GREBE – Meet the project partners

The GREBE project is comprised of a consortium of eight partners from six countries, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Finland, Norway and Iceland.

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In Ireland, we have the Western Development Commission (WDC), which is an independent state agency that is concerned with promoting the social and economic development in the Western Region (Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon, Galway and Clare).  In promoting economic development, a major policy area of the WDC is energy infrastructure, particularly renewable energy. The WDC is working to ensure that the regions significant natural resources are used sustainably by renewable energy enterprises, providing jobs and bringing investment, as well as providing competitive local energy sources and keeping energy spending within our region and our country.  The WDC will act as lead partner and is responsible for Work Package 1 Project Co-ordination and Work Package on Communications.  The WDC will contribute to all the other work packages and are lead on Activity 3.2 on RE business support and funding mechanisms.

Action renew logo FINAL (3)In Northern Ireland, we have two partners, Action Renewables which is the leading authority on renewable energy in Northern Ireland. The company is a not for profit organisation, and is highly regarded as being impartial and independent. The company is also highly regarded for its level of expertise in all energy related matters, but with a deep understanding of communities and experience of projects functioning in other EU regions. Although it is a small company with just 15 full time staff, the company has expertise in all forms of energy efficiency, climate change issues, CO2 emission reduction, renewable energy, financing issues, community groups and regions within the NPA area.  Action Renewables has worked with both the public and private sectors, and understands how disparate they both are and has the necessary expertise to manage the triple helix type partnership with the unique issues that can bring.  Action Renewables are lead on Work Package 3.

F&ODC Master Dual Pantone 2603Also in Northern Ireland, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council (FODC) are a partner.  They provide many services to the communities of Fermanagh and Omagh including but not limited to Business & Community Support; Environmental Health; Building Control; Sport & Leisure; Arts & Culture; Facilities Management (inc. waste and refuge collection).  The Council funds the provision of such services to the local community through the collection of rates payments. Rates are payable by householders and business owners based within the Counties of Fermanagh and Omagh. Our knowledge of the business sector in this area is vast and our contacts within this sector will ensure that the RE business mentoring / entrepreneurship enabler scheme in Work Package 6 will have maximum impact in terms of supporting the long term viability of SMEs and start-ups in Northern Ireland.

erilogo_small2In Scotland, the Environmental Research Institute in North Highland College are a partner.  They are situated in Thurso, on the shores of the dynamic waters of the Pentland Firth.  The main aim of the ERI is to address contemporary environmental issues and advance understanding of the sustainable use of the Earth’s natural resources.  We aspire to excellence in all that we do and to provide dynamic leadership and education. The ERI has successfully exploited its geographic advantage to play a dynamic and leading role in the development of research and educational provision in support of the renewable energy sector and in particular the emergent marine energy sector. ERI wishes to leave a legacy of open source research and development to improve lives and socio economics of the Highlands and Islands. This will give the project a strong regional presence in the renewable energy sector.  This expertise identified will allow ERI to effectively lead Work Package 5 and undertake a substantial amount of the work in WP2.

Luke_EN_virall_WEBIn Finland, we also have two partners.  The Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) is a research and expert organisation.  The institute promotes bioeconomy and sustainable use of natural resources.  LUKE is an exceptionally cross-disciplinary research institute, aggregating broad expertise and research competence to support the sustainable use of natural resources. The goal of LUKE is to reinforce research and expertise in food and renewable natural resources to build the bioeconomy of the future and the well-being based on it.  LUKE contributes to forest and wood-based renewable energy sectors in Europe through scientific research, research forests, laboratory activities, communication and information services, training/teaching, international activities, and support services, e.g. business development, promotion and technology transfer.   Within GREBE, LUKE will be responsible for WP7 on “Knowledge & Technology Transfer & Business Delivery” with the exchange of experiences and knowledge in the renewable energy field including delivery & dissemination of successful and established business models.

