The INTERREG VA Programme for 2014-2020 is one of 60 programmes across the European Union designed to promote greater levels of cross-border co-operation.
The INTERREG VA Programme for 2014-2020 is one of 60 programmes across the European Union designed to promote greater levels of cross-border co-operation. Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotland share a number of common features with other border areas across Europe where developmental problems are exacerbated by the existence of borders.
Borders can distort infrastructure and communication networks resulting in reduced economic development and different policy approaches which hinder joined-up service delivery. The INTERREG VA Programme has been designed to address many of these issues in order to promote greater economic, social and territorial cohesion across the region. The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) contribution to the Programme is €240m.
East Border Region have formed strategic Partnerships with a range of key stakeholders across the eligible area and are currently involved in the implementation of 9 INTERREG VA Projects to the value of €104.37million.
Please click on links below for more information on each of these Projects.
The FASTER Project
The FASTER Project has been awarded €6.40m to will help reduce reliance on fossil fuels by encouraging increased use EV’s across the Border Region of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Western Scotland.
The project recognises that one of the main barriers to greater public uptake of electric vehicles is the perceived lack of rapid charging stations. It aims to ensure that, going forward, the availability of charging stations is not a major issue to the growth of the electric vehicle market.
Delivered on a cross-border basis, the ‘FASTER’ project will be implemented by lead partner East Border Region, in conjunction with a consortium of partners from Northern Ireland, Ireland and Scotland. These partners include: Louth County Council, Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (HITRANS), Ulster University, South West College, University of Strathclyde and Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT).
It will carry out the design, installation and operation of 73 rapid charging points at easily accessible areas of defined need, across all three regions. It is anticipated that the provision of these new charging points will encourage more citizens to opt for a ‘greener’, more sustainable form of travel. The project also involves a public awareness and stakeholder engagement campaign to encourage the switch to Electric Vehicles.
Carlingford Lough Greenway
The Carlingford Lough Greenway project, led by Louth County Council, has been awarded up to €3.46 to open up a new sustainable travel route for both cyclists and pedestrians.
The project will create 10.1km of new cross-border greenway linking Newry in Northern Ireland to Carlingford in Ireland. It will also create and implement a promotional marketing campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of walking and cycling for everyday commuters.
When completed, the Carlingford Lough Greenway will provide a world class cross-border green travel route. The project extends for approximately 20 km from Newry City to Carlingford, providing a much-needed recreational facility for this area. When completed, it will link with the existing Newry/ Portadown Cycleway/Towpath resulting in a total length of 52km of Greenway along the East coast of Ireland enabling walkers and cyclists to travel off-road between Belfast and Dublin using Sustrans Route 9 (The Great Eastern Greenway)
It is hoped that people will take part in the associated cross-border Greenway Activity Programme, which will be developed under the themes of sustainable transport, active travel, healthy living and social cohesion. Businesses that employ significant numbers of cross-border workers, as well as education institutions will be encouraged to promote the use of the greenway for their commute.
Project Partners: Louth County Council, Newry Mourne and Down District Council and East Border Region Ltd.
Ulster Canal Greenway
The Ulster Canal Greenway Project (phase 2), led by Waterways Ireland, has been awarded up to €4. to open up a new sustainable travel route for both cyclists and pedestrians. Greenways are corridors of land that are recognised for their ability to connect people and places together. They enhance existing outdoor recreational opportunities and can be used equally by cyclists, walkers and joggers. The project will create 22km of new cross-border greenway between Co. Monaghan and Co. Armagh. The new greenway will follow the route of the disused Ulster Canal from Smithborough through to Monaghan town, across the Armagh border at Ardgonnell and extended onwards to Middletown.
The Greenway will connect with many residential areas, educational centres and local employers along the route, and as the Greenway develops the project will engage with local communities, schools and employers to encourage people to use the Greenway for everyday journeys.
Project Partners: Waterways Ireland, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Monaghan County Council and East Border Region Ltd.
The Co-Innovate Project, led by InterTrade Ireland, was awarded up to €22.44m to support over 1,400 SMEs and micro businesses in Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotland. The project, which is set to target manufacturing and tradable services SMEs with export potential, will provide education and capability support tailored to meet the needs of all participating organisations.
Co-Innovate will deliver 469 separate innovation audits to support new project and process development. In addition, the initiative will see 94 SMEs complete as intensive in-house innovation capability building programme and 70 co-operating with research institutions. The project will also increase the number of businesses actively participating in cross border transnational or interregional research projects and give SMEs and micro businesses access to up to 70 ‘innovation interns’ to help implement enhanced R & I activity.
Project Partners: Intertrade Ireland, Enterprise NI Ltd, East Border Region Ltd; Local Enterprise Offices (Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Sligo); Scottish Enterprise; and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
CANN (Collaborative Action for the Natura Network) Project
The CANN (Collaborative Action for the Natura Network) Project, led by Newry Mourne and Down District Council, has been awarded up to €9.40. The project will help protect endangered species and restore natural habitats on a cross-border basis. The Council will head a consortium of Local Authorities, Research Institutions and Charities from across the region. The CANN consortium will carry out activities across 25 separate sites. This will include the delivery of 25 Conservation Action Plans and see direct conservation actions delivered on 18 of these sites. These actions will involve improving the conservation status of over 3,000 hectares of protected habitats. Upon completion, the project will have enhanced the condition of projected habitats and priority species found in Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotland.
