Accessibility for Shipping, Efficiency, Advantages and Sustainability
The ACCSEAS project addressed improved maritime access to the North Sea Region by developing and implementing e-Navigation within a transnational framework. A North Sea e-Navigation test-bed was established to demonstrate proof-of-concept solutions.
ACCSEAS enabled service providers, researchers and suppliers to develop e-Navigation regional services and to prototype novel marine navigation and communication concepts.
ACCSEAS provided the basis for alleviation of congestion, bottlenecks and accident risk, improving North Sea Region access, with sustained cooperation and actions after the project.
The 2007 “Energy Policy for Europe” targeted towards improving energy efficiency by 20% by 2020. The ANSWER project aimed to contribute to this policy by reducing energy use.
The project promoted the reduction of carbon emissions through increased energy efficiency amongst businesses and communities within the North Sea Region. The project called for promoting changes in practice by addressing attitudes and behaviour of businesses and societies, therefore leading to a reduction in energy use (and hence in carbon footprint).
The project developed a Climate Barometer Monitoring Tool which will be used to monitor and visualise the real time energy and climate performance of the participating communities and SMEs. In practice, by implementing the Climate Barometer Monitoring Tool, they will commit and take steps towards energy and climate impact reductions.
The partnership also investigated and tested common sourcing of energy supplies or energy efficiency goods and innovative management systems, by e.g. setting more high energy efficiency products into use through joint purchasing and stocking, and thus compensating for the comparably longer delivery time of high efficient products.
The farmer as water manager under changing climatic conditions
The project focused on enabling farmers to act successfully as water managers in changing climatic conditions. The project presented water risk management practices that will reduce the consequences of flooding, droughts, water shortage and nutrient transport.
The emphasis on the farmer as a water manager is contributing towards implementing EU policies, such as the Water Framework Directive. The final result of the project was a water management concept to use as a manual for farmers and a set of recommendations on future land and water management planning.
Aquarius is also represented in the cluster project WaterCAP.
Energy is a sector that may act as future driver for competitiveness in the North Sea Region. BEPPo focused on Blue Energy (wave/ tidal) and its complementarity with traditional (gas/ oil/ coal) and new (wind/ biomass) sources of power, building on the innovation capacity of North Sea Region ports to become bases for the production of integrated sustainable renewables, thus ensuring reliable and affordable supplies of clean, green energy. It provided a unique opportunity to develop marine energy platforms in ports and promote local business opportunities to accelerate economic growth in port regions.
The project concerned BioChar, which is a product of biomass-to-energy processing systems, and had as its aim to raise awareness and build confidence in BioChar as a way of capturing carbon and increasing soil quality and stability.
In order to keep up with international competition, it was mandatory to develop and compile a transnational North Sea Region knowledge base, which can be utilized by national and regional authorities, businesses and the general public.
Climate change in the North Sea Region is predicted to have a pronounced effect on annual rainfall patterns. Soils, rich in organic matter and biological life, function both as a water buffer during periods of drought and as drainage during periods of heavy rains.
Biochar created a triple win scenario for simultaneously producing bio-energy, permanently sequestering carbon, while increasing crop yields by improving soil and water quality.
The overall aim of the project was to improve Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Planning (ICZM&P) and maritime safety in a broad sense, by improving and contributing to harmonising terrestrial and sea geographical data and by developing planning and visualisation tools as well as improvement of navigation, in the context of climate change.
Build with CaRe - Mainstreaming Energy efficiency in the built environment
The aim of the Build with Care project was to mainstream energy efficient building design by raising awareness and increasing knowledge of the potential of energy savings.
In collaboration with the building sector, a transnational strategy for increasing energy efficiency in buildings was developed. Within the project, an education and information programme was carried out to change behaviour in the complete building chain (from consumer to planner, from carpenter to architect) -this aided the setting up of a transnational knowledge and information network.
The project focused on the development of new and sustainable energy-related technologies and strategies on islands around the North Sea Region. C2CI developed and implemented the cradle-to-cradle (C2C) methodology for North Sea Region islands, i.e. designing intelligent products and materials that can be used over and over again and thus replace the concept of waste.
Three development clusters that focus on sustainable energy in relation to mobility, water and materialsl created relevant networks and delivered sustainable innovations for the islands' environments. Incubator centres on the partner islands fostered further development and implementation.
C2CI was also represented in the WaterCAP cluster.
The project activities considered cultural and natural heritage, as a means to improve public health, the development of SME's and the demographic profile of the region.
The project built on the results of two former Interreg IIIB projects: Nave Nortrail and Cycle-on, using the trails set up by these projects as a basis for activity. The project carried out a number of transnational field studies within the partner countries, the results of which fed into a toolkit.
The work was supported by three universities, the UK organisations, Federation of Small Business and British Ramblers Association, the North Sea Commission and a Political forum. The project results (toolkit) were promoted through the projects own website and also the North Sea Commission website.
