EURADA, the European Association of Development Agencies, held a Summer Course for its memberson the Preparation of European Proposals. It was a good opportunity for members to identify topics that will be covered in detail this Fall, and offered a wide variety of new project ideas.
The event was an excellent opportunity for the more than 70 attendees to acquire the skills necessary to prepare high quality project proposals for their regional development agencies (RDA) – while making valuable contacts with other providers and potential supporters. Stanislaw Ginda, former EURADA President and ARRSA Director, welcomed the delegates, emphasising EURADA’s mission and role throughout the decades.EURADA has always acted as a European innovation agent supporting pioneering initiatives: business angels, crowd-funding, industry 4.0, data-mining and many more.
EU projects are very challenging and hard work is required not only in the project proposal preparation but especially during the implementation and delivery phases. He stressed the importance of project funding for this sector – which isto ensure the long-term financial stability for these organisations. This represents a challenge for all actors in this sector as the extreme competition. However, while competitive, the sector is also at an advantage, as organisations of this kind can best think of economic development with a social dimension and, thus, play a true societal role.
On the second day, Director Esteban Pelayo introduced specific calls and opportunities which could be interesting to participants and development agencies. He offered a general overview of the EU Commission programmes, e.g., Horizon 2020, Cosme, etc. and highlighted the Cohesion Funds and Industrial Leadership as it aims to involve more development agencies. “Peer learning for Innovation agencies— why should we focus on this? This call supports innovation in companies and can involve small agencies as it is easy to handle, manage, and organize,” explained Pelayo as he listed the different calls of the Commission geared toward SME growth and development. “Development agencies could have a role in these calls because we are able to manage projects and policies which involve stakeholders in order to improve our regions”. He then highlighted practical tips on services EURADA can provide for participants and RDAs, e.g. networking, which is an important way to gather contacts and can achieved by participating to our summer course and similar events-such as EURADA brokerage event which will be held in January 2020.