Project Partners: Newry Mourne and Down District Council, East Border Region Ltd, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Ulster University, Ulster Wildlife, Monaghan County Council, Institute of Technology Sligo, Golden Eagle Trust, Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust and Scottish Natural Heritage.
Shared Waters Enhancement and Loughs Legacy (SWELL)
The Shared Waters Enhancement and Loughs Legacy (SWELL) project has been awarded up to €35.04m.
The SWELL Project’s primary aim is to help improve the water quality status of Carlingford Lough and Lough Foyle. The cross-border project involves a detailed investigation into the causes of water pollution and the most effective ways to prevent it. It will, for the first time, bring together key state-owned water companies from Northern Ireland and Ireland as it will be delivered by both NI Water and Irish Water. The project will improve wastewater treatment assets that will benefit 10,000 people on a cross-border basis.
The SWELL Project will see capital improvements being undertaken by NI Water and Irish Water at key wastewater assets on both sides of the border to help improve water quality in Carlingford Lough & Lough Foyle. Simultaneously, it will allow AFBI and Loughs Agency to progress the science programme that underpins the SWELL project, which will result in the development of a unique ecosystem model to support achieving further water quality improvements in the future
Project Partners: Northern Ireland Water, Irish Water, Agri Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Loughs Agency and East Border Region.
Source to Tap
The Innovative Source to Tap project led by Northern Ireland Water, has been awarded up to €4.2m to improve water quality on both sides of the border. Upon completion, the project will protect the region’s sources of freshwater found in Lough Derg and Lough Erne and thereby help ensure compliance with the EU’s Drinking Water Directive. Working with farmers and other land managers, Source to Tap will help reduce pesticide and fertiliser run off, which can find its way into the watercourse. It will also pilot measures with forestry operators to reduce water pollution caused by tree felling, which can lead to increased levels of silt in freshwater drinking supplies. Source to Tap aims to restore 135 hectares of land back to natural peat habitat and in doing so will identify pioneering restoration solutions that can be shared across Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotland.
Source to Tap is delivering a successful learning and outreach programme which is targeted at informing and empowering the public about their role in protecting our clean and healthy freshwater environment. The project is also piloting a best-practice forestry and peatland land management measure and delivering an Agricultural Land Incentive Scheme focused on changing land management practices for the protection of our water.
Project Partners: Northern Ireland Water, Irish Water, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Rivers Trust, Ulster University and East Border Region Ltd.
ECME - The Eastern Corridor Medical Engineering Centre
The Eastern Corridor Medical Engineering Centre (ECME) is a collaborative research project focusing on improving cardiovascular health. It is a partnership between 5 leading academic research centres (Dundalk Institute of Technology; Dublin City University; University College Dublin; and the University of the Highlands and Islands, University of Ulster and Southern Health & Social Care Trust). The project has been awarded €6.39m from the INTERREG VA Programme.
The primary aims of the project are as follows:
The project is working towards the creation of a cross-border centre of research excellence within the field of cardiovascular medicine in particular focusing on medical grade wearables and associated remote monitoring systems.
The project will undertake excellent research through the creation of 24 PhD studentships (Leaders for the Future)
ECME will engage with ten industry partners through three Research Associate appointments in five Research Institutes and one Business Manager.
The project will result in the publishing of 81 peer reviewed journal and conference publications with cross border authorship.
The creation of five new product platforms that will provide the building blocks for future commercialisation of the research.
CPM - Centre For Personalised Medicine
Personalised medicine is a research-based medical approach to guide clinical decisions to ensure a patient receives the right treatment at the right time. While the promises of personalised medicine are only now being realised in certain areas of cancer medicine in particular, other disease areas have been slow to adopt or benefit from this approach. The Centre for Personalised Medicine will bring together a total of 14 partners from academia, health services and industry to create the highly sought after environment needed if personalised medicine is to be adapted in the partner hospitals and targeted at five disease areas that have not yet engaged the personalised medicine discipline. These areas include cardiovascular, emergency surgery, dementia, acute kidney injury and diabetes. The project has been awarded €9.42million from the INTERREG VA Programme.
Led by the Northern Ireland Centre for Stratified Medicine at UU and building on the experience and expertise of academic, health services and enterprise partners, the Centre for Personalised Medicine will dramatically enhance regional capability while serving as a magnet for regional and FDI industry to create innovative products and new optimised care pathway tools in priority disease areas for patients and commercial benefit. The first of its kind in Ireland, the Centre for Personalised Medicine, will create a cross-border super cluster of critical mass which will strengthen the economy of the North West by increasing industry relevant health and life sciences research and innovation capability relating to personalised medicine.
The project is led by Ulster University and has 11 additional project partners: UU, Western Health and Social Care Trust; Clinishare Ltd; Healthcare Analytics, Northern Ireland Clinical Research Services Ltd; Letterkenny University Hospital; Letterkenny Institute of Technology; Randox Laboratories; OPTUM Ireland; National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway; University of the Highlands and Islands; and NHS Highlands Scotland.