Climate Adaptation Mainstreaming through Innovation
CAMINO reconciled economic growth (Europe2020) and climate adaptation. It delivered innovative governance approaches and business cases that supported mainstreaming climate adaptation in local investment projects and product/service development.
CAMINO built upon results of MARE, SKINT, SAWA (NSR), FRC (NWE) & BaltCica (BSR) and enriched its 5 regional partnerships with industry and (inter)national policy makers. This enabled implementation of 10 local pilots, and the development and dissemination of transnational Future Perspectives for innovative sustainable growth in the North Sea Region.
Carbon Responsible Transport Strategies for the North Sea Region
While the North Sea Region deals with the effects of climate change, transport-related CO2 emissions continue to increase. We face an urgent need to develop and implement carbon reduction strategies and to secure an ongoing energy supply for transport. The North Sea Region has a huge potential for innovative transport strategies which could improve the economic performance of its regions and cities in a post-fossil economy (see Lisbon Agenda).
Transnational collaboration was used in terms of building political support and momentum, as well as in concrete terms of establishing uniform standards and infrastructure across the region. CARE-North has developed and implemented innovative carbon reduction strategies for urban and regional transport in order to maintain and improve accessibility in a more carbon-responsible way and overall make the North Sea Region a leader in carbon-efficient accessibility.
Carbon responsible transport strategies for the North Sea Area - CARE-North plus
Transport and mobility – a challenge. The approach of the project reflected several European policy areas – from health aspects, clean air and noise abatement, energy supply and fuel policy and the transport sector with its White Paper and Action Plan on Urban Mobility. The project had its basis in the further development of innovative mobility solutions on the local and regional showcase level. It combined the successful implementation of innovative measures in the partner sites with enhanced activities in presenting and politically promoting the insights of CARE-North.
CCC aimed to build and implement an integrated evidence-based strategy for cities to strengthen their innovative capacity. This was done by means of a methodology of joint development and pilot testing of new tools and instruments in the fields of skills development, business cooperation and the development of urban creative clusters. CCC focused on the catalyst role of creative industries in building and strengthening the innovative capacity of these urban economies through the use of a transnational triple helix of government, education and business.
Project outcomes included instruments for skills development for entrepreneurs, masters’ classes and a network for North Sea Region business cooperation. Urban showcases demonstrated instruments on how to establish creative clusters.
Future proofing the North Sea berry fruit industry in times of climate change
ClimaFruit established transnational cooperation between research institutions and the North Sea Region berry fruit industry in order to maximize the implementation of innovative technologies. Thereby, the project secured, sustained and grew the economic value of the industry under by developing a world leading Berry Fruit Cluster in the North Sea Region to ensure investment opportunities, sustainable use of resources and the production of healthy food.
The project produced methods to reduce the carbon footprint of the industry, superior plant material and future production strategies better suited to the North Sea Region climate, as well as a virtual Soft Fruit Climate Change and Environment Centre, ensuring the continuous uptake of methods by the berry fruit industry.
Adaptive and Sustainable Water Management and Protection of Society and Nature in an Extreme Climate
The project focused on the effects of climate change for groundwater systems. CLIWAT aimed to identify the challenges caused by the higher water levels and to develop climate scenarios focussing on surface water and water supply as well as the impacts of it on buildings. This would enable the North Sea Region to react more efficiently to the consequences of climate change.
The project built on and improved existing geo-physical methods and these were tested in the partner regions in order to be able to develop recommendations for the North Sea Region on how to deal with the consequences of increased groundwater levels.
CLIWAT was also represented in the WaterCAP cluster and in WaterCAP Taskforce.
The DANS cluster connected three projects funded under the Priority 1: Creative City Challenge (CCC), Smart Cities and E-CLIC. These three projects combined their expertise, contacts and networks and thereby built a base upon which the 'Digital Agenda for Europe' (DAE) could be implemented within the North Sea Region.
The project focused on the link between the local and regional strategies to the DAE, identified implementation barriers and pointed at synergies. This led to a number of strategic outputs (e.g. an implementation strategy, the 'DANS model', 'Good Practices Guide') and dissemination activities by modern means of communication.
The EVNSR project clustered the IVB North Sea Region Programme renewable energy projects. EVNSR drew on the value and strengths identified in the individual projects in order to increase the deployment rate of renewable energy in the North Sea Region. EVNSR interconnected the different individual results and amplified the successes in order to build a Renewable Energy Strategy.
The LOWCAP cluster developed a process for the exchange of knowledge and experiences in carbon reduction and energy efficiency projects in the North Sea Region. This process brought together key results and identified the synergies between the partner projects and related North Sea Region Programme projects.
