Project successes taken to EU
Objective One success stories from Cornwall and the Isles
of Scilly are to be showcased to the rest of the European
Union at a four-day event in Brussels.
Both Carleen Kelemen and Mark Yeoman, Director and Deputy
Director respectively of the Objective One Partnership, have
been invited to give several presentations during 2006 Open
Days – 'Investing in Europe's Regions and
Cities: Public and Private Partner for Growth and Jobs'.
The biggest annual event on EU regional policy will take
place in Brussels between October 9th and 12th. This year,
the focus will be on private and public investments in European
regions and cities aiming at generating growth and jobs.
Ms Kelemen will be leading with a presentation highlighting
the hugely successful actnow project. actnow
has been part financed through the Objective One European
Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agricultural
Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF). Project partners include
South West Regional Development Agency, BT plc, Cornwall Enterprise,
the Objective One Partnership Office, the Department for Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Cornwall County Council, Business
Link Devon and Cornwall and Cornwall College.
Led by project director Nigel Ashcroft this project, that
has been successful mainly because of the strong public/private
partnerships, has led to 99% high speed broadband coverage
across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It has also changed
the way broadband infrastructure is rolled out across rural
regions in the UK and Europe and has given this region's
businesses a competitive edge.
Ms Kelemen said: "This is a great opportunity to
demonstrate the pioneering successes that have been delivered
through the partnerships created through Objective One in
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The region has worked hard
on the journey to economic growth and we want to share some
of these achievements with other EC countries."
Mr Yeoman will be giving a presentation on how the Objective
One Programme has used the environment as an economic driver.
He said: "The big challenge for economic regeneration
is to successfully marry environmental issues into an agenda
designed to produce wealth and jobs – using the environment
as an economic driver gives us a successful model to do this."
2006 Open Days' partners include more than 130 regions
and cities from all over Europe, the European Parliament's
Committee for Regional Development, European financial institutions,
European business organisations, social partner and civil
society organisations, amongst others. The programme is organised
under five thematic areas: enterprise investments; innovation;
sustainable development; public-private partnerships; management
of Structural Funds.
For this event, more than 3000 participants are expected,
for more than 100 sessions, seminars and workshops given by
500 speakers coming from 30 different countries.
This year's Open Days marks the end of Objective One
and the beginning of Convergence – the next top round
of EU investment which Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has
Danuta Hübner, Member of the European Commission responsible
for Regional Policy, said: "Europe needs higher
growth rates, more and better jobs and sustainable competitiveness.
But growth strategies that are run from the centre are no
longer sufficient; to be effective, they must be integrated
with local and regional strategies. Today economic growth
is driven by innovation and added value which can be much
more efficiently influenced at the sub-national level. Most
of the resources essential for innovation – regional
technology centres, research institutes, innovative SMEs,
bodies providing financing – can be found within the
region or a city, at a short distance from the regional, local
or urban governance level.
"That is why the focus of this year's Open
Days is on regional and local investment strategies, on their
efficiency and quality, and on their contribution to the growth
and jobs agenda. Open Days will provide a forum for the exchange
of best practices in identifying the regions' and cities'
responses to the challenges of accelerated changes in global
markets, in fully realising their growth potential and leading
their own development."
The Regional Economic Strategy will also be launched at the
Residence of the UK Permanent Representative to the EU in
Brussels with speeches from Commissioner Hübner and Deputy
UK Permanent Representative, Anne Lambert. Thirty to forty
high-level officials from the Commission and other European
networks will participate in interactive workshop sessions.
In addition to this Lorelei Hunt, Director of Innovation
at the South West Regional Development Agency, will be presenting
at a seminar led by the Irish Regions on promoting regional
research and innovation. Matt Smith from the Innovation Team
will have a stand at the Investors' Cafe, a state-of-the
art meeting place and networking opportunity for business
investors and decision-makers from local and regional authorities.
Organised by the European Commission's Regional Policy
Directorate-General (DG REGIO) and the Committee of Regions
(CoR), the purpose of this conference is to bring together
public and private stakeholders, to get them involved in and
inform them about practical funding possibilities from the
EU. At the same time, this event provides an opportunity to
learn from other regional strategies, past experiences and
future programming objectives with the aim of providing the
most appropriate possible mix between public and private funding
for each region.
For further information please contact Clare Morgan, Media
Relations Manager for the Objective One Partnership on 01872
223439 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439