North Sea INTERREG Programme – First Call Closed

Written on the 13th July, 2015

The First Call of the North Sea INTERREG Programme closed on 30 June and the Programme Secretariat has announced the number of project applications received.  For the First Call only, applicants could submit either a Stage One (Expression of Interest) or a Stage Two (Full) application.  There were a total of 79 applications submitted with 51 Expressions of Interest and 28 full applications.

The most popular priority was Thinking Growth (Priority 1) with 33% of the Expressions of Interest and 43% of the Full Applications.  The second most popular priority was the Sustainable North Sea Region with 25% of both the Expressions of Interest and the Full Applications.   Eco-Innovation (Priority 2)  provided 22% of the Expressions of Interest and 14% of the Full Applications while 20% of the Expressions of Interest and 18% of Full Applications were submitted under the Sustainable Mobility Priority.

The breakdown of applications by Member State was as follows:

Expressions of Interest                                                           Full Application

Netherlands          16                                                                            Netherlands              13

United Kingdom  11                                                                             United Kingdom        5

Germany                 8                                                                            Germany                      2

Norway                    5                                                                            Denmark                     2

Denmark                4                                                                             Flanders                      4

Sweden                   4                                                                             Norway                        2

Flanders                 3

The number of applications is far higher than in the North Sea INTERREG IVB Programme which usually had between 20-30 applications per Call.  This was, of course, before the introduction of the two-stage application process.  In the first two Calls of the INTERREG IVB Programme, the success rate of applications was lower than in later Calls and it will be interesting to see the approval rate  of the Steering Committee when it considers the projects.  Unfortunately, the Steering Committee does not meet until November.

At the North Sea Annual Conference last month, the Secretariat gave some indications of the dates of the Second Call. This Call is likely to open in mid-January 2016 and close at the end of February 2016.  The Project Development Meeting – now called Interwork – is likely to be held in late November/early December 2015. The Call will be for Expressions of Interest only and for First Round applications that were approved as Expressions of Interest and want to proceed to the Full Application stage.

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