EC announces the winners in pilot actions between regions

This new initiative is especially important in the current coronavirus context, Commissioner Elisa Ferreira says

Photo: EU Elisa Ferreira.

The Commission has announced on Thursday the winners of a new EU-funded initiative for interregional partnerships in four areas: coronavirus-related innovative solutions, circular economy in health, sustainable and digital tourism, and hydrogen technologies in carbon–intensive regions.

The aim of this new pilot action is to mobilise regional and national innovation actors to address the impact of coronavirus. This initiative also helps the recovery using the new Commission programmes through scaling up projects in new priority areas, such as health, tourism or hydrogen.

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, commented that interregional partnerships are proof that when we cooperate beyond borders, we are stronger as we come up with smart and useful solutions for all.

This new pilot initiative supporting interregional innovative partnerships is especially important in the current coronavirus context, showing how much cohesion policy is committed to contribute to Europe's prompt response and recovery, the Commissioner specified.

Following a Commission's call for expression of interest launched in July 2020, four interregional partnerships were selected, with one or several coordinating regions in the lead.

País Vasco, Spain, together with three regions, will focus on the support to an emerging industry sector for prediction and prevention of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the field of Circular Economy in Health, the RegioTex partnership on textile innovation involves 16 regions led by North Portugal.

On Sustainable and Digital Tourism, the partnership coordinated by the Time Machine Organisation, an international cooperation network in technology, science and cultural heritage, involves five regions and Cyprus, led by Thüringen, Germany.

As to enable the development of innovative solutions based on hydrogen technologies in carbon–intensive regions with a broad geographical coverage, two partnerships will merge: the European Hydrogen Valleys partnership gathering 12 regions led by Aragon, Spain, Auvergne Rhône Alpe and Normandie, both in France, and Northern Netherlands, and the partnership led by Slovak Košice Region with four other regions.

These partnerships will benefit from the Commission experts' support, providing, among others, advice on how to best combine EU funds to finance projects. In addition to this hands-on support from the Commission, each partnership can benefit from external advisory service of up to €100,000 for scale-up and commercialisation activities. The money comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The work with the partnerships will start in January and will run for one year. This pilot further stimulates interregional cooperation, with the possibility for the partnerships to apply for support under the new programmes and the “Interregional Innovation Investment” instrument from 2021 onwards.

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