions through the delivery of Ecosystem Services (ES), and therefore good territorial environmental management could, in principle, also deliver better outcomes for people and environment, resulting in win-win solutions. Low-carbon policies and Renewable Energy Sources (RES) development are challenged by the complexity of linkages between ecological, physical, social, and economic factors in relation to trade-offs and synergies between RES exploitation and the delivery of multiple ES. Generalizations and knowledge shortage lead to missing the acknowledgment of potential synergies between RES and ES within the governance and policy frameworks at territorial level. The IRENES project will put in place interregional knowledge and experience exchange process to identify gaps and barriers within current ERDF and energy policy instruments in relation to the RES and ES co-relation, including environmental, social, economic, and governance concerns. The active commitment of Structural Funds Managing Authorities, and governing bodies of other policy instruments addressed in the project, is of paramount importance to integrate the potential RES development trade-offs and co-benefits with ES into the territorial development policies. Therefore, IRENES consortium priority is to communicate and dialogue WITH policy makers and not to policy makers in order to trigger the knowledge transfer and to inform, with scientific evidences on RES and Ecosystem Services, the decision makers about the potential of a win–win outcome that can be incorporated into the regional and national ERDF Operational programmes, energy and climate strategies and laws. Let’s the IRENES stakeholders be the winners of the low-carbon policies challenges!
Lead Partner: Turku University of Applied Sciences
Circular economy changes the methods and revenue models of business. Instead of traditional ownership, consumption is based on the use of services: sharing, leasing and reusing. The new method challenges countries and regions to develop and construct new business models that can be used to respond to the global climate crisis, among other things. The REDUCES project funded by Interreg Europe aims to identify the best business models in six European regions and to research and critically assess their climate impacts and sustainability. The project covers six European cities and regions: Southwest Finland, Valencia (Spain), Manchester (UK), Utrecht (Netherlands), Maramures (Romania) and Bulgaria. The project aims to find suggestions for each city or region to guide them towards sustainable circular economy business. The work is based on both interregional and regional collaboration between the partners and the stakeholders. The project will continue until the end of July 2023.
Lead Partner: Resources Recovery Regional Agency
SMEs form the backbone of the economy, however, their potential for energy efficiency and renewable energy use remains untapped. The huge number of SMEs operating across the EU means that a change in their energy behaviour is an essential part of the shift to a low carbon economy. The specific target of SME POWER are non-energy intensive SMEs: a silent majority that does not yet recognise the benefits of committing to this shift. SME POWER’s overall aim is to ensure that public policy for the low carbon economy is better adapted to the needs of non-energy intensive SMEs, thus enabling them to be a key driver in the low carbon shift at European level. A driver thanks to improved energy conditions in their buildings and processes. A driver thanks to their role as a multiplier when developing more energy efficient products. A driver thanks to the positive examples set for workers when investing in capacity building measures. These 3 drivers for change are at the core of the SME POWER learning activities. As European policy makers approach the complex world of support for low carbon SMEs from different angles, interregional cooperation is key to identifying good practices that can be integrated, merged and adapted. SME POWER’s partnership gathers complementary experiences and builds on a shared vision. Policy support must be designed with a synergic approach, promoting measures that target all the drivers for change. SME POWER groups 7 policy partners, improving 5 ERDF and 1 national policy instruments and it welcomes 1 Advisory Partner. Thanks to the design and implementation of an Action Plan for policy improvement, SME POWER achieves reduced emissions and increased use of renewables in non-energy intensive SMEs. SME POWER places itself at the centre of a shift from support to low carbon public sector towards the private sector. If supported by effective policies, as encouraged by SME POWER, SMEs can become a driver to reaching the ambitious EU 2030 energy targets.
