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Six regions โ€“ one objective. This is the motto of the 2007-2013 Italy-Austria Interreg IV programme, part of the 2007-2013 European territorial cooperation programmes funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to promote balanced, sustainable development and a harmonious integration of the six regions bordering Italy and Austria.

The programme follows on from the successful experience of the 2000-2006 Italy-Austria INTERREG IIIA, which funded 213 projects of trans-border cooperation for more than 77 million euros, and participated in the financing of Italian-Austrian cooperation projects that aimed, amongst other issues, to improve economic relations and competitiveness in protecting the environment and encouraging the sustainable development of the territory.

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The funds for this programme amount to more than 80 million euros and the maximum public financing granted to the beneficiaries amounts to 85% of the total approved admissible costs. The remaining 15% is covered by national co-funding. This means that the participation of the project partner with additional resources is no longer compulsory, but rather exclusively represents a premium in assessing the proposal: the maximum public financing granted to partners can even reach 100% of the total costs admitted to financing.

Access to financing is linked to the presentation of a project proposal when the authorities managing the public programme make one of their regular calls. Expiry dates and methods for the presentation of projects are published in various journals and on the website www.interreg.net. Public and private consortia, development agencies, scientific and technological parks, industrial districts, business innovation centres, regional funding agencies, chambers of commerce, universities, educational institutes, research and training institutes, NGO and non-profit associations, managers of protected areas, foundations, fair bodies, tourist operators, private individual and associated economic operators, trans-border development organisations and public service suppliers and other beneficiaries compatible with the priorities are all potential beneficiaries. The key requirement for accessing the programme is the participation in at least two beneficiaries belonging respectively to one of the two Member States of the Programme, Italy and Austria.

The management authority and the technical secretariat together with the entire programme are managed by the Independent Province of Bolzano, whilst each region participating in the programme has instituted a regional coordination body that supplies the parties concerned with information and support in relation to all stages of the programme.

The programme has two priorities: priority 1 โ€“ Promotion of economic relations, competitiveness and the diversification of enterprises; and priority 2 โ€“ territory and sustainability.

The first involves project lines of intervention in the subject matters concerning support to small and medium sized enterprises; marketing tourism interventions and cooperation; research, innovation and the society of information; and human resources and the employment market. The second axis focuses on the themed areas linked to the protected areas, natural and cultural landscape, protection of the environment and biodiversity; prevention of natural, technological risks and civil protection; renewable energies, water resources and disposal and provisioning systems; organisations of trans-border development, partnership, networks, urban and rural systems; access to transport services, telecommunication and other services; culture, health and social affairs.

 

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