The findings were consolidated and discussed with other stakeholders in the North Sea Region drawn from decision makers and implementers in the public sector and end users from business and communities. In combination with a review of EU programmes and the most recent literature, LOWCAP produced and disseminated policy advice.
MTC built a structure for exchanging information on the latest knowledge and experiences concerning maritime transport issues by establishing a network covering all transport related North Sea Region Programme projects.
MTC identified synergies between North Sea Region Programme project results and consolidated these into overall programme outcomes on transport. The results were discussed with the business, public sector and research actors and matched with industry and research trends.
Afterwards, outcomes were connected to policy developments with a focus on future transport and cohesion policy and the MTC Policy Paper was drafted.
A cluster Project on Water management in a changing Climate, Adaptation to new conditions, and Promotion of new strategies
As historical hydrological patterns can no longer be solely relied upon to forecast future water conditions, a new paradigm for water management is needed. The WaterCAP cluster connected six Interreg IVB funded projects (CPA, Aquarius, SAWA, C2C-islands and CLIWAT) working with issues relating to water.
The project focused on recommendations relevant to policy-makers on water quantity/quality issues, climate change impact assessment on different types of water bodies and adaptation strategies including cross-sector involvement and participatory approaches.
CLEAN NORTH SEA SHIPPING: Competitive Marine Transport Services AND Reduction of Emission - a North Sea Model
CNSS focused on emission and greenhouse gas reduction from ships, using studies to reveal the status of air quality in ports and surrounding areas. The partnership of CNSS (ports, business, regions, public authorities, NGOs, research institutes) changed this by creating transparency on cost-efficient technology solutions and developing and improving the introduction of successful air quality programs.
The present challenge is to develop and implement environmentally friendly, cost-effective concepts and practical solutions in line with upcoming standards.
Promoting the development of efficient and effective logistics solutions, the maritime transport system (ships, ports and surrounding areas) will step into a transition processes to meet the demands of enlargement and sustainable development at the same time.
Clean North Sea Shipping - Improved dissemination and impact
The CNSS project produced results that have a great need and potential for further dissemination and exploitation. Models & draft tools for visualising of air emissions have been developed. With small adjustments they could be made available for free distribution to schools, universities, public sector organisations and the business community.
The CNSS project has also been preparing high quality evidence based results. CNSS IDI will further develop the triple helix approach & collaboration between industry, policy makers and the research and educational institutes.
CPA aimed to create a portfolio of climate adoption strategies for the North Sea Region. This was done by carrying out multi-focused pilot projects across the North Sea Region in order to analyse the impacts of climate changes as a first step.
Subsequently, diverse climate adoption strategies were developed, implemented and tested. In addition, the project fostered political support established by the Memoranding of Understanding (MoU) of the North Sea Commission, triggering future investments on a transnational level.
CRUISE GATEWAY - towards sustainable growth of cruise shipping in the NSR
Cruise Gateway increased the maritime accessibility by developing the North Sea Region as a cruise destination of its own and promoting it as a "lighthouse" for sustainable cruise.
The project partners considered a broad range of topics linked to cruise and cruise potential, including joint lobbying and marketing, the creation of a regional maritime identity and innovative ideas for passenger excursions, as they seek ways to develop the North Sea Region as a cruise destination in its own right.
The common thread through all of this was sustainability – including the promotion of environmental awareness and eco-friendly transport structures, and avoiding congestion.
Cruise Gateway was also represented in the MTC cluster.
Digital Agenda for the North Sea: Orientation towards New Innovation
The DANS ON project aimed at disseminating how the DANS Model stimulates innovation in the North Sea Region by demonstrating how the DANS Model has been applied and implemented in practice. The DANS Model was a Quadruple Helix model that is especially suitable to innovation processes where citizens’ needs are central.
The partnership communicated the story of the DANS Model via a range of media channels and showed how regions in the North Sea Region can adapt the model to increase society's capacity for innovation. DANS ON consisted of partners from Sweden, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
Demographic Change: New Opportunities in Shrinking Europe
DC NOISE aimed at dealing with demographic change related issues, namely labour market, service provision and housing issues, by developing transferable action strategies in the North Sea Region.
The project activities included the creation of a transnational housing atlas which contributed to the implementation of transferable and innovative housing approaches and a regional level statistical monitoring system including demographic data and indicators, as well as themes such as ‘DC and the impact on the labour market for higher educated', the introduction of a ‘housing ambassador' approach and researching and communicating ‘day to day Information & Communication Technology for people with a mobility handicap'.
All activities contributed to finding mechanisms to reduce job, service and population loss and to promoting attractive regions supported by concrete measures to raise the awareness of demographic change in the North Sea Region.
Impact of Climate Change on the quality of urban and coastal waters
The DiPol project had the aim of identifying impacts and suggesting measures to reduce the adverse consequences of climate change that affect the quality of urban and coastal waters.