Lead Partner: Delft University of Technology
2050 CliMobCity is about climate mitigation in the field of urban mobility. Many cities have formulated very to modestly ambitious climate aims for the very long term (e.g. 2050) or for a shorter period (e.g. 2030). Whatever aim, many cities are uncertain about if and how they can achieve these goals. The project addresses measure (package)s to sufficiently improve the CO2-performance of urban mobility, and the governance required in this regard. The central question is: How must mobility change to achieve climate-friendly mobility? And because the urbanism also influences the sustainability of mobility, the question includes: How must the urban structure change to achieve climate-friendly mobility? The project contributes to answering these questions, focussing on three issues for interregional learning: 1) Identification of measure packages to sufficiently reduce CO2 of mobility for the local or regional climate aims, and their implementation in strategic mobility or spatial plans, 2) Electric mobility and large scale charging of electric road vehicles, and 3) Information and communication systems supporting modal shift or shorter distances enhancing carbon-friendly mobility. All partner cities, Bydgoszcz, Leipzig, Plymouth, Almeria and Thessaloniki, are contributing ones, having manifested themselves in (one or more of) the mentioned innovative areas. All partner cities are also learning ones. The first issue is relative complex, while also being extremely relevant, as it shows whether a city is sufficiently on track for its climate aims. To convince all city actors to incorporate identification results in strategic city plans and other policy documents and announce corresponding actions in the project action plans, the project demonstrates the value of the identification by carrying out such exercise for each partner city in the learning phase.
Lead Partner: Centre for Research and Technology Hellas
Many European urban areas face a series of environmental challenges linked to mobility congestion and air pollution. Based on experience, sustainable urban mobility planning cannot be achieved without the commitment of key stakeholders and travellers and given this need, e-smartec proposes accompanying each step of mobility planning with the deployment of targeted marketing techniques for linking bottom-up and top-down decision making. The e-smartec project is designed to strengthen the urban dimension of regional and local mobility policymaking, contributing to the implementation of the EU Transport White Paper, Urban Agenda and EU 2020 with a view to transit to a low carbon economy. e-smartec aims at developing Action Plans to start and implement effective mobility interventions, as the basis for a competitive, resource-efficient and low carbon oriented European transport system. The 9 e-smartec partners, from 7 EU countries representing the 6 e-smartec test-bed areas, join their forces in an ultimate goal to provide tailored guidelines on citizens and stakeholders' engagement marketing techniques for innovative decision-making and traditional procedures.
Lead Partner: Regional Development Agency Posavje (RDA Posavje)
Due to different factors as the relocation of work to Asia, the industry contribution to the EU economy is declining. This reflects the necessity to transform the current industry sector into a smarter one. Nevertheless, the European Innovation Scoreboard 2017 shows that SMEs with innovative products or processes have decreased 18 points since 2010 and not all EU countries are at the same level of innovation and smart specialization. Therefore, it is essential to introduce the necessary changes in current policies to get a real smart transformation of the European industry, with the final aim of being more competitive and reaching the target set by the European Commission of boosting manufacturing´s share of GDP from 15% to 20% by 2020. On the other hand, clusters have been proven to have a reticular effect to introduce changes in the European industry. The European Cluster Panorama 2016 shows that wages in more developed clusters are close to 3% higher than in industries not located in such regional hotspots. Thus, changing regional clusters policies will trigger the transformation of the industry in a larger scale. For that reason, the INNO Industry project aims to increase rate of clusters that develop activities to support the transformation towards Industry 4.0 by 2022 through the improvement of regional and national policies.
Lead Partner: Municipality of Genoa
BETTER helps Public Authorities to stimulate regional innovation chains using eGovernment solutions. BETTER offers an innovative approach to a crucial priority for the EU: encourage Public Authorities to develop Regional Innovation Strategies in which eGovernment solutions can stimulate Regional Innovation chains (as well as improving their services). Key issues are:  the physical and virtual infrastructure to support innovation; how to develop and apply new innovative products and services; the processes to support new business models and cross-sector (private-public-community). The people and skills to make it happen BETTER will link e-Government with the “innovation chain” to create a win-win initiative. On one hand, municipalities and regions need to improve public services, while cutting costs: e-Government is one way to do this. On the other hand, adopting e-Government solutions could be used in turn to stimulate the local or regional innovation chain: for example the design, supply and maintenance of specialist services such as Artificial Intelligence. The project’s objective is to stimulate regional innovation chains through developing or improving e-Government services provided by local and regional authorities. Five partners will: analyse partners’ plans through four Thematic Events; identify good practices that will improve these plans, studying them through Study Visits, importing them via special workshops and Regional Action Plans; develop at least 3 innovative e-Government instruments build the capacity of all relevant public authorities including ERDF Managing Authoritiesincrease the societal impact of the innovation process outcomes The project’s main outputs will be focused on new innovative solutions through:                   - new projects to deliver Digital services and processes                   - improved governance by delivering innovative payment systems, integrating                     local initiatives with smart regional strategy, and evaluating Artificial Intelligence tools