ERNACT network of regions secures €1.8 million for European aquaculture innovation project

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By Milthon Lujan

The ERNACT network of regions is delighted to announce that the ‘SAFER – Smart Atlantic Seafood Clusters’ innovation project has been approved and co-funded by the EU INTERREG Atlantic Area Programme.

The project aims to improve the innovation performance of the seafood sector by accelerating technology adoption through transnational cooperation. It responds to the challenge of applying smart growth technologies and processes in an Atlantic sector with high-growth potential.

Councillor Niamh Kennedy, ERNACT Chairperson, stated that “ERNACT was a European partnership, operating under European law, set up by Derry City and Strabane and Donegal County councils to deliver technology-driven projects such as SAFER. In the current EU programming period alone, it has already delivered technology-led projects worth €9 million to the North West Cross border region”.

“The SAFER project would enable councils, the 3rd level, Údarás and development agencies in the North-West Ireland region to work together on a cross border basis to help develop a key economic sector”.

SAFER has the ambition to be a reference for driving innovation in a key Atlantic Area sector – its results will be diffused to 21 Atlantic regions to help improve their innovation policies.

The project was developed and led by ERNACT, or European Regions Network for the Application of Communications Technology. The following Atlantic countries, regions and organisations will deliver the project:

– Northern Ireland (Derry City and Strabane): Local Authority
– Ireland (Donegal): Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT), Údarás na Gaeltachta and BIM (associate)
– Spain (Cantabria): Gobierno Regional
– France (Bretagne): Conférence des Régions Péripheriques Maritimes d’Europe and Pole Mer Bretagne Atlantique
– Portugal (Norte): Fórum Oceano-Associação da Economia do Mar & Foodintech Lda
– Canada (Newfoundland & Labrador): Memorial University (associate)

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The approach will be to link the seafood clusters across the Atlantic area via a transnational innovation platform to provide the organisation, services and tools necessary to facilitate innovation and technology transfer between a fast-moving network of SMEs, research centers and 3rd level institutes.

Welcoming the announcement, the network’s Interregional Management Committee Chairperson, Brian Boyle, stated that “ERNACT has been planning for some time now to apply its digital development expertise to a sector of huge importance to the Atlantic, a zone which contains five ERNACT regions, including Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada”.

EU INTERREG Atlantic Area Programme

The INTERREG Atlantic Area is a European funding programme that promotes transnational cooperation among 37 Atlantic regions across five countries. With a total budget of € 185 million, this programme co-finances cooperation projects in the fields of Innovation & Competitiveness, Resource Efficiency, Territorial Risks Management, Biodiversity and Natural & Cultural Assets.

Click here to email Ianire Renobales (ianire.renobales@ernact.eu) at ERNACT for further information

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