Consulta Europa: LIFE4BEST Regional Focal Point

Consulta Europa is the ‘Regional Focal Point’ of the Macaronesia region (Açores, Madeira, and Canarias) for LIFE4BEST. This initiative aims to promote biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of ecosystem services, including an Ecosystem-based approach to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The initiative promotes different actions in overseas regions grouped into four zones:

-Amazonia: French Guiana (France)
-Caribbean: Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Saint-Martin (France)
-Indian Ocean: Reunion and Mayotte (France)
-Macaronesia: the Azores and Madeira (Portugal) and the Canary Islands (Spain)

LIFE4BEST funded in the 2019 call the Seabird Macaronesia Sound (SMS) project in the archipelagos of Madeira (island of Madeira) and Azores (islands of Santa María, Graciosa, São Jorge, and Flores), marine access points, and critical areas of biodiversity for seabirds in Macaronesia.

This initiative aims to improve and update wildlife data to promote conservation measures and define appropriate action plans to understand biodiversity and ecosystems.

EU4Health officially enters into force

The European Union has formally approved the new EU4Health 2021-2027 program, the largest health program in history that will provide funding to European member states, health organizations, and NGOs.

The regulation was published in the last Official Gazette and has a budget of 5,100 million euros. The new program provides an EU response to the COVID-19 crisis and aims to strengthen the resilience of health systems and promote innovation in the sector.

Among the principles points, the initiative aims to:

-Improve and promote health in the European Union to reduce the burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, reduce health inequalities, promote healthy lifestyles and ensure access to healthcare.

-Protect European citizens from cross-border health threats, strengthening the response capacity of health systems and coordination between the Member States.

-Improve the availability and affordability of medicines, medical devices, and other crisis-relevant products and support innovation.

-Strengthen health systems and health personnel through integrated and coordinated work among member states, the continuous implementation of best practices, data exchange, digital transformation, and addressing the implications of demographic challenges.

The first work program for 2021 will be adopted shortly and implemented by the new European Executive Agency for Health and Digital.

ATHENA project: gathered with the first nominated Advisory members

Looking to implement gender equality plans to unlock the research potential of RPOs and RFOs in Europe, the Steering Committee confirmed the first four members of the Advisory Board.

The Steering Committee of the ATHENA project marked the first of many encounters to follow with the first Advisory Board members, to contribute to higher employment and productivity fairer and gender-equal society.

The Advisory Board will provide guidance and advice on GEPs planning and implementation throughout the whole project lifecycle. Moreover, they will also support coherent indicators to be measured while monitoring the strategies. 

ATHENA is an H2020 project coordinated by Consulta Europa Projects and Innovation S.L. (Canary Islands, Spain) that contributes to unlocking the partner organizations’ research potential, improving the overall performance of the European Research Area. The main objective is to close the innovation divide by avoiding the waste of talent and inefficient use of skilled women from weaker regions of the E.U. 

The initiative counts with 6 Research Performing Organizations (RPOs) from Slovenia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and Bulgaria, and 3 Research Funding Organizations (RFOs) from Italy, Canary Islands, in Spain, and the Azores, in Portugal. 

The project will support eight organizations developing and implementing Gender Equality Plans to enable a cultural and institutional change and achieve gender-equal participation of researchers, professors, and administrative staff. 

To reach its goal, ATHENA will count on the participation of a panel of 10 members of the Advisory Board (A.B.), from which 8 national authorities from the countries involved and 2 scientific publishers, with expertise on gender and women-related areas. 

In April’s we had the participation of the first 4 members of the AB: Mrs. Madeleine Kennedy-Macfoy, policy advisor & guidance on gender equality in Education International and editor of the scientific journal ‘European Journal of Women’s Studies’; Mrs. Selendini, President of APS CREIS (Centro Ricerca Europea per l’Innovazione Sostenibile) and member of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of Italy; Mrs. Brixová, head of the Department of the Equality between men and women and equal opportunities at the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic; and finally Mrs. Walczyk-Matuszyk, head of Research Potential Section/National Contact Point, National Centre for Research and Development of Poland.

Open call for European Maritime Day (EMD) 2021

It will take place from May 20 to 21 in Den Helder, the Netherlands. During this annual event, the European maritime community comes together to network, discuss and forge joint action on maritime affairs and the sustainable blue economy.

The European Maritime Day (EMD) Conference is where ocean leaders meet. Provides an interactive experience to catch up on the current situation on a wide range of topics related to the blue economy and the marine environment and discuss ways forward.

It features a host of excellent speakers, multiple breakout sessions and project presentation sessions hosted by stakeholders and European Commission services, as well as hundreds of B2B meetings. EMD is aimed at professionals from companies, governments, public institutions, NGOs and the academic world. It will be organized jointly with the city of Den Helder, the province of Noord-Holland and the Ministerie van Infrastructuur in Waterstaat.