Karelia_UASAlso in Finland, we have the Karelia University of Applied Sciences as a partner.  Karelia UAS provides broad-based, high-level and internationally competitive higher education for the needs of the changing regional and national industry, commerce and other working life. Karelia UAS develops and offers R&D services of high quality in order to enhance regional development and support the industry and other areas of working life, especially in North Karelia and Eastern Finland.  Karelia UAS has also developed renewable energy and energy efficiency business models and is interested in increasing expertise in this field.  In this project, the expertise of renewable energy (energy and environmental technology) and the business and economics is integrated, especially for identifying and developing the business models and growth entrepreneurship across the NPA region. Karelia UAS are lead on Work Package 6.

 
bunnlogoIn Norway, Narvik Science Park (NSP) are a partner.  NSP established in 2000 is an non profit making body that is committed to development of new business from technological research, and are specialists in technological innovation, business development and in commersialization of research results.  Their target areas are the Arctic Technology/Cold Climate, Environmental Technology and Renewable energy, and they provide services such as R&D Incubators, Technological innovation programs and Technology Transfer.  NSP provides all the necessary assistance and facilities for new business enterprises in for instance renewable energy, hydropower and the PV industry, NSP are specialists in business development, commersialization of research results and technological innovation in renewable energy.  NSP are lead on Work Package 4.

ICI logoOur Icelandic partner is the Innovation Center Iceland (ICI).   The main emphasis of ICI is to promote additional knowledge, expertise and general development of the Icelandic economy through innovation, technological development, research and knowledge transferrin a chosen areas e.g. in renewable energy and business development.    ICI offers a free of charge counselling on various issues that may arise with entrepreneurship and businesses. ICI offers a variety of courses in the fields of management, innovation and service provision. Online courses are also offered free of charge to all customers.  ICI will contribute to all work package, particularly work package 4 with NSP and work package 6 on business development and mentoring.

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GREBE Project Partners hold their first meeting in Northern Ireland

GREBE PartnersThe first meeting of the GREBE project was held on 10th & 11th November at the Canal Court Hotel in Newry, Co. Down.  The meeting was chaired by Pauline Leonard of the Western Development Commission as lead partner in the project.

The purpose of this meeting is to officially start up the project, and also establish a common understanding of goals, values and targets amongst partners, work to be carried out by each partner and the time frame for completing these.

During the first day of the partners meeting, the partners introduced their organisations and the renewable energy sectors in their region.  Pauline Leonard gave an overview of the project and work plan, and details of the work packages for Work Package 1 Project Co-ordination and WP2 Communications with discussions on the project launch which will be held in Spring 2016 in Ireland.   Other discussions on the first day included activities on Work Package 3 Policy & Funding Mechanisms (led by Action Renewables) and Work Package 4 The Influence of Environmental Conditions in the NPA and Arctic Regions (led by Narvik Science Park).

During the second day of the meeting, the partners discussed the remaining three work packages, Work Package 5 Linking Renewable Energy Technology and Resources in the NPA Regions (led by ERI), Work Package 6 Business Models and Business Development Support (led by Karelia UAS and Work Package 7 Knowledge and Technology Transfer and Business Delivery (led by LUKE).  The activities and outputs and results for the projects work packages were discussed, with partners setting goals for actions before the next partner meeting.   These will include:

  • WP1: Project Management activities, including finalising the Partnership Agreement, developing a risk register and issues log, file sharing, establishing Industry Advisory Groups, and internal project procedures.
  • WP2: Communication activities, including finalising the Communications Strategy, procurement of design and branding services, developing a project logo and promotional material, creating social media channels (Blog, Facebook & Twitter) and planning the project launch.
  • WP3: Policy & Funding Mechanisms activities will include a review of policy initiatives and renewable energy business support and funding mechanisms in each region.
  • WP4: The Influence of Environmental Conditions in the NPA and Arctic Regions activities will include the gathering of information on the environmental and climatic challenges to renewable energy development in each region.
  • WP5: Linking Renewable Energy Technology and Resources in the NPA Regions activities will include research on identifying key technologies in renewable energy in each of the partner regions.
  • WP6: Business Models and Business Development Support activities will include the review of growth strategies, investigate the access paths to market for renewable energy technologies, review of business mentoring in each region, and mentoring lists in the Fermanagh Omagh District Council region for the piloting of the Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme.
  • WP7: Knowledge and Technology Transfer and Business Delivery activities will focus on developing links with education and training institutes in each of the regions, other training platforms, including EU project platforms. Development of the online training and networking platform will also be investigated.

