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Interreg Baltic Sea Region, Circular Economy, Procurement and the City of Aalborg
I am contacting you from the city of Aalborg regarding the one of the Interreg programmes. To be precise, it is with Interreg Baltic Sea region and the “Cooperation Priorities”, which offers funding in four thematic fields. Aalborg is interested in in Priority 1, “Capacity for innovation”, (support for development of innovation infrastructures, implementation of smart specialisation strategies and development of non-technological innovations). The last of these is the area we are looking at. I will also send a copy of this to the President and Vice Presidents as a courtesy and in case they have any comments. However the broadest will be the Secretariat.
Briefly, the specific objective (1.3) is:
[…] advance the Baltic Sea Region performance in (1) non-technological innovation and (2) increase capacities of innovation actors.
The last link above (PDF file) is more detailed, and contains an overview of the requirements of different innovation themes. However, reading through it is apparent that it is linked to EU 2020 Strategy and some of the tools the Commission uses, in particular the “Societal Challenges”.
We have chosen to make circular economy and procurement the focus. The project requires three cities, one of which is a lead city (Aalborg), and they will follow the same focus (although they can differentiate in choices made regarding what they do).
We have a working title for now:
"Innovative cooperation between cities and other actors to develop sustainable procurement capacity promoting a regional green transition catalysed by circular economic thinking."
Aalborg will be tackling that initially by applying the circular economy model to furnishings in schools, where repair rather than replacement will be the policy (we have the agreement of a number of schools) and SMEs showing firm intent in making a bid for the contract. We will also be looking at other potential resource circles (plastics being one of them).
We have cities in Finland and Latvia showing interest and want to ensure that we have made every effort to get a winning team together. We are also working with ICLEI as consultant through the application and planning processes.
I tried to keep the above as short as possible and there are links that describe the programme. There is also a “Frequently Asked Questions” published on the Interreg Baltic Sea Region site.
The reason we are contacting you is to ask if you would be kind enough to identify perhaps 5 UBC cities that you believe would be interested in the project (based on the information above), and hopefully that you will be able to reply within a week
We have already identified UBC cities based on past participation in a transition towards a sustainable Baltic region transition. However, given your central position you will no doubt be aware of the cities that are most likely to be very interested in pursuing a common goal with a view to meeting the demands of the Call and securing funding towards the project.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. It is a marvelous opportunity and it is important to reach out as far as possible to ensure that we achieve the Call goals and additionally that we make the best possible contribution to the Baltic region.
I hope to hear back from you within a week with an indication of UBC’s opinion. Further to that, any city itself is welcome to contact us based on this email.
Wm John Callow
City of Aalborg
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