A tool, which illustrates the impacts of climate changes on water quality was developed and implemented within the DiPol project. By introducing the results into the level of European policy making, a long term impact on the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy was expected.
The project's aim was to develop, design and set effective Hinterland inter-modal freight transport nodes - dryports - which were fully integrated with the Gateway freight handling systems, to adapt a public concept to a private sector model, and to integrated dryports into the EU Motorways of the Sea concept.
The project included the identification of suitable dryport land sites in the North Sea Region, starting a planning process to support the increased number of logistics hubs, assessing the environmental and socio-economic impact of improved inter-modality, developing a business model blueprint and the development and start-up of a IT system.
All project activities contributed to connecting the dryports with the short sea shipping system to shift interregional transport from road to sea.
European Collaborative Innovation Centres for broadband media services
E-CLIC aimed to develop research and innovation networks related to broadband media services in order to stimulate the commercialisation of the region’s knowledge base and encourage the development of new employment opportunities.
E-CLIC aimed to enhance the provision of broadband services that were perceived as the engine for stimulating economic growth and employment. A ‘cluster' of eight Broadband Media Centres was established to create North Sea Region competence, increase critical mass in the sector and promote cooperation between businesses, research and education organisations.
E-Harbours aimed to create a lasting change towards sustainable energy logistics for North Sea Region harbour cities. It set innovative energy standards to create a transformation of the energy network in harbour areas. Showcases provided examples for the North Sea Region, guided by a European expert platform. By doing this, the project implemented EU energy policies, developed innovative solutions and allowed economic growth.
Innovation in different fields and an integrated approach were strongly needed. Smart energy networks and electric mobility were both vital aspects and strongly related to each other. The partnership consisted of key organizations to create a change: public authorities, municipal harbour/energy companies and national knowledge centres from the North Sea Region.
Harbours are a microcosm of the challenges that Europe as a whole will have to face in its energy future. The shift towards renewables puts a strain on the existing electricity system, where demand and supply need to be in balance at all times.
To avoid loss or spill of large amounts of valuable green energy in times of high production, the power and heat sectors can be combined in various ways. This multi-modal energy approach is a driver of sustainability and economic development in both large and small harbours. The techniques are there, what is needed is a smart cooperation.
North Sea Region Electric Mobility Network (E-Mobility NSR)
The project North Sea Region Electric Mobility Network (E-Mobility NSR) provided state of the art information, which helped policy development in e-mobility in the North Sea Region. It also provided insight into the gaps and needs in respect of infrastructure, logistics and preliminary standards for multi charging techniques. Ultimately, the project delivered a long-term basis upon which regional and local governments as well as other relevant stakeholders in the North Sea Region might engage on e-mobility.
EMOVE wanted to give insight on what we knew and needed to find out by research or pilots to maintain accessible, flood safe and ecological resilient estuaries. By a community-led approach stakeholders became shareholders and developed a joint vision on how to be able to maintain accessible estuaries. The project delivered an Innovative Virtual Communication Platform to facilitate (trans)national and regional communication and cooperation concerning complex spatial problems. With this insight, and the community led approach, accessibility of harbours and estuarian areas have been improved.
The project focused on strengthening the regional production of biomass as a source of bio energy. A substantiated and consolidated investment plan based on commercially viable bio-energy supply chains was presented and implemented. The business model was applied in parallel to differentiated blue-green energy clusters in the North Sea Region and ensured transfer of management expertise between the clusters and identified market interdependences.
The aim was to enable the successful further exploitation of the region's blue-green low carbon energy sources by integrating the biomass grower at one end and the energy producer at the other end. enercoast thereby opened new sources of bio energy, reduced the regional dependency of energy imports and increased the competitiveness of regional energy producers as well ensured their income in a long-term perspective.
The project identified an increasing pressure on EU manufacturers to be more efficient and innovative in their processes. The cause of this pressure was identified by the project as increased production capacity in low-cost economies and increased innovation and level of sophistication of supply chains in high-cost economies.
The main problems undermining the competitiveness of SMEs were limited knowledge of lean/agile techniques, limited understanding of regional governments, lack of knowledge transfer to SMEs, and a lack of resources amongst SMEs. The method applied was to use a regional model to improve manufacturing efficiency as the initial core of the ERIP model, which was subsequently transferred across the North Sea Region.
Food Port - Connecting Food Port Regions - Between and Beyond
Food Port aimed to develop the North Sea Region as the best food cluster and hub in Europe for food products delivered via efficient and sustainable transport systems, e.g. ‘green transport corridors’. Food Port brought together local authorities, knowledge organisations, food industries and ports from five countries to find practical solutions to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of the food supply chains.
The project investigated and developed green transport corridors for food products between regions around the North Sea. This led to concrete modal shift pilots along the identified green transport corridors and to the development of (new) food platforms or hubs. In order to improve the food logistic chains, new technological solutions were incorporated, such as a technical support platform.