This year, the sessions will be streamed online over the Internet. Some sessions will take place in Den Helder with the physical presence of some moderators and speakers.
The plenary sessions and the pitch stage will offer:

• Live broadcast online (link will be available in Agenda, after you have registered for the session)

Register in the sessions you would like to attend, in B2Match, in Agenda:

• Opening session

• Session on EU policies “The sustainable fisheries sector and the EU green deal”

• EU Policy Session “Marine and Freshwater Research and Innovation”

• EU Blue Economy Report 2021

• Pitch Stage I

• Pitch Stage II

• Pitch Stage III

• Closing session and award ceremony

Blue-GIFT: Last opportunity to submit proposals

The European Regional Development Fund project runs the third and final call for applications to test and validate marine renewable energy (MRE) technologies. The deadline will be on the 23rd of April 2021 at 17:00 UTC.

Blue-GIFT is a €2.5M European Regional Development Fund project that aims to help Atlantic Area companies test the next generation of Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) technology in real sea environments and prove power can be economically generated from the ocean.

Funded by Interreg Atlantic Area, the Blue-GIFT project is helping technology developers test their MRE devices in the Atlantic Area test sites: BiMEP (Basque Country, Spain), PLOCAN (Canary Island, Spain), SEENEOH (Bordeaux, France), and WavEC (Aguçadoura, Portugal).

So far, the Blue-Gift project has supported four companies to deploy their devices in real sea conditions at test sites in the Atlantic Area including: Arrecife, Design Pro Renewables, Wave Piston and RW Power.

More technology developers will deploy in the coming months using Blue-Gift support, but a few vouchers are still available. If you want to be part of the Blue-Gift success story and test your device, get in touch with Blue-GIFT through this site:

The preparation of the Interreg Europe programme for 2021-2027 continues

The public consultation is open until 16 April! Contribute to the future of Interreg Europe HERE

On 24 March 2021, a webinar was organised as a part of the public consultation on the Interreg Europe cooperation programme for 2021-2027. During the webinar, we presented the main features of the new programme and discussed questions from the audience regarding the programme design and strategy.

You can watch the full webinar recording below. The presentation and links to specific sections are available below the video. A summary report is available here.

You can read the fourth draft of the programme HERE

The power of the creativity to boost culture in Europe

A new community dedicated to the cultural and creative industries, the heart and soul of the European continent, will be launched this autumn through the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) will launch a new Knowledge and Innovation Community dedicated to cultural and creative industries. These sectors are key drivers of sustainable growth and job creation across Europe, but have been affected very hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent crisis. These sectors and industries are the heart and soul of the continent, highlighting both our diversity and our unity, as well as inspiring us to do better.

The suspension of cultural and creative activities has led to widespread job losses and disruption of economic activity. It is therefore essential to support these sectors and industries and to create new opportunities for innovation, education and start-ups. In this regard, this community will provide innovative solutions to help these industries become stronger and more resilient, training future entrepreneurs in the sector, supporting cutting-edge companies and helping to foster the next generation across Europe. 

A timeline about the next steps to follow for the implementation of EIT Culture & Creativity has recently been published, announcing the launch of the call between October and November 2021. The selection criteria will be announced from June onwards!

Do you want to join Europe’s largest innovation network? On the horizon of the EIT there is a new opportunity for the cultural and creative sectors and industries. If you want to know more, don’t miss the next webinar that will take place next Wednesday, 21 April!

For more information about the call click here

Next EIC Accelerator call on April 2021!

The EIC Accelerator call will be opened on 8 April, which will support SMEs and start-ups in developing breakthrough innovations. Applications from companies with women in top management positions will be particularly encouraged.

EIC Accelerator will provide financial support through:

– Non-reimbursable funding up to EUR 2.5 million

– Investments up to EUR 15 million managed by EIC FUND.

In addition, selected companies will receive guidance, mentoring, access to investors and corporations, and many other opportunities. All information is published in the EUROPEAN INNOVATION COUNCIL WORK PROGRAMME 2021 (Horizon Europe).

Proposals will be submitted through the EIC AI platform, which will require preparing a video pitch, a slide presentation and answering a short survey about the innovation and the company’s team. If the application fulfils the requirements, the Commission will invite the company to prepare the full application.

EIC Accelerator also provides  an open call, which does not define thematic priorities on which to submit project proposals (Open Funding) and a call with a challenge-driven approach (EIC Strategic Challenges) which will fund projects in specific technology areas.

In particular, the EIC Accelerator open call (€592.5 million) targets breakthrough innovations in any technology field, while the EIC Strategic Challenges call (€495.1 million) funds innovations in the fields of strategic digital and health technologies and Green Deal innovations for economic recovery.