After many constructive and fruitful discussions we established important links between different work packages.   A potential collaboration with a Canadian organisation was also discussed, and how the results GREBE project can be disseminated beyond the NPA region.  This efficient communication between all partners underlined the sustainable network of the consortium, which will be essential for a successful progress of this project.

Proposals sought for design services for GREBE project

The Western Development Commission (WDC) is the lead partner in the new €1.77m, three-year Generating Renewable Energy Business Enterprise (GREBE) project funded through the EU INTERREG Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme.

The WDC is now seeking quotes from suitably qualified suppliers for Design Services for new NPA-fundedGenerating Renewable Energy Business Enterprise (GREBE) project’ for the duration of the project (to July 2018).  The design services include:

  • GREBE project logo;
  • brand guidelines;
  • a suite of electronic and physical promotional materials;
  • project reports

Download the RFQ-GREBE Design Services-Nov 2015 (PDF, 0.5 MB), which includes details of the deliverables, value of the contract and submission of proposals.

The deadline for submission of quotes is 12.00pm (in Ireland), Thursday 26 November 2015.

Generating Renewable Energy Business Enterprise (GREBE) – A new Northern Periphery & Arctic (NPA) Programme Project

As a result of the RASLRES and BioPAD projects, a number of needs were identified around the areas of developing renewable energy businesses and supporting micro business and SMEs in this sector.  A project concept called ‘Generating Renewable Energy Business Enterprise (GREBE)’ was developed.  GREBE will focus on the challenges of peripheral and arctic regions as places for doing business and help develop renewable energy (RE) business opportunities provided by extreme conditions. It will support successful development of SMEs and start-ups in this sector through analysis of advanced RE options, expert business mentoring, transnational models of successful growth strategies, policy analysis and information on funding mechanisms for businesses and support agencies.

Challenges including a lack of critical mass, dispersed settlements, poor accessibility and vulnerability to climate change effects are well recognised. GREBE will equip SMEs and start-ups with the skills and confidence to overcome these challenges and use place based natural assets for RE to best sustainable effect.

GREBE will enable local entrepreneurs and SMEs to grow their business, to provide local jobs, and meet energy demands of local communities. A comprehensive approach that advocates a supportive and innovative policy framework and promotes awareness of funding schemes is required. GREBE will support diversification of the technological capacity of SMEs and start-ups so that they can exploit the natural conditions of their locations. RE tailored, expert guidance and mentoring will be provided to ensure SMEs and start-ups have the knowledge and expertise to grow and expand their businesses.

GREBE will provide a platform for transnational sharing of knowledge to demonstrate the full potential of the RE sector by showcasing innovations on RE technology and strengthening accessibility to expertise and business support available locally and in other NPA regions. By facilitating access to similar SMEs and start-ups, research institutes and technological experts, networking and learning opportunities will arise, with new skills and methods of doing business shared.

The project partnership includes the eight partners from six countries, Western Development Commission (ROI), Action Renewables (NI), Fermanagh & Omagh District Council (NI), Environmental Research Institute (SCO), LUKE (FI), Karelia University of Applied Sciences (FI), Narvik Science Park (NOR)  and Innovation Center Iceland (ICE).  The budget for this IS €1.77 million over three years, commencing 1st September 2015.   The project is funded by the Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme (http://www.interreg-npa.eu/).

For further information, please contact paulineleonard@wdc.ie

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