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Lead Partner: Umbrian Regional Waste and Water Agency
Reuse Centres are usually managed by SMEs, often social enterprises, that receive, prepare for reuse and distribute goods extending their product lifetimes with important social and environmental impacts, promoting a circular economy vision. They are a powerful vehicle to promote qualitative growth, help develop human capital and strengthen social cohesion. To fulfil this mission reuse centres need to have an economically sustainable business model, an issue that will be at the centre of the project. SUBTRACT will concentrate on the post start-up and scaling-up phases to render reuse centres effective and durable, i.e. to have a steady flow of incoming and outgoing goods well prepared for reuse, a professional management, a suitable financial strategy and an attractive image for the users. The project will research knowledge, exchange experiences, develop guidelines on how to develop the full potentials of reuse centres and render them competitive and will provide guidance to the ERDF managing authorities and other policy makers on how to assess and govern reuse centres in their territory. It will strengthen them in their capacity to enact efficient policies of sustaining reuse centres in becoming self-sustaining, evaluating their management, their investment and innovation readiness, measuring their impact. The elaboration of business principles and models will help actors along the reuse chain (regional and local governments, waste management authorities, NGOs, social enterprises) to collaborate effectively and strengthen networks. Measures will be identified and rendered operational that enforce waste prevention and preparation for reuse activities and favour citizens’ contributions. Efficient awareness strategies, campaign models and other suitable measures will be developed and tested to stimulate the supply and demand of reusable goods and render them attractive and desirable.
Lead Partner: Provincial Council of Bizkaia
According to World Health Organization (WHO) "making cities and communities age-friendly is one of the most effective local policy approaches for responding to demographic change”. However, regional initiatives still lack alignment between absolutely complementary policy areas such as health, social affairs, territorial sustainable development, employment and wellbeing. This silo approach restrains the creation, availability and large-scale adoption of age-friendly solutions across Europe. Known is also the gap between technological developments and end-users real needs and expectations. Therefore, policy alignment, collaborative efforts and sharing of good practices will be keystones to add better quality of life, more inclusive and sustainable health and social care systems and citizen’s access to the services. The EU_SHAFE project will improve policies and practices in 7 European regions by developing a comprehensive approach to Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments (SHAFE). Through a 'learning by sharing' methodology, this robust multi-disciplinary and intersectoral consortium will build a four-helix European community to exchange experiences and practices to improve multilevel policy instruments. The consortium will create a cooperative, inclusive ecosystem between public authorities, European networks and user’s associations, embedding their experience and skills with research & design knowledge from academia and SMEs for the growth of community-based services and “ageing at home” around Europe. • EU_SHAFE will Invest in policy design and adaptation of regional instruments derived from ETCF (R&I priorities) and ESF (Social Inclusion), through the creation of a large Euro-local network of stakeholders that will work together in ecosystems towards a common model – a White Paper on SHAFE. • Select and re-design concrete and scalable interventions in the area of social innovation for SHAFE, that may be implemented as realistic innovative models for the future.
Lead Partner: Pannon European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation
INTER VENTURES promotes the internationalization of SMEs in EU border regions, thus contributing to their growth and increased competitiveness. INTER VENTURES brings together partners from five European border regions, representing various stages of evolution of SME ecosystems, from occasional cross-border cooperation through more structured networking to international clusterization. During the project implementation Partners will intensely share their experiences and learn jointly via Thematic Study Visits, Interregional Meetings combining training with discussions. Regional stakeholders will be intensively involved in the process through RSG Meetings and Webinars including training, brainstorm sessions and assisted workshops.   Lessons learnt will be adapted to regional conditions explored through targeted surveys of regional SMEs. As a result, tailor-made regional Action Plans will be elaborated that can lead to the desired improvement of the five selected regional ERDF programmes for the enhanced internationalisation of SMEs.
Lead Partner: ANATOLIKI S.A. Development Agency of Eastern Thessaloniki's Local Authorities
Circular economy is a new approach of economic development models. It provides the potential to use one’s waste as resource input to others productive chain thus offering a longer life cycle of the products and a more environmentally friendly business approach. This regenerative system is of high priority in the EU. SinCE-AFC is being developed along with the on-going EU action plan for Circular Economy and the respective National Circular Economy Action Plans across the EU countries. Although the principles of circular economy are already applied by many large industries, SMEs, which represent the 99% of the businesses sector, still remain uninvolved due to lack of motivation and support. Thus, the regional SMEs policies improvement towards a more regenerative economy is of high importance. SinCE-AFC aims at involving SMEs of the Agri-Food chain in circular economy through the promotion of the appropriate managing and financial horizontal mechanisms. All the Agri-Food agents committed to production, processing, packaging, distribution and final consumption are expected to operate in a coordinated way to better adapt to circular economy. This objective will be achieved via the intense collaboration and interregional exchange of experience of 9 partners representing 7 Regions from 7 EU countries. The partnership’s tasks will focus on the investigation of efficient practices, via interregional thematic learning events, study visits, import workshops, stakeholders’ meetings and consultation processes, of how the relevant policy instruments can be improved in order to assist SMEs to enter circular economy. The core results will be depicted in a joint study reflecting the related regulatory framework and good practices at regional and EU level. The project will promote innovation, derive knowledge and develop close collaboration with the Interreg Europe Learning Platform as well as with the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform and the RIS3 Platform Group.
