Wednesday 30. September 2009

Northern Periphery Programme Partner Meeting

The University Centre took part in a collaborative meeting held at Höfn, September 21-22, 2009. The purpose of the meeting was to build networks between the players in the Icelandic NPP project, to address matters concerning project execution, administration, communication, and also to give the participants an opportunity to present their respective ongoing projects. Representatives of seventeen projects took part in the meeting. They presented a wide range of projects that deal with topics from Economuseums, to global heating, road management and maintenance.

The University Centre has engaged in Diversifying Marine-Based Employment Opportunities, a project with the goal of developing and promoting the marine tourism sector, focusing on innovation in fisheries' tourism and seafood-based experiences. These industries aim to bring together components of local marine-based knowledge, culture, heritage and products with tourism and business related skills and knowledge. Engaged in this preparatory project were Teagasc, the Irish Food and Development Authority who acted as Lead Partner, the University of Alta, Norway and the University of Iceland. For Iceland, the Westfjords are considered to be of particular interest as there are many operators engaged in sea-angling. As such, the first collaborative meeting was held at the University Centre of the Westfjords in October 2008. Small and medium sized enterprises and other players in the tourism sector were invited to this meeting with the University Centre and the Westfjord Agency for Economic Development. The preparatory project was formally terminated in spring 2009, as the Irish partner withdrew from the project. The University Centre was approached by the remaining parties and asked to act as Leading Partner in the project. An application is now under preparation and will be completed by March 2010.

The Northern Periphery Programme (NPP) covers a vast area and encompasses the EU member states of Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom and Sweden as well as Non-EU member states Faeroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and Norway. The aim of the NPP, 2007-2013, is to help communities in peripheral and remote areas, on the northern margins of Europe, to develop their economic, social and environmental potential through enabling public institutions, R&D units, SME‘s and other private companies to engage in cooperation in transnational projects. Various common features such as harsh climate conditions and sparse population are shared by these regions and they are working to find new ways to address these shared challenges and explore new opportunities. Transnational partnerships are considered excellent opportunities to explore these issues collaboratively.

From a field trip that the participants of the meeting took to Geitafell near Hoffellsjökull glacier.
From a field trip that the participants of the meeting took to Geitafell near Hoffellsjökull glacier.