We are happy to invite you to our 2nd microactivity in the form of a webinar on 16th June 2020 organized by our Partner, Kalmar Region County. This time we will discuss the youth issues and Agenda 2030.
Our expert will be Ms Therese Mithander Udovcic from Sweden. Therese is an expert with advice and support on transnational cooperation and project development in the Baltic Sea Region.
On the 16th of June, we will have the opportunity to gather around initiatives and project ideas on Youth and Agenda2030.
We suspended our activities due to Covid-19
emergency but now we’re ready to get back to you with new webinars and
Rent-an-Expert service! We hope you are all fine and that you’re ready to be engaged
We are planning different thematic webinars
with the support of experts from the fields. You can participate for free
enrolling in our Moodle platform first, and then in the right course. There you
can find the link to connect to Zoom platform, you will connect to your peers
and you’ll have access to the material prepared for each specific webinar.
We are the masters of the capacity building! Therefore, if after the webinars you feel you’d need more support on specific topics, we can provide support hiring an expert for you.
The support can be requested by single organizations’ teams. We will help you to connect with others, find the right expert and organize ad hoc sessions for you.
Are you ready for our first webinar on sustainable cycling tourism? We will start on 10th June, more info and registration link will come on Monday! Stay tuned!
On our Moodle, we have a great course and handbook on project management prepared by the experts.
You simply register and enjoy our FREE coursebook, trainers book, presentations and much more.
Those of you who participated in some of our events and activities will soon receive a registration link automatically, but if you wish to subscribe now, do it. Please note that you do not have to register nor use the Moodle platform once you receive the link from us, but we encourage you to do so.
The times are challenging, but we continue to plan the next activities, webinars and training sessions. Soon we will send you more info on the upcoming transnational project management & capacity building activities.
We are super excited to announce that our project has been extended until the end of the year! What does it mean for you?
Even more webinars with our experts who will help you in creating new, original projects or improving those already started. Also, check out #Umbrella training and rent-an-expert sessions on-line! Soon we will come back with the first dates and information on the topics. If you’re looking for some specific topic or have any suggestions – just let us know!
On 25-26 February 2020, the Umbrella project held its third cross border conference on Sustainable Tourism at the beautiful Hotel Saxkjøbing in Guldborgsund municipality, Denmark. More than 65 participants from Poland, Lithuania, Denmark, Sweden and Germany took part in the conference to discuss the latest trends of sustainable tourism in the Baltic Sea Region.
The conference offered an excellent overview of the objectives in the EU Baltic Sea Strategy – and how different regions and projects in the South Baltic Sea work within the frame of sustainable tourism.
We also had some fantastic workshops in the areas of;
1) Nature and Coastal Tourism,
2) Cultural heritage Tourism,
3) Food / Gastro Tourism,
and 4) Cycling Tourism, and we hope that these workshops have paved the ground for future projects and international cooperation.
A big thank you to the host of Guldborgsund Municipality for organising this event.
Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 and the pandemic situation we decided to postpone the Umbrella project final conference that was planned on 18-19th May in Gdańsk, Poland. We hope that the event will take place in fall and we will let you know the exact date as soon as we confirm the new dates.
Please stay safe and all the best from Umbrella and Euroregion Baltic Team!
This month Umbrella is coming back with the Success Story on INTERCONNECT project. Interconnect supports new and more efficient public transport services both in and between the coastal regions of the South Baltic area – to give the residents and tourists broader and more sustainable options for realising their mobility needs.
Today, the public transport offer in the South Baltic area hardly meets customer expectations for the comfort of making regional and cross-border journeys. Communities of the coastal regions see no clear benefits of choosing public transport over a car for longer trips:
dissatisfied with a shortage of tickets allowing multimodal rides (e.g. bus-ferry-train) across the regional borders,
difficult access to one-spot passenger information
a lack of tailor-made products.
This is particularly visible on ferry links, which see a steadily growing number of cross-border car travels due to customised services and price packages for motorised passengers, while the market segment of foot passengers remains marginal.
Public transport authorities in the South Baltic area require more knowledge about regional and cross-border mobility needs in their communities – both now and in the future – and need deeper expertise on how to match them with sustainable solutions. The usual planning and management tools, market incentives and promotion campaigns in the regional communities to change the travel behaviour tend to fail, as they are usually not preceded by a mapping of no-car travel preferences.
Although many interesting public transport services and products in the South Baltic area have been developed locally, the experience is very scattered and the good practice has not been effectively exchanged at the region-to-region level so far. In addition, some South Baltic regions lack public transport systems and organisations to manage this process.
Read below some useful tips and info from the project partner responsible for the Communication in Interconnect. Answers provided by Ms Ania Dudziak, Project Officer at Euroregion Baltic, Poland.
What has been valuable or what was the most significant asset for you as a person to be a part of this project?
Being a part of this project has given me new self-development opportunities and has widened my knowledge about cross-border cooperation. But most of all, it gave me a chance to meet many great people from different countries.
What have you discovered from working with other nationalities? Is there something you discovered and you considered as a surprise (for its originality, something you discovered about your the country that you did not know before?)
