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Interreg France (Channel) England

Interreg France (Channel) England (FCE) is an EU programme set up to foster economic development in the south of the UK and north of France by funding innovative high quality cooperation projects which have a sustainable cross-border benefit in the Programme’s eligible regions.

FCE focuses on supporting projects that deliver against a range of specific objectives including supporting innovation, developing low carbon technologies and improving the attractiveness of the FCE area.

The Programme has a total of €223 million of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funds to distribute by the managing authority at Norfolk County Council.

Detailed information about the FCE programme and how to apply, and if you have a project idea and would like to find out whether it falls under one of these objectives and is in the eligible region.

Case study

CoRot - Improving the Design of Flexible and Responsive Manufacturing Systems Involving Autonomous and Collaborative Robots

With the average productivity of SMEs falling in both the UK (12%) and France (2%), Project CoRot aims to develop new autonomous robot technology to help improve the competitiveness of SMEs in the Channel area.

CoRot will develop innovative and affordable robot software and hardware that is focused on the needs and budgets of smaller businesses. SMEs often face issues such as large variances in volume and short deadlines, and the automated robotic systems and software developed by the CoRot project will allow SMEs to become more flexible and responsive to this type of demand.

This is an important step in improving the competitiveness and productivity of SMEs, as existing industrial robots on the market are often seen as being too expensive and too complex for smaller businesses to implement into their production processes.

The new systems will be trialled in six industrial workshops (3 in France, 3 in the UK) where the project will aim to improve productivity in these trials by as much as 30%.

After the project has ended a combination of software packages, a low cost robot arm and training guides will be made readily available to SMEs.

CoRot was awarded an ERDF grant of €2,672,341.

This programme has three priorities, split into five specific objectives.

  1. Support innovation in order to address the economic and societal issues facing the France (Channel) England area
    • Increase the delivery and uptake of innovative products, processes, systems and services in shared smart specialisation sectors
    • Increase the quality and the effectiveness of service delivery to the most socially and economically disadvantaged groups through social innovation
  2. Support the transition to a low-carbon economy in the France (Channel) England area
    • Increase the development and uptake of existing or new low-carbon technologies in the sectors that have the highest potential for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  3. Enhance the attractiveness of the territories of the France (Channel) England area
    • Realise the potential of the common natural and cultural assets to deliver innovative and sustainable growth
    • Enhance and protect the coastal and transitional water ecosystems

Applicants can submit a project idea as either a Regular project or a Micro-Project.

Regular Projects

  • No maximum project budget
  • 69% intervention rate

Micro-Projects

  • €500,000 maximum project budget
  • 80% intervention rate

Regular Projects

  • Open to all organisations
  • Organisations must be located within the Programme area

Micro-Projects

  • Open to organisations employing less than 50 people and have a turnover of less than €10 million.
  • Organisations must be located within the Programme area

The minimum requirement for a project to be eligible is for the partnership to have at least one English partner and at least one French partner, both based in the programme area.

The partnership has to be balanced between the types of partners, and demonstrate its complementarity and the specific contribution of each partner.

You can find further information on the programme website www.channelmanche.com/, which also includes contact details for the Facilitators who are available to advise you on project ideas, and to help you find potential partners.

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