GreCOR promoted the development of a co-modal transport corridor in the North Sea Region. Important in this collaborative approach was the focus on secondary networks and the hubs, and the regional hinterland around the Green transport corridor Oslo- Randstad from a co-modal perspective.
GreCOR worked in close collaboration with public and private stakeholders, and its overall aim was to improve knowledge about the logistic needs and conditions, develop and implement the first green corridor in the North Sea Region in a strategic policy setting.
Reduced energy use in the North Sea Region horticultural greenhouse industry
GreenGrowing strengthened the innovation capacity and competitiveness in the North Sea Region horticultural greenhouse industry and led to at least a 10% reduction of CO2 emissions.
The project combined a better climate control in the greenhouses, an improved use of novel greenhouse techniques and the use of climate tolerant plant types with ICT tools. Supported by intensive information strategies at the business level, GreenGrowing delivered cost savings and ensured sustainable production. The project created transnational networks linking SMEs, grower organizations and political bodies to transfer innovation and deliver a lasting impact.
Small and medium sized airports are crucial for regional accessibility and competitiveness, however at the same time European policies and national set strict environment targets. Green Airports aimed to develop strategies and solutions for a more eco-efficient, sustainable and green regional aviation.
Tackling the challenges of regional accessibility, sustainability and regulation, Green Airports was modelled to decrease green house gas and noise emissions as well as operation specific waste volumes, to increase energy efficiency and surface accessibility of airports by innovative concepts on public transportation.
As cross sectional objective, the project comprehensively focused on regional airport communication, regional cooperation and policy resolutions to safeguard the role of regional airports as accessibility gateways by improving public perception and acceptance.
Hydrogen Transport Economy for the North-Sea Region
HyTrEc aimed to support the validation, promotion and adoption of innovative hydrogen technologies across the North Sea Region and enhance the region’s economic competitiveness within the transport and associated energy sectors.
The project provided a platform to support the collaborative development of strategy and initiatives (at regional, supra-regional and transnational level) and that informed and shaped the development of infrastructure, technology, skills and financial instruments to support the application of hydrogen based technologies across the North Sea Region.
iAge aimed to promote and increase economic and social e-inclusion of elderly.
Until 2030, the number of people of 65+ increases more than 50%, which will have a significant impact on pensions, health care, the labour market and thus for the sustainability of communities. Comprehensive strategies and actions with regard to the labour market and meeting the needs of all ages will be crucial. The increased use of ICT gains in importance to make use of the growing number of elderly, keeping them active and participate in social and work life, thereby increasing the regional and economic development.
Innovative Forsight Planning for Business Development
IFP established a transnational framework of cooperation to systematically tackle challenges regarding the competitiveness of regions in the North Sea Region in the global economy. Foresight Planning was used as a method, not only to link regions and selected clusters transnationally and plan for joint actions in the future, but also to find solutions tailor-made for the regions facing challenges related to the shift of the industrial base (decline, transition, and growth).
The project designed forward-looking strategies and concrete action plans based on applied Foresight Planning processes to build capacity for innovation. The public sector was considered a key partner for facilitating the processes of innovation, internationalisation, and creation of critical mass in the North Sea Region.
Improving Transport and Accessibility through new Communication Technologies
ITRACT aimed to improve the connectivity and accessibility of remote areas in the North Sea Region through the integration of innovative transport and communication infrastructure. The project focused on the development and use of novel ICT applications and brought together technology experts - in the fields of ICT, satellite, wireless broadband and sensor technology - with socio-economic experts.
innovative TRANsport Solutions for Fjords Estuaries and Rivers
iTransfer (Innovative Transport Solutions for Fjords, Estuaries and Rivers) aimed to make ferry transport more freely accessible and sustainable, and encourage more people to travel by water. In areas in the North Sea Region there were opportunities to replace existing vehicle routes with passenger ferries. Travelling by ferry is more sustainable, easier and quicker. It can also provide lifeline services to remote communities.
iTransfer sought to better understand the market demand for passenger ferries and explore solutions to deliver a viable and sustainable transport alternative to road. This included developing green ferry technology to make operations more efficient, reducing CO2 emissions and other pollutants, and promoting greener transport choices. The project also looked to integrate ferry travel with other transport modes to improve accessibility throughout the region and provided guidance to streamline tendering requirements.
The Living North Sea project solved problems surrounding the management of fish species, which relied on moving between the North Sea and freshwater systems of partner countries. These species were under considerable threat, some even in hazardous decline.
Living North Sea brought together representatives from across the North Sea Region in a project that would make long lasting changes to the way that migratory fish species, whose stocks were shared between nations, were managed in the region. The project created a permanent management group for migratory fish of these habitats, which would continue to work collaboratively, but also tackle decision making processes ensuring project results could be integrated in future policies on the national and EU level.