The deadlines for applications in 2021 are:

9 June for Accelerator Open 6 October for Accelerator

8M International Women’s Day – Towards Gender Equality in academia and science

Today March 8th we are commemorating International women’s Day, a day to celebrate social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Despite the great achievements, there is still a long way to go, especially in the field of academia and science. There is extensive evidence of gender differences suggesting that women are underrepresented in most scientific disciplines and publish fewer articles throughout a career, acquiring fewer citations. Moreover, relevant problems lie with retaining and promoting women into influential positions as they have fewer chances to serve on committees or speak at scientific meetings. Other factors include unconscious bias, tensions with work-like balance, poor funding and pay and a lack of networking opportunities.

8 March is an important occasion to not only celebrate women’s achievements, but also to raise awareness and remind the necessity of continuing the work towards gender equality. Many initiatives and projects are being carried out to achieve this objective, such as our ATHENA project. The ATHENA project is a H2020 4 years-funded project aiming at removing barriers to the recruitment, retention and career progression of female researchers, addressing gender imbalances in decision making processes and generating a cultural change needed to avoid future gender bias and discriminatory practices through the implementation of Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) in 6 Research Performing (RPOs) and 2 Research Funding organisations (RFOs) of Central Eastern EU countries and outermost regions.

The project started last 1st February 2021 and we are currently performing the first assessment of procedures and practices already in place in partner RPOs and RFOs. This assessment will help understand the needs of each partner institution and will serve as the basis for next trainings and activities to be carried out in order to draft and implement tailored GEPs.

New programme Horizon Europe strengthens provisions for Gender Equality!

EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and youth Mariya Gabriel communicated on the occasion of the ‘International Day of Women and Girls in Science’, celebrated on 11 February each year, the Commission’s commitment to gender equality in research and innovation. This commitment is set out in the Gender Equality Strategy for 2020-2025, which addresses the introduction of new measures in the new programme Horizon Europe. These measures include the possibility to require a gender equality plan from applicants and an initiative to increase the number of women-led technology start-ups. Funding for gender and intersectional research will also be made available and gender balance among researchers involved in projects will be strongly encouraged and will be taken into account for equally ranked proposals.

The new strengthened provisions for gender equality in Horizon Europe are summarized in the factsheet published by the EC ‘Gender Equality: a strengthened commitment in Horizon Europe’. Click here to download the factsheet and learn more!

ATHENA H2020 project on Gender Equality has kicked-off!

Equality between women and men is not only a fundamental value of the European Union (EU) but would have a strong, positive GDP impacts growing over time as well as ensure higher level of employment and productivity. To reach EU gender equality objectives effective mechanisms, policies and actions challenging structural discrimination and stereotypes present in our societies must be put in place.

The ATHENA project, funded under the Horizon 2020 programme, aims at removing barriers to the recruitment, retention and career progression of female researchers; addressing gender imbalances in decision making processes and generating a cultural change to avoid future gender bias and discriminatory practices in 8 research organizations in Europe. The consortium, coordinated by Consulta Europa Projects and Innovation, counts with the participation of 6 Research Performing Organizations from Slovenia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Bulgaria and 2 Research funding organization from Canary Islands, in Spain, and Azores in Portugal. The project will support those organizations in developing and implementing Gender Equality Plans to enable a cultural and institutional change and achieve a gender equal participation of researchers, professors and administrative staff.

To achieve this, ATHENA will first conduct an assessment of procedures and practices already in place in partnering organizations, together with an analysis of the national legislation and policy frameworks. In parallel, it will put in place a participatory process aimed, on one side, to understand the needs and preferences of the students and staff and, on the other side, to train them and build their capacities to address gender inequalities and apply principles of diversity and inclusion.

The methodology and practices developed by the project will be made available to other research performing and funding organizations across Europe to contribute to a more gender equal and inclusive European Research Area and unlock research excellence across the whole European territory.

ATHENA has started on February 1st this year and will last for 48 months. Representatives from the project partners convened to the online kick-off meeting held on 3rd and 4th February and planned further in detail project activities responsibilities distribution. The kick-off meeting has counted with the participation of the European Commission services (DG for Research and Innovation) and the Research Executive Agency, as well of representatives of the SPEAR and CHANGE H2020 sister projects.

New Project Tourisme – Improving sustainability of tourism SMEs through knowledge transfer, international cooperation and multistakeholder engagement

The European project TOURISME began on September 16th 2020, co-financed by the COSME Program and coordinated by Consulta Europa Projects and Innovation.
The project was born from the need to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of tourism SMEs in Europe, under the pretext that a sustainable tourism development, in addition to positive environmental and socio-cultural impacts, provides many benefits derived from the competitive advantage of cost savings and improving the quality of the offer.
Therefore, TOURISME’s main objective is to promote the capacities and skills of tourism SMEs to explore and adopt sustainable solutions through a reinforced transnational and intersectoral collaboration between SMEs and tour operators from different sectors in Spain, Italy, France and Cyprus.

