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Frontpage News 2012 Grants 2009-2014 launched in Poland

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Grants 2009-2014 launched in Poland

The first large conference for the new funding period of the EEA and Norway Grants 2009-2014 took place on 18 October in Warsaw. The conference was an information meeting for programmes in environment, culture and health, and attracted more than 200 participants from across Poland.

In the new funding period, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have allocated €578.1 million to 17 programmes in Poland. Of these, twelve have been approved by the three donor countries, while the remaining five are currently under appraisal.

Grant funding worth €70 million will go towards public health initiatives. The Norwegian Directorate of Health is participating as a partner in the public health programme. The funding will focus on reducing inequalities in healthcare and improving public health.

Funding of €60 million will be used to protect Poland’s cultural heritage, with an additional €10 million provided to promote diversity in culture and arts. The programmes are being implemented in partnership with the Norwegian Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Arts Council Norway.

Poland and Norway share a common interest in developing carbon capture and storage. Funding worth €137 million has been allocated to support a pilot project at Belchatów, Europe’s largest coal fuelled thermal power plant. Norway’s Gassnova, is involved as the programme’s partner, will provide its experience and know-how to a pilot project.

The extensive research cooperation between Poland and Norway is continuing with €36.8 million for the new Polish-Norwegian Research Programme. This aims at enhancing bilateral research cooperation and strengthening research capacity. The first open call for project proposals under this programme was launched in September 2012, with a deadline for applications of 30 November. The Research Council of Norway is the donor programme partner.

Delivering good results

The conference was organised by the Polish Ministry of Regional Development, with Poland’s Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Pawel Orlowski, and the Ambassador of Norway, Enok Nygaard both present.

“Over the past years I have had the privilege to meet a number of representatives of local and regional authorities, as well as beneficiaries, and heard their positive assessments of our financial contributions. I have seen and observed many of the good results,” said Ambassador Nygaard.

Senior officials from Poland agreed with Mr Nygaard that the Grants are successful in fostering innovation and strengthening the bilateral ties between Poland and the donor countries.

“The support offered by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein is regarded as a very important tool which allows us to finance a range of key development investments,” emphasised Poland’s Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Pawel Orlowski.

In the previous funding period, Poland was allocated  €558.6 million.

Bilateral opportunities

Boosting bilateral cooperation is one of the key elements of the Grants, with partnerships between organisations and institutions from Poland and the donor countries strongly encouraged.

“In some of the programmes, the bilateral fund is substantial and offers significant opportunities. This is the case with the energy programme and the health programme, areas of strong political interest in both countries,” highlighted Ambassador Nygaard.

In the current financing period, a total of over €11 million has been earmarked to strengthen bilateral ties between Poland and the donor states.

Photo: Ambassador of Norway, Enok Nygaard, at the launch

Credit: Christophe Vander Eecken