Last week, the North Sea INTERREG Programme held an Interwork event in Hamburg. The event was to prepare potential project partners for the First Call for projects. The Call will open on 27 April 2015 and close on 30 June 2015. Over 150 participants registered for the event and this shows a great deal of interest in the new Programme. Before the event, 31 project developers stated that they wanted to present their project at the event for peer review and discussion. Of these projects 5 were led by Flemish partners; 4 by Danish; 6 by German; 8 by Dutch; 2 by Swedish and 6 by British partners. As well as the peer review on the first day, there were opportunities to discuss project ideas with the Secretariat and seek partners from the organisations represented at the event.
There are significant changes to the new VB Programme compared to the IVB Programme – not least the move to a Two Stage Application Process. The Secretariat went over the key issues for First Call applications including Staff Costs; Travel and Accommodation; External Experts and Services: Equipment and Infrastructure; Procurement; Shared Costs; Partner Roles and Responsibilities; Communications, State Aids and project changes etc. It is also important to note that projects can go straight to Stage Two for the First Call only.
Christian Byrith, the North Sea INTERREG Programme Manager, outlined the opportunities under the four Priorities in the new Programme. These are:-
Priority One – Thinking Growth
Priority Two – Eco-Innovation: Strengthening the Green Economy
Priority Three- Sustainable North Sea Region
Priority Four – Green Transport and Mobility
The Secretariat also stated that the Commission was likely to approve the Co-operation Programme by the Summer Break and that a Steering Committee to select projects from the First Call was likely to be held in November 2015. There is a draft application form already on the North Sea INTERREG website and the application form proper with be on the website from 27 April 2015. All applications will be completed online. Presentations from the event are now available on the North Sea INTERREG website.
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