LO-PINOD - Logistics Optimisation for Ports Intermodality: Network, Opportunities, Development
LO-PINOD (Logistics Optimisation for Ports Intermodality: Network, Opportunities, Development) challenged traditional practices of freight distribution and offered a more sustainable alternative.
Through improvements to short sea routes, multi-modal connectivity between regional ports and their hinterland, and diversified port land use and operational models, LO-PINOD helped deliver social and economic benefits to communities and businesses across the North Sea Region.
Mapping and communicating marine energy potentials
MAP-MEP campaigned for a broader societal awareness and dialogue on energy potentials in the North Sea Region. The awareness marketing was designed to increase future energy partnership capacities and to found decision making. Results from energy-sector related IVB North Sea Region Programme projects were compiled for the regional audience and beyond.
MAP-MEP aimed at feeding the mainstream energy debate with topical information, providing policy support and enhancing societal participation through pointed use of social media channels such as a thematic webGIS plus weblog and mobile apps.
Managing Adaptive Responses to changing flood risk in the North Sea Region
Recent flooding has demonstrated the vulnerability of North Sea Region. Municipalities have an urgent need to reduce flood risk, but lack a framework and the resources. The project focused on developing a transnational methodology to implement urban Flood Risk Management Plans in four countries.
The project thereby supported national policy making related to the European Floods Directive and beyond. The main result was a transnational methodology for Flood Risk Management planning applicable in urban environments. In addition, the focus on long-term perspective on climate change adaptation provided a practical follow-up to the EC green paper on climate change.
Making Places Profitable - Public and Private Open Spaces
MP4 focused on innovative approaches for planning and designing, maintaining and using public places. The project aim was to demonstrate how open space improvements offered positive socio-economic benefits, and how the benefits offered to key communities could be maintained in the long run (‘place-keeping'). In cooperation with key EU policymakers and networks, the project activities illustrated support for greater interaction between all those involved in the open space management process.
The project created and promoted model agreements for partnerships and social enterprises and implemented 8 urban regeneration projects. As an end result the project developed an EU-level Agenda for place-keeping and mainstream best practice across the North Sea Region.
The NMU project built on the broad range of knowledge and expertise in the North Sea area, which was being harnessed within a common and lasting transnational network of universities. The Northern Maritime University directly addressed the needs of the maritime industry: To better prepare maritime business managers to cope with growing maritime traffic, port development, and rising environmental challenges by developing multidisciplinary and internationally oriented qualifications at Bachelors and Masters level.
NMU worked towards establishing an Area of Research and Innovation for the maritime industry in the North Sea Region, contributing towards the Lisbon strategy to create a more effective maritime business sector and an enhanced competitiveness of the maritime sector.
During the last few years, the costs for fossil energy resources have been heavily increasing. A possibility to absorb rising costs is to critically question the status quo of energy consumption in order to be able to use existing energy saving potentials. Rising energy costs are contributing to a steadily increasing source of financial pressure for public utilities. This leads to a negative cycle: the public bodies have a lower budget at hand while at the same time the costs are rising, despite the lower demand. There is no available model showing how to link energy policies with the regional and/or local development.
The aim of North Sea - SEP was to foster a future oriented development on regional level by an energy oriented approach. To tackle these problems, the project had to improve local/regional development and the decision making processes by creating tools for regional planners. Successful reorientation and creation of new profiles like energy regions had to consider all actors in a region to involve them in the processes and to create ground for interactive development. Therefore methods and tools for regional planning and decision making were developed with focus on systematic energy planning.
Small markets in the North Sea Region and SME access barriers to European supply markets were key problems addressed by the project. They cause competitive disadvantages for Northern SMEs and their regions compared to suppliers and regions involved in large regions. If SMEs stuck to prosperity of traditional regional markets, major markets would be at risk. This risk was further aggravated by the ongoing global economic crisis, which challenged regional economies to join forces with partners at an interregional level in order to regain competitiveness and to master structural change.
NorthseaSupply adressed them with a Company Register and Training Measures with a SME-oriented partnership.
North Sea Freight and Intelligent Transport Solutions
The project addressed efficiency and effectiveness of the North Sea Region transport freight. To secure the NSR as a global competitor, the project developed an intelligent transport solution (ITS), which will improve accessibility, reduce environmental damage in the North Sea Region and enable the region to develop a dynamic logistics solution which is scalable across the EU.
As the main result, the project developed a multi-lingual electronic communication and data capture system for the freight supply chain to provide information to end users, transport managers, freight handlers about the conditions in the area that they are about to enter. Thereby the project aimed to improve efficiency, safety and security in the supply chain of the North Sea Region and promoted the development of efficient and effective logistics solutions.
