A North Sea Way to Energy-Efficient Regions

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.


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.


Coast Alive!

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.


Low Carbon Regions in the North Sea

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.


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.


iAge: e-inclusion in Ageing Europe

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.


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.


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.


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.


Sustainable Urban Fringes

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.


Vital Rural Area

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.

Waterways for Growth

Waterways for Growth: Sustainable Development of Inland Waterways in the North Sea Region

Taking forward opportunities afforded by recreational inland waterways for the development and realisation of business opportunities and creating attractive places near where people live and work.

The project implemented a number of themed initiatives on business and product development, waterway regeneration and the sustainable management of waterway resource.