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The ERNACT network of regions secures €1.8 million for another digital innovation project

 

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  • The European Union has approved a new ERNACT network project, worth €1.8 million, aimed at transferring innovative energy solutions for housing and public infrastructure developed in Scandinavia and Atlantic Canada to Ireland and Northern Ireland.

 

  • This follows the award of almost €4 million last month for two other projects – one dealing with innovation in the food chain and the other with new public investment models for high speed broadband services in rural areas.

 

The ERNACT network of regions are delighted to announce that they have secured €1.8 millionto initiate a new innovation project (SECURE) – aimed at transferring innovative energy solutions for housing and public infrastructure developed in Scandinavia and Atlantic Canada to Ireland, North and South.

 

The project will be carried out with financial support from the European Union’s Northern Periphery and Artic Programme 2014-2020. This programme provides funding and support to organisations in the Northern part of Europe - including Ireland and Northern Ireland - wishing to transfer successful public service innovations between countries and regions.

 

 

The SECURE project

 

The main objective of the innovation project SECURE – Smarter Energy Communities in Northern and Arctic Regions is to study, transfer and pilot new solutions for improving energy efficiency and renewable sources in public housing, lighting and public buildings.

 

The project will last three years and has a budget of €1.8 million. The ERNACT regions of Derry and Strabane (NI), Donegal (Ireland) and Västernorrland (Sweden) will participate in this initiative. In addition, SECURE provides the opportunity to work with and learn from the following regions: North Karelia (Finland), Faroe Islands, Nova Scotia (Atlantic Canada) and Leitrim (Ireland).

 

The project has ambitious targets to meet. Each region must establish a Smart Energy Community in a village, rural area or neighbourhood of a city. This will be supported by transferring 15 energy solutions to retrofit 24 houses across the project regions, increasing efficiency by 5% in 3 public buildings, and installing alternative or renewable energy sources in public infrastructure (e.g. street lighting).

 

Councillor Michael Cooper, Chairperson of ERNACT, stated that “this latest series of successful bids demonstrate that Derry/Strabane and Donegal councils, working on a crossborder basis through their ERNACT vehicle, are able to compete at the highest level to form partnerships with other European regions and cities. These pan-European partnerships provide additional finance and know-how to allow councils to support the food sector, introduce energy efficiency solutions for housing, lighting and public buildings, and explore new models to justify public investment in high speed broadband solutions for rural areas”.

 

 

About NICHE and ERUDITE

 

The NICHE project - Building innovative food value chains in regions - ranked in the top 3 of 261 proposals submitted to the Interreg Europe programme. The project will address challenges arising from changes in the food sector and will explore the potential of using information technology to increase innovation in seven European regions where food is important for jobs and economic growth. NICHE has a budget of €1.7 million and several ERNACT regions will be involved, including Derry and Strabane (UK) and West Romania (Romania). The project proposal was fully developed and will be led by the ERNACT partnership.

 

The second project approved, ERUDITE - Enhancing Rural and Urban Digital Innovation Territories, aims to explore the potential of new public investment models that consider the total private, economic and social needs of a community, to justify investment in new high speed broadband services in rural areas. This second project has a budget of €2.2 million. The ERNACT regions of Derry and Strabane (UK), Donegal (Ireland) and Västernorrland (Sweden) will participate in this project, which is led by the Burgandy region (France).

 

 

About us

 

The European Regions Network for the Application of Communications Technology (ERNACT) is a network of European regional and city public authorities that work together to access European Union digital technology programmes and funding for the benefit of their areas, companies and universities.

 

The network implements innovative digital-age projects. To-date, it has developed over 25 projects with governments, universities and research centres in more than 130 European regions and cities, with a combined population of 50 million, across 20 countries.

 

 

For further information, contact:

Ianire Renobales, Digital Communications Officer

ERNACT, North West Regional Science Park

Letterkenny, Co Donegal, Ireland

ianire.renobales@ernact.eu

Tel: +353 74 916 8212

www.ernact.eu

 

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