The new Interreg Aurora Programme has approved the first projects in the funding period 2021-2027. The two Steering Committees, for sub-area Sápmi and sub-area Aurora have met on 22-23 November in Luleå to decide on new cross-border cooperation projects in the northernmost part of Europe and Sápmi. The Steering Committees approved 27 projects in the first call, more than 21 million euro was allocated.
The Steering Committee for sub-area Sápmi approved two small-scale projects (prestudies). The approved project, DigiÀrran aims to strengthen knowledge and skills in development of digital games in Sámi languages for transferring traditional knowledge and teaching about the Sámi. The other approved project will contribute to revitalization of Skolt Sámi language and culture. The status of the Skolt Sámi language and culture is critical in Norway and Finland. Lars Thomas Mangi, chair of the Steering Committee meeting for sub-area Sápmi hopes to see more applications in upcoming calls. Interreg Aurora provides specific funding opportunities for the Sámi society.
The Steering Committee for sub-area Aurora approved several interesting projects lead by research and educational institutes in the Programme area. One of the approved projects will establish a long-term cross-border cooperation platform in sustainable construction, between academia, construction companies and larger construction industry. The Committee also decided to fund monitoring and restoration of biodiversity on shallow bottoms in the northern Gulf of Bothnia. Andreas Sjölander, chair of the Steering Committee meeting for sub-area Aurora is impressed of the width of the approved projects in the first call. The projects address relevant needs and challenges and will strengthen the competitiveness, sustainability and attractiveness of the whole Programme area.
Iiris Mäntyranta, Programme Director expresses that there is a great interest for cross-border cooperation and the opportunities for funding from the new Interreg Aurora Programme. Managing Authority is pleased to see many project applications where actors from the two previous Interreg Programmes, Nord and Botnia Atlantica have found each other. We are looking forward to the startup of our very first approved Interreg Aurora projects.