First Call for Projects Launches under INTERREG Atlantic Area 2021-2027

The call is the first under the INTERREG Atlantic Area programme that will promote transnational cooperation in the Atlantic Area with a focus on blue innovation for competitiveness, blue/green environment, and sustainable tourism and culture.

The Interreg Atlantic Area Programme 2021-2027 is made up of NUTS2 regions of four member states: Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal, including the island territories of the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands. The Programme’s mission is to be at the forefront of the transition to a unique, carbon neutral and climate resilient Atlantic Area Region.

The Programme will foster the integration of sustainable economic development, societal well-being, and the preservation of biodiversity by bringing together stakeholders from different sectors and regions.

The First Call for Projects has now launched under the Programme. The call will select highly innovative quality transnational projects, in which relevant organisations cooperate to make regions more resilient to common challenges that cannot be solved alone. Project proposals can be submitted under the three thematic Programme priorities and seven specific objectives, as follows:

Priority 1: Smarter Europe – Blue innovation for competitiveness

Specific objectives:

  • 1.1 Developing and enhancing research and innovation capacities and the uptake of advanced technologies.
  • 1.2 Reaping the benefits of digitisation for citizens, companies, research organisations and public authorities.

Priority 2: Greener Europe – Blue environment

Specific objectives:

  • 2.1 Promoting energy efficiency measures and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • 2.2 Promoting climate change adaptation and disaster risk prevention, resilience, taking into account eco-system-based approaches.
  • 2.3 Promoting the transition to a circular and resource efficient economy.
  • 2.4 Enhancing protection and preservation of nature, biodiversity and green infrastructure, including in urban areas, and reducing all forms of pollution.

Priority 3: Social Europe – Sustainable tourism and culture

Specific objectives:

  • 3.1 Enhancing the role of culture and sustainable tourism in economic development, social inclusion and social innovation.

Projects should contribute to innovative solutions and to reaching the objectives of the Programme. The approaches can be new, including experimental, since the programme is particularly suited for testing new methods in a transnational network.

Projects must include at least one partner from each Member State of the cooperation area and should involve 4 to 12 full partners. The Lead Partner must be based in the Atlantic Area Programme eligible area. Lead Partners may be one of the following: public bodies, universities, education and research organisations, private institutions (not-for-profit) and international organisations acting under national law.

Projects must demonstrate high transnational cooperation intensity throughout their lifetime with a clear focus on results. A special emphasis will be placed on promoting partnerships involving a high diversity of actors covering the quadruple helix approach, including the relevant social and civil society actors, to achieve better linkages between public, private and research actors.

The Programme budget allocated to the First Call is €45.4 million. The total project amount should ideally be between €1 million and €3.5 million and last for up to 36 months. The co-financing rate for projects approved is up to 75% of the total investment.

Applications should be submitted by the 17 February 2023 (18:00 Lisbon Time) deadline.

(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect Newsflash.)