When working in an international environment, you can always discover something new and surprising, something to learn from. I guess every nationality has a lot to bring “onboard the project”, whether it’s cultural, social, or legal issues. The beauty of working with other nationalities is the possibility of creating something unique that might reach beyond any kind of borders.
If newcomer: What was your experience as a newcomer in the Partnership?
As a newcomer in both partnership and international projects, I was amazed by how well people from different environments/institutions can work together, overcoming any boundaries and sharing their experience and knowledge to gain common goals.
What has your organization gained from the project?
The Interconnect project partnership is about being a part of changes that affect our everyday life, e.g. sustainable transport, mobility etc. The partnership gave us a great chance to extend the contact network of experts, local institutions and companies to cooperate with in the future. It is also a significant opportunity to share know-how and international experience in implementing technical solutions when it comes to a particular area of regional development.
How has the project made an impact on your area?
A great success of the Interconnect project is the intense cross-border cooperation and pilot work to implement technical solutions in developing a model of paying for public transport journeys in cross-border traffic between Region Blekinge(Sweden) and Pomorskie Voivodeship (Poland), as well as the development of the FALA integrated ticket system in Pomorskie Voivodeship.
Has something changed/ improved thanks to your Project? The process of the implementation of the FALA integrated ticket system in Pomorskie Voivodeship has already started, which will have a significant impact on the ease of use of public transport in this area.
Do you have any good advice for potential new organizations that wish to enter into international projects and CBC networks?
No organization should hesitate to enter into CBC networks and transfer their project ideas to the international level. Reaching international partners gives a project better chances of evolvement and implementation.
In 2018 Euroregion Baltic started the implementation of the South Baltic UMBRELLA project which aims at developing know-how capacities for small local and regional organisations in the South Baltic Programme area to initiate their active participation in the cross-border cooperation in their daily activities.
Its principal activities focused or raising awareness
of local actors on the possibilities offered by cross-border cooperation,
micro-activities and direct expert support in writing project applications for
South Baltic Programme.
2018 was spent setting the basis for an efficient
capacity-building process that unfolded in 2019 with cross-border events
accompanied by local-based initiatives, mapping of stakeholders, communication
and scouting campaigns, besides the production of valuable teaching material.
Umbrella’s partnership evolved into a well-structured, motivated and energetic
team. Umbrella- Boosting cross-border cooperation capacities of local actors in
the South Baltic Sea- became an ambitious attempt to provide professional
consultancy on EU funding and cooperation opportunities in the South Baltic Sea
Region. Through the South Baltic Programme support, it was possible to finance
numerous initiatives creating a future easily replicable package. On a
practical organizational side, Umbrella built a Pool of Experts who could cover
several EU and non-EU funding programmes in the Baltic Sea Region. Support to
local organizations (small municipalities, NGOs, institutions, local activists,
etc.) was provided through the actions described below.
5th-7th February 2019 – Cross-Border Workshop in Lund
(SE) co-organized by the Association of Polish Communes of Euroregion Baltic
(PL), Region Kalmar County and Skåne Association of Local Authorities as
cross-project action. The scope was to create continuity with the SB-PIN
Baltic- Public Innovators Network), in its final phase. SB-PIN had laid the
basis for several workshops and discussions covering the topics of Blue Growth,
Green Growth and Inclusive Cities. Umbrella’s team participated in SB-PIN final
conference providing expertise and a pragmatic approach through a workshop on
EU funding opportunities- from the local to the international level- search of
calls of proposals, and project ideation. This was a first test to decide on
topics not to be missed when approaching a cross-border cooperation network.
24th-25th April 2019- Cross-border conference with
EUSBSR Policy Area SMART SPECIALIZATION panel. After the success of the first
Conference with PA panel on Bioeconomy held in Kalmar (SE) in September 2018,
Umbrella and Euroregion Baltic participated in the co-organization of this
experts meeting “International Value Chains as a goal for regional Smart
9th MAY- on Europe Day, a second Awareness Raising
Event was held in Sorø, organized by PP Guldborgsund Municipality as an informative
event on EU opportunities for municipalities and educational institutions. The
intention was to show different cooperation opportunities both at local,
regional and international level and saw the participation of Greater
Copenhagen EU Office. Danish municipalities’ own experience with EU funds was
also illustrated. A micro-activity on Culture was held as back to back event.
MAY-AUGUST- during the summer all the efforts were devolved to the cooperation with the consultancy company Whitecom Project Experience sp. zoo (based in Warsaw), that won a public tender for the preparation of a project training and coaching pack. Umbrella’s team set the basis of choosing a set of topics that have been organized in educational and self-learning contents on project management. Thanks to the constant work between Whitecom, Pomorskie in the EU association and LP, the output resulted in high-value material covering both generic notions on project management and tailor-made sections with a focus on the Baltic Sea Region. The training and coaching pack has been delivered in two project management manuals: for beneficiaries of the Umbrella project and trainers. The purpose of this package is to support people and groups with great ideas that could contribute to the sustainable development of the South Baltic Region.
