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The Italian National Hub at the WestMED hackathons Palermo

The Italian National Hub supported WestMED Central Team to ensure a qualified and numerous presence at the WestMED Hackatons, in Palermo on 14 May, contributing to the success of the initiative.

As rapporteurs together with relevant moderators, the Italian National Hub also coordinated the networking tables for Sustainable Coastal and Maritime Tourism and for Clean Transport.

WestMED presented at Small Scale LNG Use, Euro-Mediterranean Conference

On 15-16 May, within the framework of the 5th edition of Small Scale LNG Use, Euro-Mediterranean Conference & Expo in Naples, the Italian National Hub presented the WestMED Initiative and the Assistance Mechanism, describing also project ideas relevant to LNG bunkering, emerged since Algiers Stakeholders Conference in December 2018, developed till the Hackathons in Palermo and the possible subsequent steps.

WestMED participated at ADRIA4BLUE 2019

The Italian National Hub took the occasion of the first edition of the Croatian Conference on Blue Growth, held under the patronage of European Commission DG MARE on the 6-8 June in Rijeka – Croatia, to present the WestMED Initiative, to establish a strategic partnership between SEAFUTURE and ADRIA4BLUE, and to join some important seminars on the role of Maritime Clusters, and on Clean Transport and Alternative Fuels.

The important role of the Kingdom of Norway, co-organizer of the event through its Embassy in Zagreb and Innovation Norway has given also the possibility to establish useful contacts with the Norwegian experience in sustainable maritime transport.

 

Thematic tables in Rome

The aim of these roundtables has been to create an occasion for Italian stakeholders to know each other, exchange areas of interest, experiences and skills, projects submitted and in pipeline. In fact through a better reciprocal knowledge, they will reduce cases of overlapping projects submitted for the same call and funding programme, instead increase integration among project ideas and improve their quality, strengthen partnerships, better distribute areas of specialization and development at national level, clearer definition of stakeholders’ roles as project leaders and  partners, also considering the relevant financial capacities, to better express their views in the proper functioning of the funding programme, the call, etc.

EPICAH-Interreg WestMed Capitalization Living Labs

Within the framework of INTERREG IT-FR Marittimo/Maritime, a first and a second session Living Lab have been co-organized in Florence and La Spezia on 22 March, to allow capitalization among stakeholders which are already involved in projects focused on “Sustainable Tourism” and “Conservation, protection and development of natural and cultural resources”.

Kick-off meeting in Rome

On Monday 25 February​ the kick-off meeting with the WestMED Italian National Hub was held in Rome, at the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Hosted by the WestMED National Coordinators for Italy, notably the Department of Cohesion within the Italian Presidency of Ministers and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the meeting gathered about 40 organisations amongst Regional Authorities, National Ministries and other relevant stakeholders for the Blue Economy in Italy.

 

The kick-off meeting was aimed to introduce the WestMed Assistance Mechanism (WMAM), its goals, functions and role, so to initiate a dialogue for the identification of the national priorities for strategic projects to be supported by the initiative. After an overview of the activities implemented, the project ideas identified in Algiers, as well as the many areas currently being “work in progress”, the National Hub shared a calendar of possible events identified as a basis for the national Road-Show, and discussed the next steps foreseen for the governance of the initiative at national level.

Upon a very large mailing and recall action, 42 organizations, among Italian ministries, regional governments, public and private stakeholders, managing authorities, local contact points of EU funding programmes, IFIs’ managers perceived the importance of such an inclusive process, giving their contribution to the discussion and underlining their appreciation of the initiative.

It was the first step towards a more integrated process to improve the access to EU funding opportunities, through orientation of suitable stakeholders towards partnerships, the issue of thematic tables as an auxiliary tool to increase the best matching between skills/experiences and project proposals/ideas, the reduction of redundant and inefficient practices, to create the basis for a qualified participation of proper stakeholders to the relevant thematic events, etc.

Stakeholders involved expressed their appreciation of the work done so far, and those involved in the Algiers Stakeholders Conference confirmed the relevance of the initiative as a platform to share concrete project ideas. The Managing Authority for the ENI CBC Programme also expressed gratitude for the support given in expanding the partner countries as part of the Algiers Stakeholders Workshop. In exchange with participants, a series of follow-up actions have been identified, including the set-up of possible thematic groups charged with providing strategic advice to the National hub. Further activities will be published on the Linked-in page and the Italian section of the WMAM website.