The North East is eligible for two of the INTERREG (Inter-regional) Transnational Cooperation Programmes - the North Sea (€334 million) and North West Europe (NWE) (€396 million) which will fund regions and local areas to work together to address shared problems such as eco-innovation, protecting against climate change, promoting economic growth, preserving the environment, low carbon and green transport and mobility.
INTERREG VC Interreg Europe Inter-Regional Cooperation Programme has an EU-wide budget of €359 million.
Interreg Europe is a cross-cutting policy learning programme with a focus on regional issues such as research and innovation, SME competitiveness, low carbon economy and environment & resource efficiency. Organisations can get involved in a number of ways, either as a partner, in a stakeholder group or on a good practice platform.
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) has an EU-wide budget of €33 billion and will fund national level projects supporting trans-European road and rail network projects with significant EU added value, for example, developing and removing bottlenecks along the main pan-EU road and rail routes known as the Trans-European Network for Transport TEN-T.
The aim is to improve links between different parts of the EU, boosting trade and increasing mobility for individuals. CEF also aims to support links between ‘core’ TEN-T network and local roads such as those managed by councils.
There is also CEF in the sectors of telecommunications and energy. In this context the EC has proposed for the first time a series of guidelines covering the objectives and priorities for broadband networks and digital service infrastructures in the field of telecommunications.
LIFE has an EU-wide budget of €3.4 billion. The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The general objective is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with European added value.
Funding can be accessed for nature, biodiversity, conservation, environmental and climate change themed projects. It is the only financial instrument aimed purely at improving the environment and is complementary to the other Community research programmes (such as Horizon 2020), the structural funds (such as ERDF) and other rural development programmes.
The LIFE programme will contribute to sustainable development and to the achievement of the objectives and targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy, the 7th Union Environmental Action Programme, ‘living well within the limits of our planet’, and other relevant EU environment, and climate strategies and plans. The programme is divided into two sub-programmes, Environment and Climate Action:
The Environment sub-programme has three priority areas:
The Environment and Resource Efficiency priority area will develop, test and demonstrate approaches, best practices, solutions and integrated approaches to environmental challenges, as well as improving the related knowledge base
The Nature and Biodiversity priority area will develop, test and demonstrate best practices, solutions and integrated approaches to contribute to the development and implementation of nature and biodiversity policy and legislation, as well as improving the related knowledge base.
The Environmental Governance and Information priority area will promote awareness-raising on environmental matters, support the communication, management and dissemination of environmental information, and promote better environmental governance by broadening stakeholder involvement.
The sub-programme for Climate Action offers a new and unique opportunity to support the implementation of the EU’s climate policy. Overall, it will contribute to the shift towards a resrouce-efficient, low-carbon and climate-resilient economy. The Climate Action sub-programme has three priority areas:
The Climate Change Mitigation priority area will contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, notably by contributing to the implementation and development of related policy and legislation, improving the knowledge base, developing integrated approaches, and developing and demonstrating innovative technologies, systems, methods and instruments.
The Climate Change Adaptation priority area will support efforts to increase resilience to climate change, notably by contributing to the implementation and development of related policy and legislation, improving the knowledge base, developing integrated approaches, and developing and demonstrating innovative technologies, systems, methods and instruments.
The Climate Governance and Information priority area will promote awareness-raising on climate matters, support the communication, management and dissemination of climate information, promote more effective compliance with climate legislation and promote better climate governance by broadening stakeholder involvement.
LIFE Climate Action will support public authorities, NGOs and private actors, especially small and medium enterprises, in implementing small-scale low carbon and adaptation technologies and new approaches and methodologies. A new type of project – Integrated Projects - will be introduced to support mainstreaming of climate action across sectors at regional level. Specific local and regional climate change mitigation or adaptation strategies or action plans could be financed through these new projects.
LIFE Climate Action will also have the opportunity to fund more projects by leveraging private finance through loans and guarantees via local banks.
LIFE is managed on behalf of the Commission, by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (EASME). Its actions are delivered according to multiannual work programmes, negotiated between the Commission and Member States. There is an annual call for proposals for action grants. In the main projects are expected to either pilot or demonstrate new approaches/technologies or to share already tried and tested best practices.
Projects do not have to be transnational, although there is a requirement for the Programme to allocate 15% of resources to transnational projects so there may be a preference in selection. HEIs are eligible to participate in LIFE. 'Stand-alone' environmental research, which is seen as a job for Horizon 2020 is not eligible. LIFE will, however, contribute to the costs of research where it forms part of a project aiming, for instance, to develop, test and demonstrate new approaches, technologies or systems. Universities may also be able to incorporate some training and community engagement work in projects concerned with awareness raising and dissemination of information.
Beta Europe is a free and confidential support service for the LIFE Programme in the UK, run by Beta Technology, the UK LIFE National Contact Point on behalf of Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).
Beta Technology's National Contact Point service includes a helpline, pre-screening of proposals for eligibility and fit and advice on administrative and contractual issues. For further information on the support and advice on offer contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01302 322 633
European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) has an EU-wide budget of €1.6 billion. The programme is run by the European Investment Bank and funded through the EC Intelligent Energy-Europe programme. ELENA can support councils to prepare and implement sustainable energy plans for their area. The fund covers up to 90% of the council’s costs and could benefit district heating projects, green transport measures, street-lighting schemes or the integration of renewable energy sources into public buildings. ELENA can also fund feasibility and market studies, energy audits and tendering procedure preparation.