Catchment News

Open Call for locally-led proposals under the European Innovation Partnerships Initiative

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, has announced the launch of an Open Call under the European Innovation Partnerships Initiative (EIP) and is inviting applications for funding.

Projects developed under this Open Call will form part of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine’s new ‘Locally-Led’ initiative, a measure proposed by Ireland under the Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020.

“This is a completely new way of responding to local challenges and we look forward to working with, and supporting, groups who are dealing with practical problems in their localities in a new and innovative way.” Minister Creed said.  “This is also an opportunity for farmers, researchers, advisors and scientists to look at new and traditional practices, develop ideas and research, and promote forms of co-operation in their own areas.”

Support for these Open Call applications is structured around a competitive fund.

In effect there are two streams within this call which will be administered via the same process throughout.

The first stream will focus on themes such as farm viability, economic performance, sustainable forest management, and innovative technologies.

The second stream will be focused on challenges related to environmental, biodiversity and climate change issues.  Proposals for projects targeting the restoration of upland peats are specifically invited, but it is hoped that a very wide range of ideas and proposals will emerge in response to this Call, with innovation the common denominator across them all.

Stream A

The first stream aims to facilitate joint innovative approaches to projects and practices focusing particular on activities related to Rural Development Priorities 2 and 3 as set out in the Rural Development Regulation and Ireland’s RDP (see below for details)  These Priorities include themes such as

  • Farm viability, economic performance, and competitiveness
  • Innovative technologies and sustainable forest management
  • Food chain organisation and risk management

€4m of the total budget available over the lifetime of the measure will be focused on this stream.

Stream B

This stream also aims to facilitate joint innovative approaches to projects and practices focusing particular on activities related to Rural Development Priorities 4 and 5 as set out in the Rural Development Regulation and Ireland’s RDP.  These priorities include themes such as:

  • the preservation of agricultural landscapes
  • water quality
  • resource efficiency
  • climate mitigation/adaptation
  • biodiversity

Proposals for projects targeting the restoration of upland peats are specifically invited, but it is hoped that a very wide range of ideas and proposals will emerge in response to this Call, with innovation the common denominator across them all.

€20m of the total budget available over the lifetime of the measure will be focused on this stream.

 

This will be a competitive process with Round 1 being an initial call for ideas using a simple application form.  All proposals will be evaluated by a committee for relevance to the EIP programme and compatibility with Rural Development Priorities.  A shortlist of applicants will be chosen to go forward to Round 2 and these will be funded to prepare detailed project plans.  These plans will then be assessed and a final shortlist drawn up for implementation on the ground, with up to 100% funding provided under the new initiative.

Minister Creed announced that this would be the first of two separate calls, with the next one likely to issue in the middle of 2017. An overall funding package of €24 million has been set aside to support EIPs under these two calls.

Expressions of Interest are invited and should be submitted by 5pm on Friday 27th January 2017 to locallyled@agriculture.gov.ie.

The application form and guidelines on this Open Call can be downloaded from the Department website or by contacting the Locally Led Section at  Locallyled@agriculture.gov.ie, low call number 076 1064454.

Who is involved?

Quite simply, everyone in Ireland has a role to play. This can be from something as simple as making sure you don’t pollute your local stream, or a local community working together to establish a Rivers Trust to enhance the rivers and lakes in their area, to a Government Department or Agency helping a Minister implement a new policy to help protect and enhance all our waterbodies.

This website has been developed and is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is a collaboration between the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Local Authority Waters and Communities Office.

LAWCO

Local Authority Waters Programme

The Local Authority Waters Programme coordinates the efforts of local authorities and other public bodies in the implementation of the River Basin Management Plan, and supports local community and stakeholder involvement in managing our natural waters, for everyone’s benefit.

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4,829 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives and measures for each.

DECLG

Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

The Department is responsible for making sure that the right policies, regulations and resources are in place to implement the Water Framework Directive, and developing a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures that will be implemented after public consultation and sign off by the Minister.