Ships' ballast water is a main source of acute and chronic pollution in the North Sea. The project aimed to improve the North Sea environment and economy by facilitating the ratification of the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC).
The implementation of the BWMC created a new market for innovative products. Ballast Water Opportunity aimed to support the North Sea Region industry to enter this market. It encouraged the ratification of the BWMC through reducing a major barrier: providing treatment and detection equipment.
As a result, common certification standards for BWT were defined, which would stimulate technological development to comply and enforce the BWMC.
The approach of the North Sea Fish project was to enhance logistics in the total supply chain of wet fish from catch to plate. This included logistical solutions for fish based regional economies to benefit local communities.
North Sea Fish focused on broadening the supply chain to include alternative sustainable solutions, specialization of activities in parts of the chain and increasing the efficiency between chain parts. These innovations aimed to safeguard the much needed change of fisheries towards a sustainable, consumer-oriented and competitive future.
North Sea Sustainable Energy Planning Potentials Leading to Utmost Success
In NSSEP PLUS partners from all EU Member States represented in the North Sea Region Programme and a non-co-fundable Norwegian participation further exploited and refined the potential of the CO2-calculator tool. A key outcome under the NSSEP project, this tool was the perfect instrument to work on the mindset towards carbon reduction.
The central goal was to communicate with this tool and through new partners, means, methods and multipliers how actions of public authorities, SMEs, organisations, individual citizens and other stakeholders easily contributed to the CO2-reduction goal.
NSSP sought to tap the potential of the creative industries (i.e. the film industry) to promote innovation and growth in the North Sea Region and increase the region's competitiveness in a global context. Transnational cooperation was concentrated on common challenges, such as marketing, financing and SME support.
The project aimed to tackle issues such as fragmented national markets inhibiting critical mass creation (developing economies of scale), lack of coherence and coordination of actors and actions across the North Sea Region, and loss of talents in more peripheral areas.
The Opening Up project opened up new opportunities for businesses and governments to develop transformative services through the adoption of open data and social networking approaches.
It built upon the increasingly large amounts of valuable data created by the development of social networks as part of the shift towards open government to create new tools, devise new approaches and build the skills citizens, businesses and governments need to deliver radically different services, e-government and businesses in the North Sea Region.
Through this work, the project promoted significant new ways of developing, adopting and using ICT applications across the North Sea Region.
Developing the North Sea Offshore Wind Power Cluster
As a direct successor of the IIIB POWER project, POWER cluster was centred on the development of a strong Offshore Wind Industry (OWI) cluster in the North Sea Region. Core activities included a strengthened stakeholder and business-to-business network, energy grid reinforcement across the North Sea Region, developed skills training courses (including higher education and addressing unemployment) and raising acceptance among the wider public as a basis for wider roll-out of wind energy installations.
POYO focused on maintenance processes, i.e. preventing problems instead of solving them, in order to increase the efficiency in the production process of the ports in the North Sea Region and thereby to enlarge competitiveness and innovation opportunities.
POYO strengthened and empowered networks to create an international cluster in the North Sea Region, thereby laying the basis for knowledge transfer on innovative maintenance techniques and the development of an EU standard towards certification of all maintenance techniques.
As a main result, four physical Centres of Excellence brought together industry/SME and vocational education to bundle knowledge and experience on maintenance issues. An action plan and a handbook fostered European certification on maintenance courses.
Protect and Prosper - Sustainable Tourism in the Wadden Sea
PROWAD identified opportunities and perspectives for sustainable socio-economic development in the Wadden Sea region resulting from the designation of the Wadden Sea as World Heritage. A consistent sustainable tourism strategy was elaborated in a participatory approach with relevant local and regional stakeholders in the Wadden Sea region.
On the basis of an action plan, joint projects were implemented supporting regional development and marketing of high quality tourism products.
Strategic Alliance for integrated Water Management Actions
SAWA strived to strengthen the member states for their current implementation of the EU Flood Directive by developing a transnational implementation strategy. The aim was to adapt existing water management systems to the effects of extreme flood events due to climate change, focusing on sustainable development of society and regional economies.
Based on case studies and pilot implementations, SAWA tested the new and innovative strategies in Flood Risk Management around the North Sea. The project integrated local, regional and national stakeholders, university and vocational training students.
Stimulating Enterprising Environments for Development and Sustainability
Derelict buildings and empty spaces threaten economic competitiveness, territorial cohesion and performance. SEEDS addressed the urgent need for revised policies and robust EU steer by promoting innovative land-use strategies and modern governance.
The project developed skills and opportunities for those furthest from labour markets, transforming growth prospects. It tackled changing land-use patterns demanded by recent economic challenges and delivered evidence-based spatial planning tools and instruments.
