ERDF MA-network welcoming new topics for collaboration

The network of Managing Authorities of the European Regional Development Fund programmes in the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR ERDF MA-Network) had its 6th meeting on the 20th of September 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia. The meeting concluded the procedure to invite pioneer project proposals to seek funding through ERDF Structural Fund programmes. At the meeting, the ERDF MA-network also welcomed new topics for collaboration to be potentially funded through ERDF structural funds.

Clean tech

During the Spring of 2017, the ERDF MA-network initiated a pilot project called “Cleaner Growth”.  The objective was to develop transnational collaboration proposals to help regions implementing smart specialisation strategies focusing on cleantech. The main stages of the development of the project has consisted of the process of the pre-project and of the meetings with the ERDF MA-network.

The pre-project process was funded by ERDF structural fund programme in upper North Sweden to develop pioneer project proposals. This pre-project is applying Art. 70. The main stages of the pre-project process was 1) meetings between regions, which have a clear clean-tech focus in their Smart Specialisation Strategies, to identify collaboration themes and 2) a workshop between regionally appointed innovation actors to develop five pioneer project proposals connected to the topic Clean Tech and agreed collaboration themes.

The ERDF MA-network meetings have been conducted simultaneously to address issues and concerns. At the ERDF MA-meeting on the 20th of September 2017, there was a selection of collaboration proposals to be funded through ERDF Structural Fund Programme. The ERDF MA network concluded that out of the five presented collaboration proposals, two of the pioneer project proposals were possible to fund. The main challenge is that the pioneer project proposals have to be attached to ongoing ERDF structural funds funded operations and only two pioneer project proposals were viewed to have sufficient number of partners with ongoing ERDF structural fund Projects.

Two new topics welcomed

The ERDF MA-network is now welcoming Digitalization and Blue Growth as topics of collaboration to potentially be funded through ERDF structural funds.

For the topic of Digitalization the pre-project process is funded by the Swedish Institute and is under the lead of the Region of Västerbotten. The ERDF MA-network has also encouraged the topic of digitalization to investigate the option of conducting an open call procedure.

For the topic of Blue Growth the pre-project process is funded by Interreg BSR as part of the “Interreg-BSR Smart Blue Regions” project collaboration.

ERDF MA-network also agreed that increased transparency of decision making process is needed, so that project proposal will be open for a wider set of partners to align to (not only the partners taking part in developing the pioneer project proposals).

Next steps

Formal allocation of funds for the two approved pioneer projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

14th of December 2017 – ERDF MA-network meeting. The meeting will be chaired by Eurpean Commission. Main topics will be discussion on funding of agreed pioneer projects. New topics (digitalisation and blue growth) for collaboration to be discussed, providing input and advises to support the development of new pioneer project proposals.

22nd of May 2018 – ERDF MA-network meeting. The meeting will be chaired by Estonia and a workshop to investigate the possibilities of an open call will be conducted back to back with the ERDF MA-network meeting . ERDF MA-network members will take part at the workshop together with the partnership behind the topic of Digitalisation.


Niclas Forsling

Policy Area Coordinator