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EU Projects go live in Fife - Business boost for Maritime Sector

Fife Council is set to welcome international delegations and high-profile guests as part of its CLIPPER Interreg project, a EU fund that supports crossborder and international cooperation to boost maritime businesses, 3 _ 5 July.

This visit to Scotland - where delegates will visit a range of locations important for the maritime section, including Rosyth, Methil and St Andrews – will benefit business, local authorities and both the Further and Higher Education sectors.

The CLIPPER project involves seven regions across Europe, including Fife, that are home to more traditional shipyards and naval dockyards and are now having to diversify and innovate.

Cllr Altany Craik, Convener - Economy, Tourism. Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, said: “Fife’s CLIPPER project is working to develop public policies to better support businesses in the maritime sector as they diversify and change business practice to tackle new opportunities, such as offshore renewable energy. This includes better understanding of newer financing platforms, such as crowdfunding to develop new sources of investment.”

The event is designed to enable business and organisations to learn from one another and provide knowledge of the marine environment that can support diversification, especially into Offshore renewables. A range of Fife business are taking part in the visit designed to boost innovation, and are set to benefit.

Fife Council’s three-day programme starts on Tuesday with an update to partners and external stakeholders on its Interreg Clipper project, followed by a Provost reception in Dunfermline.

On Wednesday, delegates are set to visit to the Fife Renewables Innovation Centre, Forth Ports and St Andrews.

On Thursday roundtable discussion will focus on “Public-Private sector support for SMEs in Maritime areas” at Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline, chaired by European Commission Director of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at the Commission, Bernhard Friess.

Speakers will also discuss the importance of access to finance for blue growth companies that source energy from the Ocean, for example though making for wave and tidal devices as suppliers and subcontractors.

Scottish organisations have done very well in securing Interreg – including funding through Horizon 2020 and Erasmus Plus. Since the start of the current programme (2014), there have been 112 approved projects in Scotland, totalling an EU investment of €57,914,558.

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