Atlantic Action Plan    


The Support Team for the Atlantic Action Plan (AAP) would like to wish you a Happy New Year and to share with you its “first year review” and what is coming ahead for the Atlantic Area. Focus of the fourth edition of our Newsletter is the 2017 UK presidency of the Atlantic Strategy Group (ASG) and the message by the new Chair Mr. James How.

Issue Focus

2017 marks the change of the ASG Presidency to the United Kingdom and the new ASG Chair, Mr. James How outlines UK’s vision for the new year: “2017 will be an important year for the Atlantic Strategy Action Plan.  After lots of good progress since the Action Plan was agreed in 2013, a mid-term review of implementation is now due.  The UK, leading the work of the Atlantic Strategy Steering Group throughout 2017, will work with the Commission and interested stakeholders to ensure the mid-term review both takes account of experiences so far and sets out a clear path for the coming years.  The UK will also host the 2017 stakeholder conference: we expect to be able to announce the location and venue very soon.”


Throughout 2016, the Support Team for the AAP was committed to provide proactive guidance to project promoters for the development of project ideas that relate to AAP priorities.  146 ideas were recorded on the Support Team’s database during the contract’s implementation and the Support Team continuously seeks to provide project promoters with advice regarding funding opportunities and potential partnerships.  At the end of the 1st year, 22 project ideas identified by the Support Team have been submitted for funding through various instruments, while 1 idea has already secured funding from the INTERREG Europe Programme. More information on registering your project idea or finding suitable project partners can be found at our website.

Four National Events were held in 2016 in Portugal, Spain, France and Ireland and the presence of stakeholders in each of these events exceeded anticipated attendance. The scope of the National Events was not only to provide information on the AAP and Support Team services but to also facilitate project idea development and networking and their attendance by a total of 384 stakeholders has far exceeded contractual expectations of minimum of 30-50 participants per National Event. Online information on all National Events is available here.

Besides National Events, the National Units implemented 11 roadshows that commenced in Ireland on February 2016 and closed in France on October 2016 with a scope ranging from providing general information on the AAP to providing consultation on project idea development.

The main event of the Support Team, the “3rd Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference” (3rd ASPC) was held in Dublin, Ireland on September 27th, 2016 and concentrated on Priority 1 of the Atlantic Action Plan “Promote Entrepreneurship and Innovation” emphasizing on project development so as to promote activities linked with the Atlantic Best Practices and the Atlantic Project Awards.

During 2016, the Support Team participated in over 60 3rd party events that were organised by a variety of stakeholders ranging from research centres and universities, to public, European, national and regional authorities, clusters and networks. Through its participation in such events, the Support Team aims to promote its mandate of furthering the reach of the AAP priorities, engaging stakeholders and promoting networking and guidance activities.

In 2017, stakeholder guidance and promotion of project development will continue to be one of the main tasks of the Support Team facilitating stakeholders through the helpdesk service and its participation in 3rd party events.

Network links will be sought to be maintained and strengthened during the year while particular emphasis will be placed on the development of new networks.  Special emphasis will be placed on the initiative that the Support Team started along with EBN regarding the development of a new formal Atlantic Area sub-network as envisioned by EBN and the Irish BICs

The planning for the 4th Atlantic Stakeholder Conference Platform Conference, expected to be held in the UK during the Fall, will commence in the first Quarter of 2017 and it will seek to further the success and incorporate all lessons learnt from the previous Stakeholder Conferences. 

Additionally, the Support Team will hold a new round of 22 roadshows in all Member States seeking to secure higher attendance and more concrete results while also assisting the UK National Unit with the organisation of its National Event in 2017.

Throughout 2017, the Support Team will continue seeking to identify ideas, initiatives, methods or projects as “Best Practices” meaning that they can demonstrate success in achieving their goals and that their promoters, managers or operators are willing to share them for the benefit of others.  The “Best Practises” database has been established and uploaded on the Support Team website and the Support Team will be disseminating the guidelines and evaluation process to stakeholders in the first half of 2017.  More information can be found here.

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This publication represents the views of the staff of the Support Team for the Atlantic Strategy and is not to be regarded as the official position of the European Commission.