More specifically, the project pursues the following objectives:
1. To design and implement transnational and intersectoral support schemes that promote sustainable growth in the tourism sector through capacity-building, knowledge transfer and international cooperation between SMEs, business accelerators, incubators, development agencies and other decision makers in the tourism industry.
2. Support the adoption of innovative solutions that promote sustainability practices and circular business models.
3. Facilitate the participation of SMEs in environmental certification schemes and other initiatives that promote sustainable tourism, such as EMAS, EDEN and EU Ecolabel.

The project partners are, in addition to Consulta Europa (EC), the Canary Islands Institute of Technology (ITC) from Spain, the Autonomous Region of Sardinia (RAS), Sistemi Formativi Confindustria (SFC) and University of Sant’ Anna (SSSA) from Italy, the Association of Cities and Regions for the Sustainable Management of Resources (ACR+) from Belgium, the Institute of Planning and Urbanization of the Ile-de-France Region (Institute of the Paris Region) from France, and the Nicosia Development Agency (ANEL) from Cyprus. The project has a total budget of 1,322,050.93 euros and a duration of 30 months.

Free Webinar 4 November 2020 – Accessing European funding opportunities: How to develop a successful project proposal

The European Union is the main body with resources to offer funding in form of grants to entities and companies in Europe. It is key for the Canarian innovation system to access and make the best use of these resources, which requires specific knowledge that allows them to submit quality project proposals, increasing their number of approvals and, consequently, funding.

Consulta Europa Projects and Innovation will organise a free webinar on 4 November 2020 (at 10.00h (Canary Islands time)) with the aim of providing the main stakeholders (entrepreneurs, company managers, staff of public bodies and/or students) with the basic knowledge required to successfully submit a European project proposal.

The content of the webinar is structured in three main blocks:

i) European Funds: From policies to funding programmes.

ii) Why and how a European project was born.

iii) Development of a successful project proposal: Steps to follow.

If you would like to participate, do not hesitate to register yourself before the 2nd November through our registration process here. For more information, you can consult the  agenda of the event here.

Erasmus+ in Outermost & Remote Areas When Supporting Mobility Makes a Difference

This week, on Friday the 16th of October, Consulta Europa is organizing an online event in the form of an interactive webinar about the Erasmus+ programme.

The purpose of this webinar is to raise the visibility of the Erasmus+ programme to beneficiaries, policy makers and supporting partners. By promoting youth exchange, internships and other mobility projects in Europe’s outermost and remote areas, we aim at facilitating the creation of social networks and consequently boosting social and economic innovation in those regions. With various presentations from organizations, students and other participants we are going to demonstrate that supporting mobility can make a difference.

Due to the current circumstances we would also like to focus on the impact of Covid-19 on the Erasmus+ programme, in order to identify if and how the current crisis has affected cross-European mobility in different ways, but also which potential opportunities we can gain from this changed point of view. For this reason, you will not only be able to hear about the general aspects and possibilities of the programme itself, but you will also have the opportunity to listen to real stories from students talking about their experiences during this difficult time.

If you are a student, academic researcher, part of an NGO or any other type of organization, the information provided within this webinar might show you unforeseen opportunities of exchange programmes and trans-European mobilities. Sign up via the link below and fill out the registration form to ensure yourself a spot among the multicultural variety of participants. Don’t miss their stories of experiences with the Erasmus+ programme and seize this unique opportunity to ask them questions and build cross-European connections for your future.

Register to the webinar here!

2nd LIFE4BEST call for proposals launched!

Today, September 10th, it has been launched the 2020 call for proposals under the LIFE4best ‘Small Grants’ Initiative.

LIFE4BEST provides grant funding for small-scale field actions for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the Outermost Regions of the European Union (ORs). LIFE4BEST is a grant scheme designed to provide effective support for actions on the ground at the local, as well the regional level. It is funded by the EU LIFE Programme, the French Biodiversity Agency and the French Development Agency.

Consulta Europa as Regional Focal Point of Macaronesia, together with the coordinating body of the Programme, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) will hold an informative session aiming at presenting the Programme and the call for proposals, as well as to solve doubts and questions about the submission process. The event will take place on Monday 14 September at 11.00 (CEST) for applicants from Madeira and Azores and at 12.00 (Canary islands’ time) for applicants from the Canary islands.

If you are interested in participating, you are invited to complete the registration form here for proposals from Madeira and Azores, and here for proposals from the Canary islands.

For further information on the LIFE4BEST initiative and the procedure for submitting your proposal, please visit or send your questions to

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