Through the manual, knowledge about project management, paperwork and requirements associated with successfully acquiring the funding for projects are conveyed. A trainers book came as a supplement for the beneficiary manual and presents the contents of the package from the perspective of the instructor conducting training courses to individuals who would like to acquire, understand and use the knowledge included in the package. Guidelines on the right teaching process, key learning points, explanations of the course flow and logic were put together with additional resources. The final scope of the training and coaching pack is: to provide basic knowledge and ability to use essential tools and techniques of project management- and other disciplines- that could be used in relation with projects; to increase the confidence and skills of beneficiaries in the process of preparation of a successful project proposal as part of an application for financial support from the financing programme.
During this experience, we realized how important is
communication. Therefore, the Association of Polish Communes of Euroregion
Baltic as LP invested some finances in renovating the ERB website. It has the
potential to serve as the basis for the capacity-building platform on a broader
regional level. Meanwhile, for the project purpose, a Moodle platform has been
established and organized in “courses” where training material for
self-learning is available for free for all (subscription needed).
COMMUNICATION – Umbrella invested a lot of efforts in
communication and dissemination through the social media campaigns: Know us
better!; Did you know?; ERB history; Know ERB member regions both on ERB
and Umbrella website. We also organized a workshop during the SBP ANNUAL EVENT
IN OSTRÓDA on 24th-25th SEPTEMBER 2019 attended by more than 50 people.
On 2nd OCTOBER 2019, a TRAINING
OF TRAINERS was held by Whitecom Project Experience with the purpose of
training Project Partners and other pre-selected experts in anticipation of the
National training. The training was organized as a practical workshop on
teaching tools and teaching practices.
25th OCTOBER – a Cross-border conference with EUSBSR
Policy Area ENERGY panel was organized by PP2 Baltic Institute for Regional
Affairs BISER together with UMBRELLA Interreg South Baltic and project
partners. The main objective of this conference was to provide beneficiaries
with relevant information concerning the on-going discussion on Energy topics
in the South Baltic Sea, Energy & electromobility objectives in the EU
Baltic Sea Strategy and Umbrella’s opportunities for the preparation of future
project applications in the Interreg South Baltic Programme. Being the
conference co-organized with the EUSBSR PA ENERGY Coordinator, participants met with experts in the frame of
the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. A specialised „Microactivity” aiming
experts related to the electromobility was also organized as a back-to-back
event. During the micro-activity electromobility projects in the Pomorskie
region were presented, besides the Mevo- Metropolitan e-Bike Sharing System and
EUSBSR Seed money calls possibilities.
NOVEMBER – The “Report With
Assessment Of Needs And Potential Project Themes And Project Barriers” was
delivered by HI-ERO – Hanseatic Institute for Entrepreneurship and Regional
Development, external expert in charge of mapping Umbrella’s stakeholders
Within the scope of this study, almost 90 organisations from five European
countries have been interviewed with regards to their knowledge and experience
about EU-funded projects and, in particular, the obstacles that hinder
organisations from participating in EU-funded projects. This survey has brought
to light specific trends and results that can have an impact on the improvement
of EU-funded projects. The Mapping Stakeholders was foreseen to present a
general picture of organisations in the regions covered by the UMBRELLA project
qualified as potential beneficiaries of the South Baltic Programme.
APPLICATIONS SUPPORTED THROUGH RENT AN EXPERT SO FAR
1. Cross-roads in the South Baltic Sea- Interreg South
2. Implementation of new solutions – as an effect
of international cooperation – in a field of improvement of the functioning of
local government units in the area of public services availability for people
with specific needs. Polish POW ER Programme (transnational component), not
3. Bullhead- Interreg South Baltic- granted. This project was ideated and formulated thanks to the organization of a micro activity and then supported by an expert from Umbrella’s pool in January 2019.
National trainings in Denmark will be held in February
Between October 2019 and January 2020, 9 National
trainings based on Umbrella’s training and coaching pack have been held in
national languages to reduce the language barriers that sometimes emerge when using
English as non-native speakers.
“MEET YOUR NEIGHBOURS” MICRO-ACTIVITIES- they are
intended as meetings, and study visits where Umbrella’s stakeholders are
supported while knowing each other and establishing new networks of
cooperation. Project Partners have organized several micro-activities (some can
be found in the text above):
11th-14th November 2019 on Rural Development. The study trip aimed to exchange
experiences, learn from good examples and discuss possible joint projects and cooperation
in the future. Stakeholders came from Region Kalmar County, Sweden.
LT- Study visit in Klaipeda,4th-6th December 2019- “Towards international collaboration: Culture and Arts”. The main aim was to bring together organizations active in the field of culture and arts, and promote mutual international collaboration opportunities with support tools of UMBRELLA project. PL- Youth Group Exchanges organized as back to back in the Connect Europe project event on Solidarity in the ECS (Gdansk) on 2nd-4th December 2019. A project application on Youth Exchange in the South Baltic Sea region is being supported through Rent-an-expert service.