The 1st Euro-Mediterranean Conference took place on 14-16 April 2016 in TRAKASOL Cultural Center in Limassol.
The event gathered contributors and participants from many European countries, from the USA, Middle East, Thailand and a large number of participants from Cyprus.
The main objective of the Conference was to encourage research, discussion, exchange of ideas and knowledge on major EU initiatives - Smart Cities and Blue Growth, to promote networking, build partnerships, and take advantage of the enormous funding opportunities to be seized through smart city programs.
The event was successful and provided excellent impetus and practical networking opportunities towards this goal.
The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is helping to finance infrastructure and innovation projects as well as SMEs and Mid-Caps. Mobilisation of private capital is a key feature of the EFSI and currently represents about 80% of the total expected investment
Practical co-operation at a local level is essential if countries around the Mediterranean are to manage challenges created by the conflicts in Syria and Libya, migration and climate change, local political leaders from the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) said on 19 January. “The sources of tension and instability in the Mediterranean are the [...]
Chrysses Nicolaides's insight:
Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly's (ARLEM) annual assembly was held in Nicosia, Cyprus.
The European Commission has selected the city of San Sebastian (Spain) to test a self-driving bus for a period of three months. The driverless buses will begin their services next Spring 2016. Previously, other European countries such as Laussanne (Switzerland), Rochelle (France) and Trikala (Greece) were chosen to implement these kind of self-driving autonomous buses among the citizens, within a real urban Lab.
ERA-NET Cofund Smart Cities and Communities Call approved 17 projects in December 2015, after a first evaluation stage to which 32 consortia submitted their proposals. Themes like Smart Hospitality, for the improvement of green city tourism, Smart Commuting, for electric Mobility, and SmarterLabs, for the social inclusion in Living Labs and major risks of smart transport technologies, are among the projects selected for funding. All those 17 projectswill be running for three years from the first half of the year onwards. The total available budget reaches 28 million EUR coming from funding agencies in twelve different countries.
This call will be worth EUR 80 Mio in total and will be focused on the following four topics: Energy transition Urban Poverty (with a focus on deprived urban neighborhoods) The inclusion of migrants and [...]...
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a key EU funding instrument to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at European level. It supports the development of high performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services.
A total budget of €5.35 billion has been made available for energy projects for the 2014-2020 period, of which €4.7 billion is to be allocated through grants managed by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA).
The funding allocated to projects shall contribute to supporting energy infrastructure projects of common interest that have significant societal benefits and that ensure greater solidarity among Member States, but which do not receive adequate financing from the market.
Practical cooperation at the local level is essential if countries around the Mediterranean are to manage challenges created by the conflicts in Syria and Libya, migration and climate change, local political leaders from the Euro-Mediterranean...
According to the European Commission - Press release 20 May 2016 - "Less than one year into its existence, the European Fund for Strategic Investments is supporting 64 projects and triggers more than 100 billion euro of investment across the European Union".
The Investment Plan focuses on removing obstacles to investment, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects and making smarter use of new and existing financial resources.
To achieve these goals, the plan is active is three areas: mobilising investments of at least €315 billion in three years supporting investment in the real economy creating an investment friendly environment. Less than one year into its existence, the European Fund for Strategic Investments is supporting 64 projects and triggers more than 100 billion euro of investment across the European Union.
Latest announcements on European Investment Plan include :
In April 2016, EIF and Societe Generale sign agreement to bring €250 million to over 14,000 small businesses in France.
Under the COSME programme - Europe’s programme for small and medium-sized enterprises- the EIF will provide Franfinance with a guarantee with financial backing from the European Commission, allowing Franfinance to substantially increase its leasing volumes over the next 3 years by providing support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have limited access to finance.
Representatives of 12 countries met in Cagliari on 9 and 10 March 2016 and took important decisions for the launch of ENI CBC Med.
Based on the proposals of the Managing Authority, institutional representatives of national delegations - including Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Malta, Palestine, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia - discussed several items linked to the start-up of the Programme. In particular, the Joint Monitoring Committee adopted its Rules of Procedure as well as the actions to be carried out in 2016 and related budget.
Concerning the preparation of the first call for proposals, participating countries agreed on the total financial allocation, i.e. €84,6 million, breakdown by Priority and procedure for the submission of projects.
The Programme aims to foster fair, equitable and sustainable economic, social and territorial development in regions placed along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
13 countries have already adhered to the Programme: Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Palestine, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia. Other eligible countries under the ENI will be able to join at a later stage.
Chrysses Nicolaides's insight:
ENI CBC Med Programme calls for proposals are expected to be launched starting from mid-2016.
Limassol is today the business and financial centre of Cyprus with a large number of local and international companies surrounded by a further network of hotels, restaurants and other venues for entertainment and leisure.
The city is therefore constantly in motion, developing even more.
It is important to mention that hundreds of shipping, as well as financial companies have their headquarters in Limassol. Today our city is the largest ship-management centre in the European Union.
What is extremely important for the city’s economy is that Limassol has always been a popular tourist destination, combining an organized coast with clear waters and wonderful hotels and generally a well organized tourist infrastructure.
Limassol is additionally well known for a long cultural tradition. Visitors have the opportunity to experience a variety of cultural or other activities.
In addition, they can visit museums and other archaeological locations around the city, which is an astonishing combination of ancient, Frankish, Byzantine, Ottoman and modern influence.
Next Spring 2016 a new tool to support Sustainable urban Mobility planning will be launched by the EC. The Urban Transport Roadmaps policy tool has been developed by Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, and is meant to help urban Mobility professionals to analyse different combinations of Sustainable urban Mobility measures.
Spain and Italy compete for the first place of the top three countries in terms of number of proposals with 84 and 83 proposals each. The UK follows with 59 proposals. These figures are based on the nationality of the project coordinator, bearing in mind that one project can include participants from several countries. Most projects (83 %) were submitted by a single SME.
The data presented here is the number of applications per million inhabitants. The average number of eligible applications per capita for the 28 Member States as a whole is 293. Some smaller Member States, in particular Cyprus, Luxembourg and Slovenia, are particularly active, which demonstrates the attractiveness of Horizon 2020.
Chrysses Nicolaides's insight:
Some smaller Member States, in particular Cyprus, Luxembourg and Slovenia, are particularly active in HORIZON 2020.
“Supporting smarter European cities: better quality of life, growth, jobs and decarbonisation” The EIP-SCC Roadmap 2016 “Supporting smarter European cities: better quality of life, growth, jobs and [...]...
PERIFEREIAKO LYKEIO APOSTOLOU LOUKA KOLOSSIOU KOLOSSI CYPRUS Perifereiako Lykeio Apostolou Louka Kolossiou is a district public upper secondary school on the outskirts of Limassol, Cyprus. It hosts 680 students aged 15-18. Our artwork “Immigrants” was inspired by the refugee drama and the loss of life on the shores of the Greek islands. Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, Cyprus has received a lot of refugees who fled their country looking for safety and refuge, away from the terrors of war. Because of the proximity between our countries, these people travel in boats, very often under terrible conditions to the shores of our island. My students were moved by their predicament, especially the loss of young children at sea and decided to give a message to the rest of the world. They carried an old abandoned fishing boat at School and started creating 3d figures with plaster and polyurethane foam. They used gauze bandages and their own faces as moulds to portray the figures’ expressions. Overall, 30 students from various classes worked on the project, while 8 of them were the leading team.
Chrysses Nicolaides's insight:
Shortlisted in top 20 art works out of over 22,000 entries received from 54 different countries.
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