25.01.2021. The instrument designed to boost the economic recovery of the European Union after the severe damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, NEXT GENERATION FUNDS EU 2021-202, was the main theme of the “NextGeneration European Recovery Fund in the Canary Islands” event. Co-organised by a public-private partnership, it was a resounding success in terms of virtual attendance, reaching 700 participants.
This online training programme, held on 20 and 21 January 2021, provided an overview as well as specific technical aspects necessary to be able to present projects eligible for this fund. With this new tool, the largest ever approved in quantitative terms, the European Union aims not only to overcome the economic impact, but also to build a greener, more digital and resilient Europe, as stated on the European Commission’s website. With an amount equivalent to 12% of the European Union’s GDP, Spain will receive 150,000 million euros.
The opening session focused on setting out the key elements of this recovery plan, presenting the figures and objectives that the European Commission has set itself and highlighting the major benefits that it could bring to the Canary Islands. In this regard, Juanma Revuelta, CEO of the Finnova Foundation, called on Canary Islands entrepreneurs to take advantage of the unique geographical and environmental characteristics of the islands and to launch projects focused on promoting renewable energies or sustainable agriculture and tourism, among other proposals.
The Firefighting Open Innovation Lab-CILIFO accelerator, whose objectives are part of this new ecological and innovative Europe that wants to lead the fight against climate change, was present through the speech of José Manuel Requena and Adrián Nohera, part of the CILIFO team at the Finnova Foundation.
José Manuel Requena, Director of European Territorial Cooperation at Finnova, stressed the effectiveness of Interreg projects in terms of job creation and economic boost and presented the good practices and results obtained in this type of projects, inviting the attendees to consider their implementation in the Canary Islands. For his part, Adrián Nohera, director of the Innovation and Internationalisation area of Finnova, offered free support in fundraising and legal advice from the Firefighting Open Innovation Lab- CILIFO accelerator to those projects whose objectives are the fight against fires and the recovery of burnt areas.
In the same vein, Finnova’s director of European funds, Juan Viesca, in a presentation of a markedly pedagogical nature, closed his participation by reiterating the importance of making use of these NextGeneration funds so that it does not happen as on previous occasions in which only a part of the total amount available from Spain has been used.
The event was joined from Brussels by leading experts in the field at European level, such as Miguel Gil Trente, head of unit at TaskForceRecover, Massimiliano Dragoni, senior official at the Directorate-General for Communication Networks, Content and Technologies, Rudy Aernoudt, chief economist at the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, and the chairman of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, Juan Fernando López Aguilar.
The event, organised by the Canarian Council of the European Movement, the Government of the Canary Islands, the University of Las Palmas and La Laguna, Atlantic Euroconsulting and the Finnova Foundation, was a resounding success and was attended by participants from public administrations, private enterprise and the third sector. In addition to the training sessions, networking sessions will be held on 27 and 28 January, in which experts in European funds will participate and whose purpose is none other than to facilitate the presentation of innovative projects in relation to the SDG challenges of the United Nations and identify potential partners.
Beatriz Martínez Muñoz
European projects and communication officer at the Finnova Foundation