The project focused on the integration and creation of knowledge through various methods for empowering water in interdisciplinary urban development and planning processes. The project had significant relevance for national and EU policy evaluation and it supported the implementation of the Floods Directive and the Waterframework Directive.
The project developed a SKINT Water portal, which provided end-users from the national and regional level with an active source of information for online training courses, including an effective web-communication tool.
Smart Cities aimed to create an innovation network between governments and academia in six countries to promote excellence in the domain of e-services (development and take-up) in order to set a new standard for e-service delivery in the whole North Sea Region. The transnational working method (pooling expertise and joint model development) was proposed to equip decision-makers to achieve further innovation in the delivery of e-enabled public services.
Smart Cities was also represented in the DANS cluster.
Motorways of the Seas Strategic Demonstration Project
The project aimed at promoting and facilitating the shift of cargo from road to sea based inter-modal transport. StratMos strived to improve accessibility within the North Sea Region by supporting the implementation of the Motorways of the Sea concept and related transport networks in integrated logistical chains.
On the strategic level, the project intended to provide input for the Master Plan to be developed by the North Sea MoS Task Force as well as to EU entities. On the implementation level practical demonstration projects were carried out in order to demonstrate actions to be taken by public and private actors to improve the effectiveness of inter-modal transport, in particular related to hubs and hinterland connections.
SURF focused on the urban fringe (social /economic/environmental) and developing instruments in which to manage a sustainable urban frindge. In addition, the project aimed to put the Urban Fringes higher on the political agenda within the partner regions, at national and regional governments and at EU level.
In most cases the Urban Fringes act as the hinterland of the urban centres, are of complex shape with a scattered landscape, are administratively fragmented and do not have a distinct identity. Overall, Urban Fringes are the areas under pressure facing unsustainable growth and expansion.
The cities and urban fringes cannot be considered in isolation, and therefore there is a need of greater integration between various policies and programmes at local, regional and national level to make the urban fringes challenging and more attractive. The partnership brought together various partners across the North Sea Region and city region, which would not have been possible without the support from the programme.
SUSCOD aimed to make a step change in the application of integrated coastal zone management (ICZM). Seven partners from five countries developed an innovative Integrated Coastal Zone Management (IZCM) ‘assistant'.
The ICZM approach has been explored in several parts of the North Sea Region and often the focus of these interventions has been public safety. Although these interventions have offered opportunities to realise the full development potential of the areas concerned, in practice a fully integrated, holistic approach has rarely been taken and this is regrettable, because coastal potentials are not fully utilised.
SUSCOD brought together partners that wanted to change this through a well coordinated transnational team approach. The practical web-based tool allowed coastal development practitioners to fully realise coastal potentials, economical as well as social and environmental.
Inspired by the North Sea Region Interreg IVB projects, the “TEN‐T and the North Sea Region” projectanalysed the opportunities and consequences for freight transport of the new EU TEN‐T Regulation, the Connecting Europe Facility, the Clean Power for Transport Initiative and the Europe2020 Strategy seen on a regional level.
A toolbox of regional measures was developed to optimise regional impact on TEN-T and freight transport development. The toolbox measures were illustrated on a number of cases that reflected the project findings in relation to TEN-T development.
TIDE considered tidally influenced North Sea Region estuaries with large sediment transportation, which were used as shipping channels to large harbours. The ecosystem services of intertidal and shallow estuarine habitats were threatened and needed to be considered to ensure economic benefits and the maintenance of ecologically important areas. At the same time, decision-makers at these estuaries were faced with an increasingly challenging legal and global economic framework.
TIDE led the path towards a more sustainable and effective use of large scale investments made into mitigation and compensation measures in North Sea Region estuaries by applying for the first time a unified ecosystem approach to guide the process of integrated participatory management planning.
Thus TIDE not only improved the effectiveness of European, national and regional policy and provided instruments for regional development, but made an essential contribution towards a more sustainable and effective use of investment into North Sea estuaries - since their planning would be based on a unified assessment concept and integrated management planning procedures.
The project considered three themes connected to rural development; lack of economic development and innovations, negative or insufficient exposure of regions and downsizing in level of services and amenities.
Using a co-operative approach, the project partners worked together on a number of pilot initiatives to consider these issues in a transnational setting. The end result of the project was a Rural Power Pack, which was disseminated and communicated at an EU level. The project was supported by a scientific support group.
Matching Needs and Knowledge in NSR within Water and Climate Change
The WaterCAP-Taskforce accumulated knowledge and experience on water and climate change from multiple countries and sectors in the North Sea Region. This was gained through the former WaterCAP cluster project, and incorporated a new area of aquatic resource management covered by the LNS. The WaterCAP taskforce partnership became a comprehensive knowledge base for the North Sea Region and made available to stakeholders through the transnational taskforce. The project was used as a springboard for reacting to North Sea Region water needs for new strategic programmes as anticipated by the Europe 2020 Strategy.