Lead Partner: Municipality of Florence
The European Crafts sector is a rich and complex interwoven tapestry combining tradition, heritage, culture, skills and design. Crafts encompasses a wide range of disciplines as a mirror of the diversity of European cultural identity. CRAFTS CODE aims to enhance the competitiveness of craft SMEs by developing a framework to stimulate policy learning and build capacity to improve the implementation of regional development policies and programmes. The project idea is based on efforts made by the partners for the implementation of policies and projects supporting the competitiveness and the skilling up potentials of SMEs belonging to the crafts sector, in order to innovate it and mitigate the risk of disappearance of many traditional crafts and manufacturing. Crafts is a peculiar productive sector deeply linked with tradition and transmission of "knowledge", and plays a key role as innovator in Europe’s economy and social stability, even if most SMEs are not performing R&D activities as traditionally defined. Their competitiveness depends on their capability to improve processes, products and services. 
Lead Partner: MUNICIPALITY OF REGGIO EMILIA
The EU is acknowledged as one of the most urbanized areas in the world, characterized by a relatively dense urban network consisting mainly of medium sized cities. The trend of urbanisation is increasing and the consequent pressure on peri-urban areas has many impacts at environmental, social and economic level: increasing soil consumption, loss of ecosystem services and reduced resilience towards climate change effects, soil speculation. All this has negative impact on economic activities, public health and life quality. Tackling natural heritage protection in peri-urban areas becomes crucial to guarantee that natural resources are not compromised by urbanization; nevertheless, natural heritage protection is often seen as a constraint to economic growth, making the two concepts antithetic. PROSPERA’s overall objective is to improve regional policies on protection and promotion of natural heritage by tackling loss of ecosystem services and improve sustainable development in peri-urban areas threatened by urban-sprawl, with the ultimate aim of preventing biodiversity loss, soil consumption and further degradation of natural assets, by in parallel leveraging on these challenges as a way to favor regional attractiveness and economic sustainable development. To this end, 7 PPs from 5 EU countries (IT-EL-SE-BE-HU) have agreed on 3 leverages as means for a shift from the traditional perspective seeing urban/rural as a dichotomy to a new perspective, where protection of natural heritage fosters economic development in peri-urban areas: 1. Wise governance 2. Eco-lo(gi)cal value chains 3. Sustainable PPP (public-private partnership) PROSPERA PPs will identify at least 15 Good Practices from 5 regions and, after a process of interregional learning based on Study Visits and knowledge exchange sessions, they will define regional Action Plans to improve 5 policy instruments.
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: Friuli Venezia Giulia Autonomous Region – Environment and Energy Central Directorate – Energy Service
The S3UNICA project is the natural follow up of the Pilot Project “Smart Campus” selected by DG REGIO under the call for expression of interest for “Thematic Partnerships to pilot interregional innovation projects”, within the S3 Partnership on “Sustainable Buildings”. Who are the protagonists?                       Why S3UNICA? S3UNICA brings together 5 countries to build more effective innovation policies and to support interregional cooperation. The Smart Specialization University Campus project aims at emphasizing the role of Universities in regional innovation policies, by providing specialist research and technical expertise in the field of energy sustainable buildings and by offering campuses as a hands-on lab where to implement these innovative solutions. Universities involved in the project can contribute to regional knowledge exchange and its translation into innovative energy products, solutions and public/private services.
Lead Partner: Municipality of Rethymno
CURBING PLASTICS WASTE AND LITTERING IN EU REGIONS The widespread plastic pollution necessitates a strong reaction from EU regions, to address growing environmental and health concerns. PLASTECO, in line with the “European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy”, will support participating territories to take the steps necessary for a transition towards a “new plastics economy”. The focus of the project will be on advances in waste management, eradication of single-use plastics from regional value chains, and spurring growth through eco-innovation. PLASTECO will cover the areas of waste management, public procurement, funding/investments, secondary raw materials, and awareness raising. OBJECTIVE PLASTECO will support 8 partners from 8 EU countries, through joint policy learning efforts and exchanges of experiences, to benefit from the momentum of the EU plastics strategy and achieve their goals in terms of protecting the environment, increasing resource efficiency, alleviating health effects, and boosting innovation. PLASTECO will enable partners and key stakeholders to: assess the current situation, potential, and barriers in their regions;identify pathways for sustainable growth in plastics value-chains;design and put into effect new policy measures and regulations. EXPECTED IMPACT The implementation of PLASTECO will:  - Lead to increased capacity of 180 staff of public administrations to effectively support new growth trajectories & energy security - Potential 19 million euros unlocked to support projects on plastic reuse, eco-innovation, alternative technologies - Increased awareness & consensus building among plastic producers and consumers/the public MAIN OUTPUTS & BENEFICIARIES - 8 action plans to improve the addressed policies, benefiting managing authorities & stakeholders - 4 interregional workshops, 2 study visits, and 2 joint policy planning and strategic review procedures, to promote capacity building among partners and stakeholders - 3 joint thematic studies on territorial needs and good practices