The 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.